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.
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.
Photo on left from Getty Images. Right and all other photos via the author
First up, we had Jolene try out a 17-ounce bottle of Rescue Detox. According to Karen, the very sweet Applied Sciences customer service lady we reached at the “LIVE SUPPORT” number listed at the bottom of the bottle, Jolene had to avoid eating for five hours before she did the cleanse. Luckily, it was Sunday, so Jolene had just woken up from a four and a half hour nap after spending the morning smoking and eating an entire large portion of Popeye’s mac and cheese, as one does.
These drinks can be expensive—up to $60 a pop—but that’s a small price to pay when your job may be on the line. They all offer the same thing: a same-day, temporary fix for your THC-tainted piss, so long as you use ‘em exactly as directed.
When it comes to balancing a professional life with even a casual weed habit, American stoners have a delicate line to walk. Despite being recreationally legal in nine states and medicinally legal in 29, the federal ban on marijuana consumption means employers across the country have the right to refuse or terminate the employment of anyone who fails a drug test for THC.
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.
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.
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.
Amazingly, there aren’t that many drug detox drinks out there that work. If you’re a really light user like you smoke a couple of joints a week, then most detox drinks will work, as long as they contain the basic ingredients to flush the toxins out, and they contain vitamins, minerals, and creatine, to keep your urine balance natural. I’ll mention a couple to you:
It’s very easy to use, with the following straightforward instructions:
This means you must never be fooled by any detox drinks which claim to target THC. They simply cannot do that, because all a detox drink does is interact in the bladder, it cannot affect any metabolites that are yet to enter it.
But for light users, a detox drink is definitely one of the fastest ways to pass a drug test. If you’ve got a couple of days notice, then abstain, that will really help, but the most powerful detox drinks, with a moderate user, will definitely mask the toxins for a handful of hours.
Another great detox drink, from the same company who makes Sub Solution synthetic urine. I would recommend this detox drink for moderate smokers.
If you are short on time, the fastest way to pass a drug test is actually synthetic urine. I’ll talk more about the pros and cons of synthetic urine Vs detox drinks in a moment, but it is the surefire way to pass.
What it does is to flush the toxins out of your bladder, so that you have clean urine for a few hours. Now with any other sort of liquid, that would also make your sample unusual. So a detox drink that is good quality, contains nutrients, minerals and things like creatine so that your urine appears natural.
It’s really easy to use Mega Clean:
So yes you can trust detox drinks for THC masking, but only for a few hours. Plus, I want to just say here, that you can’t buy special drinks that will mask THC metabolites on their own. A drug metabolite in your urine stream, is drug metabolite, is a drug metabolite. They will all be flushed out, and if they are still in your body, they will start to reappear.
With so many people smoking weed, but employers still not giving jobs to people they detect smoking the occasional joint, it's no wonder that people are looking to use detox drinks for THC, to cover up the fact they smoke a bit of weed.