Although cannabis legalization and acceptance are becoming more and more widespread, many workplaces still have an issue with employees smoking. As a result, routine or surprise drug tests are conducted to ensure employees aren’t breaking company policy. However, many smokers in this position decide to continue smoking out of recreational preference or medical necessity. In these cases, it is important to be aware of the best ways to remove THC from the system in a short period of time to avoid failing any drug tests.

Of course, we do not advise risking your career and income, and it’s definitely not guaranteed that these techniques will work all of the time. Before we delve into some possible ways to pass a drug test, let’s check out how cannabinoids are stored in the body and for how long they stay around.

Drug Test Worry

THC METABOLISM AND STORAGE

After smoking cannabis, blood levels of THC rise. The molecule is then broken down into a variety of inactive metabolites, such as tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THC-COOH). Both THC and its metabolites can linger in the body after prolonged use of cannabis, a factor that makes it much more likely to show up on a drug test at work.

THC metabolites have a half-life of 1 week, with detectable levels decreasing by 50% at the end of this time frame. Therefore, the body can be free from traces of these metabolites within 4 weeks—if cannabis consumption is ceased.

There are numerous factors that lead to higher levels of THC metabolite accumulation within the body. Keep these in mind when smoking cannabis if future drug tests are a possibility.

The amount of cannabis a person smokes on a frequent basis is perhaps the biggest determining factor. This one really is a no-brainer: The more cannabis you consume, the more metabolites are going to be knocking around the body.

Another key factor to cannabinoid and metabolite storage is body fat level. A person with a body fat composition featuring less adipose tissue will store fewer of these molecules, and a person with increased body fat will store more. THC-COOH is stored within the fat cells of the body, meaning higher levels of adipose tissue may provide more storage room for these molecules.

Rate of metabolism also plays a large role here. Different people have varying metabolic rates. Some people can burn calories by merely sitting around, while others really struggle to lose weight even with an active lifestyle. Those with a faster metabolism will process and eliminate these substances faster.

A person's exercise regime, or lack thereof, can also influence the speed at which THC and THC-COOH are removed from the body. Fat is pulled from the cells as fuel during certain forms of exercise. THC metabolite blood levels are elevated during exercise as they diffuse from these storage cells, potentially speeding up their release from the body.

THC AND THC-COOH TESTS

THC and its metabolites can be detected in the body via numerous tests that analyse hair, blood, and urine. Urinalysis is the most common within workplaces, so the strategies below will focus on this form of testing. Cannabis use can be detected in blood samples within 12–24 hours of use, however, it can be detected in urine samples a week or more after use.

Urine tests do not detect THC itself, but instead detect levels of THC-COOH. Irregular cannabis smokers who don’t consume much may steer clear of a positive (failing) result after around a week. However, frequent and heavy users can test positive for much longer periods.

THC Urine Cannabis Test

PREPARING FOR THE TEST

Some companies will spring surprise tests upon their employees. In these instances, it’s not really recommended to smoke at all while employed in that specific position, if you really want to keep your job, that is. However, other companies conduct routine drug tests, so the employees may know the exact date. Additionally, if you are applying for a job, you’ll also have time to attempt to remove cannabis metabolites from your system in preparation for a pre-employment screening. To avoid any illusions of quick fixes and magic bullets, you need to start preparing as long as possible beforehand. Thinking you can smoke a joint the night before and somehow show up clear on the test is not how this works.

STOP SMOKING

If you are aware that you have a drug test coming up, one of the most helpful things you can do is stop smoking straight away, and don’t start again until after the test has been conducted. The aim here is to remove cannabis metabolites from the body as much as possible, or to make them as undetectable as possible. The longer you cease smoking beforehand, the more likely you are to pass the test.

DILUTE YOUR URINE

A positive reading in most tests is 50ng/ml of THC-COOH. Drinking plenty of water before filling up the vial will help dilute the urine sample and possibly get metabolite levels below this threshold. However, there is a flipside to this. Drinking too much water will provide an obviously diluted sample, potentially leading to a retest or increased suspicion. Be sure to drink quite a bit of water, but not so much to make it obvious. This is indeed a balancing act.

Be sure to pee a much as you can 24–48 hours before the test is carried out to further reduce the amount of metabolites found in your samples.

Dilute Urine In Water

TAKE ZINC

Zinc is reported to act as a urinary adulterant that can produce false-negative results in urine tests and may interfere with THC detection in urine samples for a 12–18 hour period. Taking capsules or powders of this mineral after smoking and before a test may help with your results.

DETOX DRINKS

Detox drinks work on the premise of expelling or masking the presence of THC and its metabolites within the system. Many of them use diuretic substances to make sure you are passing urine frequently. Often times, these products are quite expensive, so you could always research the ingredients and make your own concoction at home.

Detox Diet For Get THC Out Of Your Body

ACTIVATED CHARCOAL 

Another method to prepare your body for a drug test is activated charcoal. This substance is used medically to manage overdoses because it binds to various substances and helps the body eliminate them. Charcoal is derived mainly from wood and coal, and is activated using high temperatures and substances that expand its surface area. This porous substance has a negative electrical charge that forces positively charged molecules to bind to it, trapping chemicals throughout its large surface area.

As mentioned above, THC and its metabolites have quite a long half-life, meaning drug tests can render positive results even if you smoked or ate edibles a while ago. This is partly due to a mechanism known as enterohepatic recirculation. After consuming an edible, THC is broken down into the metabolite 11-OH-THC, and then into THC-COOH. This molecule is then broken down further into THC-COOH-glucuronide and eliminated from the body via the urine and stool.

However, the reason these metabolites can linger in the body for so long is because of specific bacterial enzymes in the gut that convert THC-COOH-glucuronide back into THC-COOH, which is then reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. This is known as enterohepatic recirculation.

Activated charcoal works to prevent this from happening by binding to THC metabolites including THC-COOH and THC-COOH-glucuronide. This prevents these metabolites from being reabsorbed, and they are eventually excreted.

Activated charcoal is certainly a method worth using, especially considering some of the scientific evidence that backs it up. In vitro research shows that 5mg of activated charcoal can bind to 1mg of THC-COOH or THC-COOH-glucuronide.

Charcoal Bread

HOW TO INGEST ACTIVATED CHARCOAL

The most simple way to take activated charcoal is via capsules. However, the substance can also be added to recipes such as bread, adding a unique black appearance to a loaf.

CHARCOAL BREAD RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 240g plain flour
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 50g caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons activated charcoal powder
  • 140ml warm water
  • 30g butter

HARDWARE

  • Large bowl
  • Cutting board/breadboard
  • Bread tin
  • Kitchen towel
  • Roasting tray
  • Wooden spoon

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Add flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and charcoal powder into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

2. Add water to the bowl and continue to mix until the mixture becomes dough.

3. Sprinkle flour over a breadboard and knead the dough whilst adding the butter one small piece at a time. Knead until all of the butter has merged with the dough and it becomes soft and stretchy.

4. Add the dough to a greased bread tin and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Place a roasting tray underneath the bread tin and pour boiling water into it. Place tin and tray into the oven. Return 30 minutes later to add more boiling water.

5. Once another 30 minutes have elapsed (1 hour total), carefully separate the roasting tray from the bread tin and bake alone in the oven for a final 15 minutes.

6. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool.

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