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What is the difference between the number of panels on drug test cups? Which one is better, 6, 8, 10, or 12 panel?


When you take a drug, the body will eventually breaks it down. When this happens, it releases byproducts known as “metabolites,” which are expelled through urine. The chemicals used for urine drug test cups identify the presence of these metabolites and will react showing the results from the test. The presence of the metabolites is highly predictable and a reliable indication that a person or patient has recently been exposed to the drugs tested.


Drug test dip open

6 Panel Drug Test

6-test panel drug test uses urine to check for the presence of drug abuse. In comparison to the 10-panel drug test, this test covers the most popular illicit drugs, also known as “street drugs” which are also prescribed as:

  • • Amphetamines/Methamphetamines
  • • Barbiturates
  • • Cocaine Metabolites
  • • Marijuana Metabolites: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • • Opiates (including Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Codeine, and Morphine)
  • • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Drug test dip open

10 Panel Drug Test

The 10-panel drug test screens for the five of the most frequently misused prescription drugs in the United States
It also tests for five illicit drugs. Illicit drugs, also known as illegal or street drugs, usually aren’t prescribed by a doctor.
The 10-panel drug test is less common than the 5-panel drug test.
Although it is possible to use blood or other bodily fluids to conduct a 10-panel drug test, urine tests are the most common.

The 10-panel drug test screens for the following controlled substances: .

  • • Amphetamines
  • • Cannabis
  • • Opioids
  • • Barbiturates
  • • Phencyclidine
  • • Methaqualone
  • • Methadone
  • • propoxyphene

Drug test dip open

8 Panel Drug Test

• The 10-panel tests for marijuana, opiates, PCP, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates

Drug test dip open

12 Panel Drug Test

A 12-panel drug test is a comprehensive drug screen that identifies drug metabolites for amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana, methadone, methaqualone, phencyclidine (PCP), propoxyphene, opiates, ecstasy, and Oxycodone. A customized 12-panel drug test is a stringent method to deter substance abuse per health and safety guidelines that stipulate a drug-free work environment.

What type of drug test is the most accurate?

In terms of precision, the most accurate drug test you can get is a blood drug test. However, these tests have a short detection window, so you won’t find evidence of drug use beyond a few hours.
If you want a longer detection period, the most accurate test would be the hair drug test. While it is not as exact as a blood drug test, it can detect drug use up to 90 days before, but not earlier than 3-5 days. In addition to being extremely precise, both tests are almost impossible to tamper with.

Despite their accuracy and resistance to adulteration, blood and hair drug tests are not widely used. Why is that?

  • They are the most expensive types of tests.
  • They can only be done and analyzed in a lab.
  • They require medically trained personnel and specialized equipment.
  • Results can take up to a week.
  • Blood testing is highly invasive.

Nowadays, multi-panel drug testing kits can detect a great variety of drugs, from marijuana and cocaine to Ritalin and bath salts. Drug panels can be customized but most people stick with the standard tests, such as: 5-panel, 6-panel, 8-panel, 10-panel, and 12-panel. Although a standard 5-panel urine drug test is a sensible choice for many companies, if you are concerned about the abuse of prescription drugs and painkillers, you may need to choose a more exhaustive test.
What is the difference between the number of panels on drug test cups?  Which one is better, 6, 8, 10, or 12 panel?

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