Even if you try to be very intentional about not getting into situations where your cannabis use may jeopardize a job opportunity—or stop you from getting the best price on health insurance (who knew?), there might be times when you will have to unexpectedly participate in a drug test. If you aren’t given any advance notice, there’s really nothing you can do to reverse an on-the-spot situation that will garner positive tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) results. But, if luck is on your side and you get the chance to know the date of your test, there are some things you can do to put the odds in your favor.
There are a number of factors that contribute to how much THC is present in your body at any given time including:
The most common type of drug test is a urinalysis, where your urine is examined for traces of metabolized THC. This type of test gives you your best chance at passing a marijuana screening. There’s no tried-and-true way to flush THC completely out of your system beyond abstaining altogether. However, there are some tips you can put to use to help heavily dilute, mask or greatly reduce the amount of THC that could show up in an urinalysis test.
Please keep in mind that these cannabis detox tips won’t be very effective for more in-depth tests that require blood or hair samples.
This may seem like a given, but the first thing to do as soon as you’re aware that you’ll need to take a test is stop consuming marijuana containing THC. That means no smoking, vaping, eating an edible, sneaking drops of tincture, putting on a transdermal patch—cut it all out. You’ll have to just go cold turkey on your marijuana consumption until the coast is clear.
The more time you can put between your appointment and the last time you consumed a cannabis product with THC in it, the more time you have for it to naturally exit your system. On average, it can take about three to four weeks for the body to be rid of any telltale signs of THC. That said, it can also stick around up to a few months for daily consumers. So again, the longer you can have before taking a drug test, the better your results may be.
Water will help dilute the amount of marijuana in your system. But it’s not necessary to overdo it, as heavily diluted and lightly colored urine will likely be noticeable to lab technicians. Drinking two to three liters per day in the time leading up to the drug test and at least one liter the day of the test should be enough. As well, adding some lemon to your water will aid not only in digestion but with the detoxification of your body of marijuana.
High water intake changes the natural hue of your urine and reduces naturally occurring waste chemicals that might be a red flag during testing. Taking vitamin B will help restore the yellow color while creatinine will replicate the chemical waste product produced by muscle metabolism, thereby reducing any suspicions of intentional dilution.
You can flush marijuana from your body naturally by committing to an impeccable diet full of fresh, whole foods that are high in fiber if you have the luxury of time. If you’re pressed for time, you can opt for detoxification programs or cleansers to flush out the marijuana. Meanwhile, there are companies that offer herbal regimens. Or you can head to a local smoke shop to pick up a detox or cleanser drink that will help you if you need to detox your body quickly.
Although it’s advised that people avoid exercise in the 24 hours before a testing situation, it’s a good idea to try to sweat as much as possible leading up to your test date, thereby flushing your body of the marijuana—specifically, the THC. Try to hit the sauna, go for high-energy runs or find other ways to raise your body heat and detox even more.