A conventional breathalyzer can very easily assess a driver’s blood-alcohol level. However, when it comes to cannabis, developing a similar device is immediately more complicated. However, researchers are working on this in the United States.

A breath test suitable for THC

Who hasn’t blown into the balloon? Surely each of us knows that the breathalyzer (or rather the breathalyzer) offered by law enforcement agencies is very effective. In just a few seconds, the device delivers its verdict and makes it possible to quickly rule on the driver’s near future. Developing such a high-performance device for cannabis, designed to accurately determine the level of THC in the body, is no small task.

The issue is increasingly being raised in the United States, where the plant is legal in 34 states. Let us take this opportunity to point out that using cannabis can also affect the driver’s condition and increase the risk of an accident. In reality, it is not easy to detect whether someone has smoked an hour or a day ago. Also, smoking one or more days before driving is not illegal in the United States and not all organisms are equal when it comes to the substance. So the goal is to find a solution that will allow us to accurately measure an individual’s condition.

The possible solutions

According to a study published in the journal Clinical Chemistry in July 2019, the University of California at San Francisco (USA) has made an interesting discovery. According to the researchers, THC can be detected in the breath up to three hours after smoking. Furthermore, the study suggests that there is a correlation between THC levels and blood levels during this period. This study was sponsored by the start-up Hound Labs, whose ultimate goal is to market a dual device that can detect both alcohol and cannabis. 

Other less advanced (or less credible) research is currently underway. One example is the development of a mobile application that would test an individual’s faculties to see if he or she is impaired by the use of a psychoactive substance. Other researchers believe that virtual reality may have a role to play. This is a test based on the eye movements of the person being tested.

In any case, some scientists across the Channel are adamant that the technology(ies) to be adopted must be effective. In other words, it will not be enough for them to detect the presence of THC in the body. It must be possible to determine for certain whether or not a person is fit to drive.

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