At-Home Drug Test Quick Guide

The Woman's Hands Opening The Sealed Pouch With An At-Home THC Drug Test Inside


Home drug testing allows you to determine if a positive drug test result will follow after testing a urine test specimen. Usually these are done to find illicit drugs like marijuana in your body, in the privacy of your own home. Using a self-test to ensure your body is drug-free before a pre-employment test or for a general medical screening has its benefits.

But how do they stand up against a certified laboratory test?


In this article you'll find out:


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What are types of home drug tests?

Self-tests and self-collection tests are the two forms of at-home drug testing available. They're performed at home check for signs of recent drug use. They do not however, check for illicit drug abuse nor how a person's life habits and choices should change. 

Self-tests: Rapid testing, drug screening tests, and point-of-care tests are all terms used to describe  these tests. They evaluate a test sample taken at home, and preliminary test results are usually available within minutes. A positive self-test result may require confirmatory testing afterward by a licensed laboratory. It's always best to ensure that the self-test kits are FDA cleared for OTC use.

Self-collection tests: These tests allow you to prepare a sample at home and send it to a lab for analysis. Many self-collection exams include both a preliminary screening and a confirmatory test. With a detection time of a few business days, you may receive your results via email, which is a safe and secure method of communication.

When should I use an at-home drug test?

There are no set recommendations for when anyone should use an at-home drug test. When someone wants quick results about whether or not their body is clean from illegal drugs, a self-test is most probably the best option. It will most likely come in the form of a urine drug test accompanied by test strips.

Keep in mind that at-home drug tests should not be used in place of laboratory-based testing since lab tests are the most accurate technique for detecting specific drugs and usage. Laboratories follow tight standards to assure test accuracy, especially when a positive test result could have serious consequences. 

If you are obliged to take an obligatory health drug test, make sure to inquire about whether results from at-home tests are approved by the testing body. 

Pros & Cons of Home Drug Testing Kits

Doing at-home testing offers both pros and cons compared to lab tests. Consider the following benefits and downsides when performing self-tests to decide if this is the right choice for you.

At Home Drug Test Pros and Cons Table Infographic by Exploro Products

How accurate are at home drug tests compared to lab tests?

Most home drug tests can be up to 99% accurate. Depending on the manufacturer it can be different.

On the other hand, laboratory-based drug tests reveal a wealth of information about the urine sample or other specimen, including the number of common drugs in your system.

This is crucial because it can inform health care specialists about several factors. For example, it can confirm whether the use was chronic or episodic, as well as what treatment options might be recommended. 

However, home drug-test kits simply indicate whether or not a specific type of substance is present in urine or saliva, and not how much of it is present. As a result, they are unable to detect current usage patterns (such as occasional versus heavy users), nor can they be used to assess addiction severity.

By comparison, laboratory analysis provides more information that's fairly accurate which can be used to identify what sort of addiction treatment program is best for a certain person. Or it can provide quantitative results such as how much of a given substance was found in the sample.

How to use an at-home drug test

Let’s use the Exploro® THC home drug test as an example. Watch the video below or keep reading further to see step-by-step instructions.

Step 1. Collect a urine sample in a sterile cup.
Step 2. Take out the individual strip from the packet and dip it in the urine up until the black line.
Step 3. Hold the strip in the urine for about 10-15 seconds and take it out.
Step 4. Lay the strip on the back of the packet and wait for 5 minutes (not more, not less).

Interpreting At-Home Drug Test Results

Results from self-test kits are interpreted by looking for a colored stripe on the test strip according to the test package's instructions. The following are examples of possible test results:

Positive: A positive result will show up as one line in the “C” line. It simply indicatives drug use and requires further investigation. A positive result does not imply that the person is now inebriated or suffers from a substance abuse problem. 

Negative: A negative result will show up as two dark or faded lines in both the “C” and “T” lines. It indicates that no evidence of drug use was detected in the sample. A negative result can occur if a person isn’t using drugs, if they last used a drug outside of the timeframe of the detection window, or if the test kit was expired.

Invalid: An invalid test result will show either no lines or a faded line in the “T” line.

Are drug home tests accurate?

The precision of at-home drug testing is determined on the type of test used. For example, a Exploro® THC home drug test provide high accuracy. Initial drug testing is usually fairly reliable and can discover signs of recent drug use.

It's critical to properly follow the test's instructions during sample collection and testing to improve the accuracy of tests. There are various issues to consider while using self-tests that can alter the accuracy of the results. 

False positives arise when a drug test comes back positive despite the fact that the person hasn't used the drug the test is supposed to detect. Because some foods, beverages, supplements, and drugs might alter test findings, false positive results are possible. 

  • Consumption of poppy seeds, for example, may result in false positive opioid test results. 
  • Antidepressants and other drugs might induce false positive amphetamine or opioid test results. 
  • Taking various over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) and eating hemp-based foods can lead to false positive marijuana test results.

To sum it up

Drug testing is an important part of many industries and essential for safety. This includes fields like healthcare, field services, manufacturing plants, or other jobs that have heavy machinery or safety concerns in the workplace. 

When you need to know if your home or workplace is free of drugs, a quick and easy home drug test may provide the answers you seek. Take control over what happens in your home or company by getting started with an easy, fast, and reliable home drug test kit from


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Over-the-counter drug test really helps. Most probably, it follows that if you are negative on the self-test kit, the laboratory-based result will always turn out negative as well.


This is super useful to know! I had no idea there were home drug tests. It would be handy to know what my results would be.


Such great information about the home test kit. Which is really good to learn about it. Thanks for sharing with us.


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