Do you have to take a drug test soon?
If you’re nervous about drug testing, there are things you can do to make it more likely to pass.
Here’s how to pass that next drug test.
- Why Do Companies Require Drug Testing?
- Type of Drug Tests
- Overall Factors That Can Have an Impact on Test Results
- How to Pass a Drug Test at Short Notice
- Marijuana and Drug Tests
- Is It Possible for Me to Use Marijuana and Yet Pass a Drug Test?
- When Will Marijuana Show Up on a Drug Test?
- Detoxing from Weed
- How to Pass a Drug Test With THC Detox Kits
- What to Do if You Failed a Drug Test
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Why Do Companies Require Drug Testing?
Companies require drug testing to fight drug abuse.
A workplace free of substance abuse is safer for everyone, including employees and customers.
Sober employees tend to be more productive, arrive on time, and can concentrate better while working.
Drug addiction can also lead to a high employee turnover rate.
There are no federal drug screening mandates for most private employers, but federal contractors and grantees do have a requirement to maintain a drug-free environment.
Type of Drug Tests
There are several types of drug testing available, and the exact test you take will depend on your employer’s requirements.
Urine Drug Test
The urine test is the most common drug test in the United States.
It involves screening a urine sample for drug residue.
Generally, urine testing will screen for five types of illicit drugs, which is why it is called the 5-panel test:
Some employers no longer test for cannabis, due to it being legalized or decriminalized in some parts of the country.
Employers may also choose to test for additional illegal drugs or controlled prescription drugs with urine drug testing.
For example, this panel from Quest Diagnostics can detect things like benzodiazepines in a drug specimen.
While not as common as urine tests, some employers may require a blood test to detect drug use.
Blood tests typically test for things like methamphetamine, cocaine, and opiates.
Additionally, drug tests can measure nicotine and alcohol levels.
Alcohol abuse can also negatively impact employee performance.
However, drug tests typically have a shorter detection time than urine tests.
While a urine test is a drug metabolite test, blood testing typically picks up the actual drug compounds themselves, which leave the body much quicker.
Hair testing isn’t very common either.
It can detect cocaine, opiates, marijuana, PCP, and other drugs.
However, it takes time for drug use to show up in the hair, so it’s used for testing drug use in the past 90 days, not current drug use.
Some managers use saliva testing because a mouth swab can be observed, while some employees may manage to sneak in fake urine to cheat a urine test.
Saliva testing can detect current drug use in the past few hours and up to a few days before, depending on the drug.
It can detect amphetamines, THC, benzos, opioids, and more.
Overall Factors That Can Have an Impact on Test Results
Drug detection windows can vary from one person to another, even for the same drug.
Here are the top factors that will affect your test results.
Frequency of Substance Use
Frequency of use is one of the main factors impacting drug detection windows.
If you only use marijuana once, for example, it will leave your body much quicker than if you smoke every day.
That’s because when you use a substance more frequently, higher concentrations build up in your body, taking longer to leave your body.
Your Metabolism and Health
Everyone’s metabolism is different.
If you have a fast metabolism, your body will be able to get rid of drugs quicker.
If you are one of those people who can eat whatever they want without gaining weight, you likely have a fast metabolism.
A fast metabolism is often linked with a healthy lifestyle overall, such as frequent exercise and good hydration.
Total Amount of Body Fat on Your Body
If you have less body fat, drugs will become undetectable in a shorter period.
Drug metabolites get stored in fatty tissue.
The more body fat you have, the more drugs can be stored in those fatty tissues.
How to Pass a Drug Test at Short Notice
There’s nothing scarier than when you have to pass a drug test, and you recently used marijuana recreationally.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get rid of the drugs in your body on quick notice.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking a lot of water will lead to urine dilution.
That will make it harder to detect any marijuana in your system.
Start a few hours before your scheduled test.
Drink as much water or other fluids as possible.
Exercising right before a test is counterproductive.
It can cause your body to release higher levels of THC.
Even if there are low levels in your blood, exercising can change that.
From the bloodstream, the THC will pass into the urine.
Research suggests that high levels of stress can cause you to test positive on a drug test, even if you haven’t smoked weed in a few weeks.
The same applies to dieting and a new, rigorous exercise regime.
Use a Diuretic
Diuretics help flush fluids out of your body.
As such, they will lead to increased urine, diluting the samples.
Diuretics should be used in conjunction with drinking a lot of water for optimal effects.
Marijuana and Drug Tests
A common concern we see from readers is whether marijuana will show up on drug tests.
The stigma surrounding marijuana has decreased in the past few decades, and it’s legal or decriminalized in many states.
However, employers may still test for it.
Is It Possible for Me to Use Marijuana and Yet Pass a Drug Test?
However, it depends on several factors.
Some employers no longer test for marijuana use.
If that’s the case, you’ll pass your test with flying colors.
Even if your employer does test for marijuana, you may pass if the THC in your system has already become undetectable.
That will depend on how frequently you use marijuana, the type of test, and how long ago you last smoked.
When Will Marijuana Show Up on a Drug Test?
In general, marijuana will show up for up to four hours on a blood test and up to three days on a saliva test.
However, it can be detectable for up to 30 days in your urine and up to 90 days in your hair.
Despite that, it depends on how often you smoke.
According to the Mayo Clinic, if you only smoke three to four times a week, it will usually stay in your urine for only 3-7 days.
What Happens When You Smoke Marijuana?
When you smoke marijuana, THC stimulates your brain to release dopamine.
That is what gives you the euphoric feeling after smoking.
Many people also feel relaxed, due to the presence of CBD in marijuana.
The effects can last for up to a few hours.
How Does Your Body Process THC?
THC enters your bloodstream via the lungs.
Once there, it is absorbed into fatty tissues and organs.
Your body breaks the THC down into metabolites.
These metabolites stay in your tissues for a while until they are excreted in your urine and feces.
How Long Does THC Remain in the Body?
THC can remain in your body for up to three months, but it depends on which part of your body we’re talking about.
It is detectable the longest in your hair, and excreted metabolites will also be detectable in your urine for a few days to a few weeks, depending on your usage.
Detoxing from Weed
If you’re looking for new employment opportunities, it might be a good idea to detox from weed so you can pass drug tests.
Weed isn’t addictive for most people, but it can be hard to detox if you rely on it for stress relief.
First, stop smoking or consuming marijuana in any form.
Even smoking just once can cause you to fail a drug test, especially if you were a frequent user until recently and have a drug test coming up.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Maintaining a healthy diet will help your body get rid of THC quicker.
Furthermore, it will help you stay full and relaxed all the time, avoiding stress and the need to smoke.
It’s also critical to exercise regularly.
While you don’t want to exercise right before a drug test, regular exercise is an important part of marijuana detox.
It helps get rid of fatty tissue, where THC is stored, and it will help relieve stress.
Drinking water and staying hydrated will help you maintain a healthy metabolism, which will allow you to get rid of THC quicker.
In addition, drinking water before a drug test can help dilute the urine specimen.
Care for Your Mental Health
Finally, care for your mental health.
Going off weed suddenly might cause you to feel more stressed and anxious than before.
Meditation, nature walks, a healthy sleep schedule, and time off to de-stress can all help combat that.
How to Pass a Drug Test With THC Detox Kits
THC detox kits are available online or at pharmacies and retail stores.
They claim to help you pass THC drug tests, with many kits promising same-day effectiveness.
Since there are so many of these kits on the market, it’s hard to know which ones are effective.
Vice tested three different detox kits and found that they are effective when used in the directed time window.
However, some may cause your urine to be a strange color, which may set off red flags.
Typically, you’ll have to take the drink a set number of hours before your test for it to work.
Other kits are supposed to work over several days.
What to Do if You Failed a Drug Test
Many employers will refuse to hire you if you fail a drug test.
However, some employers may give you a second chance if you can explain your results, show that you have a medical marijuana card, or demonstrate that you’re in rehab.
Reach out to your hiring manager and ask to talk things over.
Frequently Asked Questions
We see a lot of questions about marijuana use and drug testing.
Here are answers to the most common questions we see.
Is it true that alcohol aids in drug test cleansing?
That’s mostly a myth.
Alcohol is a diuretic, so it can help you pee more and dilute your urine.
However, it’s best not to drink alcohol before a drug test and instead drink a lot of plain water.
Coffee is a mild diuretic as well.
Is it possible to detox from THC using a sauna?
Some people head to the sauna in an attempt to sweat out the THC.
While sweating in a sauna will excrete some THC, the effect it will have on the THC metabolites in your urine sample is negligible.
Can you take CBD and pass a drug test?
Yes, drug tests don’t test for CBD, only for THC.
Pure CBD products won’t usually show up on a drug test.
However, CBD products may contain small amounts of THC that could theoretically lead to a positive result.
If you recently smoked weed, don’t worry.
Drink a lot of water, start eating healthy, stop smoking, and you should be good to go within a few days to a few weeks.
If you must take a test the same day, use a detox kit.
If you can’t find one, drink as much water as possible and take a diuretic a few hours before the test.