A marijuana breath analyzer is a device that detects breath organic compounds generated by marijuana to determine if the driver is under the influence of marijuana. The device is being developed by a team of scientists at London’s Imperial College who believe it could be used in police work or as a component in self-driving car technology. Marijuana has been legalized in many states and countries. Because of its intoxicating potential, there is an ongoing debate about whether it should be regulated before driving a car. The team has built a prototype, which they say could be made to work within the next two years.
- How the New Device Works
The marijuana breath analyzer uses infrared light to identify the organic compounds in a driver’s breath. These products are then used to determine if a driver is under the influence of marijuana or not. The device is based on a material that uses infrared light to be absorbed when an organic compound, such as THC or cannabis, is present in a storage medium. The technique consists of passing infrared light through an electrolyte solution. The intensity of the light passing between the two electrodes is then varied, and the resulting electrical current is measured. It usually takes no more than 10 minutes to establish whether someone has smoked marijuana or not.
- Potential Use of Marijuana Breath Analyzer
The device has been tested on several volunteers who have smoked marijuana, and the results have shown that it is as accurate as the current tests. The researchers said a commercial version of the device might take two years to complete, but they hoped it could be made in less time. They say the device could eventually be used to screen all drivers, on a trial basis, as part of road safety measures. There would not be any legal issues as the device would not directly measure the driver’s blood level of THC, but it would detect its presence in the breath.
- Research Behind the New Device
The team studied the effects of marijuana on the body and found that it affects the central nervous system and can alter eye movements, cause dry mouth and increase heart rate. It also blocks endocannabinoid receptors, which are present in many organs, including lungs and brains, increasing the risk of an overdose. The research showed that by using a light sheet to excite specific wavelengths of light, they could identify certain compounds in a person’s breath. These compounds are unique to marijuana and can be used to determine whether a person has smoked the drug.
- The Development of the Device
The researchers have conducted several experiments to demonstrate how efficient the device is. For example, they tested a driver on a simulator and found he could outperform the breath analyzer when he smoked marijuana. But unlike the simulation, the breath analyzer produces reliable results regardless of how well an individual performs. The researchers hope these will clear all doubts about whether someone is under the influence of marijuana or not.
- Potential of Commercial Use
The device may be used for commercial purposes as several jobs require an accurate drug test. The police could use it to identify drivers who are not fit to drive. It could also be used for self-driving cars to identify those who have smoked marijuana before getting into the car. The device would only indicate that there is marijuana present in the breath, but it would not reveal the amount of THC. The device would need some refinement, including improving its sensitivity and speed of detection, before it can be used commercially.
- Advantages of Marijuana Breath Analyzer
The device will eliminate the frequent argument that some people who have smoked marijuana for recreational or medical purposes can perform well when driving. It will identify those on the road who are not fit to go. The device would also eliminate the argument that because marijuana is not always detected by standard testing, it should be legalized, and only those who want to consume it should be tested.
Many countries and states worldwide have legalized marijuana, but because of its intoxicating potential, there is an ongoing debate about whether it should be regulated before driving a car. Because of these debates, many people have been jailed or fined for marijuana use while driving. But because this device can be applied to all drivers and not just those accused of consuming marijuana on the road, it would be safer for the police and the public to deal with this issue.