faint lines drug test

You or someone you know has just taken a drug test and the lines came back faint. What does this mean? Is the drug test negative if the line is faint? In most cases, a line that is barely visible is usually negative. The objective of a drug test is to see if there is less or more of a certain metabolite in the urine. Drug tests are interpreted as a pass or fail system. Drug testing cups aren’t quantitative so it’s impossible to see how much of a certain drug is in a sample. 

Although these lines mostly mean a negative case, why do they occur and how do you if it’s actually positive? Preferred Med Supply is here to help break down what these faint lines actually mean.

What Causes a Faint Line on a Drug Test?

Using a 12-panel drug test as an example, these tests are designed to test for up to 12 different drugs. Each test will have its own calibration and regent. For someone like a donor who has never smoked in their life, THC tests can still show faint lines. 

These drug tests are made to provide consistent findings but each test will have a different line of darkness. Comparing the different levels of color on a strip test will be more accurate than comparing the lines on a multi-panel cup. 

Note The Faint Lines on Drug Tests

Faint lines will always exist, but you can take steps to get the most accurate results possible.

  • While testing and storing, keep an eye on the independent factors such as temperature
  • After 5 minutes have passed, keep reading the results
  • Don’t use expired tests
  • If possible, do the test first thing in the morning before the individual is able to drink water
  • Gather a list of all drugs, supplements, and energy drinks consumed by the individual

How Do Faint Positives Appear?

A test is deemed positive if a line does not appear on the strip. There is usually a control zone with a line that denotes if a test is valid. Two lines, even faint, denote a negative test. The presence of metabolites over the cutoff threshold is indicated by a positive test result. The initial findings from a drug test show that the substance is present in greater amounts. 

There are a number of different factors that can cause a false-positive result. 

The Darkness of Faint Lines

You may have a test where the lines are even fainter than others. The choice of cut-off threshold for the individual’s metabolites determines the darkness of these weak lines. 

Certain substances, such as amphetamines, require large amounts to be present, such as 1000 ng/ml. Marijuana, on the other hand, only needs 50 ng/ml to show up positive. The fainter the line in the drug test is, the lower the drug’s cutoff threshold is. 

Conclusion on Faint Lines and Drug Tests

Faint lines are prevalent findings, regardless of what method they are given. Understanding the interpretation of drug test results is critical for making an informed judgment. Preferred Med Supply can help your drug test results with premium drug testing supplies. Head over to our shop page and see what we have waiting for you.