What about the THC sticks to fat cells argument?
Armentano: The test itself is screening for metabolites, which are breakdown products of certain active drugs. The test is going to be more sensitive or more likely to detect those metabolites when the urine is concentrated. The less concentrated or the more diluted the sample is, the less sensitive or accurate the test is going to be. Consuming any sort of fluid, but particularly diuretic fluids, in the hours prior to a test is going to lead to a less concentrated sample, and thus is going to lead to a less sensitive test result. But of course, drug testing labs are well aware of people trying to dilute their urine through the use of fluids, and there’s a number of different ways they try to test to see if a sample is overly diluted or not. Again, it’s all cat-and-mouse kind of game.
Paul Armentano: This is a game of cat and mouse. There are products that work for a period of time. And then the drug testing industry becomes aware of such products, and they impose countermeasures that tend to make the use of those products obsolete. Then the industry that has sprung up to try and help people thwart drug tests comes up with new potential strategies. That sort of cat-and-mouse game has literally been going on for decades. I’d also add that most of the products available in those sort of facilities that involve consuming any sort of fluid, by and large, are simply diuretics and they may work to some degree, but they’re largely overpriced and they certainly over promise.
Barry Cooper is a former drug agent and current drug expert/humanitarian who’s been featured on VICE before. He’s been teaching how to pass a drug test for over 12 years and has a website, Never Get Busted. Paul Armentano is NORML’s Deputy Director. NORML has been a player in the marijuana legalization effort since the jump. I talked to both by phone to find out the best way to beat a drug test, if the stuff they sell at the local head shop works, and what home remedies can help beat a drug test. Here’s what they had to say.
Different metabolites have different half-lives. Cannabis is different [than] cocaine. That has to do with the makeup of the metabolite itself. Carboxy-THC is lipid-soluble. Cocaine’s metabolite is water-soluble. A water-soluble metabolite is going to be broken down and excreted as waste by the body much more quickly than will a fat-soluble metabolite. It’s literally simply the chemistry of THC that makes it present for a far longer time than it would otherwise be. Someone’s metabolic rate may influence some variation of how long that process is going to take. But at a fundamental level, drug tests are going to be much more likely to identify someone who uses cannabis as opposed to someone who uses other drugs, simply because cannabis’ metabolite is fat-soluble and most other drug metabolites are water-soluble.
I’m not an expert and I’ve never heard of a magic bullet, but from being involved with drugs, being around addicts and ex-addicts, and from my own experiences I know cocaine, heroin, and speed are all out of your system in a couple of days. The same for LSD, which I’m not even sure can be tested for. Weed is the tough one, though, especially for a hardcore smoker. THC stays in your body for up to three weeks or more if the person is hefty. It gets in your fat cells. The important thing to remember is to drink a ton of water and try to pee it out beforehand. You don’t want to give them concentrated morning piss. You want it as diluted as possible when you take the test. That’s what I’ve learned taking literally hundreds of urine tests. I’ve also written about the many ways that prisoners beat them.
Are their any over the counter or internet products you recommend?
Armentano: I wouldn’t feel comfortable endorsing any product. Particularly products that are sold over the internet.
I like to consider myself a pro on beating drug tests because I’ve passed numerous—even some close calls—while on probation, in prison, and on parole. I would have only tested positive for weed, but a dirty for marijuana could’ve sent me to “the hole” for 60 days or back to prison when I hit the street. I passed my first drug test when I was out on bond in 1991. I was getting ready to embark on a journey as a fugitive and had to pass the urine tests as a condition of my bond. But there was no way I was going to stop smoking marijuana. That was my lifeline back then. I went to the local head shop in Northern Virginia and bought a bottle of Golden Seal. I took the capsules, drank tons of water, and passed the test. One of many.
Cooper: Test Clear and Pass Your Test. I know that shit works. For the last 12 years I’ve been working to keep people out of jail. These detox drinks do that. And the detox products for the hair follicles [work also]. I’ve been doing this a long time. They work.
Some of the detoxifying drinks may work.
Luckily for them, and those of us who enjoy the occasional after-work blunt or who use marijuana to treat otherwise unmanageable chronic illnesses, there’s an entire industry devoted to beating the dreaded piss test. With enough advanced notice, there might be several ways you could go—quitting outright, subbing your dirty pee with a straight edge friend’s. But if your boss springs the news on you with only hours to spare, you’ve got pretty much one viable option: detox drinks.
But do they actually, like, work? This is a question even the most diligent Googler is wont to find. As it stands, all the available information on these detox drinks seems to be either an obvious paid promotion for one brand or another, or come from anons with usernames like Stoner4Lyfe420 on eight-year old marijuana message board threads.
There are several of these on the market, “cleansing supplements” that, at a glance, seem to be nothing more than herbal energy drinks. On the back of each bottle, the language used is deliberately vague.
“Frequent urination indicates that you are experiencing optimal cleansing.”
Karen told her to drink Rescue an hour before “cleansing time,” then refill the bottle with water twice and drink that within 30 minutes. She was then supposed to pee three times, after which she should be good to go for three to five hours. Quite a lot of work!
According to a poll released by the Society for Human Resource Management, about 57 percent of American companies subject employees to drug tests. That’s down significantly from 81 percent in 1996, possibly because employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find quality candidates who are able to pass.
It’s a light line, but it’s there.
The drug tests we purchased are pretty standard pee tests. Basically you wee into a cup, take the cap off the drug test, and then submerge the little rectangular piece at the end for about ten seconds. Results take about five minutes. The test we bought for the purposes of this experiment are used specifically to detect THC and nothing else.
For context, Jolene’s marijuana consumption is probably slightly, but not much, below average for stoners. She smokes a bowl most days after work, and blazes up two to three times a day on the weekends. Occasionally she’ll have an edible or do a dab, but says she usually sticks to traditional smoking methods—bowls, bongs, and joints. Most of these drinks caution “heavy” users to double their dosage, or go with a more concentrated version, so if you smoke more or less than Jolene, you’re likely to have different results. And none of the results we got here should be considered scientific or at all conclusive.
From the Stinger Detox to the Detoxify Xxtraclean Herbal Cleanse & Rescue Detox, we tested these detox drinks that say they’ll help you pass a urine test.