Recent data suggests that marijuana can be detected even after 30 days of abstinence. Learning how to flush THC out of your system can eliminate that unlikely but distinctly possible outcome of failing an upcoming drug test.
How Long Is Weed In Your System?
Drug tests look for two things to detect marijuana use: THC, the psychoactive component of weed that gets you high, and its metabolites, which are compounds your body releases after it processes the THC. How long these are in your system depends on two key factors: your body type, and how often you consume marijuana.
Your body stores THC and its metabolites in your fat tissue, and it gradually eliminates them over time. This means that the more fat you have, the more ‘storage room’ the THC will have available, making it detectable for longer. Additionally, the speed of your metabolism dictates how long THC remains in your fat cells: the faster your metabolism, the quicker it expels the THC. People who are lean and active will flush weed out of their system sooner than others.
Of course, how much marijuana you consume plays the biggest role in how long it’s in your system. The simple fact is this: the more THC your body is exposed to, the longer it will be detectable for. This means that both how often you partake, and what strength your product is, both play a huge role. Taking a couple of drags off a joint at the occasional party will expose you to a lot less THC than ripping bongs full of top-shelf bud every day, for example.
Keeping in mind that everyone’s body is different, very infrequent users will be clean in about three days, and frequent users will be clean in 1 to 2 weeks after stopping all marijuana use. Still, that’s just a rough estimate, and if you’re reading this article, you likely don’t want to roll the dice when it comes to passing your drug test. A 2005 scientific review conducted by the director of the Toxicology and Drug Monitoring Laboratory of the University of Missouri found that while it is rare, marijuana can sometimes be detected even after 30 days of abstinence.
How Do Drug Tests Detect THC In Your System?
There are up to four ways employers can drug test for weed. If possible, you want to know which test you’ll be up against, so you have the best odds of beating it. Regardless, the steps on how to flush weed out of your system and pass any of these tests largely remain the same. The four tests include:
At virtually every place of business, you’ll only be subjected to 1 of these four tests, and by far the most common one is the urine analysis. Among many advantages that it offers employers, it is also the only test recommended by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA is the arm of the Department of Health and Human Services that sets standards for drug testing employees of the government. So for any government position, you’ll almost certainly be undergoing a urine analysis.
Fortunately, the urine test provides us with a couple of reliable options to beat it. If you’re being tested one of the other three ways, though, don’t worry; we’ve got some options there too.
How To Flush Marijuana Out Of Your System
As soon as you know that you have a drug test coming up, the first and most obvious thing to do is stop consuming marijuana, in any form, until the test is done. The more time you have before the test to abstain, the better: time is your ally in allowing your metabolism to eliminate traces of weed still in your body.
In the days leading up to your test, you should also limit your time hanging out with your smoking buddies if they are lighting up. According to a study conducted just last year, exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke alone can result in a positive test. Failing your drug test for merely being in the room with marijuana is certainly not worth it, so step outside if your pals start a session if your test is approaching.
With that said, you may have a test coming up very soon; too early for you to sit idly by, twiddling your thumbs, and hoping you pass. If that’s the case, and you’re in the vast majority facing a urine test, you’ve got two options: dilute your urine, or use extraneous urine. Fortunately, both methods are reliable ways to beat a urine screening provided you follow these steps.
The concept here is simple, but implementing the strategy requires some planning. An important thing to remember is that urine tests are only effective at detecting THC and its metabolites at a particular concentration. According to a study by the National Drug Court Institute, that value is usually 50ng/mL, which is a relatively high amount; therefore, if your urine is below that threshold, you will pass the test.
Because your body stores THC and its metabolites in your fat tissue, it is important not to do any strenuous exercise for 24 hours before the test. Exercise means burning fat, and burning fat means all of that stored THC gets released into your system. That’s exactly what you want to avoid leading up to your test, so stay out of the gym the day before the screening.
The key with dilution is to provide a ‘watered-down’ urine sample that brings the amount of THC in the sample below this threshold. However, testing labs are on the lookout for people trying to do this. That means your sample has to be diluted, but not appear to be diluted, or you won’t pass. Don’t worry: it’s easier than it sounds.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Water – lots of it
- Vitamin B
Drinking water serves as the means by which you dilute your urine. The more water you drink, the more water will be in your urine, and thus the less THC. So on the day of your test, drink about 2 liters of water. In addition to that, you’ll want to drink another 1 or 2 liters about 2 hours before your test. This will make your urine quite watery, driving the amount of THC in your sample below the 50ng/mL threshold. Of course, doing only this will flag your sample as diluted, and you’ll fail your test. That’s where the vitamin B and creatine come in.
Vitamin B provides your urine with a yellow color that is characteristic of the average, non-diluted stream. Without any vitamin B and all that water, your urine would be virtually clear; this is the most visible sign a sample is diluted. Go anywhere that sells vitamins and get some B-2 or B-12. Pop 100mg 2 hours before your test and your heavily diluted sample will appear yellow and healthy looking.
Of course, the laboratory is harder to fool than the naked eye. When the lab tests a urine sample for weed and other drugs, it also looks for a chemical called “creatinine.” Creatinine is a waste product that the body creates naturally over time, and expels via urination. If the level of creatinine in a sample is too low, the lab knows you’ve provided a diluted sample, and you’ll fail the test.
Luckily, the solution is as simple as taking a basic supplement called creatine. Your body breaks down the creatine and converts it into creatinine. This means the lab will no longer flag your diluted sample because it will contain the creatinine it’s supposed to. You can find it at any health food store for relatively cheap. Only take a bit more than the recommended dose 2 hours before your test, and your sample won’t fail. The amount will vary based on your weight – just follow the supplement’s instructions, and you’ll be okay.
Once you’ve taken all these precautions, you’re well on your way to passing your urine test. To maximize your chances; however, you’ll also want to provide only the urine from the ‘middle’ of your stream. This is easy: start your flow in the toilet, stop, then transition to the cup. Give only the amount required, then finish your stream again in the toilet. The reason for this is that there are more metabolites at the beginning and end of your stream. Providing the ‘middle’ portion as a sample is the best way to provide a sample with the fewest metabolites – and thus, THC – as possible.
Keep in mind that any ‘detox drink’ companies sell to help you pass a drug test is nothing more than a drink with the above ingredients that they combine into one mixture. Then, they jack up the price and advertise it to you. Most of these drinks will work if they have the right amounts of vitamin B and creatine, but it’s far cheaper just to get the ingredients yourself. That way, you can be certain you’ve dosed correctly as well.
To summarize, here’s how to dilute your urine without getting caught:
- Avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours before your test.
- Drink two liters of water the day of the test – two more liters two hours before the test.
- Take 100-150mg of vitamin B-2 or B-12 two hours before the test.
- Take 1.5 times the recommended dose of any creatine supplement two hours before the test.
- Provide urine from the ‘middle’ of your stream – not the beginning or end.
Extraneous Urine Method
Some may feel that dilution is not a safe enough guarantee; particularly for very frequent users, or those with a lot of fat tissue. In this instance, providing synthetic urine, or urine of a friend who doesn’t use is an alternative that will ensure your success if you follow a few important steps. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Clean urine or fake urine
- Empty pill bottle or similar leak-proof container
- Hand warmer
- Rubber band
First, you obviously need to get the extraneous urine. Fake urine is widely available for purchase, or you can ask a friend or family member whom you trust to give you theirs (as long as you’re confident it’s clean). You’ll want to store it in a container that is leak-proof and relatively small. Empty pill bottles work ideally for this purpose, but anything that can hold about 6 ounces of liquid will do the trick.
It’s important to note that when you submit your sample, the first thing they’ll do is take the temperature of the urine. If it’s not close to body temperature, they will flag it, and you’ll fail your test. Getting around this is as simple as popping it in the microwave before you leave for the test. About 15 seconds on high will get it around 100 degrees Fahrenheit – anywhere from 100 to 115 is perfect. At this point, get a hand warmer and rubber band it around your container to keep it warm for the drive over.
Once you’ve arrived, stash your container on your person. Anywhere that is both warm and discreet is ideal, so keep the container in your underwear for the best results. For any pre-employment screening, you will be provided a private bathroom in which to provide your sample. Once you’re inside, only urinate in the toilet, if they are listening, and pour your clean or fake urine into the sample cup. Microwaving then nestling the urine against your body will keep it at the right temperature, and it will pass the test.
To summarize, here’s how to use extraneous urine without getting caught:
- Get clean urine from a friend or family member you trust.
- Store 6 ounces of urine in a leak-proof container like a pill bottle.
- Microwave the urine on high for about 15 seconds immediately before leaving for the test.
- Attach hand warmer to the container with a rubber band to keep warm.
- Store container in underwear to keep body temperature once at the facility.
- Once inside the restroom, urinate in the toilet to produce the necessary sound effect.
- Pour urine into sample cup provided.
How To Pass A Saliva Test
Testers administer saliva tests using a little device that looks like a Q-tip by swabbing the inside of your mouth to check for THC. The results are then available within minutes – no laboratory required. They’re useful for random and on-site testing because of their convenience. Employers sometimes use them as a pre-employment test as well. Luckily, they’re very easy to pass for weed smokers.
Unlike virtually every other drug test, the saliva test is less sensitive to marijuana than every other drug. The test will usually only detect marijuana use within 24 hours; one study on the effectiveness of the swab for marijuana testing found that the swab didn’t even detect marijuana use mere hours after smoking. So if it’s been a day or longer since you last imbibed, you’ll probably be fine.
To be on the safe side, you’ll want to keep up with your oral hygiene leading up to your test. Drinking plenty of water and using mouthwash the day of will help remove any THC in your mouth. Additionally, you can utilize a saliva-neutralizing gum immediately before your test. The less saliva available to be absorbed by the swab, the less likely any THC will stick.
How To Pass A Hair Or Blood Test
These two types of drug screening methods are rarer than the urine or saliva methods. That’s primarily because they’re much more expensive to administer. If you don’t know what kind of test they’ll perform, chances are it won’t be one of these. If you do happen to know that it’s hair or blood test, then here’s what you need to know.
A hair screening works by taking a sample of hair and analyzing it for THC metabolites. These metabolites bond to the shaft of your hair if you’ve consumed any marijuana. Thus, water and regular shampoo don’t wash them out. According to the National Institute of Justice, these metabolites will, unfortunately, stay in your hair for “several months or more.”
Shaving your head to pass this test isn’t an option; even if you’re willing, they’ll probably automatically fail you if you show up to your testing center bald. Plus, they could simply take hair from elsewhere on your body and perform the analysis on that.
To beat a hair follicle test, you’ve only got one option: a detox shampoo. These particular shampoos use an acidic base to destroy the metabolites found in your hair without damaging the hair itself. Once you find a reputable company with some good reviews on their product, simply order your shampoo and follow the instructions.
The last and least common of all is the blood test. This works as you’d expect: someone inserts a needle in your arm draws blood and analyzes it. Businesses virtually never use this to test for marijuana pre-employment for a few reasons. For one, blood tests only analyze actual THC in your blood – not its metabolites. As a result, you’ll only test positive if you’ve used marijuana in the last four days at the absolute longest. And again, these tests are very expensive for companies to use. That’s why they almost always avoid them if it’s a pre-employment screening.
The downside of a blood test is that if you have used marijuana very recently, you’re out of luck. The only way to beat a blood test is to wait for the THC to clear your system. And really, there’s no way to expedite that process. Fortunately, again, THC clears the blood very quickly. Even two days of abstaining from smoking will likely be fine, and you’ll pass the test with no trouble.
The Final Hit
The key to beating a drug test is coming prepared. If you’ve got this guide handy, you’ll know everything you need to pass with flying colors. For every test type mentioned, there are take-home versions available to use at your leisure. If you want to be sure of whether or not you’ll pass a drug test, buy an at-home test of the type you’ll be taking to test yourself first. That way you’ll know you’ll pass before you even step foot in the testing facility.