“The proprietary science and engineering we use for our breathalyzers enable measurement of really small concentrations of substances making it ideal for a variety of different point-of-care solutions.”

~ Dr. Mike Lynn, CEO of Hound Labs, Inc.


During the month of April 2020, Hound Labs adapted the core breath capture technology in the HOUND® MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER to measure the SARS-CoV-2 virus in breath. Hound Labs has been using the HOUND® COVID-19 BREATHALYZER to conduct ongoing research with human subjects since May 2020. The results of this research demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 can be found in breath.

How can a marijuana breathalyzer measure COVID-19?

In December 2018, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researchers conducted a clinical study using Hound Labs breath technology. The results of the study confirmed the ultra-sensitive Hound Labs technology could capture breath samples to facilitate measurements as small as 1 picogram (1 trillionth of a gram) per liter of breath. The ability to measure such small concentrations suggested the Company’s proprietary technology has other applications including detecting disease in breath.


In January 2019, the Hound Labs research team began exploring different applications for the Hound Labs breath technology. The Company conducted several small studies over the course of the year. This exploratory research confirmed that the Hound technology could successfully be adapted to target other substances and markers of disease in breath. Hound Labs scientists continue to explore applications for the Company’s breath technology and for other proprietary technologies developed over the last 7 years.

Why test breath for the SARS-CoV-2 virus?

The ability to measure COVID-19 in breath – both in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals – may provide important clues to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Research needs to be conducted on a large scale to validate the initial data set, but as a company we are optimistic that the Hound breath technology may be very useful to help unravel some of the mysteries surrounding COVID-19 including whether or not the presence of SARS-CoV-2 helps to identify “super spreaders”.


The HOUND® COVID-19 BREATHALYZER facilitates the on-site collection of breath samples that are stored on a disposable cartridge and then processed in a lab for detection of COVID-19.

Why use the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER instead of nasal or oral fluid swabs to test for COVID-19?

The Hound Labs breath technology is an ultra-sensitive portable technology. The HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER is the only technology shown to consistently collect breath samples that enable laboratory identification of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 in their breath. The ability to diagnose and monitor patients with SARS-CoV-2 in their breath potentially provides unique insight into the underlying respiratory physiology of the virus in patients and may result in novel approaches to mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Will work on the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER impact the availability of the HOUND MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER?

No, the HOUND MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER will still be available for employer, law enforcement, and insurance customers at the end of 2020.