To learn how to pass a drug test, you must first understand what method of testing you are facing. Second, what time frame are you dealing with? Third, what individual factors will impact how much THC is in your system? Urine, saliva, hair, and blood tests all work on different methodologies and vary in usefulness.
To complicate matters further, cannabis is one of the most complicated substances to test for. Some drug tests look for past use of the plant. Others look for evidence of current intoxication. Many drug tests for weed are likely to report false positives. Urine drug tests especially.
Does all this sound altogether too complicated? Trust us, we hear you. Who cares about drug testing’s scientific details when all you want to know is how to pass one! It turns out that drug testing science and human biology are essential to beating the system. If you’re going to pass a drug test, you must first understand them.
Why Are We Still Being Tested for Drugs?
At this point in history, where cannabis is legal in a growing number of countries, it may seem shocking to face drug tests still. Even though medical marijuana is a widely accepted medicine prescribed by doctors in Canada, Europe, and in most American states, its use is still concerning in some circumstances.
Unfortunately, drug testing for cannabis (and other drugs) is still the status quo for some professions. You may also expect it within the criminal justice system and, often, the medical system. The following are some places where you may face still drug test:
Drug Testing at Work
If you work for a government agency or even a company that receives government funding, your company will have to adhere to the federal guidelines on drugs. You may be required to submit to a drug screening before employment or routine during your contract.
If you drive a truck, operate heavy machinery, provide air traffic control, or another potentially high-risk job, drug testing is also standard. If being high at work would but others in danger, expect to face a drug test.
Drug Testing in the Medical System
If you end up in the emergency room, you may face a drug test to help doctors make a proper assessment. In this circumstance, drug testing may end up with criminal repercussions, for example, after a car crash. Your family doctor may also request a drug test to ensure you are not abusing a prescription.
Drug Testing in the Criminal Justice System
You may face a drug test as a part of a criminal investigation, incarceration, or probation. The repercussions following a positive drug test in these situations may be long-lasting and mean more time served or more extended probation.
Drug Testing in Sports
Although it may be argued that many drugs do not improve someone’s competitive advantage, drug testing is still standard within most professional sporting environments. Before competitions or at the start of a season, players and competitors could be subject to a mandated drug test. Within the professional sports universe, doping is still largely prohibited, even with cannabis.
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An Introduction to 4 Different Kinds of Drug Tests
Solving the age-old question of how to pass a drug test starts with a single question: what kind of test are you facing? Although urine drug tests are the most common (and the easiest to pass), they are not the only ones you could face. Every test works slightly differently, and not all look for the same drug-molecules.
The urine drug test, sometimes called a urine screen, is the most common drug test used by employers, the criminal justice system, and medical applications. Urine tests provide rapid results of past drug use. A Urine screening will look for one or all of the following substances: amphetamines, methamphetamines, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, PCP, methadone, nicotine, and alcohol.
Technically, the urine screening doesn’t look for evidence of the drug itself, but instead the metabolites. Metabolites are the molecules produced by our bodies once our livers have had a chance to process the original compounds.
For example, THC transforms into 11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (THC-COOH) once our livers get ahold of it. Therefore the urine test technically looks for THC-COOH, not THC. Because of this, a urine test may return a positive result, even days or weeks after use of the drug. Each substance has a different half-life within the human body.
How accurate are urine tests for catching cannabis use? While they are commercially available and widely used, urine tests are not foolproof, especially for testing current intoxication.
As per the Center for Disease Control, “attempts to correlate urine concentration with impairment or time of dose are complicated by variations in individual metabolism, metabolite accumulation in the chronic user, and urine volume changes due to diet, exercise, and age.” Urine tests can return false positives and cannot accurately capture for current intoxication,
Mouth Swab Test
Saliva or mouth swab drug testing has been around for decades. However, it has only recently earned more attention for real-world applications with the rise of legal cannabis. Regulators have sought a rapid roadside test for cannabis intoxication, and saliva tests may be the solution. With a bit more development, saliva testing for THC may eventually become as common as the breathalyzer is for alcohol.
A mouth swab drug test starts with a simple swab of the mouth’s interior to collect saliva. Saliva contains excretions which may or may not include evidence of current drug use. Saliva drug tests have been used to test for the use of amphetamines, cocaine and metabolites, opioids such as morphine, methadone, and heroin, and cannabis. For some substances, it is as reliable as a blood plasma test for current intoxication levels. These include amphetamines, cocaine, and opioids. Other substances are less precise, including marijuana.
Unlike urine tests, which look for evidence of the drug metabolite, a mouth swab typically looks for the drug itself. A mouth swab can accurately catch a person during the intoxication phase, and therefore has a different application than urine testing. Beyond roadside testing of high drivers, it may also be used by employers following a safety incident.
Hair Follicle Drug Test
The hair follicle test is another possible drug screening method, although far less common within professional settings. Testing hair for drug use looks only for the previous history with the substance, not current intoxication. Therefore its applications are less immediate for medical, criminal, or professional situations.
Hair drug tests work from a chemical analysis of a collected sample of hair. Typically, a hair follicle test will look for amphetamine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine, PCP, and opioids. Cannabis testing through the hair test is less common.
On average, we grow ½ inch of hair every month. Most hair tests work with one and a half inches of new hair growth, which would be roughly 90 days of previous drug use. Certain employers may request a hair sample before hiring in rare instances, but you’re much more likely to face a urine test.
Blood Drug Test
Blood testing is the most invasive but most accurate form of drug testing. Unlike urine and hair tests, analysis of a blood sample offers an extremely effective method to assess the current use of drugs — not past use. Depending on the substance, there is usually a short window (between minutes to hours) where this test is useful to prove intoxication.
Because of the relatively short window, it difficult to execute a blood test promptly. Blood testing for drugs is rare. It wouldn’t be useful in anything but the most extreme circumstances. Especially within criminal investigations, police often need a warrant is to execute a blood collection. At the level of your employer, it also wouldn’t be cost-effective or easy to manage. Therefore, despite how accurate a blood test is, it is the least used.
If you do face a blood drug test, it could test for any combination of the following drugs: alcohol, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine, methadone, opiates, cannabis, barbiturates, and tricyclic antidepressants.
Facing a Drug Test? How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System?
If you are reading this, it’s not because you are worried about cocaine or amphetamines in your system. You are concerned about that last blunt you smoked or that infused cookie you ate. If you have a drug test in your future, you’ll need to know how long weed stays in your system.
Cannabis works a lot differently than other drugs, like oxycodone and MDMA. It tends to linger for days, if not months, following the initial use. Of course, it’s imperative to understand how the met.hod of testing and personal factors influence the total time it lingers.
For example, oxycodone lasts for up to four days in a urine test and mouth swab, 90 days in a hair test, and 24 hours in a blood test. Acid (LSD) lasts for four days in a urine test, 90 days in a hair test, and 12 hours in a blood test. You can’t test for LSD through a saliva test. What about stimulants like MDMA? Molly has a short testing time frame: four days in urine, 90 days in hair, and two days for a blood test and mouth swabs.
But what about weed? If you face a urine test for cannabis, you may test positive for up to a month. There are even reports of people testing positive for 45 days in the scientific literature, but these were considered outliers. If you face a blood test, the risk is for up to four hours and a mouth swab for up to 72 hours.
Mouth swabs and even a blood test won’t detect THC after just a few days, but this isn’t what you are likely to face. In almost all cases, your employer or probation officer will ask for a urine test. That means if you have used any weed products in the last month, you may test positive.
And the kicker? There is no concrete formula to help you determine how many days between your last smoke session and a negative test. Several factors heavily influence the specific time frame. Cannabis works differently for everyone. Meaning, if you and your best friend ate potent edibles on the same day, in the same dose, you’d both test differently in the days and weeks to come.
Factors That Influence How Long Weed Stays in Your System
- Body Mass Index (BMI): How much body fat you carry around impacts how long THC-COOH is stored. Our livers transform THC into the THC-COOH metabolite and send it into fat cells for long term storage. More fat equates to longer storage time.
- Hydration: Stay hydrated, especially if you are a chronic smoker. Water helps flush toxins out of the body, including THC.
- Genetics: One of the few factors you cannot control is genetics. Your genetics determine your metabolism, risk for chronic diseases, and more.
- Physical Fitness: If you are physically fit, you’ll burn more fat, which means burn more THC-COOH.
- Total Consumption: Chronic cannabis consumers will have a much harder time flushing THC evidence from their system than the casual consumer. The more you smoke, the more evidence there is.
- Potency: If you love THC-rich edibles and cannabis concentrates, that means more THC floating around. Lower potency products
- Other Medications and Drugs: Our livers process THC through the CYP3A4 and CYP2CP enzymes. These are also the enzymes that process other pharmaceuticals. If you are taking other medications, this may impact the rate of metabolization of THC.
The Only Real Approach to Pass a Drug Test: Detoxing the Natural Way
The only sure-fire way to pass a drug test is abstinence and natural detox. Is this what you want to hear if you expect a surprise drug test at work tomorrow? Probably not. It is the only 100 percent guaranteed way to pass a drug test, even if it can take weeks to achieve.
If you are a chronic, daily weed smoker, this process may take up to a month. If you smoked a single blunt at a party last weekend, you are probably already clean. The abstinence method does depend on all the variables mentioned earlier, but you can make a rough prediction depending on how frequently you dabble. You can also get an at-home test kit to help improve your guesstimate.
Why choose the all-natural detox route? Again, it’s proven. It is (quite literally) the only scientifically proven way to test clean.
Here is how to naturally detox from cannabis, the old fashioned way:
- Stop Consuming Cannabis Immediately. Do not begin again until well after your scheduled drug test.
- Change Your Diet. Stop eating junk food, and switch to a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. The more fiber you can eat, the better. This will improve your metabolism.
- Drink Lots of Water. Remember, water helps the body naturally flush toxins from the body.
- Exercise Daily. Work up a sweat to burn fat. In turn, this will burn off any lingering remnants of THC-COOH.
How to Pass a Drug Test: Urine, Saliva, Hair, and Blood
While it’s all well and good to face a scheduled drug test, what happens if you don’t have much time? Can you pass a drug test for weed if it’s in the next day or week? Ultimately, it still depends on what kind of test you are facing and how much you’ve been consuming.
Here are a few hot tips for each type of test we covered above:
How to Pass A Urine Test
Ultimately, out of all the drug tests on the list, you will most likely face a urine test. How do you pass a urine drug screening if the natural (but slow) abstinence method won’t work in time?
You will need to begin an aggressive detoxing regime. Just remember, short term detoxing doesn’t always deliver the promised results.
- Drink eight to twelve glasses of water a day.
- Eat mostly fruits and vegetables with high healthy fiber content.
- Exercise and work up a serious sweat every day.
- Take naturally detoxifying and diuretic supplements, like white willow extract and horsetail.
- Buy a THC detox kit from a reputable brand with good reviews and transparent ingredients listing.
How to Pass A Hair follicle Test
Beyond merely shaving your head, which may look a bit suspect, how do you cleanse your hair from THC and THC-COOH? Unfortunately, this is much more difficult and risky than faking a urine test. If you remember correctly, most hair drug tests will sample enough hair to capture drug usage within the last 90 days. You likely don’t have ninety days of sobriety, and so you need a faster route.
These days there are Cleansing Shampoos, also called THC Detox Shampoos. These contain a slurry of harsh chemicals designed to alter or destroy evidence of THC and THC metabolites from within the hair shaft. They also may ruin your hair. But if the options are either: destroy your hair or face firing, you may want to try the former option first.
How to Pass a Mouth Swab Test
Remember, a mouth swab test for current intoxication, not past use. There is a small chance that a chronic smoker may continue to test positive for THC even past the 72-hour mark, but this is unlikely. To pass a mouth swab, you will only have to abstain from THC for three days (or four if you are really concerned).
But what if you are expecting to face a saliva test within the next 24 to 48 hours? Follow these steps to help improve your chances:
- Abstain from cannabis.
- Drink lots of water.
- Brush your teeth, floss, and use mouth wash several times a day.
- Swish with lemon water, vinegar, and even diluted peroxide several times a day.
- Stop smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol.
- Eat fatty foods. THC is fat-soluble, so the molecules should bind to fatty foods to travel into the digestive tract.
How to Pass a Blood Test
In all likelihood, if you are going to receive a blood drug test, you won’t have an option to cleanse or detox beforehand. You are either facing criminal prosecution and have been served with a warrant or are in the emergency room for a serious accident. The good news? The testers only have a four-hour window to execute the blood test before the accuracy window passes.
Unfortunately, there is no detox for passing a blood test for weed. The testing window is too small, and the occurrence of blood tests too infrequent.
How to Pass a Drug Test Within One or Two Days
Urgent! How to pass a drug test if you need to be clean in 24 to 48 hours? You don’t have time to detox with the abstinence approach naturally.
If you have already started looking, you’ll know there are many crazy ideas out there about passing drug tests, like the certo approach. People do crazy things when they are desperate. Is there any effective and practical option when you are in a pinch? You’ll need to rely on a THC detox kit.
Weed detox kits are typically supplements, a detox drink, or a combination of both. Most contain a mysterious formulation of ingredients, some of which may not be entirely healthy or safe. Typically detox kits work on flushing the system with diuretics and laxatives.
It doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but they offer hope if you are desperate. Do your research and look for ingredient lists, helpful websites, and useful reviews. Do THC detox kits work 100 percent of the time? No. But, many will drastically improve your chances.
Hot Tip: Pass a Drug Test by Testing Yourself at Home
Whatever detox or cleanse you are undertaking, it’s always a good idea to have an at-home testing kit. These are widely available through Amazon and reputable THC detox companies. THC test kits work just like the urine test you’ll face at work or before a competition.
If you routinely face urine tests, you may wish to experiment with an at-home test kit well beforehand. But, if you abstain, how long does it take before you test clean? If you abstain, eat healthily, exercise daily, and take a THC detox drink, does this improve your test results?
Knowing in advance how long it will take to get clean makes planning easy. Based on your own experiments, you’ll know exactly how long you’ll have to prepare before that upcoming urine screening.
How to Use Fake Urine to Pass a Drug Test
We’ve all heard the stories of using fake urine in a swap out during a urine test. Are these stories realistic? Is it as simple as sneaking in a tube of fake pee and pouring it into the test container?
Synthetic urine contains several ingredients designed to fool a drug analysis. These include uric acid, urea, creatine, nitrates, normal pH balance of 4.8 to 8, water, and glutaraldehyde. Together, these mimic the chemical competition of natural urine but aren’t a perfect replication.
But urine drug tests typically test for temperature, and a technician may even perform a smell test. Unless you are fully committed to taping a urine bladder to your body and risking a sniff test, you better avoid fake urine to pass a drug test.
How to Use a THC Detox Drink to Pass a Drug Test
The THC Detox drink market is booming. There are dozens, if not hundreds of different formulas claiming to cleanse your body from THC-COOH before a drug test. Do they work? Maybe.
If you haven’t already guessed, it will depend on the many different factors listed above, including BMI, genetics, metabolism, frequency of use, and more. Some THC Detox Drinks are complete shams, while other companies have thoughtfully formulated their products with safe and detoxifying ingredients.
Most THC cleansing drinks help you pass a drug test by quickly expelling THC and THC-COOH from your body. This means constant trips to the bathroom as the ingredients clean you out. It can be uncomfortable in your digestive tract. You will want to combine any THC Detox Beverage you use with abstinence, healthy foods, and exercise to increase your passing chances.
These drinks are a last-ditch effort to pass a surprise drug test. They are not foolproof. Do your due diligence and read through as much information as possible, including product reviews across several different platforms. Does the company talk about ingredients? Do they discuss their scientific approach? Does it seem too good to be true? Trust your gut when it comes to detox drinks, and purchase only from trustworthy companies.
Passing A Drug Test is Possible, Depending on the Variables
Remember, the first step to passing a drug test is understanding what type of test you are facing and when. A blood test in a week is easily passed, while a urine test tomorrow is more challenging.
The second step is to abstain. The longer you have before your test, the better. Still, if you are a chronic daily consumer, even a month of abstinence might be risky. But out of all the possible options, the only 100 percent guaranteed method to pass a drug test is to get clean. Of course, this long term plan isn’t always possible or desirable.
In Conclusion: The Do’s and Don’t for Passing a Drug Test
- Do stop smoking as soon as possible. It may take up to 30 days.
- Do start eating a healthy diet, including fruits, vegetables, and foods with good fiber content.
- Do drink eight to twelve glasses of water a day up until the drug test.
- Do work up a sweat daily.
- Do stop taking all other drugs and drinking alcohol.
- To take health supplements that encourage detoxing.
- Do keep up with oral hygiene, including brushing teeth, flossing, and mouth wash.
- Do look for reliable, reputable, and transparent THC detox kits.
- Don’t keep taking THC in any form.
- Don’t eat fatty, unhealthy foods (unless you are facing a saliva test).
- Don’t forget to drink water!
- Don’t drink alcohol or take other drugs.
- Don’t use synthetic urine. It’s highly suspect.
- Don’t start consuming weed following a test, in case they ask to test again.