This article was originally published on MerryJane.com
I just got offered a job at a new company. I definitely want to say yes, but I just found out that a drug test is required and even though I’m in a state that legalized medical pot, it doesn’t matter to them. I really, really, really want this job and would hate for a drug test to mess that up. And yes, if I took a test tomorrow, it would most likely show up positive. What do I do?!
— Freaking Out
You’re not alone in this query, as it’s a super popular question. Searching online can be confusing; there are many answers out there, with everyone having their own preferred methods and tons of stories about homemade potions, remedies and tricks. But have no fear, we’ll sort through them all to help you separate fact from fiction so you can figure out the best way to pass your test.
Let’s start by taking a quick look at the science behind it all, which will help us parse fact from fiction when it comes to passing a drug test.
The first thing you need to know (and that you may have already heard) is that cannabis is fat-soluble, meaning that it’s stored in your fat and sticks around longer in your system than water-soluble drugs. In fact, urine tests are actually detecting the amount of carboxy-THC (the breakdown product of THC) in your system, not the THC itself. Research has shown that in folks who are regular users, cannabis can hang around in detectable form for up to three months!
Obviously, the best way to avoid testing positive is to cut down on the cannabis consumption, eat healthy, exercise, and drink those fluids for a month or so before getting tested, but I understand that time may be of the essence. Have no fear, there are still ways to work around that if you’re a daily smoker who doesn’t have a three month window to lay off the ganja.
Method: Pump Yourself Full Of Vitamins And Supplements.
Does it work? Yes and no. There are a lot of herbal supplements that folks swear by the power of Greyskull will help you pass a drug test. But honestly? There isn’t much data to back these claims up. So even if your neighbor’s cousin’s girlfriend’s hairdresser’s husband used goldenseal and “It totes worked, I swear!” I would take it with a grain of salt. There is, however, research that shows that taking a zinc supplement after smoking a little marijuana can help interfere with the results for up to 12-28 hours.
Method: Sweat It Out.
Does it work? Maybe. Many folks think that because THC hangs out in your fat cells, the best method to get rid of it would be through extra exercise. Makes sense, right? Unfortunately, there are no concrete studies that back up this method. However, there are those that say it has the chance of working if you exercise a couple of hours a day and wear lots of layers to increase sweating. Listen, there’s no downside to all that extra exercising, so it definitely can’t hurt. This method needs a bit of lead time, so don’t start exercising only two days before you schedule a test.
Method: Drink A Lot Of Fluids
Does it work? Maybe. THC is broken down in your body and excreted out through your urine, the idea is that the more fluids you drink, the more THC you’ll pass out each time you pee, but that’s not exactly how it works. Your body will secrete carboxy-THC at it’s own rate and no amount of drinking anything (water, Gatorade, cranberry juice, vinegar, bleach — for the love of all that is holy NEVER bleach! — or whatever else you heard) will help it flush out faster. The one possibility is that all that liquid might dilute the sample enough to render it clean. However, it could also make it too diluted which will get it flagged and you’d have to submit a new sample, and we’re back to square one.
Method: Detoxification Drink
Does it work? It can, if used correctly. These drinks are sold under various names and companies. You can look around online and find reviews to be able to choose one that has the best chance of working. There are those that you drink for a few days that can help speed up your body’s own breakdown of THC, but these can take a week (and it can get expensive).
However, for those without that much time to spare, you might want to try a drink that helps mask anything in your system for a short window (usually 4-6 hours). These drinks will clear your bladder of any carboxy-THC and ensure that it stays clear for a few hours, even if you still have THC elsewhere in your system. These drinks can be pricey and not all brands will work the same. You can Google around online for reviews to see which brands worked best for folks. But remember, whatever drink you buy, you need to follow the directions carefully!
Regardless of what method you try, you can always buy some at home urine tests, which you can use on yourself to see if any of the methods suggested above worked for you.
Hopefully this response reaches you in time so we can put your mind at ease!