Photo by Jonathan Coward/HERB
It happens to most of us, sooner or later. You’re in the market for a job, and you need to know the best way to pass a drug test on short notice. Unfortunately, we have some bad news. Cannabis stays in your system longer than just about any other substance. While most consumers can clear THC from their system in 10 to 14 days, heavy consumers can test positive for 30 days or longer. The amount of time THC stays in your body depends on your individual metabolism, how often you consume, and how much. Hoping to get clean from THC in a hurry? The good news is we can tell you how to pass a drug test. For some, you may even be able to pass a drug test in just a few hours.
Unlike other substances, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary intoxicant in cannabis, is stored in your fat cells. As you move about and exercise, THC breakdown products are slowly re-released into the bloodstream. Eventually, most of this THC makes its way out of the body via stool. However, small traces of the compound and its breakdown products can be found in hair, blood, urine, and sweat. To know how to pass a marijuana drug test, you’ll first need to know what type of drug test you’ll be getting. This is particularly important when you need to know the best way to pass a drug test on short notice.
Saliva drug testing (also called oral fluid testing) is becoming more popular because it is seen as less invasive than urine testing. Saliva tests are, so far, limited to detecting very recent use to ensure accurate results. Tests have demonstrated that THC its peak concentration in saliva about two hours after consumption. However, the compound can be detected in saliva for up to 48 hours after consumption. While labs do not normally test for the presence of THC metabolites in saliva, they can be present for days.
Urine drug testing is the most common of all available drug testing methods out there. There are actually two distinct types of urine drug tests (UDTs): a screening test and a confirmatory test. The screening test uses something called an immunoassay to look for drugs and/or their break down products. For cannabis, urine testing typically looks for the presence of THC break-down products, called metabolites. These metabolites can be detected in urine for up to three days after a single use, five days for moderate use, and ten days for heavy use, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Blood testing is the most invasive and expensive of all drug testing methods. As luck would have it, it’s also the most accurate. It detects, in real-time, the presence of the substance and its metabolites in the blood. Blood testing, however, is not as good of an indicator of past cannabis consumption as urine or hair testing. Fortunately, due to its cost and invasive nature, it is used less frequently, usually by police departments in marijuana DUI cases.
Hair testing looks for the presence of drugs or their metabolites using hair samples taken from close to the scalp. Hair has a knack for keeping a chronology of things you have consumed, hence hair samples can be used as a record of a person’s drug use. A hair follicle drug test involves cutting 50 to 120 strains of hair from the back of the head, close to the crown. A minimum length of 1.5 inches of head hair is necessary. Getting a buzz cut is no solution, however; if 1.5 inches of hair is unavailable on the head, body hair such as beard, chest, or arm hair can be used.
While great at detecting long-term use, the hair test doesn’t necessarily measure current use, which raises many objections. Drugs take 5-7 days to enter your hair. But a person could have last used cannabis months before, and still be found positive on a hair test. Traces of drugs can stay in your hair for up to 90 days. Happily, hair drug tests are expensive and the samples take a long time to process so few employers use them for workplace drug testing.
Precipitation testing is one of the newer drug testing methods available. A sweat patch is affixed to the skin for two weeks. The patch is worn to detect the presence of drug metabolites excreted through perspiration. This method is more often used to monitor people on probation or those involved in child custody cases, rather than for workplace screening.
Drug tests look for more than just marijuana. The standard five-panel drug test includes:
While these are the five substances most commonly tested, some employers or legal personnel might choose to add other drugs to their screening, including alcohol, MDMA (ecstasy), barbiturates, propoxyphene, and benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax). Even though employers commonly use drug testing to determine if employees or job applicants are using drugs—and such tests can identify recent use—current drug testing does not test for impairment. The tests are practically useless for detecting whether a person’s behavior is, or was, impacted by drugs.
As soon as you find out you need to take a drug test for cannabis, there are a few things you need to do right away. Here’s how to kick off your detox process right:
One of the most important factors when preparing for a drug test is monitoring your water intake. Drinking plenty of water is an excellent way to dilute your sample. However, drinking too much water can be dangerous or may alter your urine sample too much for a good test result. In general, the Institute of Medicine recommends two to three liters of water per day for women and three and four liters per day for men.
Those who are very active or live in warm climates will need to drink more. If you have decided to increase your water intake, be sure to also incorporate electrolyte drinks or powders into your detox plan.
The first step to passing a drug test? Wait it out! Urine drug tests, the most commonly used drug tests, are also often the easiest to beat. While immediately stopping cannabis use is certainly the most effective method, there’s the catch that it takes 14 days or more to pass a test. Use a high-fiber diet and drink plenty of water. Don’t provide your first urine of the day; it will have the heaviest concentration of metabolites. Provide a sample when you’re well-hydrated and have already urinated earlier in the day. If you aren’t being watched, make sure to urinate in the toilet for a few seconds and then fill the sample cup.
Have a few days before your test? You might also want to invest in a couple of home urine test kits which will detect THC metabolites. These test will allow you to test your initial amount of THC metabolites before you begin your detox. Then, as you try to eliminate or mask traces of THC as much as possible, you can continue to test to see if your methods have worked before your test. At-home tests are handy for knowing when you might be safe to take the official urinalysis you’ve been preparing for. That, of course, won’t be possible if you need to figure out how to pass a drug test in a few hours.
While many people go overboard with their supplements before taking a drug test, there are a couple of natural remedies that may actually be helpful. Notably, these supplements are creatine and activated charcoal. Taking your regular multi-vitamin may be helpful for keeping your body fit and healthy before a test, but apart from creatine and charcoal, there’s no need to over-consume your vitamins.
It is never recommended to take more than the recommended serving of these products and it is always best to consult your doctor before trying a new product, especially if you are taking medication. However, if you have a few days before your drug test, supplementing might be helpful.
Creatine may be marginally helpful to take in the days leading up to your urine test. When analyzing urine samples, testing labs look for healthy levels of a creatine metabolite called creatinine. If levels of creatinine are too low, it’s a sign that you have likely diluted your sample and you risk not passing your urine test.
While it may be beneficial to start supplementing with creatine a few days before your test, there is no solid science that says that taking creatine the day of your test will improve your results. Laboratories test for levels of a creatine metabolite in urine, not the compound itself. However, supplementation over time may cause slight improvements, so, therefore, creatine may be useful for those who want to take every possible precaution.
Activated charcoal, on the other hand, may help remove drugs from your system. Activated charcoal has been used for centuries to remove toxins during cases of poisoning. It is safe and not absorbed by the body. Instead, this sightly negatively charged powder provides a large surface area which makes for an excellent landing place for toxins and drugs to adhere. Taking activated charcoal before a drug test may be helpful in helping remove THC or other toxins from your body via stool.
Many people also try the fruit pectin method to detox blood or urine the day of a drug test if they have recently consumed. Simply stated, fruit pectin is a soluble fiber bomb. This method works by taking advantage of processes that happen naturally during digestion, which are explained above. However, it’s important to note that even this is not a sure-fire way to pass a drug test and it comes with some uncomfortable side effects.
Fruit pectin is a naturally occurring soluble fiber, which means that it is safe to consume. In the plant world, this fiber found in fruits like apples. However, you can buy isolated pectin at almost every grocery store and it is commonly used as a thickener for jams and jellies.
Certo and Sure-Jell are two common types of fruit pectin, and most grocery stores carry some type of fruit pectin in their baking or canning aisles. Incidentally, many people use this common fiber to pass drug tests. This method is often called the “Certo” or “Sure-Jell” method and it’s more or less like drinking jam.
The recipe is as follows:
Simply mix the fruit pectin and your chosen beverage together and drink up at least two hours before your test. Those taking a urine test will want to also include drinking no more than two liters of water slowly in the four hours prior to submitting a sample. Taking B2 vitamin supplement is also something to consider, as it adds coloration to the urine. After drinking so much water, the urine will be diluted and clear.
Before attempting the fruit pectin detox, there are a few warnings worth mentioning. First, drinking too much water in one sitting can cause water intoxication, which is when levels of vital electrolytes become dangerously low. To play it safe, drink no more than two liters of water over a three-hour period. Always follow up excess water consumption with an electrolyte drink, coconut water, or electrolyte powder.
It is also important to know that consuming this much fruit pectin is likely to cause digestive distress, such as diarrhea, constipation, and cramping. Human digestive systems cannot break down fiber, so soluble fiber is fermented by bacteria in the gut and excreted as stool.
However, as a word of precaution, there is no reliable data on how many people find success with this method. As mentioned above, digestive distress is likely. Drinking a whole packet of pectin can be painful on the gut. Don’t be surprised if you notice some changes in your belly over the next few days.
To recover after using the Certo method, increase insoluble fiber in your diet. That means pair this fiber bomb with lots of leafy greens that will bulk up your stool. While this fruit pectin method is a trick that people use to pass drug tests, this is not healthy and may not be entirely safe. It’s important to be mindful of how your body reacts to this particular detox method. For some, it may be too uncomfortable. That is where detox drinks come in!
When faced with a drug test, it’s time to clean up your diet. One of the most important additions? Fiber. Fiber is found in fruits and vegetables, and both soluble and insoluble fiber is important to consume. As mentioned above, compounds like THC are stored in fat. Since THC is slowly re-released into the bloodstream as fat burns, it is particularly difficult to detox out of your body.
Fiber is one of the best and safest ways to detox. However, don’t expect a speedy transition. Upping your fiber intake alone isn’t likely to save you from a drug test. Yet, it is certainly an easy step to take when you’re faced with the unfortunate event.
So, why is fiber so great? In order to digest fatty foods, the gallbladder and liver release a bile into the digestive tract. This bile is used to emulsify fats, making them easier to digest and absorb. Soluble fiber, however, binds with bile and pulls bile out via stool. When excess bile is cleaned out, that means that fatty compounds connected to it are pulled out, too. As it turns out, the bulk of THC you consume is eventually excreted in bile before making its way out of the body in bowel movements.
Soluble fiber is typically used to speed up elimination, helping you poo a little easier. However, insoluble fiber has a role to play, too. Insoluble fiber bulks up the stool and allows your digestive system to detox more efficiently. Hoping to detox from just about anything? Eat more fiber.
If you’re hoping to test out a marijuana detox diet, here are some excellent sources of dietary fiber:
In a way, detox drinks are more or less powerful diuretics, laxatives, and/or antidiarrheals. While most brands advertise natural ingredients and a speedy detox, these supplements are quite strong and can come with their fair share of side effects, including diarrhea and constipation. When emergency strikes, detox drinks are the primary ways that people attempt to pass tests when using their own urine. However, cleanses and detox drinks can be quite expensive without any sure-fire way of ensuring success.
To boost your odds with cleanses and detox drinks, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. First and foremost, always opt for products that contain recognizable ingredients. Common detox ingredients include:
Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, is often included to provide yellow coloration to diluted urine. This vitamin is generally considered safe to consume, though keep in mind that high doses may make your urine neon yellow. Another B vitamin found in detox drinks is vitamin B3, also known as niacin. High doses of niacin can have some uncomfortable side effects, including flushing and rash. In fact, because niacin can cause toxicity in high doses, the Institue of Medine has limited the upper intake level to a mere 35 milligrams per day. If your detox supplement contains more than that, be wary of side effects.
Creatine is included in many detox drinks as a way to mask diluted urine. While there is no science that says that high doses of creatine actually make a significant difference, as long as you stick to package directions, taking the recommended amount of creatine isn’t likely to cause too much harm.
Other medicinal herbs and detoxifying compounds can have mixed effects. If you are curious about why certain herbs have been included in your detox drink or supplement, it’s best to do some research. However, there are a few detox products that are considered more reliable than others. Light to moderate consumers can use these Clear Choice 17 oz. Rescue Cleanse detox drink. If you weigh more than 200 pounds, you should consider the Clear Choice 32 oz. Rescue Cleanse.
These drinks contain high amounts of creatine and riboflavin (Vitamin B2), both of which may help disguise the presence of diluted urine after drinking water. They also contain dietary fiber, which can be helpful in excreting THC. These products are supposed to last for about five hours after consumption.
Short on cash? Ask a friend to help out. Substituting someone else’s clean urine works if you’re looking for something more low-tech. But that’s assuming you can find someone who doesn’t smoke or partake in other recreational drugs these days. It could be a bit awkward asking a straight-edge friend for their pee. Then again, it is one of the classic solutions to the dilemma of how to pass a marijuana drug test.
Let’s face it, detoxing is hard. In the event of a surprise urine test, there may not be sufficient time to clean THC out of your system the natural way. For those who are in a real pickle, synthetic urine may be the answer. This is especially true for very heavy marijuana consumers faced with the dilemma of how to pass a drug test for weed. Though, fair warning: using fake pee to pass a drug test is illegal in some states.
Fake urine, also called laboratory urine, is designed as a substitute to trick tests. Instead of using your own sample, you simply mix up a vial of the fake stuff and pour it into your testing cup when the time comes. There are many different brands of synthetic urine out there these days.
Of them all, Clear Choice’s Quick Luck Pre-Mixed Synthetic Urine is the most popular choice. It’s one of the most trusted brands because it’s laboratory-created formula so effectively mimics human urine. It even comes pre-mixed to take that little bit of extra stress off you. All you need to do is get the synthetic urine to the optimal temperature, and use it to fill the urine sample cup they give you when testing your urine.
If don’t yet know how to heat your synthetic urine to the optimal temperature, don’t fret. Clear Choice offers a synthetic urine practice kit to let you run through the process at home before you try and use your synthetic urine on a real drug test.
Slipping up on a drug test could cost you a career, so use this synthetic urine practice kit to get 110% prepared before you try and pass one.
Using this practice kit is simple, and will give you the confidence you need to pass your drug test. Simply fill the three ounce mixing container with the black temperature strip on it with lukewarm water up to the fill line. Look at the black temperature strip to see if the water is in the range of 96 °F– 100 ° F. If the water is not within this range, you’ll need to heat it up with the heat pad or the heat activator.
To use the heat pad, simply remove it from its plastic packaging, peel the paper strip off the pad and stick the sticky part to the three ounce mixing container on the opposite side of where the temperature strip is. Over the course of about an hour or less, the heat pad will bring the water to the optimal temperature of 96 ° F – 100 ° F
To use the heat activator, first look to see the temperature reading on the three ounce mixing container. If there is no temperature reading, pour a third of the powder in the package into the mixing container. If the temperature reads between 82 ° F – 92 ° F, pour a fourth of the powder into the mixing container instead. Then, twist the cap back on and give the container a good shake. Wait for about 20 seconds, then take another look at the temperature.
Regardless of what brand you use, there are a few things to keep in mind when picking out synthetic urine. Here’s what labs are looking for:
The best synthetic urines will take all of these factors into account. Some brands tout the need for urea and uric acid in synthetic urine, but these are not things that most drug testing labs usually test. Urine tests do, however, look for adulterants in the urine, so going synthetic is likely better than altering your own sample. If you’ll be taking a monitored urine test, you may need something like the Incognito Belt to keep things inconspicuous.
First, the good news: cannabis compounds are not present in the blood for long periods of time. For this reason, it is easier to pass a blood test than it is a urine test. When trying to pass a blood test, time in your best asset. If you have recently consumed, stalling the test for as long as possible is probably wise. Still, however, given that many states have a five-nanoliter cutoff point for THC metabolites, it is still possible for heavy consumers to fail a blood test even if they are no longer feeling the active effects of cannabis.
Everyone processes drugs and substances like cannabis differently. Most people should be able to pass a blood test within one day to a week, depending on how much cannabis was consumed. In heavier consumers, the process can take as long as two weeks. The active compounds in cannabis do not hang around in the blood very long, but the cannabinoids can be re-released into the bloodstream over time, making heavier consumers more susceptible to failure.
If you find yourself facing a blood test, there are a few things you may one to do prior to the event. These include:
When faced with a sudden blood test, things get a little tricky. However, there are still a few things that might help. For example, while the fruit pectin method might lead to digestive distress, it is an easy last-minute resort that may be helpful for consumers in a hurry. Those who have access to a detox drink may also want to give that a try. The most trusted product on the market today is Clear Choice Rescue Cleanse.
A general rule of thumb is, light consumers are expected to have good success with a 17-ounce bottle. Heavier consumers may need to consume a 32-ounce bottle, depending on product directions. However, given that blood tests tend to be a surprise, it can be difficult to get exactly what you need to sufficiently detox. In these cases, finding a way to delay is perhaps your best bet.
Saliva tests are tricky. Unlike urine tests, saliva tests test for the presence of THC itself. This is bad news for anyone who has just puffed on a joint or enjoyed a new vape before meeting a surprise saliva test. Fortunately, however, THC does not say in your saliva very long. Most consumers can pass a saliva test within 24 hours of abstaining from cannabis. However, if you are met with a surprise saliva test, one of the best things to do is try to wait and delay the test as long as possible. However, if that is not possible, there are a few tips and tricks you can try.
Some people also attempt to alter their saliva using hydrogen peroxide, which happens to be an active ingredient in detox gums and mouthwashes. However, if you attempt this method, it is important not to swallow. Simply rinse and spit within 30 minutes prior to your test.
With more states and countries legalizing cannabis, officials are growing more concerned about how to keep intoxicated drivers off of the road. For good reason, too. Intoxicated driving not only puts your life at risk but risks the lives of others. Already, using a breathalyzer test for alcohol impairment is common practice. However, testing for trace amounts of THC in the breath is a much more difficult task. While alcohol can be measured in the parts per thousand, law enforcement needs a machine sensitive enough to measure cannabis compounds in the parts per trillion.
One California company claims to have invented such a machine, capable of detecting trace amounts of THC on the breath within two hours after consumption. This device has yet to be introduced to standard protocol, but officials have been waiting for reliable technology for the last several years. Currently, those that are suspected of driving under the influence of cannabis are subject to sobriety tests, during which an officer will determine your level of intoxication via observation. During a sobriety test, an officer might smell your breath or look for red eyes and dilated pupils.
Breathalyzer tests are not yet common practice, which means that there is little information available on how to beat them. To be clear, it is not recommended to drive while intoxicated. However, once breathalyzer technology comes out, it is difficult to tell how much they will be used and when. Based on the information available thus far, these tips might help you pass a weed breathalyzer.
All forms of cannabis drug testing are controversial. But, there is no form of testing more controversial than the weed breathalyzer. While certain states like Colorado and Washington have created mandatory cutoff limits for the amount of THC that can be in your system to avoid a ticket, there is little science that backs this idea. For example, Washington state has determined that any consumer testing with over five nanograms of THC in their blood is intoxicated.
However, because of the way THC is stored in fat, any regular cannabis consumer may test positive with more than five nanograms of the cannabinoid at any given time. Yet, just because this THC is present in your system does not mean that it is causing intoxication. Based on this detection limit, many medical cannabis consumers would fail a roadside test regardless of whether or not they had recently consumed. If you feel that you have been unfairly targeted as intoxicated, heading to court is always an option.
Those hoping to detox their hair for a hair test have some work ahead of them. Detoxing hair is a serious effort and can be extremely damaging to your hair. If you know that you will be submitting for a hair follicle test, it’s best to stop consuming cannabis right away. Those that decide to detox should expect to spend some quality time conditioning, re-hydrating, and re-nourishing afterward.
It’s important to note that the only surefire way to avoid risks and negative consequences with a hair test is to abstain. Avoiding contact with cannabis smoke is also extremely important. The skin-to-skin contact with someone who consumes cannabis may also transfer trace amounts of cannabis metabolites on hair. To remove traces of THC, many hoping to trick a hair follicle test turn to abrasive detergents. These detergents are in no way good for the hair or the body, so avoiding them if at all possible is recommended.
However, here’s what people do in an attempt to pass a hair follicle test. Materials include:
First step, find a solid detox shampoo. Clear Choice Hair Follicle Shampoo is the go-to shampoo for those looking to pass a hair follicle test. This detoxifying shampoo is guaranteed to clear your hair of toxins for up to 8 hours with a simple two-step process. Clear Choice has been helping enthusiasts like you and I pass drug tests since 1993! For best results, follow the package directions.
Concerned that one round with a detox shampoo isn’t enough? Here’s where things get intense. There are two common methods of DIY hair detox for drug testing. In option number one, the hair is washed, bleached, and then re-died. A thick baking soda paste is then slathered onto the hair and scalp, then left on for 10 minutes or so. Hair is then washed using a shampoo like T/Sal or something with salicylic acid.
The second method uses actual laundry detergent. Yikes! It’s possible that baking soda paste and vinegar rinses may be an adequate detergent replacement for light consumers, however, many may not want to risk it. Here is one of the most touted ways to pass a hair follicle test:
Those that have some time may be interested in experimenting with some natural detoxing agents. These natural products are known to help detox hair and promote healing and nourishment. Going all in on the natural route can be risky for heavy consumers.
These products do not completely strip hair like the more aggressive detox regimes do. Though, the overall results can be surprising. It’s important to keep in mind that when you go all-natural, you risk not quite getting the results you want.
However, these products can boost the health of your hair overall and may be worth adding to your pre-test detox plan. These remedies can also be applied multiple times until the desired result is reached. If possible, you may want to home-test your hair before participating in an official hair follicle analysis.
Rosemary contains compounds that naturally detoxify skin and hair. To make rosemary shampoo, slowly heat a large bunch of dried rosemary leaves into a pot of grapeseed oil for a minimum of three hours. Allow the mixture to cool overnight. Then, massage the mixture into the hair and scalp. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, then wash with something like T/Sal for more detox. For more moisture, wash with a gentle shampoo. This shampoo may be helpful for continuing the detox process and re-moisturizing hair after intensive cleaning. Rosemary is also thought to encourage hair growth.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a natural detergent replacement. It is not as abrasive as the intense Tide detergent many detox regimes require. However, a thick baking soda paste can be applied to the scalp and hair prior to washing with a purchased detox shampoo. This will remove metabolites from the cuticle of the hair. This may be beneficial for lighter cannabis consumers. However, something stronger may be necessary to reach metabolites deeper into the hair strand.
Another popular way to use baking soda is in a thick salt and vinegar paste:
Mix all of these together and apply as a thick paste to the scalp and work into the strands of your hair. Let this paste sit for five to 10 minutes. Shampoo and then repeat as needed. Salt and baking soda are excellent detergent replacements, stripping and dehydrating hair of the sebum (oil) that may contain cannabis metabolites.
There are a few other products that may be helpful in a complete hair detox. These ingredients can be mixed in with homemade detox pastes or applied separately to heal the hair.
It is extremely important to always make sure your hair is adequately conditioned and nourished after a detox. For a bare minimum, allow your standard conditioner to soak in for one hour after detox or bleaching treatments. Those with long hair may want to tuck their locks into a shower cap during this deep conditioning process.
After applying harsh detergents to your hair, intense nourishment is needed. For those hoping to get their luxurious locks back in tip-top shape, this simple hair mask recipe uses soothing and moisturizing aloe vera gel, which adds shine and hydrates brittle and dry hair. Coconut oil is extremely moisture-intensive, and acts as a lovely carrier oil for the antioxidant vitamin E. Honey is a natural humectant that encourages shine and preserves moisture retention.
Mix all ingredients together and then slather onto your hair for a moisture-rich hair mask. Leave on for 30 to 60 minutes, then shampoo with a gentle product and condition as normal.
Maintaining a healthy diet rich in colorful and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables overall can certainly change what metabolites are present in the hair by altering anything secreted through the sebum and perhaps the bloodstream. However, drinking a simple detox elixir prior to a hair test is unlikely to have an effect. Cannabis metabolites aren’t thought to even show up in the hair until five to seven days after it was consumed. Once these metabolites show up in the hair, they are more or less stuck there as a type of chronological record of what you have experienced.
Detox drinks work better for urine and saliva tests. Both urine and saliva tests can be diluted to disguise the concentration of THC metabolites floating around in bodily fluids. However, as long as these drinks are natural, safe, and healthy, there’s no harm in drinking one in the days prior to a hair test to continue to dilute the metabolites in your sweat, sebum, and system as a whole. Some natural detoxifiers that are safe to consume include:
Though no research or evidence really touches on whether or not this is actually beneficial.
Now that over half the states have legalized either medical or recreational cannabis, it might be easy to assume users are in the clear when it comes to taking a drug test for work. While this would be true if we lived in a perfect world, it’s not, and we don’t. Even in states like Colorado, the flagship state for recreational cannabis, employers can deny work or terminate a position if they feel their employee is using cannabis. The issue really lies within the urinalysis itself, which detects cannabis metabolites that hang around far longer than any high.
Apart from those nine possible tips, there isn’t much else you can do to pass a drug test while smoking weed.
Staying lean and burning fat will help you clear THC out of your system more quickly. However, hitting the gym before a drug test might not be the best idea. Unlike other drugs, excess THC is stored in your fat. After smoking or ingesting marijuana, THC travels through the bloodstream and is taken up by fat cells throughout your body. THC in your fat then slowly releases itself back into your system as your body burns fat for energy.
Since THC makes a home for itself inside your fat cells, it only makes sense that exercise would speed up the re-intoxication process. That’s exactly what researchers found back in 2013. In a small study, scientists tested the THC levels of regular marijuana users after 35 minutes of stationary cycling.
Not only did they find that THC levels increased after exercise, but the participants still had elevated THC levels up to two hours post-cycling. Further, marijuana users that had higher BMIs showed greater levels of THC re-intoxication. In short, the more fat you burn and the more fat you have, the more THC will be present in your system after exercise.
There are a few caveats to this research, however. While more THC is released into the blood after exercise, it is unclear whether or not this boost leads to a substantial increase of THC metabolites into the urine. In fact, a small study of six consumers found that concentrations of THC metabolites in the urine were not increased post-exercise, leading the study authors to suggest that working out won’t up the risk of a positive test in a urine sample.
Yet, both of these studies were quite small. When your livelihood is on the line, it’s always better to play it safe than sorry. Since there is a chance that exercise increases the amount of THC circulating in your system, it may be best to make your test day a rest day. Or, simply save working out for after your test is over.
When figuring out the best way to pass a drug test on short notice, don’t forget the risk factors. While synthetic urine is very effective, it can be a risky choice, especially if you are monitored during the urine collection process. Depending on the laws in your region, you may even risk fines or charges for breaking the law. The same goes for substituting someone else’s (presumably clean) urine for your own; that’s both risky and detectable. Even if you aren’t monitored during the urine test, the sample of a friend’s urine won’t be the correct temperature. These risk factors when trying to pass a drug test are worth considering.
Tests are continuing to evolve and more labs now are able to detect synthetic urine. But technology works in both directions, and manufacturers of synthetic urine continue to upgrade their products in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the tests. Using a friend’s urine introduces a number of random risky factors when trying to pass a drug test too. You never know what might show up. Urine should be used within 48 hours because after that amount of time it darkens in color and the pH begins to change.
There’s a lot of bogus information out there about how to pass a drug test for weed. Some of it is potentially dangerous, but most of it is entirely useless. Think carefully before making your own fiber bomb using fruit pectin. Think even more carefully before drinking excessive amounts of water, using an expensive detox supplement or overdoing it on vitamins. All of these methods come with side effects and none are particularly easy on the body. When push comes to shove, there is no easy way to detox from cannabis when trying to pass a drug test.
If you’re going to be tested within the next 24 hours, you must prioritize. A detox cleanse, drink or synthetic urine are your best options. The only stumbling blocks are the cost for the drinks (which typically run from $40 to $60 or more) or synthetic urine ($75 and up) and local availability. Overnight delivery is available, of course, but that adds an extra fee. Bottom line? Do as much as you can, but be aware that there are no guarantees.