If your heart just dropped upon finding out you have a drug test coming up, you're probably wondering many things; first and foremost being how to pass a drug test.
You will need to know what type of test you'll be taking, if you have enough time to detox naturally, what to do if you don't have enough time, whether the home remedies you found online can genuinely help you, and what your rights are if you really would rather not take the test.
Once you finish reading our comprehensive guide to drug testing, you will have all of these questions answered and more.
- Drug testing is conducted for various purposes, one of the most common being employment.
- There are four common types of drug tests: saliva, urine, blood, and hair.
- The different drug tests have varying detection times, with hair having the most extensive window by far.
- The amount of time weed will stay in your system depends on your toxicity level and BMI.
- There are ways to ensure you'll pass your urine drug test, but your plan depends on how much time you have.
You can use a special shampoo to cleanse your hair for a hair follicle test.
Most home remedies that the internet swears by are not strong enough to detox your body without the added use of detox kits.
- You can use a special shampoo to cleanse your hair for a hair follicle test.
- Most home remedies that the internet swears by are not strong enough to detox your body without the added use of detox kits.
- It's a good idea to use an at-home drug test to see if you're ready to pass your official test.
Technically, you are allowed to refuse a drug test in most cases, but doing so would probably be worse than putting in the work to detox in time.
- Technically, you are allowed to refuse a drug test in most cases, but doing so would probably be worse than putting in the work to detox in time.
Drug Test Overview
Drug testing is common for employers, legal proceedings, athletic departments, and more. There are several different types of drug tests that each have pros and cons, making different tests suitable for different situations.
What Shows Up on a Drug Test
The substances that will show up on a drug test vary depending on the type of test and sometimes the manufacturer or test administrator.
But, several substances are typically detected by every drug test. These include marijuana, opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, steroids, and PCP. Some tests will detect alcohol as well, which is typically used to determine if alcohol played a role in a legal matter.
How Much THC Shows on a Drug Test
The amount of THC that will cause a positive drug test depends on the test's purpose.
The standard cutoff for workplace drug testing is any amount of THC greater than 50 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) of bodily fluid, which is also the amount that can be detected in most urine samples. But, the amount lowers to 15 ng/ml if the testing process proceeds to confirmatory lab testing.
Unfortunately, saliva tests are becoming more common in the workplace and detect as little as 10 ng/ml.
Types of Tests
As discussed, many aspects of drug testing vary between types of tests.
For a urine drug test, you will urinate in a sterile cup to test your urine on-site with quick and inexpensive results. Though, in some cases, your urine may be sent to a lab for intensive analysis.
Urine testing is one of the most commonly used drug tests for employers as the testing kits are cheap and easy to use.
When drugs enter your bloodstream, they make their way to blood vessels in your head through which your hair grows. The drugs stick to your hair follicle and won't go away until that part grows out and is cut off.
When you take a hair drug test, the test administrator will cut strands off at the root in approximately 1-inch sections to be analyzed.
Blood tests are more common for medical and legal proceedings than for employment because they are invasive and should only be conducted by a medical professional to ensure safety.
About two vials of blood will usually be drawn and must be tested in a lab. Saliva
Saliva tests are quickly becoming a favorite method for testing among employers because they are more difficult to fake and require a minimal invasion of privacy.
These are usually conducted using a mouth swab and can be tested on-site for quick results.
Drug Test Detection Times
Detection times are one of the most variable aspects of drug testing. Tests can detect drugs under any time frame from a few hours to ninety days, all depending on the type of test, as well as the amount of cannabis you consume and the way your body metabolizes substances.
How Long Does Weed Stay in My System
Weed will stay in different parts of your system for various lengths of time.
Under ordinary circumstances, weed will stay in a person's system for approximately one day to one week, assuming that person is not an extremely heavy user.
Weed can be detectable in your urine for a minimum of three days, but for most people, it will stay detectable for about a week. In extreme cases, though, weed can remain in your urine for a whole month or even longer for extreme users.
Hair tests are notorious for having the longest detection time of all testing methods. Weed can be detected in your hair for ninety days.
On average, weed will only be detectable in blood for a few hours to a few days because most people metabolize drugs in their blood quickly. However, though rare, it is possible for weed to build up in your bloodstream and remain detectable for as long as fourteen days.
Saliva has a short detection time of about three days. Your detection time could be even shorter than that if you have other factors working in your favor if you are an infrequent user.
As mentioned, your detection time is based on other factors along with the type of test being administered.
One of the main factors in your detection time is your toxicity level. This is the amount of weed that will be in your system, based on how often you consume cannabis products, how much you typically consume, and the concentration of THC in the products you consume.
For example, someone who smokes once at a party will be toxic far less time than a daily dab hitter. Someone who chain-smokes their vape pen will have weed in their system potentially longer than someone who enjoys the occasional joint. Consumption and concentration play a considerable role in how long weed stays in your system.
Your body is another important factor in your detection time. You're not likely to metabolize drugs as quickly if you have a high BMI.
Things like exercising and keeping a healthy diet will help boost your metabolism so that weed can pass through your system more quickly.
Passing a Drug Test First Steps
If you have a drug test coming up, you need to know where to start to make sure you pass your test.
The very first thing you need to do in preparation for your drug test, under any circumstances, is to stop consuming drugs.
There are many things you can do for yourself before your drug test, but none of those measures will be able to detox your body if you're still putting more toxins into it.
Determine Your Timeline
The next step is to develop a plan by figuring out the timeline you're working within. If you can, try to figure out the type of test you'll be taking. Most employers and agencies will be upfront with this information.
Consider your toxicity level to determine where you'll fall on the detection time range for your type of test. Are you a frequent user with a high BMI? Then you will be looking at the longer end of the average timelines.
Look at the date of your test, and use the highlighted factors to determine if it is realistic to detox naturally or if you should plan on utilizing detox products to get clean in time.
Passing a Urine Drug Test
Now that you know the most important factors going into your drug detection window let's look at how to pass your urine drug test according to your timeline.
If you have a month or more before taking a urine drug test, natural detox methods should suffice. Your body's natural detox system will run its course during this time.
To support your detox process for better results, you should stay hydrated and eat a clean diet without sugar, high fats, and chemicals. And again, you must stop consuming drugs during this time.
If you're a frequent user of cannabis, you can't be sure that you'll naturally be ready to pass your drug test in two weeks. If that is all the time you have, we recommend using a ten-day detox program for a guaranteed permanent cleanse.
While you're using this detox program, make sure to follow the natural detox advice, as your body will still need all the support it can get.
Even if you're only an infrequent user, getting ready to pass a urine drug test in just one week is a little dicey. We recommend using a five-day detox program to ensure passing results for a one-week timeline.
Like the ten-day option, it will permanently cleanse your system, but this one will have you ready to pass your test in half the time. Still follow the advice for supporting your system during your detox.
It simply isn't possible for anyone to naturally be ready to pass a urine drug test in just one day. If you're on such a tight deadline, you will need a fail-safe detox kit. This does not offer a permanent cleanse, but it does offer a same-day cleanse.
Once you get past the drug test, if you're still interested in detoxing, you can focus on the natural detox processes we described.
Passing a Hair Drug Test
If you're taking the dreaded hair test, you'll need to take extra measures to make sure you pass.
Using Detox Shampoo
It may seem tempting to shave your head to make it impossible for the test administrator to get a hair sample, but that would do you no good. If you have no hair on your head, the hair samples will just be taken from somewhere else; they can be taken from your face or body.
You're better off just leaving the hair on your head and using a cleansing shampoo and conditioner. This will not permanently cleanse your hair of any indication of drug use, but it will remove toxins in one hour and last for one day, which is enough time to have the hair sample taken. Luckily the cleansing shampoo is safe to use on chemically treated and colored hair.
You use this product a little differently than you would any other shampoo, so make sure to follow directions closely and be ready to avoid laying your head down before the test, as this can minimize the effects of the shampoo.
Further, we recommend using this shampoo on body hair as well if your test administrator decides to take that hair instead.
At-Home Drug Testing Remedies: Do's & Don'ts
Some at-home remedies work better than others, while some do more harm than good. Either way, none will be helpful unless used correctly.
Cranberry juice helps your body expel fluids more quickly and supports your kidneys and bladder, supporting your detox. But, support is all it offers; cranberry juice is not strong enough to be used alone for detoxing.
Some people swear by using Certo as a natural laxative to flush THC from your body, but it's hit or miss; for most, it doesn't affect THC content whatsoever. If you overuse it, you could be risking medical complications like dehydration and severe stomach pains.
Your body produces this chemical naturally, but taking it as a supplement is believed to give your muscles more energy for exercising, something that is great to do while detoxing, and alleviate some of the symptoms of withdrawals like body aches and depression.
In theory, that would make creatine very helpful while detoxing, but there is no proof of it providing results that shows this will help you pass a drug test.
This is a very dangerous route because, in a lab especially, fake urine will be noticeably different from real urine. If you're caught using fake urine in your drug test, you could be facing serious legal ramifications.
Like using fake urine, the consequences of using another person's urine for your drug test could be very severe. It may not be quite as easy to catch as fake urine, but there are still many ways you could get caught. It isn't worth it.
Diuretic medication, also known as water pills, pulls excess fluids from your body and releases them through waste. These are thought to be immensely helpful during a detox because they improve kidney and liver function, increase the amount of waste being removed from your body, and dilute your urine.
But, they can dilute your urine too much, causing alarm bells to go off when the urine is tested. Additionally, they don't have enough strength to detox your body for a drug test.
Goldenseal is an herbal supplement often used to treat digestive issues, and a functioning digestive system is important for a successful detox. Unfortunately, goldenseal itself cannot break down THC and thus is not a successful detox method.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It's a popular idea that apple cider vinegar can remove toxins from your body. While this may be true to a minimal extent, too much apple cider vinegar can irritate your stomach and make your detox process more difficult. In any case, it alone cannot flush all the THC from your body to pass a drug test.
Using baking soda to pass a drug test is antiquated advice. People would drink it with the intent of making their urine more alkaline, masking toxins. However, this old trick is no match for modern technology and will do nothing to help you pass with current drug testing methods.
Bleach is dangerous for detoxing because it is highly toxic. The logic is that bleach will cleanse your system of toxins, but there is no evidence of this working, and you would be risking serious bodily harm by ingesting it.
The Macujo Method involves mixing several harsh ingredients and cleansing your hair with it to remove traces of THC. This can be somewhat dangerous, and instructions dictate you wear protective equipment for your hands and eyes. This method sometimes works, but it is not guaranteed, and the harsh ingredients can damage your hair.
Using an At-Home Drug Test
If you want to do a test run to see if you'll pass your urine drug test before the real thing, you can use an at-home drug test. To use, you will fill a cup with urine, and then put the provided testing stick in the urine and wait for the lines to appear, indicating positive, negative, or invalid results.
It is best to complete this test about a day or two before the official test (as long as you have the time) so you have the opportunity to take on other detox methods if the test comes back positive.
If your test comes back invalid, this could be a problem as well. This may mean that your detox methods have diluted your urine so much that conclusive results can not be reached. Remember, this is especially possible with water pills!
If your official test comes back invalid, it could buy you more time by creating a reason to reschedule the test. Or, it may harm you by indicating to the test administrator that your urine has been tampered with somehow. This could be grounds for revoking a job offer and even lead to legal issues.
Drug Test FAQ
Let's resolve some of the main concerns and rumors going around about drug testing.
Can Second-Hand Smoke Show on a Drug Test?
Second-hand smoke may show up on saliva tests if you breathe a lot in through your mouth. But, it is not likely to remain detectable after one hour.
Marijuana smoke can also stick to your hair and show up in a hair follicle test, but you should be able to get rid of it by washing your hair.
THC can only show up in your urine or blood if your body metabolizes it. It is improbable for second-hand smoke to get to that point; it is only remotely possible if you are in a room with no airflow and are close to the person smoking for a while.
If this happens, you would have the lowest toxicity level, and the THC will only be detectable for a very short time.
Do Poppy Seeds Show on a Drug Test?
Poppy seeds can cause you to falsely test positive for opioids. Like other substances, the number of poppy seeds you consume influences how long they will stay in your system.
On average, poppy seeds will be detectable as opioids two hours after consuming them, and they remain detectable for about two days. But they can be detectable up to three days after you eat them if you consume a large amount.
If you have a drug test coming up in the next few days, take extra care to check for poppy seeds in the ingredients of everything you'll be eating.
How Long Does it Take to Get Drug Test Results?
This depends on the type of drug test and whether it is conducted on-site or in a lab. The most common drug tests to complete on-site are urine and saliva, which yield almost instant results.
Blood and hair tests will almost always be conducted in a lab, and urine and saliva tests will typically be sent to a lab to confirm positive results from on-site testing. Labs usually have drug test results ready in one to two days.
Can I Refuse a Drug Test?
You can refuse a drug test in most cases, but sometimes refusing the test is just as bad as failing it.
If a prospective or current job requests that you take a drug test, it is almost certain that your getting or keeping that job is contingent on you passing the test. If you believe you have no chance of passing your drug test, you may refuse to avoid consequences from the law, but you'll almost definitely lose that job.
Refusal of drug testing gets a bit more complicated when the test is mandated for legal reasons. There are some cases, for example, custody battles, that are similar to prospective jobs in the sense that you can refuse, but that may mean a great loss. In other cases, refusing a drug test could be punishable by a fine.
In extreme situations, such as car accidents where someone was hurt or killed, you may not have any choice in taking a drug test.