Some baby wash products may turn up positive for THC on drug tests

This baby, on the other hand, may not require any baby wash products to test positive for THC…

So, how many mothers have had their children ripped away from them by Child Protective Services under the charge of child abuse because their child turned up positive for THC on a drug screen?

Unexpected interference of baby wash products with a cannabinoid (THC) immunoassay.


Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

The results of newborn drug screening have far-reaching impact not only in healthcare, but also in the legal domain. Therefore, the accuracy of these results cannot be undervalued. When false positive cannabinoid (THC) screening results for this population were suspected at our institution, a multidisciplinary approach was initiated to evaluate the screening process for any pre-analytical or analytical sources of error or interference.

We have identified commonly used soap and wash products used for newborn and infant care as potential causes of false positive THC screening results. Such results in this population can lead to involvement by social services or false child abuse allegations. Given these consequences, it is important for laboratories and providers to be aware of this potential source for false positive screening results and to consider confirmation before initiating interventions. Most importantly, we demonstrate the need for active involvement in the “total testing process,” as sources of error are not confined to the laboratory walls.

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