It’s time to celebrate after getting the promotion or job that you have always been dreaming about. However, your celebration is slapped with a somber mood after you get an email saying, “due to our stringent policies, you have to participate in random drug screenings and pass the drug test as part of our commitment to a drug-free and healthy workplace.”
The message would really bring you down, and probably the first thing you’ll do is place down the glass of whiskey and throw away the blunt on your hand. However, no need for sounding the alarm and go off the deep end. We have your back with this ultimate guide on how you can pass a marijuana drug test.
You can be in a state where marijuana is legal, although that doesn’t imply that your employer supports that or have simple drug testing policies. If you didn’t know, some employers still find it hard to believe how marijuana affects the productivity of their business. Due to that, most companies are formulating policies that aim at managing employees who select medical marijuana over opiates.
In this guide, we will give you an insight on you can pass a drug screening test, particularly a marijuana drug test. But first, let us give you a bit of knowledge about marijuana detox.
How can I clean marijuana out of my system?
There are several reasons why people want to flush marijuana out of their system. Of course, the most common one is drug screening for employment purposes. The tests that commonly take place at workplaces involve urinalysis for metabolites. In a layman’s language, it is testing your pee. Metabolites are typically byproducts of a substance after been processed by your body.
When you take marijuana, the levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your bloodstream immediately rises. Now the metabolites are left behind when your body flashes out THC in your bloodstream.
What is THC?
If it’s your first time hearing the word THC, then you should note that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known for its psychoactive effects that gets you “high” when you smoke or take marijuana. Another term is THC-COOH which is the non-psychoactive metabolite that remains in the fat tissue of your body for a given time depending on several factors.
THC is traceable in blood, saliva, fingernail, and urine samples. THC is what is looked for to determine if you are ‘clean’ or not (used or not used marijuana). As stated above, THC is what makes someone be ‘high,’ and this is what is referred to as psychoactive and euphoric states of mind. The reason or science behind you experiencing these states is as a result of the ability of the cannabinoid receptors to bind to the brain and create several sensations in your mind and body. These sensations include food cravings, paranoia, and giddiness to name a few.
How is THC absorbed in the body?
The most typical method of how THC gets absorbed in the body is smoking it. Smoking is highly preferred because it only takes the user about nine minutes for him or her to reach the peak level. However, people are becoming more and more creative and coming up with other ways of consuming marijuana.
Furthermore, THC can be absorbed in the body via oral ingestion through edibles and infusions. The ingestion method is becoming more popular these days; however, still, it is least common compared to smoking. Ingestion also takes around nine minutes for THC to be completely absorbed or reach the peak levels in your body system.
For you to figure out if you are ‘clean’ for a drug screen, there are things that you should take into account. They include the following;
• The type of test you are going to take
• The testing levels for your drug test
• The amount of metabolites and THC in your system
How much THC is in your body?
The vital factors to consider to help you in determining how much THC-COOH and THC is in your body after post-consumption or any length of time include the following;
a) How often do you consume marijuana?
The frequency of consumption of marijuana is the first and foremost consideration to take into account. Ask yourself, do you smoke once a month, every day, once a week? Do you only take one hit or enjoy the whole joint? Obviously, the more you consume marijuana, the more THC-COOH and THC will accrue in the fat tissues of your body.
b) Total body fat
As we mentioned above, THC-COOH and THC store themselves in the fat cells, regardless of how little or often you consume marijuana. Therefore, the more body fat you have, the more THC and THC-COOH will be inevitably stored.
c) Overall health and metabolism
Generally, the healthier you are, the better off you’ll be in all aspects of life. When it comes to THC and its metabolites, the healthier you are, the fewer chances of them being in your body because you have less body fat. Having said that, everyone has a different rate of metabolism that is responsible for breaking down THC at different rates. Therefore, a higher rate of metabolism will bring about a fast breakdown of THC.
Doing physical exercise is a good thing; however, the exercises can potentially push THC back into the blood stream at a fast rate. However, that does not mean you should throw away a healthy lifestyle into the wind as you’ll be preventing the buildup of fats in your body.
d) What are you consuming
Based on what you are consuming (concentrates vs. flower) and even the quality of what you are taking (schwag vs. top shelf flower), has significant effects on how much THC-COOH and THC will be released into your bloodstream.
How long does THC stay in your body?
On a general note, psychoactive THC cannabinoids stay present in your body system for one to two days after consumption for the very infrequent user. For those who consume it every day, expect it to remain in their body for a long time.
Note that the half-life of THC metabolites is seven days. Therefore, it means every day within the seven days, the amount of THC in your body decreases by 50%.
With this number in mind, you can predict that most people will be ‘clean’ of THC metabolites within three to four weeks. However, this still depends on the frequency of consumption, amount consumed and body weight.
THC is soluble in fat and, therefore; as a result, it gets stored in your fatty lipid tissue. Due to this, your fat cells secrete THC metabolites into your bloodstream at a constant rate. Unfortunately, due to this several cleansing techniques are ineffective because your fat cells continue to produce THC metabolites into your body system over time.
That’s the science behind the time in which THC stays in your body. In summary, the factors that determine the duration of THC in your body include the following;
• Half-life – It is the most crucial factor to consider when determining the time THC stays in your body. Here, what to consider is particularly the half-life of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, which is about seven days. By this timeframe the metabolites in your body by around 50% as stated above, and it would take an occasional marijuana user there to four weeks to get rid of the substance completely.
• Consumption – Here, basically we look at the frequency of consumption. If you consume the substance regularly, then it would take a long time for THC to leave your body. On the other hand, if you are a one-time user, it will take a short time for the substance to depart from your system.
• Quantity of what you are consuming: It’s simple, the more you consume or rather of you consume marijuana heavily, then THC is going to be heavily present in your system. On top of that, it will take a long time to get rid of the substance from your body.
• Type of marijuana – Some of the types of cannabis are more potent than others. Therefore, the weed strain has a significant effect on the time in which marijuana will stay in your body as well as the time. If you consume a strong strain, then the THC will last longer; consequently, take long to clear from your body.
• Detoxification – If you opt to detox your body, then you’ll be lessening the traces of THC in your bloodstream. Therefore, you can opt for products to help you detox your bloodstream or if you are not a fan of such products then quitting is definitely the best idea.
What are the types of drug tests?
As there are many factors that help in determining the quantity of THC in your system, there are several ways that your employer can use to test you. Your employer can test your urine, hair, and blood to carry out screening for a specific drug.
The types of drug test include the following;
It is the most common type of drug test and used in many businesses because it is cheap compared to other types of tests. On top of that, it is fairly accurate because THC remains detectable for a long time in urine than in any other body fluid in the body.
Urinalysis or urine drug test detects the major breakdown product which is THC rather than THC itself. The results from urine drug test are obtained in the following ways.
• The most common method: You are sent to an off-cite facility where your urine is collected in a small plastic bottle and later taken to the lab for screening.
• The method that is gaining popularity: The method involves fast and instant onsite screening. It is a convenient method for school, rehabilitation, and work settings.
For the one-time users – The urine test can detect THC-COOH presence five to eight days after marijuana consumption.
For the users who consume marijuana occasionally – Urinalysis will detect the presence of THC-COOH in the urine between eleven and eighteen days after consumption of marijuana.
For regular users: The urine test can detect the presence of THC-COOH in urine from 33 to 48 days after cannabis consumption.
For daily users: Urinalysis can detect the presence of THC-COOH after 90 days since marijuana consumption.
The test helps in identifying THC in your bloodstream. The unique thing about this test is that it shows impairment. The test is, however, not effective for the users who rarely consume marijuana because THC is not measurable several hours after use. On the other hand, for those who frequently use marijuana, it will be measurable as THC would remain in your bloodstream for a long time.
In a more precise way, the detection time for THC in the bloodstream for occasional users is about 6-24 hours. After this period elapses, THC is metabolized in the liver and dispersed in the cells. For frequent users, the blood test can produce positive results for up to seven days. Worry less, because of the timeframe of this makes it not ideal for pre-employment screening. This type of test is commonly applicable for detecting THC in cases like accidents.
Hair follicle test
It is a less common form of marijuana drug test and also expensive. Despite that, it is effective and used for the highly sensitive job. What is required for this type of drug test, is just an inch of hair from a person’s legs, pubic area, and scalp.
The test commonly measures THC-COOH remainders found in the hair follicle over the past several months. Therefore, the detection time for marijuana in the hair follicle test is about seven days up to three months after marijuana consumption. It is not that popular because studies show that testing hair follicle can result in false positives due to secondhand exposure to cannabis.
It is yet another preferred method by most employers because it is convenient, very quick, and inexpensive to administer. What the lab technician does in this test is getting a sample of your saliva through swabbing inside of your cheek.
The detection time of THC in the saliva is twenty-four hours; therefore, making it effective for most employers to use. Watch out for this method as you can easily get caught.
How do you pass the marijuana drug test?
Of course, the best way to pass a marijuana drug test is not to consume it at all. If it’s ‘too late,’ worry not as we will show you how to pass this test. We will provide you with ways you can use to mask THC in your system.
Most of the marijuana drug tests or any other type of drug tests are delivered with short notice. It, therefore, means you don’t have much time to prepare for the drug test. The first thing for you to always put in mind or do with these short drug test notices is stopping to consume marijuana in any form. Regardless of whether you are a casual user or heavy user, please do yourself a favor and refrain from any form of marijuana consumption.
Remember, that the longer you take without marijuana consumption, the better chances of you passing the test.
Let’s now take a look at how you can pass a marijuana drug test for each of the tests mentioned above.
1. Tips to pass the Saliva test
The test is conducted in the following steps;
• The lab tester will insert a cotton swab or small brush between your lower cheek and gums
• The lab tester then moves the cotton swab under the tongue and over the gum for a few minutes for him or her to collect your saliva sample.
• The swab is then placed in a test tube containing a certain liquid for a few minutes, and if the liquid changes the color, the result is considered to be positive.
• Apart from the swab, an adsorbent strip can be placed between the lower cheek and between the gums. Here too the change of color is a positive result.
How to pass
a) The cleansing method or last-minute detox
It is a perfect method for people working against the clock. It’s because the saliva test is administered at random and on short notice. Therefore, having some form of cleansing method is highly advisable as it will increase your odds of passing the test.
b) Natural cleansing method
It is a method that requires a little bit of time for it to be effective. The method consists of abstaining from smoking for a few days. Besides that, for you to bolster your chances of passing the test, try and hydrate regularly and stay away from fatty food and junk food.
For you to be even more sure of passing this saliva marijuana test, you can combine both methods if the time permits.
2. Tips to pass the urine test
The procedure for a urine test includes the following;
• You’ll be given a container to collect your urine sample. You can do it alone, or in other cases, you can be monitored while collecting the sample to ensure its authenticity. In other cases, you are given a timeframe for you to provide the sample.
• After collecting the sample, it is taken to the laboratory for testing. The test results will be available to you and the employer after a few days.
How to pass
As earlier mentioned, it is the most used test for marijuana. The good part of this test is that you don’t need to be 100% for you to pass this test. All you need is to be below the threshold levels for this test, which is 50 ng/ml. However, that should not make you cheer up already as it is higher than you may think. Any value below this threshold level, means you have passed the test.
The primary method of passing this test is diluting your urine enough for it to be below the 50 ng/ml threshold. Yes, it’s simple like that; however, there is a hitch. Today, all the drug testing labs are keen and always looking out for diluted urine samples. Therefore, for the method to be effective, you not only need to dilute your urine but also mask the fact that you diluted your urine.
a) Drink water
You have to be cautious when drinking water. That means you don’t have to start drinking excessive amounts of water days or weeks before your test. By doing that, you are only wasting your time because that water will only temporarily dilute your urine.
The best bet is drinking around two to three liters of water throughout the day before the marijuana test followed by one to two liters several hours before the test. Know your limit, as too much of it, can be dangerous to you.
After drinking the two or three liters of water, your pee will be colorless, and consequently, you’ll have low levels of creatinine in your system. Having colorless urine is usually a red flag for any lab tester to conclude that you diluted the urine. So, what should you do?
For you to make your pee yellow, you’ll need to use vitamin B, particularly vitamin B-2 or B-12. So, what you need to do is stop by a local drug store and take around 50 to 100 mg several hours before the test begins.
It is a chemical waste product produced by metabolism occurring at the muscle. It is naturally occurring in the human body, and it is what is used to determine if the urine is diluted. The half-life of creatinine is three hours; therefore, no need of taking it more than a day before the test begins.
Additionally, you can purchase creatine supplements from any health food store. The supplement gets broken down into creatinine by your body then flushed out in your urine. The effective way is taking this is taking it above the average dose several hours before the test begins.
b) Use synthetic urine
It is the most used method that people use. You can get this synthetic urine from online stores or shops. One thing to be cautious about with the synthetic urine is getting it inside the lab. It’s because most labs have strict measures that prevent this from happening. However, if you nail this, you are good to go.
On top of that, you have to make sure that the temperature of the synthetic urine you are using is right. Of course, no urine is cold; therefore, taking a cold sample to the lab for testing will tip off the lab tester that the sample has been tampered with. Therefore, always keep in mind these two measures when dealing with synthetic urine.
c) Detox drinks
You’ll get several ‘detox drinks’ in the market, and most of them use the technique of dilution. Moreover, they contain vitamin B and creatinine that help to mask the fact that the urine sample is diluted. The detox drinks are expensive, but they are convenient to some extent.
d) Avoid exercise
Doing physical exercises will break down your fat cells resulting from releasing of THC metabolites into your system; hence, spiking the levels of THC metabolites in your body. Therefore, it is advisable not to take any physical exercise for at least 24-hours before the test. For you to be on the safe side, stop doing the exercise a couple of days before the test.
e) Avoid giving the end or beginning of your urine stream
The first and last parts of your urine stream contain the highest amount of THC metabolites; therefore, avoid peeing into the container when beginning or when finishing to urinate. The best stream of urine to produce is the ‘middle’ stream.
Practically, start by urinating in the toilet, then stop and provide the sample in the container, and then finish as normal. On top of that, early morning urine usually contains large amounts of THC metabolites; therefore, don’t offer your morning urine as the sample.
3. Tips to pass hair follicle test
Out of all other tests, the hair follicle test is the hardest one to beat as well as it has the longest detection period compared to the rest. The good part about the fair follicle test is that the tester can only detect THC and its metabolites five days after marijuana consumption.
The procedure taken in this test is as follows;
• Your employer will schedule you for the test in his or her preferred laboratory
• After arriving at the lab, a thin hair sample is cut from the back of your head; it’s usually 1.5 inches from the scalp. If you are bald, any other body hair will suffice.
• When the results are out, you and your employer will be notified.
How to pass
Head hairs can pick up marijuana for up to ninety days. On the other hand, body hairs can stay with marijuana up to a full year. Some people may decide to shave their body hairs from head to toe; well it is a good idea but suspicious to the person administering the test.
Despite the hair follicle test being hard to beat, there are still ways you can use to beat the system. If you do your homework well, you can get high-end shampoos that you can use to wash out marijuana present in your hair. Using these products don’t guarantee you negative test result; however, some people have used this method and had success. It’s worth trying out.
One thing to refrain from using is bleach. Bleach is potentially health threatening and very unhealthy. When using these shampoos and other products, follow the manufacturer’s guide to avoiding messing up. Remember they are chemicals and as we all know chemicals are not healthy to our bodies.
4. Tips to pass a blood drug test
Unlike urine and saliva drug tests that look for THC and its metabolites, blood test looks for actual drug traces. Due to this, it is suitable for determining THC in your system after immediate or current use rather than long-term consumption. It is also an expensive method compared to the rest.
The procedure for taking a blood drug test is as follows;
• You’ll be scheduled for the test in a local clinic or laboratory or the employer’s preferred clinic.
• A licensed medical expert will take your blood sample. Usually, it’s from the forearm vein.
• After taking the sample, it will be taken to the laboratory for testing, and once the results are out, you’ll be notified.
How to pass
The best way to pass a blood drug test for marijuana is to abstain from marijuana consumption for at least four days as a casual user or more than ten days for a heavy user. Besides that, remember to hydrate and eat properly.
Furthermore, you can use a specialized detox product to help you pass the test. Blood drug test takes time to schedule and also have a short detection time; therefore, natural detoxification is more than enough to flash marijuana out of your blood. Additionally, last minute detox methods are effective in cases when there is a short notice for the test.
Other methods include the use of specialized last-minute detox products and certo methods. For the specialized last-minute detox products, you can use the same products you use for the urine test. A two-day detox routine using this method is also efficient since cannabis is detectable for a short time in blood.
If you are subjected to a marijuana drug test after marijuana consumption (mainly if you are a daily smoker) is a very stressful experience that can lead to anxiety or even lose the job or promotion you were eying for in your life. Fortunately, with these tips, you can change that and drastically improve your chances of passing all types of marijuana drug test. If you don’t have the time, then try out one of these methods. All the best!