History of smoking weed

Buzz Watkins

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
9
Hi all,

I occasionally smoked cannabis but I had my last joint months ago and have no intention of doing it again. Especially after I apply to join. I know that the military routinely and randomly tests for drugs, but didn't think much about it because it had been so long since I had taken any. However after doing some research, I have found that certain substances can be detectable in urine for up to 18 months after taking them, which would put me firmly in that window. Should I be worried? It would be devastating to be kicked out for something I did long before I even applied.
 
  • Deleted by Mac_t1lt
Show…

Iron

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
81
Reaction score
192
People have pasts. You can’t be disciplined for something prior to serving but if this habit features on your medical notes as an addiction you may have to wait for three years to indicate full recovery.
 

The CSM

Active member
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
15
Reaction score
32
The official stance is if you have a documented history of drug dependence,, you will need to provide evidence that you have abstained from the use of these drugs for at least the last 3 years prior to joining the Army.A history of occasional use of recreational drugs won't stop you from joining, but you must stop using any such drugs before you join. After joining the Parachute Regiment,, you must not use recreational drugs. The Army carries out random, compulsory drugs testing, and you can expect to be tested while you're in training and throughout your career. If you fail any of the tests, you're very likely be discharged with immediate effect.
 

user72371

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
12
Hi Buzz. With a medical background, I might be able to provide some non-judgmental advice on the specifics of your question.

This isn't supposed to be a workaround, just some well-meaning advice for anyone wanting to put their past behind them and have a fresh start. Although I'd certainly steer well clear of anything that could make you or others around you unsafe in the field.

There are multiple forms of testing for both legal and illegal pharmaceuticals. The two most common are urine tests and hair segment tests. I'm not sure what the Army does, however I wouldn't be surprised if they apply both. For each of those, one can either "catch the consumer in the act" by testing him for the active substance (in your case THC) or at a later point by testing for its metabolites, basically the broken down and no longer active version of the substance. A hit for either of those would result in your test being positive.

For THC and its metabolites, the problem is that they are lipophilic, i.e. attracted to the fat in your body, where they can get "stuck" if you have a lot of body fat and consume a lot of THC. Published research has shown that you have to be consuming extremely regularly (ca. >4/week). Therefore, in exceptional circumstances, you would test positive for an extended timeframe, although 18 months is absurdly long. Since you want to join the Paras, I assume you're relatively fit. Therefore, it is extremely unrealistic you would be waiting that long to test negative.

As long as your urine tests are positive, your hair tests will be positive. This is because all those toxins in your blood stream will also deposit themselves permanently inside your hair. Hair grows at about 1cm/month, so you can calculate how much you have to let your hair grow before cutting it once your urine tests are negative.

Here is my suggestion:
  1. If you haven't stopped smoking already, I'd give that fresh start a try as soon as possible.
  2. Once you've stopped, keep drinking (water) regularly and most importantly, do loads of cardiovascular work that would burn any remainders of the substance in your body fat. During this time, any test could show positive, since the fat cells inside your body would be releasing a lot of the substance.
  3. After a month of plenty of training, go to your local pharmacy and buy a cheap urine test. Being a fit young man, this will in all likelihood be negative. If not, repeat step 2.
  4. If the test is negative, have a haircut six months later according to the 1cm/month rule (waiting six months also usually accounts for non-growing hair, which I won't go into here, since it's beyond the scope).
  5. Keep fit, healthy and happy!
  6. Apply for the position of your choice and enjoy peace of mind.

In terms of other pharmaceuticals, most are not lipophilic and will drain out of your body faster and therefore test negative earlier. The exception is cocaine, which isn't lipophilic, but where testing is extremely accurate (including false-positives for remnants from dust in hair weeks later, so best not even be in a room with others consuming it).

All in all, don't be too worried, stay healthy and good luck for your application to the Paras. Hope I was able to help.
 

Buzz Watkins

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
9
Thanks @user72371 that really helps and is really informative. And to any younger lads reading this who are smoking that shit, just stop it lads. It’s not worth the worry down the line
 

Chelonian

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
80
Reaction score
268
I occasionally smoked cannabis but I had my last joint months ago and have no intention of doing it again.
I'll come at this from a different angle. Recreational drug use is frequently a social activity. Beware of associating with habitual drug users. Regardless of how 'edgy' they consider themselves to be most of them crash and burn.
It's all too easy to get 'swept up' into the criminal justice system because of associating with drug users. They aren't your mates and they don't give a shite about your career aspirations.

We all have a past. What matters is getting a grip on today and planning for the future.
 

The CSM

Active member
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
15
Reaction score
32
I'll come at this from a different angle. Recreational drug use is frequently a social activity. Beware of associating with habitual drug users. Regardless of how 'edgy' they consider themselves to be most of them crash and burn.
It's all too easy to get 'swept up' into the criminal justice system because of associating with drug users. They aren't your mates and they don't give a shite about your career aspirations.

We all have a past. What matters is getting a grip on today and planning for the future.
Excellent post. The British Army has a zero tolerance on substance misuse and, quite rightly, it has no place in a disciplined fighting organisation like The Parachute Regiment. The bottom line is this, if you want a life in the Army drugs can play no part in that life. The decision is yours.
 
Top