Major Breakthrough in Breath-Based Marijuana Measurement and Detection
Cutting-edge technology first to measure levels of marijuana in breath, paving way for roadside detection of recent marijuana use
OAKLAND, Calif. – December 2, 2015 – Hound Labs, Inc., announced today a scientific breakthrough that allows the company to detect and measure the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in breath. Hound Lab, Inc.’s proprietary technology will provide, for the first time, the measurements necessary to help determine if an individual has recently used marijuana. Working in conjunction with scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, Hound Labs, Inc. is now optimizing the technology for a handheld solution for use by law enforcement. Clinical trials will begin next quarter in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco, and San Francisco General Hospital.
“This incredibly efficient and responsive technology is necessary to measure THC which requires a method that is more than one million times more sensitive than what is used to measure alcohol in breath.”
– Matt Francis, UC Berkeley professor and Associate Dean of the College of Chemistry
“In just one or two breaths, our new scientific approach is able to capture THC, and, through an extraction process, measure the actual level to less than 500 picograms,” said UC Berkeley professor and Associate Dean of the College of Chemistry, Matt Francis. “This incredibly efficient and responsive technology is necessary to measure THC which requires a method that is more than one million times more sensitive than what is used to measure alcohol in breath.”
Prior to the existence of the company’s patent-pending technology, it was impossible to detect and measure marijuana levels in breath with any accuracy using portable solutions. Existing tests that rely on blood, urine, or saliva samples do not distinguish between recent and chronic use. In other words, they only detect if marijuana has been used in the past few days or even weeks, not whether someone smoked marijuana recently.
“By measuring THC in breath, Hound Labs, Inc. will help us get [unsafe] drivers off the road and also make sure that individuals who happen to have some low level THC in their system aren’t wrongfully arrested.”
– Greg Ahern, Alameda County Sheriff
“Law enforcement needs a roadside solution that can help us determine if a driver is impaired from recent marijuana use,” said Alameda County Sheriff, Greg Ahern. “Current methods for testing THC are not practical for the roadside. On top of that, results can take weeks and will only tell us if marijuana is in a person’s system. By measuring THC in breath, Hound Labs, Inc. will help us get impaired drivers off the road and also make sure that unimpaired individuals who happen to have some THC in their system aren’t wrongfully arrested.”
More than 20 million¹ people in the U.S. are regular users of marijuana and smoking by teenagers has skyrocketed to the point where it is more common for teenagers to drive stoned than drunk².
“As an ER physician and reserve Deputy Sheriff in California I have directly witnessed the consequences of marijuana-impaired driving,” said Dr. Mike Lynn, CEO of Hound Labs, Inc. “We need a way to not only test “yes” or “no” for the presence of marijuana, but to actually measure and correlate THC levels with impairment like we have done for alcohol.”
¹ Hampton Sides, “Marijuana’s Moment”, National Geographic, June 2015.
² Marijuana-Using Drivers, Alcohol-Using Drivers, and Their Passengers: Prevalence and Risk Factors Among Underage College Students; Jennifer M. Whitehill, PhD; Frederick P. Rivara, MD, MPH; Megan A. Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH; JAMA Pediatr. 2014; 168(7):618-624; Driving After Marijuana Use: The Changing Face of “Impaired” Driving. Mark Asbridge, PhD; JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(7):602-604
About Hound Labs, Inc.
Hound Labs, Inc. develops advanced breath testing technologies to address leading public health and safety issues. The Company’s flagship product is the HOUND® CANNABIS BREATHALYZER, an ultra-sensitive, analytical test that identifies active THC molecules in breath. Breath testing introduces the drug testing industry’s shortest cannabis detection window, giving employers a practical and objective solution to detect and deter recent use. By limiting cannabis detection to use occurring before or during the workday, test results empower employers to maintain safe workplaces, improve hiring and retention efforts, and maintain fairness in the workforce. Founded in 2014, Hound Labs is headquartered in Fremont, California. Benchmark, EEC, Icon Ventures, Intrinsic Capital Partners, NFP Ventures, Tuatara Capital, and individual investors have funded the Company. Learn more at HoundLabs.com and follow us on LinkedIn @HoundLabs, Inc.