What Does a Faint Line on A Drug Test mean?

Regardless of the drug testing method used, the faint lines are common in the results. To make confident decisions, it is essential to understand the interpretation of drug test results. Most commonly, the faint lines are observed in the home-based drug tests which indicate the negative test results. But the faint lines don’t mean that you don’t have drugs in your system. Keep on reading for more detail on faint lines and interpretation of drug test results.

Faint Line Meaning in Drug Test Results?

The appearance of a faint line in the drug test stamps the negative test results. The basic purpose of drug tests is to determine the drugs and their metabolites in the sample whether the specific substance is present or not. Rapid immunoassay tests are widely used to know the presence of the drug in the body. These tests detect the metabolites of the drug in the form of negative or positive results but did not tell about the quantity.

Various instant immunoassay tests including the iCup, T-cup, or saliva tests consist of built-in strips that react with the drug metabolites in the sample and form complexes. Test line and control line are two major regions in the drug test. The Control line indicates the proper functioning of the device while the test line indicates the nil appearance of drugs.

The faint line appears in the test region of the sample, it does not depend on the intensity of colored lines. Even, if you have a very faint line, it still counts the negative results because the test has not detected any metabolites in the body. If you have a faint line in the pre-employment drug test, you still have negative test results.

Causes of Faint Line in the Drug Test?

Several reasons can cause the faint line in the drug test results. Basically, the faint lines are found in the THC tests which means the metabolites are present but below the cutoff level. Faint lines can be caused by the resemblance of the drug’s metabolites with some other compounds having a similar chemical composition. Different drug testing devices are used to detect the multiple drugs simultaneously each with a separate reagent and strips. Therefore, the intensity of the faint lines varies.

What Does a Negative Drug Test Look Like?

A negative drug test means the donor has passed the test with the concentration of the metabolites under the cutoff level. The negative drug test results don’t mean that the person has not used any kind of drug ever. But for accuracy and more precise results, the SAMHSA has established the cutoff level for drugs-exceeding the cutoff level indicates positive results, while below the cutoff level it counts for the negative test results.

Will I Pass a Lab Test if There is a Faint Line in the Home Testing?

As stated above, the home testing kits utilize strips that just confirm the presence or absence of drugs as per SAMHSA suggestions. You should first check the drug test faint line accuracy and compare it with the suggested cutoff level by SAMHSA. A faint line in the test region of the sample is a negative test means that the level of the metabolite in the sample is below the minimum level.

What Does a Faint Positive Look Like?

If the line appears in the control region of the drug test, then it is considered a positive test result. The positive result indicates the fact that metabolites exceed the cutoff level and need to be confirmed by a follow-up lab test. Urine drug test strips are the initial preliminary results that highlight the drug’s presence at higher concentrations.
The false-positive test also occurs triggered by various facts. Different factors interfere with the drug testing strips but the lab test aided by the GC/MS could verify the initial positive test results.

How Accurate Are the Home-Based Drug Tests?

Home-based drug tests are easy to perform with FDA-approved devices. Using these tests for various scenarios including pre-employment drug tests can help you to know your status. A very faint line on the easy at home-based drug tests indicates the negative results-you can pass the lab test.

The initial screening tests are designed to detect the several breakdown metabolites of drugs after first use. The lab test detects the concentration of one or two substances in the sample. You can still pass a lab test if you have a positive result in the home-based drug test.

The minimum amount of substance to be present in the urine for detection is lower than others. After marijuana use, 8 different substances are present in the sample that collectively count the positive result in the preliminary screening. The lab test will detect only one substance at the cutoff level. For example, if the minimum amount for one substance is 15ng/ml, but the substance present in the urine is 14ng/ml, the urine test results will be negative.

The Darkness of Faint Lines in the Results?

While reading the results, you may encounter some lines that are even fainter than others. The darkness of these faint lines is governed by the selection of cutoff levels for the specific metabolites. For some drugs, the minimum amount to be present in the sample is high, like for the amphetamine 1000 ng/ml, and for others, it may be low like for the marijuana 50ng/ml. The lower the cutoff level for the drug the fainter the line will be in the drug test.

Conclusion: Does a Faint Line on a Drug Test Results Mean a Negative?

The faint lines in the test region of the sample are considered negative regardless of the intensity of faint lines. The home-based immunoassay urine or saliva kits utilize the strips and detect the presence or absence of drugs by the SAMHSA designed cutoff level. The faint line on a drug test does not mean you barely passed the drug test but it indicates the drugs are present below the minimum amount.