A mouth swab test for drugs is only good for one thing – testing for recent use of THC. An oral swab drug test won’t be positive if you smoked weed last week or ate an edible last month. But, if you smoked weed during your lunch break, and your employer decided to implement a mid-afternoon drug test, you might be in trouble. Successfully passing a mouth swab drug test involves clearing your oral cavity of THC residues effectively.
Mouth swab drug tests only detect recent drug use within a short timeframe, even for heavy smokers. Simply refraining from smoking for 24 hours significantly lowers the risk of testing positive for THC due to scientific reasons. Why? It all comes down to science.
What is a Mouth Swab Drug Test?
Mouth swabs, also known as saliva tests or oral swabs, are affordable and widely available drug tests. They offer fast results to employers regarding activities within the past twelve hours. These tests commonly detect cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, and phencyclidine.
A saliva test won’t trigger positive results if you smoked weed in the distant past. It will only provide accurate results for the immediate past. If you smoked a blunt last week, in all likelihood, it’s not going to trigger a positive oral swab. But if you smoked a blunt over lunch, a mouth swab will pick up traces of the lingering THC molecules.
Employers love relying on oral swabs because they are much less intrusive and technical than a urine test. They also like them because the price tag of a saliva test makes them more appealing than the high costs of urine analysis.
Before you can understand how to pass a mouth swab drug test, you’ll need to grasp the underlying premise. Before your test, a designated collector (an employee or a third-party drug testing company), will open a new, sealed test kit. The kit includes a collection device, a testing chamber with a liquid solution, and a results indicator.
They’ll ask you to open your mouth. Using the long collection device, which may look like a Q-tip or a spongy tongue scraper. You’ll drag the collector along your tongue a handful of times. This method collects the saliva and any leftover THC molecules inside your mouth.
Once the collection is complete, the designated tester will place the collection device into the testing chamber. Every brand looks and functions slightly differently but mostly operates like a pregnancy test. When the saliva is exposed to a special liquid inside the chamber, it will display positive or negative results for THC. The test kit may contain a color change or one or two bars across the display screen.
The Science Behind an Oral Swab Drug Test
No matter what drug test you are subjected to, they all work under the same premise. All tests collect organic material (urine, blood, hair, or saliva) and confirm whether or not the specified compound (THC, cocaine, heroin, or other metabolites) has surpassed the test limit. For example, a test may confirm if there is more than 50 ng/ml of THC in the tested sample. More? That qualifies as a positive test.
In most cases, the drug test doesn’t test for the drug itself. Instead, the test looks for something called metabolites. Our bodies produce these compounds once the original substance metabolizes in the liver.
If you smoke cannabis, it passes through the lungs and into the bloodstream. If you eat a weed-packed edible, it takes longer to reach the bloodstream by way of the digestive tract. Both bloodstream entry points eventually lead to the liver. The liver cleans the blood and, through this process, metabolizes various compounds, like THC.
The most common cannabinoids in cannabis, THC, turns into THC-COOH. Heroin turns into 6-MAM Morphine. Alcohol metabolizes into acetaldehyde. Urine tests, blood tests, and even hair tests all check for the THC-COOH metabolite instead of the illicit drug itself. Oral swabs stand out because they test for the initial drug or the THC.
Strategies for Successfully Passing a Mouth Swab Drug Test
Facing any drug test is stressful enough, but an oral swab is probably the most stressful. Employers rely on saliva tests because they are cheap and test for only the most recent cannabis use. It makes it all the more difficult for employees to prepare beforehand.
With that in mind, there are a few options out there that might improve your chances of passing. Try one, or try all, whatever works for your situation before the big test.
Abstain from Drugs – All of Them
At the very least, you need to stop taking drugs as soon as you learn about the test. For most people, THC will take eight hours to absorb into the bloodstream. For heavy users, it may take longer.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Whether or not you are facing an upcoming drug test, you should always listen to your dentist. What’s good for your teeth might also flush out any lingering THC molecules. Brush your teeth more than usual, up to four times a day before a drug test. Pay particular attention to the areas you usually overlook. This means your gums, tongue, and cheeks. Another good area to focus on is the crevices between your teeth. Brush carefully and mindfully.
Stop Smoking Cigarettes
Do you smoke cigarettes? It’s recommended to also abstain from cigarettes before a drug test. Smoking anything opens up the cells and taste buds in your mouth, releasing more saliva. This could potentially release more THC. The last thing you need before a drug test is more THC sloshing around your mouth. At the very least, stop smoking for 48 hours. Once you pass your drug test, you can go back to your normal routine.
The Poppy Seed Effect
Because the standard drug test is a five-prong approach, meaning it tests for five different illicit substances, it goes without saying to stop doing all drugs. But just like the infamous Seinfeld episode, where Elaine tests positive for opium, you also should stay away from poppy seed bagels. Poppy seeds come from the same poppy as opium, be warned!
Eat Fatty Foods
The THC compound is a fat-soluble substance, quickly absorbed into lipids but not water. Consuming high-fat meals before a drug test can boost the THC absorption rate, transforming THC into THC-COOH. This may get you off the hook for an oral swab drug test. However, it will increase the amounts of THC-COOH stored in your fat cells.
Icy Cold Hydration
Beyond staying hydrated, some recommend chewing as much ice as possible before a saliva test. This keeps you hydrated overall and dilutes the THC content of your saliva to hopefully below the testable levels.
Let’s get serious now. If you google how to pass a mouth swab test, you’ll get confronted with sketchy techniques. Let’s look at what you should not do under any circumstances, and we will also tell you if you can refuse a drug test on page two.
Using Peroxide as a Last Resort: Techniques for Passing a Mouth Swab Drug Test
There are suggestions online about using chemicals to pass an oral swab drug test. You aren’t alone if you’re cringing at the idea. Mastering the method of passing a drug test with peroxide is not a priority for everyone.
But, it is still one last-ditch option, open to the most desperate pot smokers facing a surprise drug test.
Importantly, using chemicals to cleanse out your mouth shouldn’t be the first option you attempt. Using peroxide or other harsh substances falls squarely under the “Try at your own risk” category. These chemicals come with warning labels for a reason.
If hydrogen peroxide is a bit too toxic for your tastes, there are many more natural options. Some recommend swishing with lemon water two to three times a day until the drug test. Others suggest white vinegar, used in the same way.
If you do try the peroxide method, be sure to dilute it before cleansing. Never swallow the mixture; carefully rinse your mouth following each gargle.
Do Employers Still Give Mouth Swab Drug Tests?
The short answer is yes. Employers across the U.S. still use mouth swab drug tests to determine employability for both new and old staff. You’ll encounter drug testing in all federal and state agencies, in the oil and gas industry, and for those who work with children. Some schools are now starting to drug test, although this is controversial.
You’ll likely encounter an oral swab as a new hire in these sectors. You may also face a drug test as a requirement for any promotions. Some employers also require random drug testing, perhaps for high-risk positions or those working with heavy equipment.
As America starts to legalize marijuana, state by state, it’s affected on-site drug testing. Some companies began implementing it out of concern that their employees would start showing up stoned. At the same time, other companies have removed the requirement and relaxed their company regulations.
What has dramatically changed is roadside cannabis drug testing. In states with recreational and medicinal marijuana, the police have ramped up drug testing during routine roadside checks and if they suspect intoxication.
In many cases, they rely on oral swabs. If you face police mandated mouth swab, it is ill-advised to fake it. If you are caught suddenly brushing your teeth or spitting out mouthwash, technically, the police officer can take that saliva as evidence. Plus, it’s going to look pretty suspicious.
Can you Refuse to Take a Mouth Swab Drug Test?
Drug testing is legal. It is mandated across federal and state agencies, so much so that even the President of the United States is subject to them. If the president has to take a drug test, it goes without saying it’s mandatory for federal employees. There is no getting out of it.
The Supreme Court did rule that drug testing infringes on an individual’s rights, but don’t get too excited. They also ruled that, in some cases, it’s legal to infringe on an employee’s rights when the health and safety of others are at risk.
But what if you don’t work for the federal government? Can your private employer still test you for drugs? It does vary from state to state, but just like at the federal level, usually there are legally acceptable times an employer can drug test you.
Refusing a drug test in a private job can affect your employability. Consider the potential consequences of declining an oral drug test, such as being removed from candidate consideration or missing out on promotions. It may not be fair, but it is a reality.
How to Pass a Mouth Swab Test: Reports from Our Followers
It’s hard to find any reports online about people who have successfully passed oral drug tests. Most testimonials are all about using detox kits to cleanse for an upcoming urine or blood test. Unfortunately, oral swabs are rising because they are cheap and easy to perform. More and more people, including some of our followers, have faced one during an interview or on the job. Here’s what they describe in their own words:
“I know there are a lot of posts on passing/failing a saliva drug test, but I wanted to report on my specific case. Today I took a drug test for a job. It was a saliva drug test (Oral Eze). My last bowl was four days ago. I’ve been smoking consistently for the last two years usually a bowl a night but lately its been a few bowls a night. I did a lot of peroxide swishing/Listerine/brushing for a few days last week, but I figured if I am abstaining I should be okay. This proved correct, as I got my test results back and I passed.”
“Hey all, I decided to write a little experience comment, because everywhere I looked online I couldn’t find a solid answer to someone passing a saliva drug test.
I’ve read multiple pages claim 24-72 hours abstinence from weed will be enough.
I’m pumped because I just passed my drug test (for a job I really wanted) and I last puffed the golden stuff 23 hours ago.
I smoke regularly and usually concentrate, so needless to say I was worried. The key is brushing the teeth. Do it like you haven’t visited the dentist in years and are about visit again. I brushed everything inside my mouth, gums, tongue, even the cheeks. Every single millimeter inside, better safe than sorry. I brushed 3 times the day before and 4 times the day of.
Also, drink copious amounts of water, use mouthwash every time you brush, and I even went a little extra with gargling vinegar and water right before heading out to test.
Passed the saliva drug test no problem, good luck to everyone!”
More Information on Saliva Tests
An oral swab is one of the most straightforward drug tests to pass because of the short duration that THC stays in your saliva. Your saliva is comparatively easy to clean compared to blood and urine.
After reading this article, you should get obtained a solid understanding of how to pass a mouth swab test. It’s the easiest drug test to pass if you follow a few steps mentioned above.
There is no need to panic as long as you are prepared. You’ll usually get a few hours’ notice to prepare before the test. An hour should be enough time to cleanse the THC out of your saliva.
If you’re anxious about an upcoming saliva test, we have you covered beyond the basic tips to pass a mouth swab drug test. Discover more about the duration of THC in your saliva, including lifestyle changes to enhance THC absorption. Understanding the complete process of a saliva test can aid in your preparation.