How to Pass a Drug Test After Smoking Marijuana
Whether you smoke weed every now and then with friends, or you’re a daily smoker, there will likely be a time in your life when you need to pass a drug test. The most common reasons are when you’re onboarding with a new employer, or when your current employer decides to conduct random or scheduled drug tests.
Such a situation can be nerve-wracking, especially if you find out you must take the test without much notice. But don’t get too worked up -- there are many ways to minimize the risk of testing positive for THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in your system.
THC and Flushing from Your System
First, when deciding how to go about flushing out your system, it’s important to understand how THC works and how your body stores and metabolizes it. THC is primarily stored in fat cells in our bodies, and for that reason, the amount of body fat you have does play a role in how long THC metabolites hang around and would generate a positive result on a drug test. It's no surprise that recently cannabis use has risen not just among people but athletes as well. For this reason all necessary precautions should be considered and taken.
Time to Naturally Flush
For example, most in-shape and generally healthy individuals are safe to assume that THC metabolites would be clear from their system within 3 to 4 weeks after they last smoked, consumed edibles, etc. This timeframe varies, however, depending on each person’s individual habits, metabolism, and as mentioned, body fat percentage. Exercise can also cause THC to push into the bloodstream and increase the concentration, so try not to get too overzealous with your gym routine right before the test.
The Type of Cannabis Matters
The amount of time that THC stays in your system also depends on what kind of cannabis you're consuming – the strain of bud, the concentration of THC in edibles or cartridges, etc., and the amount that you consume per day. Scaling back, or better yet stopping consumption of all THC-laden substances is the first step for anyone who is going to be facing a drug test soon.
How to Pass a Drug Test – what you need to know
Now, the fun part – what are some ways to pass a drug test when you don’t have a month to cleanse your system the natural way? There are three ways that an employer or lab can test for THC – urinalysis (pee test), hair sample, or blood testing.
Blood testing is not widely used to test for THC, mainly because THC is usually only detectable via a blood sample up to 24 hours after the last time you consumed it. Hair samples are difficult to beat because THC remains detectable in hair for much longer than it shows up in urine. The most common method used is urinalysis, which is also the method that is the easiest to pass even if it’s only been a day or two since you last smoked.
Urinalysis detects metabolized THC (THC-COOH). If you have three days to a week to prepare for your urinalysis, there are many detox products on the market which work to flush THC out of your system. Detox products aim to help users get their metabolites below the typical detection threshold of 50 ng/mL, but without diluting the urine to the point where lab technicians would question the validity of the sample.
Natural Hydration and Flushing
Old fashioned water is also a good –but not foolproof- way to dilute your urine. It’s not necessary to chug gallons of water for weeks or even several days prior to the test. The best results can be achieved by focusing your increased water consumption to the day before and the day of the test. The amount of water to drink on the day of the test is delicate, however, because you don’t want your sample to be so diluted that the lab detects the dilution.
Adding in a Little Supplementation
If you decide to take the route of drinking a lot of water the day of your test, you need to make your urine nice and yellow and to create the illusion that it is not diluted, so supplements are key. Vitamins B12 and B2, when taken a few hours prior to testing will give your urine the desired yellow color.
Another supplement to grab while you're picking up your B vitamins is creatine because once consumed, as it is metabolized, creatine breaks down into creatinine which is expelled through urine, so labs also look for creatinine in the sample. It is recommended that a slightly larger than average dose of creatine be taken a few hours prior to the test.
Detox Drinks / Products
The most common detox product on the market is detox drinks. Detox drinks follow the same method as water, as the goal is to dilute your urine so that the THC metabolites will register below the 50ng/mL threshold, but they often include built-in supplemental benefits such as the above-mentioned B vitamins and creatine, with the dosing of both being tailored to specifically generate the desired result.
Basically, detox drinks take the guesswork out of the science of diluting urine without making it look diluted in the lab. There are detox drinks which are useful for different blocks of time, i.e. three to six days before the test, and even as soon as 24 hours before.
Researching available products, reading customer reviews, and consulting with reputable dispensary staff is the best way to ensure you are getting a quality detox product. There are tons of “detox” products available online, but not all of them are effective.
Synthetic Urine – is that even a thing?
DISCLAIMER: We’re not advocating anything illegal here, but for the sake of educational purposes and discussion, the use of synthetic urine needs to be covered.
An alternative to relying on natural detox or detox products is to avoid the risk of failing the test with your own urine, and instead using synthetic urine. This option is especially useful for those who consume a large amount of THC or who have a higher body fat percentage and are concerned they won’t be able to effectively detox.
A Little Help from a Friend
Of course, if you don’t have access to synthetic urine for local purchase, or if you don’t have time to wait for an order to arrive via shipment, you could also enlist the help of a friend who does not partake in THC products, and see if they would be willing to provide a clean urine sample, which you could then conceal and take to the lab with you on the day of the test.
The Issue of Temperature
With both synthetic urine or a sample from a clean friend, the main thing to be concerned about is temperature. You can bet that the lab will test the temperature of the urine right after you finish giving the sample, so you want to make sure you either have the sample against your body for at least an hour or longer before the test.
You can also heat up the sample in a microwave and then put keep it warm with a heat pack or pressure-activated hand warmers like the ones that are often used by hunters. Just like with detox drinks and supplements, make sure you purchase your synthetic urine from a source you trust with reputable reviews you can take into consideration.
The Challenge of Hair/Follicle Testing
While hair tests are used much less frequently than urine tests in today’s market, they are sometimes used when an employer or agency wants to determine if someone is a chronic user of cannabis. Unfortunately, a hair from the body (not from the head) can register THC up to an entire year after the last time the user consumed THC.
This makes hair tests very difficult to overcome and generate a negative result. Some retailers do market certain shampoo products, however, which are meant to cleanse the outer shaft of the hair strand, which is where THC is stored in the hair. With these shampoos, it is recommended that the user wash his or her hair at least ten times – more if possible – in the days leading up to their hair test.
While it is not ideal to have to take a drug test, especially in an era where cannabis use has become much more widely accepted, there are many options for cleansing your system to prepare for a test. Do your research and consult with educated cannabis users and dispensary professionals, and you can go into your drug test feeling much more confident about passing.
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