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Meds Drug Testing


Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

By HIGH TIMES May 24, 2017



UPDATE 2017: HIGH TIMES has updated the intro of our Drug Testing 101 guide with the five most important things to know if you have to pass a drug test. But don’t worry! The rest of the old manual is still here—just keep reading!

1. Know What Type Of Drug Test You Are Taking

By far, the most common type of drug test is still urine analysis. This test can be performed privately at the workplace (you are given a test strip and sent to the bathroom), or employers can send you to a 3rd party lab to submit your urine sample, in which case the test might be monitored by a lab employee. Although less common, certain employers use hair, blood and saliva testing to detect the presence of drugs in your system.

2. Know What Types Of Drugs Are Tested For

Marijuana—THC, CBD, oils, tincture and, yes, edibles—can all be detected on a drug test.

Other drugs that are regularly tested for include: cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP), MDMA, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and propoxyphene.

3. Know How Long Marijuana Stays In Your System

As you probably already know, everyone’s body reacts differently to marijuana use. Main factors include when you last partook, how often, potency, body fat, weight and metabolism.

If you are a regular user, marijuana can stay in your blood and urine as long as 90 days after usage. On average, most people in good health can usually get clean in 30-45 days. If you smoked once over the weekend with a friend for example, pot can be out of your system in as little as two days, although on average it can take up to 10 days. Most other drugs can stay in your system from a few days up to a month in extreme cases.

Hair tests can detect THC and other substances in your head and body hair for months or even years after usage, depending on the test—although most labs take a 1.5 inch sample of head hair, which detects usage back roughly 90 days.

4. Know The Risky Options When Attempting To Pass A Drug Test

There is a lot of misinformation out there about the following options for passing a test and most of them are very risky, dangerous to your health, detectable by testing labs or simply don’t work.

Home Remedies – niacin, bleach, Certo, vinegar, Goldenseal, cranberry juice: Don’t Work and Dangerous

Synthetic Urine – Using synthetic urine for your test: Risky

Dilution – Diluting your sample with an adulterant: Detectable

Substitution – Substituting someone else’s urine for yours: Risky and Detectable

5. Know Your Options When Cleansing Your Body For A Drug Test

The safest and most common way to pass a drug test is to cleanse your body of drugs and be clean for your test.

Detox Naturally

If you have 30-45 days before your test, you can usually cleanse your body of marijuana by abstaining from use, lots of liquids, diet and exercise. Your body’s own detoxification process will cleanse your blood and urine naturally over time. THC is fat soluble, which means the traces of it are stored in your fat cells and remain in your system over time depending on the factors we listed above. If you are going to cleanse naturally, actual diet and exercise are highly recommended.

Cleanse Using a Detoxification Program

If you have at least seven days before your test, a detoxification program will speed up the body’s natural cleansing process and can help rid your body of the THC in your system in about a week. These programs also come with home testing kits to verify you are clean.

Cleanse the Same Day

If your test is coming up sooner, certain detoxification drinks are known to flush your system the same day you drink them keeping you clean for a period of four to six hours.

According to Thomas Dobie, who used to work in a drug testing lab, you’d have to be an idiot to fail a drug test for cocaine. “Cocaine, honestly, if you do it infrequently — maybe on a Friday night when you go out with your friends — it’s only in your system for 24 hours,” he says. A chronic abuser would have the drug in his system a little longer than that, Dobie estimates, perhaps 48 to 72 hours. (Most available resources support his claims, although a few suggest that a very heavy user could have evidence of the drug in his or her system for 10 to 22 days.)

There are a lot of idiots out there, though. Some of them, in fact, are trying to get into the drug-testing business. Dobie worked for Kroll Laboratory Specialists, a Gretna, La., drug-testing lab. He recalls a time when a prospective co-worker failed a pre-employment drug test. “We had someone come in and interview with us and they were a great candidate — great GPA, came from a great university,and they failed for cocaine.” Dobie figures the candidate had probably done cocaine very shortly before the interview. “If you’re going to get a job at a drug-testing lab, and you do cocaine the night before, you’re the biggest idiot I’ve ever met,” Dobie says.

That goes for the rest of you, too. The best way to beat a drug test is simple, cheap and easy: Don’t do drugs in the weeks leading up to the test. And there’s a pretty good chance you’re eventually going to have to take a drug test. According to a 2004 American Management Association (AMA) study, 61.8% of companies surveyed said they test employees for illegal substances. Some might say that’s for good reason, as three out of every four current illicit drug users in the United States are employed, and companies are losing roughly $81 billion a year in lost productivity due to drug use, according to the Department of Labor.

While random tests are common at some employers, particularly in safety-sensitive industries like transportation, you’ll most likely get sufficient advanced warning about a drug test. According to the AMA study, 52.5% of workplace drug tests are used to make decisions about hiring an applicant, and 8.5% are used in decisions to assign or reassign employees.

Marijuana will stay in your system the longest and will require the longest period of detoxification. Depending on the source of your information (and there are many available online), marijuana can be detected in your system for a few weeks and up to a couple of months (12 weeks was the most generous number we found) after last use. As with most drugs, it will remain in your system longer with habitual or chronic use. Dobie estimates that a typical, frequent marijuana user will have evidence of it in his or her system for about three weeks. So, erring on the extreme side of caution, it’s probably best to refrain from smoking pot three months prior to testing. Also, it’d be a good idea to remove the picture of you doing a bong hit from your FB profile.

If you’ve decided to smoke, snort or inject yourself silly regardless of impending tests, there are other ways to pass, and those fall into two main categories. First, you could alter your own sample by flushing your system of the evidence of drug use or by adding something to your urine in the time after you pee into a cup, but before you hand it in.

Second, you can use urine that isn’t your own. During his time at Kroll, Dobie saw his fair share of altered samples. The laboratory would catch many of them. So, consider this a lesson: Don’t just add something to your urine, especially if that something is an everyday household product. Regardless of what that dude you smoked with last Saturday night told you, more times than not, you will get caught. In fact, a sample with additives will often be apparent to a tester’s naked eye. “I don’t know what the hell they put in it, but they’ve given us purple and green pee. I mean, it’s ridiculous. People will add anything, they’ll try vinegar. They’ll add anything under the sun,” Dobie says.

Some people believe that soaps, particularly dishwasher detergent, will make a sample test negative. In reality, it may doom you from the start. Even if something like detergent doesn’t change the color of your sample (which would almost certainly raise a red flag), it may cause it to bubble when transported or transferred to a test tube. And obviously, a scientist will be suspicious of bubbling piss. Any such irregularities in a sample would require additional tests. “We had a special test to see if there were any sufectants (such as dish detergent) in a sample,” Dobie says.

Oh, and bleach won’t help either. It’s likely that scientists will know you’ve added it, and besides, Dobie says you’d likely still test positive for the original drug use. “It’s not going to do anything. You’re still going to fail.” As for that dude you smoked with on Saturday, his story isn’t necessarily bogus. There is some chance that an additive will work. Dobie recalls a sample that testers believed to be positive, but an unknown substance prevented a positive confirmation. “We knew damn right they were positive, but we couldn’t get it within the right limits to actually legally confirm it,” Dobie says.

Instead of trying to mask a urine sample that will likely test positive, you could try flushing your system of the toxins that cause a sample to be positive in the first place. In other words, drink lots of water before your test, and urinate frequently. Many drug-test veterans we spoke to suggested that this was the best way to pass a test. One employee of a major Hartford insurance agency suggested a special drink, available at stores like GNC. It’s one of many products that promise to help the “flushing” process along. A visit to a GNC and a Vitamin World at the Westfield Shoppingtown Mall in Enfield found such a product, along with pills and special shampoos (for hair tests). It’s best to find the products yourself, as store clerks would not help us when we specifically asked for drug-testing products. You’ll know when you’ve found the right stuff.

A college student from Westchester County, NY, swears by some pills he bought at Mrs. Greens Natural Market, which he took along with copious amounts of water and topped off with one glass of milk. “I smoked marijuana basically every day until five days prior to the test and then I took the pills the day of the test,” the 20-year-old, who was looking to work last summer as a wine clerk, says. “After a few weeks went by, I found out that I got the job.” Dobie isn’t sure which products work and which don’t, but he does say it is possible to flush your system enough to avoid failing a test. “If you do habitually smoke marijuana, and you’re told you’re getting tested in two days, then hell, in my situation, I’d try everything there is out there and flush my system as much as I possibly could,” he says. However, whether you just drank lots of water or juice, or supplemented that process with something from your friendly neighborhood vitamin store, it will likely be apparent to drug testers. Your urine will be clear–and that’s a sign that you’ve flushed your system. Such a sample may also be flagged for additional tests to make sure it isn’t just water.

So, while flushing your system may save you from a failed test, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pass, either. Regardless, you’ll likely have more time to detoxify before a retest, although that retest may be stricter and more closely monitored. “It’s a little suspicious, but chances are they can’t fire you unless you really test positive,” Dobie says. For the really brave (or really desperate), you can also try submitting a sample of someone else’s (presumably drug-free) urine. If you’re able to pull it off, it’s the most dependable way to pass the test.

After all, a scientist like Dobie just sees a sample in a test tube. There’s no test to match the piss to the pisser. “If you can just tape some kind of test tube with a friend’s urine in it to your thigh so it’s about as warm as your natural body temp, then you’re going to pass,” Dobie says. However, it’s not the easiest thing to pull off. Some tests are preceded by a pat-down and others are literally observed (read: someone watches you pee) by the test administrator. Many samples are immediately checked for temperature. There are products available to deceive monitors in the case of an observed test (read: a fake penis that dispenses a clean urine sample) and they’re available online.

Last May, Onterrio Smith of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings was briefly detained by airport security when one such device known as “The Original Whizzinator” was found in a bag he was carrying. If you’re not confident of your friend’s ability to give you a clean urine sample, Dobie says that’s not a problem, either. You can just make your own synthetic urine. He suggests that if you knew the proper amounts, maybe by consulting a chemist, you could combine water, yellow food dye and creatinine (a breakdown product found in all mammals’ urine) to make a passable urine sample.

We say: Good luck finding creatinine. By doing so, you’d create a substance similar to Kroll’s double-blind samples, which are synthetically made in the lab to be used as a control in the testing process. So long as the sample contains the proper amount of creatinine, it won’t “blank out” during the test. “As long as you have creatinine and it’s yellow, you’re — excuse the pun — golden,” Dobie says. In the end, if we had to take a drug test (which we don’t) and were habitual drug abusers (which we swear we’re not), we’d stop using for the time being and try our best to flush our systems. It’s a fairly reliable way to pass a test. Even better, it’s not cheating. You’re not physically altering your urine with an additive, and you’re not passing in a sample you made with a chemistry set or that you got from a drug-free friend. You’re just speeding up a natural process.

Our Drug-Testing Friend
For a time, Dobie was a negative certifying scientist. He’d confirm that someone passed the test by looking over the data of a given sample and confirming that it tested below minimum values for whichever drugs were being tested for. Later, he began work as a positive certifying scientist. He would look at samples that initially showed evidence of drug use, add the pertinent chemicals and run it through a GCMS, or Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer. By doing so, he could confirm what a preliminary test had already shown—that a given urine sample had tested positive for a specific type of drug. “It was my job to make sure that these people were confirming positive. At that point, I’m basically saying this person is losing their job, or not getting hired, or just failed their parole, and so on and so forth,” Dobie says. Dobie left Kroll to pursue a dental career. He’s currently enrolled as a graduate student at Tulane University.

Is There a Drug Test In Your Future?
Got an addiction? Need to know how long to endure drug withdrawal to ensure a passing urine drug test? There are plenty of charts available on the Internet that tell how long a certain drug can be detected in your system, but they’re all slightly different. We’ve stolen a little bit from each of them here, but be warned: the time will be much longer for a hair test.

2 days to 11 weeks

THC can stay in your body for up to 11 weeks depending on your level of intake, your body weight and other factors.

1 to 4 days

2 to 4 days

6 to 24 hours (so just don’t be hammered while taking the test)

3 days to 2 weeks

Some Options for Cleansing Toxins Like THC Out of Your System:

Same Day
Use a fast-acting body cleanser that can help flush unwanted toxins from your system the same day.

3 – 5 days
Use a permanent body cleanser that can help cleanse your body of unwanted toxins from your system until (or unless) they are re-introduced to your body. These cleansers comes with two home test kits so you can verify that you are cleansed.

30 – 45 Days
Cleanse your body naturally over time through a lot of liquids, exercise and healthy eating in roughly 30 – 45 days. Pick up a home test kit from your local drug store to verify you are cleansed.

Any casual drug user should be in the clear after 11 weeks.

Edit Mom note: Special emphasis on 'casual' in that last statement of being in the clear in 11 weeks. I spoke to a young lady tonight who is a regular user. Or was up till 6 months ago when she became pregnant and stopped ingesting cannabis in any form. She is still testing positive 6 months later with a urine test. :yikes:
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No one wants to face a drug test, but anyone who tokes should be aware of some basic testing facts. You know, just in case.

And if a drug test is indeed looming in your future, we suggest checking out our Drug Testing 101 guide (posted above) for more in-depth advice. Regardless, you don't want to be caught blind-sided by these 7 drug testing myths.

Myth #1 – All companies will require you to pass a drug test.

Most stoners heard throughout their college and young adult years that once they enter the real world, all employers will want you to pass a drug test. While this may be true for many entry-level positions, outside of the medical and engineering fields, most employers don’t care if you do drugs or not—as long as its not on their time. There are always exceptions, however, so tread with caution and research your industry.

Myth #2 – Drinking lots of water before a test makes it harder to detect THC.

This one is less of a myth and more of a warning: While drinking water will dilute your urine and possibly make THC undetectable, it can also send a warning to the company testing you. Most drug tests track levels of creatinine, a byproduct of the digestion process. Diluting your urine will also dilute creatinine, which can be a red flag to the company and often leads to even more extensive testing.

Myth #3 – Heavy exercise before a test will help ensure a passing result.

While this may be true for the every-now-and-then smoker, if you’re a heavy smoker (and if you’re reading this, you likely are), this is only helpful if you have a few weeks before the test. When you have a month to detox, heavy diet and exercise will definitely help shave some time off your urine test, but for surprise tests or those with less time, this idea is just a hopeful myth.

Myth #4 – All drug tests are urine tests.

Urine tests are the cheapest and easiest to do in mass amounts, but not all drug tests are created equal. Hair tests are the hardest to beat (although that soon may be changing thanks to some German scientists), as they can go back 90 days and are impossible to cheat, short of shaving your head. Of course, if you’re applying for a job that cares enough to have a hair test, you probably knew it was coming. Saliva tests are for the lucky, as they only go back three days.

Myth #5 – There are homemade remedies that boost your chances of passing.

A Google search will show you crazy methods to pass your drug test using pantry items: Jello, cranberry juice, vitamins like niacin and many others. Most of these methods come from personal stories that trumpet their use, but really, they’re no more likely to help you pass than casting magic spells. (You can obliviate THC, right, J.K. Rowling?!?) While the benefit might not be exactly zero, these methods are not consistent or strong enough to place any hope in.

Myth #6 – Second-hand smoke can make you fail a drug test.

As long as you’re not hotboxing with Smokey the Bear, there’s no way you’ll inhale enough second-hand smoke to cause you to fail a drug test. Passive inhalation doesn’t bring enough THC into the system to register a positive, so no need to leave the room if someone lights up—but don’t be surprised if the temptation to smoke puts you in a dangerous situation.

Myth #7 – All weed stays in your system the same amount of time.

Urine tests measure THC, and different strains of weed have different amounts of THC. The reg from that fourth-year community college student leaves your system quicker than the Omega Ultra Kush from a Colorado dispensary. If you’re stuck with the former, thank your neighborhood dealer for his/her continued dedication to crap weed, which will help you more efficiently pass a drug test. If you have the latter, thank them for keeping you space-level high, but curse the THC levels required to do so.
I have had the salve I make put to the test and came up with a negative reading in a urine test. I'm glad to see an article that supports that finding.

Will Cannabis Lotion Make You Fail A Drug Test?

By Julie Godard | May 02, 2016

Cannabis Lotion: With marijuana’s proven reputation for pain relief, it’s no wonder that topicals (products placed on the skin) have become such big business for cannabis retailers. From lotions to balms to massage oils, cannabis products have been selling faster than some companies can produce them. According to Amanda Reiman of Drug Policy, topical cannabis products “can be extremely helpful for localized pain and inflammation.” Of course, smoking, vaping, or dabbing is also helpful for pain and inflammation – but not nearly as discreet. Topical cannabis products also begin working as soon as they are applied in most cases, and do not contain much THC, making them non-psychoactive. Without a high level of THC, these products are highly unlikely to cause a failed drug test, as long as you don’t indulge in other, traceable ways such as smoking, edibles, or dabbing.

The exception to this are transdermal patches, which will allow THC to cross over into the bloodstream and cause a positive drug test – so avoid those if you are concerned or need to get a job at a company that requires a negative test. Reiman noted that cannabis topicals are similar to rubbing alcohol – you can use it liberally on the skin, but it will never make your drunk or cause you to fail a roadside or drug test. To be safe, it would be wise to reach out to the company who produces the topical you are considering using to ask them directly.

What Types of Drug Tests Are There?
If you do use cannabis topicals and other cannabis products as well, it’s important to find out which type of drug test a prospective employer uses. You can get this information from current employees, if you know any; information on drug testing policies is also often available on websites like Glassdoor. The three main types of drug tests involve urine, blood, and hair.

  • Urine- Urine testing isby far the most common type of pre-employment drug screening. It also costs the least to administer, lending more popularity. In urine tests, THC left in fat cells is detected because it is washed out of the body through elimination. This type of test can determine use of cannabis as far back as 4 weeks, on average. If you are a heavy cannabis consumer, however, this test might determine your use even farther back.
  • Blood– Blood tests are more effective and more costly for employers, but can detect THC in the body over the prior 48 hours in most cases.
  • Hair– Hair tests are by far the most effective and detect THC metabolites in the hair follicle – these go back three months (hair tests can also show “false positives due to environmental pollution and other factors”, according to Reiman).

Discriminatory Drug Testing
Reiman noted that drug tests can be used in a “discriminatory way” that may amount to privacy violations or based on drug use assumptions by some employers – this is the type of situation you want to avoid at all costs, even if all you use is topical. Unfortunately, drug testing is still a large part of the employment game and you should always look at a potential or current employer’s drug policies to keep yourself informed. Go ahead and use that cannabis-based lotion or salve to help you with pain or other medical issues, though – you won’t test positive unless you are consuming cannabis in some other way. Another good idea is to consult the cannabis topical company and ask how much THC the product contains.
THC will show up in a drug test, but what about CBD?

Drug testing is mandatory for federal employees, and although it isn’t required in the private sector, more employers are implementing some kind(s) of drug screening. You may be asking, do drug tests target the whole plant, or just a specific component? Many constituents of hemp, such as limonene and beta-caryophellene, are found in other species of plants that do not carry social stigma from any intoxicating abilities.On the other hand, CBD is not only a non-priority of cannabis drug testing, but has a different molecular structure to THC.

To answer that question, you have to know what drug tests are designed to detect. The good news is that CBD, all on its own, won’t show up on drug tests.That’s because the chemicals used in drug tests don’t react with CBD. Drug tests just aren’t designed to detect cannabidiol. But that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.

Most CBD products and hemp oils aren’t 100 percent pure; they’re CBD-rich, but not pure, isolated CBD. As a result, most of these products contain small amounts of THC, and rigorous drug tests will detect that.

So in theory, if you took pure CBD it shouldn’t show up on drug tests. But in the real world, if you consume CBD you’re also getting small doses of other cannabinoids like THC. And since the drug screening is looking for THC, your CBD medicine could “show up” on the test.

Put simply, as long as THC is still in your body, you could fail a drug test.

Since drug tests are picking up on the trace presence of THC in your body, whether or not you pass your test depends on how much CBD you took. A small dose of CBD oil, for example, will only carry a tiny amount of THC. Small enough that the drug test might not detect it.

But if you take a large dose of CBD, those trace cannabinoids can be present in quantities large enough for a test to find. A small study found that as long as you take less that 300 mg of CBD hemp oil each day, you should be fine. Still, it’s not a guarantee.

Since most CBD products have small amounts of other cannabinoids, it’s a good idea to do your research. Figure out how much THC is present in the CBD product you’re using. Then adjust your intake accordingly.

Most research suggests that for infrequent or ‘non-daily’ users of cannabis, a typical high-dose marijuana cigarette (containing about 40mg to 50mg of THC) would result in a positive THC metabolite screen for up to two days at this cutoff level. However, for routine and regular users of cannabis, this same screen could be positive for weeks, but this depends on many factors including, but not limited to:

  • how much and how often cannabis is used
  • the metabolism of individual being tested
  • the route of administration
  • other factors such as medications used, liver or kidney disease, etc.
Other Factors That Could Make You Fail A Drug Test

There are other factors that determine whether CBD will trigger a positive on your drug screening. Besides how much you take, your individual metabolism and health, other medications you take, and how you take them, all play a role.

There’s also the “entourage effect.” That’s the complex interactions between different cannabinoids. These interactions produce different effects in your body depending on the combination of cannabinoids you consume.

In some cases, CBD ends up blocking certain enzymes in your body that break down THC. When that happens, less THC is metabolized, and more of THC will stay in your system. That could make you more likely to fail your drug test, especially if it’s a urine test.

These complex metabolic interactions mean that a person’s individual genetics come into play. So do the genetics and chemical profiles of the cannabis you’re consuming.

The dose that triggers a positive for one person might not do the same for another person. And one strain or CBD product could have a different combo of cannabinoids than another. All of these variables play a role in whether or not you pass a drug test.

The bottom line is this. CBD won’t show up on your drug test, but taking CBD-rich hemp oil could make you fail it. But even then, drug tests aren’t detecting the CBD itself. They’re finding other trace cannabinoids, most likely THC.

The safest route is to stick with what’s been proven. Look for lab-tested products that have no more than 0.3 percent trace THC and you shouldn’t have to worry about getting fired for a failed drug test.

Okay... time for a 'public service announcement!'

A friend of mine recently became a grandmother and called me up with some disturbing news. Remember the old Seinfeld episode where Elaine tests positive for opiates after eating poppy seed muffins? Well the same thing just happened to this new mother.... and child protective services have been called in. They will be testing the baby's fecal matter to determine whether or not she can keep the baby. Apparently this test shows whether or not actual opioids were involved.

While discussing the situation with the nurses at the hospital, my friend also discovered that many babies and mothers test positive for THC because of the usage of 'no tears' formula shampoos. I had never heard this and did a quick Google search. Lo and behold....

Chemicals in Baby Shampoos Lead to False Marijuana Positives

"Products that led to the false positives included Johnson & Johnson's Bedtime Bath, CVS Night-time Baby Bath, Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash and Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo."

Buyer beware!!!!
How long does weed stay in your urine?

It depends on how often and how much you smoke. Find out everything you need to know to pass a drug test.

Given the tendency of a lot of employers (and just about all probation officers) to test your urine for substances, it’s no wonder that cannabis users are worried about risking their employment prospects (or their freedom).

When there’s a lot on the line, it pays to be aware of just how long those incriminating cannabinoids hang around. Knowledge is power, and in this case it can also mean keeping your job.

How Long Does Weed Stay In Your Urine?
So, how long does weed stay in your urine? When can you finally relax? That depends on a couple things, but, mostly, how frequently you consume marijuana. The body’s fat cells bind really well with cannabis metabolites and as you consume more weed, the THC accumulates.

That means if you’re a heavy smoker, it’s going to take awhile for the weed to no longer be in your urine.

If you’ve only smoked pot one time, you can still test positive via urinalysis (a “piss test,” in the vernacular) for up to eight days. Folks who smoke two to four times a week will test positive for up to 18 days.

Regular users are usually caught via the tests for up to 30 days. And the heaviest users, yours truly included, have tested positive from 45 days to an incredible 77 days later. (Big respect to whomever that dude or dudette was, by the way.) When you ask pros, “how long does weed stay in your urine?” They’ll usually say give it three months to be safe.

How long does THC stay in your urine?
Urinalysis doesn’t test for THC itself. Instead, it looks for a THC metabolite, THC-COOH. When this stuff is present in your urine, it means your body has recently processed THC… a smoking gun, so to speak.

The bad part of this is that it can lead to people testing positive for pot a long time after they’ve used it. And the THC is going to be detectable in your pee regardless of how you consume it: joints, pipes, bongs, vapes, dabs, they’ll all get you caught for up to 30 days if you consume regularly.

And if you’re the type of marijuana consumer who does multiple dabs a day, or consumes full extract cannabis oil (as do many medical marijuana patients to control pain), your period of vulnerability to piss testing will extend well over two months. Just keep that 77-day figure in mind.


Photo via Getty Images

Why and how does THC end up in your pee?
THC, CBD, and the rest of the cannabinoids have metabolic byproducts, called metabolites. These substances are lipid-soluble, meaning they accumulate in fat deposits throughout the body. They slowly are excreted through urine over time. It’s almost as if the human likes the metabolites of THC, because rather than getting rid of them ASAP, like it does with other substances, it holds onto them as long as possible.

For comparison purposes, alcohol stays in the system up to five days; cocaine from two to 10 days; amphetamines two to three days; opioids two to five days; LSD two to three days; psilocybin up to five days; and Ecstasy (Molly) from two to three days.

Your body eliminates many waste metabolites through urine. One of those, you guessed it, is our friend THC-COOH, which science types refer to as a “carboxy.” To get rid of things like THC-COOH, the human body utilizes something called glucuronic acid, which binds to the metabolites before they pass out of the body in the urine stream.

Why urine testing specifically? Aren’t there hair and saliva tests?
Urine tests tend to be the drug test of choice for most private employers. They are also the only tests recommended by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sets standards for the drug testing of federal employees.

The urine samples are usually collected on-site, then sent to a lab to be tested.

The two main things to remember about how long THC stays in your urine.
Two main factors play huge roles in how long weed stays in your urine:

First of all, there’s your metabolic rate. If you have a faster metabolism (yes, people do vary), your body will get rid of THC-COOH at a faster rate.

The second big factor is your level of hydration. The more fluids your body is processing (i.e., the more urine you excrete), the faster weed metabolites will exit your system. For this reason, it’s good to stay reasonably hydrated in the weeks following up to your test. Don’t pound a bunch of water in the day or so before though. This can actually backfire because your pee can get so diluted that the sample comes back as unusable. In the worst case scenario, this will also cause the administrator to flag your test and force you do a supervised one next time. In the best case scenario, they’ll just ask you to come back and this will give you more time to get the pot out of your urine.

The same timeline applies to exercise. Exercise will help you break down the fat cells that are holding onto the THC so it’s good to do some working out in the weeks before the test. But (sorry) you can’t just run like a maniac 24 hours before you go in for the urinalysis. In fact, if you do this, you might increase your chances of testing positive.

Labs have pee-testing protocols.
Different labs determine “positive” differently.

The most common cutoff for urine tests is 50 nanograms of THC-COOH per milliliter (ng/mL). Cutoffs can be as low as 15 ng/mL and as high as 100 ng/mL. Each of these cutoff points, of course, results in a widely different window of detection.

Pee testing is usually a two-step process, the first step being a standard cutoff point of 50 ng/mL. Positive tests at this level are often sent off for confirmation with a more sensitive assessment that uses the 15 ng/ML sensitivity.

Oh, crap. How can I pass a drug test if it hasn’t been long enough?
For many, the real question at hand isn’t “how long does weed stay in your urine?”, but “are there ways to beat a drug test?” The short answer is yes if you’re is willing to bend the rules.

There are products available, but Google a few years ago got squirrelly about allowing them to advertise. They include detox pills and detox drinks which are made for the sole purpose of allowing you to pass a urine test after smoking marijuana.

There is also synthetic urine available, believe it or not. Fake pee isn’t exactly inexpensive, though, and you have to be quite careful with it in the event of a monitored pee testing (yes, that’s just how invasive some employers are willing to be, unfortunately).

Lots of stoners, particularly at the novice end of the spectrum, try to pass a piss test by drinking lots and lots of water to dilute the THC, with the idea of “flushing it out.” As mentioned above, two things work against you in this scenario: firstly, THC isn’t water soluble; and secondly, some tests will flag excessively diluted urine.


This Immunochromatographic Test Enables To Screen The Presence Of Cannabis Thc, Tetrahydrocannabinol, Opiates Opi, Cocaine Coc And Amphetamines Amp. The Line C Is The Positive Marker Presence Of A Pink Line Indicates That The Test Has Worked Properly. On This Sample, The Thc Test Is Positive Absence Of A Pink Line On The Grid And All The Rest Is Negative. (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

Can I use fruit pectin to pass a urine test?
There isn’t any proof it works, but some stoners do this. Fruit pectin is a starch made from the cell walls of produce. It’s often used to lend texture to jams and jellies. Well-stocked, larger grocery stores should have it.

The theory is that because fruit pectin is a natural fiber, it makes more THC exit through the bowels rather than through the urine, as it usually would.

The method goes like this:

• Mix fruit pectin with an electrtolyte drink (Gatorade, for example)

• Drink it at least two hours before a urine test. Having it one a day before the test might be a good idea as well.

• Chase that with a bottle (or two) of water and some B vitamins.

@momofthegoons - so glad to be retired. I have had to pee clean for a number of jobs in the past, really anything to do with Federal contracts for communication networks.

I found that Walgreens/CVS/the like sell test kits (apparently for parents to test their kids???) that were very helpful. Took me a full 4 weeks to pee clean the last time I did it. Perhaps longer now that I have more of a med dosing regime.

I have never found anything I believe in, or to really work, to speed up peeing clean.

I've been asked many times if the pain salve that I make will make you test positive on a drug test. I have had a friend test it (he had leftover pee strips from being on probation) and the results were negative. I found this article that verifies what I've suspected all along; the actives aren't there (THC) and that is why you aren't testing positive.

I Use Medical Marijuana in Topical Form for Pain. Will I Test Positive on a Drug Test?

Amanda Reiman, PhD, holds a doctorate in Social Welfare and teaches classes on drug policy at the University of California-Berkeley.

Dear Doctors,

I have not smoked, vaporized or eaten any marijuana in about seven months but I continue to use a topical application for pain every few days or so. Am I likely to test positive for cannabis use in a urinalysis?

Thank you,

Dear R.,

Thank you for your question. Topical cannabis applications can be extremely helpful for localized pain and inflammation. Many people like them because they work on contact and are non-psychoactive.

In theory, the same reason you can’t get high from rubbing them on your skin related is to why using topicals will not cause you to test positive in a drug test.

The THC level in topical products tends to be far lower than that in smokable or edible products. Add that to the fact that applying a topical to the skin only allows it to break the skin/muscular barrier, but not enter into the blood stream. I have not seen any reported cases of positive drug tests from topical applications and the research supports this.

However, depending where you live, there might also be transdermal patches on the market. These work similarly to nicotine patches and do contain components that allow the THC to break into the bloodstream and will cause intoxication and a positive drug test.

The topicals I am referring to only include lotions, balms, salves, and others products that contain cannabis and are rubbed on the skin.

Think about rubbing alcohol. You can rub it on various places on your body, but you will not feel intoxicated or have a BAC over the legal limit if you use it, even though it has a very high concentration of alcohol in it. However, remember that, like the transdermal patch, consuming marijuana in other ways will show up on a drug test.

Note: Since we have gotten a lot of questions about marijuana use and drug testing in general, below is an overview of the different types of drug tests and their relationship to marijuana use.

There are three main types of drug tests, urine, blood and hair tests, and saliva tests are becoming more common, especially for detecting marijuana smoking*. However, a urine test is the most commonly administered because of ease and cost.

In reality, the only thing that will ensure a clean drug test is abstaining from ingesting drugs, at least for a while, but each test is different in terms of how long you need to abstain and what the test can tell about your use history.

Urine tests can detect the THC in the fat cells, since some of it gets washed out with the urine. THC can reside in fat cells for up to 4 weeks, sometimes longer if the person consumes large amounts of marijuana.

In a blood tests, THC is usually eliminated from the blood within 48 hours, however, blood tests are costly and harder to administer so they are not used as often. Hair follicle tests work by detecting THC metabolites that have been passively diffused from the blood stream to the base of the hair follicle. Hair follicle tests can detect drug use within the past three months, including patterns of use. However, they often show false positives due to environmental pollution and other factors.

Drug tests can be administered in a discriminatory way that many times includes violations of privacy and an assumption of drug use leading to negative consequences. However, in today’s world, it is a part of many opportunities for employment, athletic participation and part of criminal justice sanctions.

Whether you support the idea of drug testing or not, the consequences of having a positive test can be far reaching and detrimental.


Amanda Reiman, PhD.

*A less commonly used method is the sweat test in which a small square patch is worn on the body for an extended period of time and then tested. This test is usually reserved for those in prison, on probation/parole and military personnel.

Dr. Malik Burnett is a former surgeon and physician advocate. He also served as executive director of a medical marijuana nonprofit organization. Amanda Reiman, PhD, holds a doctorate in Social Welfare and teaches classes on drug policy at the University of California-Berkeley.
Hi everyone,

I need some help please. I have decided to stop caravaning and come home for a bit. Whilst at a chemist's a purchased a 'home drug test', and I was off the charts positive.
I'm concerned that I may be asked to take a drugs test within days, or hours, of an interview.
Has anyone used 'synthetic urine'? I see it comes in different forms such as powdered and ready to go. Any considerations would be wildly appreciated.
Has anyone used any products from the www.passyourtest.com site?

Thanks for posting the above articles @momofthegoons
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So now I can believe a former workmate that told me he stopped using MJ and started taking Acid Trips to get around the drug tests, I always thought he was a mad man, but now it looks like he was right!

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