In recent years, the number of companies that force their employees to pee in a cup as part of a drug test has fallen dramatically. In February 2018 for example, AutoNation Inc., the largest auto dealer in America, announced that it would stop refusing job applicants who tested positive for marijuana. At the beginning of 2018, Las Vegas-based Excellence Health Inc. also decided to stop drug testing employees on the firm’s pharmaceutical side.
Back in 1986, President Ronald Reagan announced that all federal employees would be subject to drug testing. In 1987, 21% of employers stated that they tested employees for drugs. A decade later, that number had risen to 81%! It had fallen to 62% by 2004 and has been on a steady decline since.
However, there is still a possibility that you will be subjected to a drug test, and if you are a marijuana user, it could spell the end of your time at the company. Bizarrely, in states such as California, where weed is legal for recreational use, you can still legally be fired if you test positive for marijuana. In other words, you could legally use marijuana at the weekend only to get tested on Monday, fail, and find that your contract has been terminated!
In this guide, we show you six great ways to pass your drug test (if you are a marijuana user). But first, let’s take a look at the type of drug test you’ll face, and outline how long weed normally stays in your system.
How Long Will Cannabis Remain in my System?
In the vast majority of cases, you will be subject to urinalysis as it is a relatively quick and inexpensive form of testing. In simple terms, you will be escorted to a bathroom and asked to pee in a special cup that the tester provides you with. The immunoassay, as it is known, screens for THC metabolites called THC-COOH. The ‘cutoff threshold’ is 50ng/ml, so if your urinalysis shows this level or higher, your test provides a ‘positive’ result.
As the immunoassay tests have a false positive rate of almost 5%, a confirmatory test, known as a Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) test, is performed. It is a LOT more accurate and has a cutoff level of 15 ng/ml. Unlike the immunoassay, the GC-MS test only detects THC-COOH. If you test positive at this point, you can expect to face disciplinary action; most probably contract termination.
The amount of time THC-COOH remains in your system depends on a variety of factors, most pertinently your level of use and the last time you consumed marijuana. The following is a ballpark estimate of how long it takes to get clean depending on the frequency of use. These figures are NOT absolute and will vary depending on the individual:
One time user: 5-8 days.
2-4 times a week: 10-18 days.
5-6 times a week: 33-48 days.
Daily user: 50+ days.
If you are a chronic user, it could take 77 days for THC metabolites to leave your system, assuming you stay clean throughout that period. However, if you have a drug test coming up, you don’t have time to wait! Here are six ways to pass your drug test, but first, don’t waste your time on the following:
Drinking tons of water to flush out your system. The urinalysis will pick up on the suspiciously clean nature of your urine.
Collecting urine mid-stream.While it is true that the highest concentration of THC comes in your urine first thing in the morning, it doesn’t magically vanish halfway through a stream of urine!
Sweating it out. Only a tiny fraction of metabolites leave your system via sweat, so this is a waste of time.
Drinking bleach or cleaning fluid. This simply doesn’t work and is VERY dumb and dangerous.
1 – Consume Activated Charcoal
The above ideas are proven NOT to work, yet people persist in attempting them (yes, even the bleach!). Conversely, consumption of activated charcoal carries some evidence that it works, yet few people believe it! Activated charcoal is a porous type of carbon and drugs will absorb into its large surface area. Did you know that it is used in the ER to quickly soak up drugs in the gastrointestinal tract when patients have overdosed or have been poisoned?
A study* by Skopp and Mikus, published in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry in 2013, showed that activated charcoal binds THC metabolites. In the study, the researchers found that just 5mg of the charcoal was enough to completely bind 1mg of the THC-COOH metabolites.
If you decide to give it a go, start using it 48 hours before a test because it only offers a temporary effect. It should reduce THC-COOH and glucuronide levels. Use it before each meal and make sure you consume a lot of water, because it could cause constipation; reduce the dosage if this happens.
2 – Boost Soluble Fiber Intake
In the same study, Skopp and Mikus found that dietary fiber also did an excellent job of binding the metabolites. However, you need to consume a lot more fiber than activated charcoal. Contrary to popular belief, an inordinate amount of THC is removed from the body via fecal matter; up to 65% in fact.
The most common method of boosting fiber intake is through the consumption of fruit pectin. Fruit pectin is known for providing jelly with its gel-like consistency. Typically, users take a packet of Sure-Jell or a similar brand of fruit pectin, mix it with up to 32 ounces of Gatorade and add it to a gallon of water. Drink the concoction throughout the day from 48 hours before the test. The downside is that the fiber takes a while to go through the system and if you overdo it, you will regret it!
3 – Dilute Your Urine
I know we ruled this out as a viable method earlier on, but that’s only because people do it the wrong way! Simply drinking tons of water isn’t enough. Remember, the goal is to bring THC-COOH levels below the cutoff threshold, and while increasing urine output is important, it does not boost the excretion of the metabolites alone.
Drug testing companies actively look for evidence of urine dilution because it is the oldest trick in the book. Therefore, if they find clear urine that lacks creatinine and is not ‘dense’ enough, they know that something is wrong with the test. If you want to do it right, purchase a creatine supplement, electrolyte powder, vitamin B2, and THC & creatinine test strips.
Ideally, you will be able to calculate your lean body mass (LBM). Next, make sure you consume the electrolyte solution at 4 ml per LBM pound per hour. Over the next three hours, that equates to 1500 ml of liquid for the average male, but your rate may vary. Test your urine at this point to see if you are capable of producing a negative result.
Remember, your THC metabolite level must be below 50 ng/mL, and your creatinine should be 20 ng/mL. If you are above these levels, repeat the trial run with an increased rate of consumption but don’t exceed 16mL per LBM pound. Three hours before the test, go through it all again and take 200mg of vitamin B2 an hour before the test. The purpose of the vitamin B is to ensure your urine’s color looks ‘natural’.
4 – Fake or Clean Urine
This is an extremely risky option, but it will work if you can pull it off. Some companies sell fake urine complete with an incognito belt to help keep the fake pee close by when pretending to give a sample. The trouble with using synthetic urine or a friend’s pee is that it must meet specific criteria.
First and foremost, the urine must be between 91 and 97-degrees Fahrenheit. There are synthetic offerings that provide no smell which is also a dead giveaway. Then there is a host of other things to consider such as ensuring the urine is at the right pH. Real human urine is probably the best option, but ensuring it remains at the ideal temperature is tricky, as is trying to smuggle it into a cup under the watchful eye of a tester.
5 – Bentonite Clay
This is a sedimentary clay comprised of aged and weathered volcanic ash. It has been used as a traditional remedy for hundreds of years but is also said to be an effective means of passing a drug test because of its capacity to absorb toxins and contaminants. It consists of lots of small platelets which have negative electrical charges on the flat surface and positive charges on the edges.
When Bentonite clay absorbs water, it swells into a porous sponge which attracts toxins. Eventually, the clay is removed from the body via feces along with the toxins, including THC-COOH. To be clear, there is no hard scientific evidence that it works, but anecdotal evidence is easy to find.
Shane Ellison wrote Over-The-Counter Natural Cures, Expanded Edition, and swears by the clay’s effectiveness. He says to consume two tablespoons twice a day in the five days before the drug test to get the best results. Make sure you also consume a lot of water.
6 – Detox Protocols
There are a TON of detox drinks that claim to help you pass your drug test within 24 hours. The best products include vitamins, minerals, and other special ingredients that combine to boost your chances of passing the test. An increasing number of companies are also selling special ‘detox protocols’ including one-week, two-day and three-hour detoxes. The efficacy of these drinks varies, sowe recommend reading online reviews to determine the best option.
We would like to point out that we do NOT specifically endorse any of these methods. You use one (or more) of them at your own risk. The best way to pass a drug test is not to use marijuana at all, but if you are a user and a drug test is looming, your very future depends on providing clean urine. Your best option is to use a combination of methods and hope, that at the very least, it enables you to mask your THC-COOH content for long enough to provide a negative result.