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.
Knowing how the test works
Unlike alcohol, cocaine or prescription pills, which are water soluble and can pass through your system in a matter of days, cannabis metabolites are fat soluble. This means they stay in a smoker’s system much longer than any other kind of drug.
Exactly how long the metabolites will be detachable can vary greatly from person to person. Some things that affect the lifespan of these positive-test-causing chemicals is an individual’s weight, activity level, and diet. The less fat a person has on their body, the more quickly the metabolites will diminish.
The standard urine drug test for cannabis will be deemed positive if the given sample has more than 50 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). Generally, for someone who uses once a week or less, cannabis will be undetectable after one-five days.
Users who indulge regularly, or more than once a week, can give a positive result for up to three weeks. Heavy users, those who smoke multiple times a day, can find traces of cannabis in their systems anywhere from four to six weeks after halting use.
Users should not try to explain their positive test result away by saying they were in the same room as someone who was smoking. While catching a second-hand high might be plausible, a person would literally have to sit in a very small, confined space with many heavy smokers for hours in order to reach the positive result threshold.
How to pass a drug test
While there is no way to indefinitely pass a drug screening without abstaining from use for a given time, there are certain things users can do to better than chances.
The first step, and the most important, is to stop using as soon as you’re aware a test is coming. If there are a few weeks before the sample is to be collected, begin a daily exercise regimen to make yourself sweat as much as possible.
Sweating burns fat, which, in turn, gives cannabis metabolites fewer places to be stored. Start eating a lean diet. Again, less fat means less stored metabolites.
Drinking copious amounts of water is probably the most crucial step, and easiest to follow, to passing a cannabis urine drug test. Water will help to dilute the system and cannabis metabolites.
However, new age testing has been perfected to recognized diluted samples. To help combat dilution, take 50-100 milligrams of Vitamin B-2. This will give urine the correct color profile, as well as show that there are nutrients in your system, not just water.
Stay away from drinks that promise to clean the system and mask cannabis. They’re often expensive and, more times than not, fail the consumer. Not to mention, their ingredients can be dangerous and wreak havoc on the body.