If you’ve been assigned a drug screening on short notice, the thought of it can invoke panic. Drug-testing technology has advanced such that it’s practically impossible to fake a test. A clean urine sample is all you need for a negative result and to land your dream job.
A urine test is unsettling because evidence of marijuana use can be detected anywhere from a few days to a month or more after your last dose, depending on how frequently you use it.1 Although urine tests aren’t always 100% accurate, excuses won’t help. One reason is that laboratories typically follow standard procedures which include an immunoassay test to screen samples, a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer to confirm positive results, and a testing procedure set to a specific sensitivity.
In the past, ibuprofen could produce a false positive for marijuana, while other over-the-counter medications could show up as amphetamine or other illicit substances. Current procedures have eliminated or reduced the likelihood of this happening.
Your employer has requested a urine drug test. A urinalysis is the most common way to test for illegal drugs. It is usually conducted at a clinic or laboratory; your employer will need to schedule an appointment at such a facility. Once you’re given a container to provide the sample, you may be monitored to ensure there is no tampering. The employer will get the results of the test in a couple of days.
If, for example, you’ve used marijuana in recent memory (but not in the past few days), the sample can still contain evidence of drug use. The saving grace, over other testing methods, is you have some time to prepare. Urine analyses aren’t performed on quick notice, as saliva drug tests are. Therefore, these drug test tips may help you achieve a negative result.
How to Detox
Urine tests don’t look for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, but its metabolites. Detection of THC-COOH, an inactive form of the substance, is a positive test result. An immunoassay detects this chemical by introducing an antibody that bonds with it. Although both THC and THC-COOH linger in fatty tissue, they are eliminated over time. However, this does not occur within, say, 24 hours.
Detox methods that can be effective include:
- Natural detox: There are many products that claim to detox the body, but the cleansing process can take two or three times longer for a urine test, compared to a saliva test.2 If the product is detected in a drug test, it may raise suspicion. Some detox methods are effective when combined with proper diet, hydration, exercise, and avoidance of marijuana.
- Last-minute detox: Some methods can enable you to keep drug traces out of urine until after the sample is provided. Not all are legal, or even safe. Another way is to drink plentiful fluids one to two hours before a test, but watery, diluted, clearer urine may raise a red flag. A 50- to 100-milligram dose of vitamin B-2 can increase the yellowness of your urine to counteract this concern.
- Boost fluid output: Some have used diuretics to increase urination and fluid output, which can expel traces of drugs before a test. However, prescription diuretics can be dangerous, depending on your health, and can be detected in urine samples. However, they can enable occasional marijuana users to wash themselves out within a couple of days.
- Niacin: Vitamin B3 pills may help increase fat metabolism and the rate at which compounds in marijuana are expelled. However, one must be careful because niacin can cause rashes, swelling, and other side effects.
- Other methods: Aspirin may reduce the sensitivity of certain marijuana urine tests, while a rumored remedy, vitamin C, will not help. Activated charcoal may lower metabolite levels for long-term marijuana users. The food emulsifier lecithin, herbal teas, and other products have been theoretically proposed as solutions, with mixed results.
Also, don’t provide a sample early in the morning; drug metabolites build up during sleep and will be more likely to appear on laboratory tests.
How Long Does It Take to Detox
With a urine sample, it can be a challenge to pass your drug test. If you use marijuana only occasionally, it may be undetectable in one to five days. For regular users, positive results can still occur within one to three weeks after abstaining from the drug. If you use it multiple times daily, nonactive metabolites may be detected after four to six weeks3 or even up to three months4 after use.
Passing a Urine Test
Urinalysis does not detect THC, so, therefore, it does not measure impairment or the levels of the psychoactive ingredient. Most employers have such tight anti-drug policies, they don’t care about this. You can pass a urine test by urinating as much as possible beforehand or by using a substitute—but, remember, tampering with a sample can have just as dire consequences as a positive result.
How Clear Test Helps You Pass a Drug Test
Clear Test has taken the idea of beating a drug test to the next level. Our synthetic urine, otherwise known as fake pee, mimics the appearance and chemical formula of human urine, and it contains the same substances, including uric acid, urea, and creatinine. It has even gone so far as to incorporate phosphates, sulfates, and ammonia. When used prior to the expiration date, our urine substitutes are undetectable in the laboratory.
Synthetic urine is produced by laboratories worldwide, and not just for passing drug tests. It has the same warm yellow color, creatine (which is a metabolic byproduct produced in humans), and pH level (of about 6.0 in humans).5 Chemical additives keep the samples at the same temperature as real urine. One of our products even comes with heating pads to address this factor. Therefore, laboratory technicians think they’re looking at actual clean urine.