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Drug Test at Work? A Guide to Getting THC Out of Your System

Drug testing at work is becoming more and more popular, particularly for certain sectors and industries where in the past it has been ignored. While cannabis may be legal in many states, you might not want your boss to know that you have been using it either.

Getting the THC out of your system is, of course, not an exact science. Even if you know how it behaves and understand the steps to take, you can’t always be sure that you are fully prepared for your next drugs test.

EZ Test Kits offer easy-to-use kits designed to test the purity of certain drugs.

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Many people simply want to give themselves a detox and re-center their systems. The following hints and tips should help you as well.

Why Drugs Tests Have Become More Popular At Work?

Many industries have had drugs testing for years. That includes reputable construction firms and the reason of this is fairly evident. It’s dangerous to be high when you’re handling heavy machinery or helping build a skyscraper.

In recent years, more corporations have added drug testing to their HR processes. While it’s used to reduce the number of accidents at work, there are other reasons for introducing it into any particular business.

One reason is that we’ve all become a lot more health conscious. You’re seeing more drug testing in the corporate environment simply because many businesses now run health and wellness programs. If a test does show THC in your system it doesn’t mean that you’ll immediately get the can. It could mean you’ll get advice on being more health conscious or a lecture on the dangers of drugs.

While it can be a big pain, employers have the right to ensure that their employees are not abusing substances that may put their reputation or other staff at risk.

What Does a Drugs Test Involve?

There are three different methods for testing for drugs in your system. The first and most common is a urine test. You pee into a plastic cup and your sample gets sent to the lab. The other two methods are either a blood test or a hair follicle test.

Most labs are looking for a certain level of THC (or other drug) in your bodily fluids. They’re often not actually worried that you took cannabis at all but that you are using it regularly enough for it to show up in your test.

For cannabis, they will be looking for a metabolite (a product that is left once your body has processed the drug). In this case, it’s something called THC-COOH and they’ll check to see if this metabolite is over a certain level, for example, 50mg/ml.

How Long Does THC Stay in Your System?

The big question, before we get round to discussing how to get THC out of your system, is how long it hangs around in your body. The bad news is that it lasts a lot longer than alcohol and that’s what causes problems for anyone who uses cannabis.

Each metabolite has what is called a ‘half-life’. That basically denotes the length of time it takes for half of the THC metabolite to disappear from your urine or blood. In the case of cannabis, it’s about seven days.

But what does this actually mean?

After seven days, half of the THC will have left your body. In another 7 days another half will have disappeared. This continues until there is nothing but a trace of the metabolite left.

It takes, on average, about 4 to 5 weeks for you to be almost completely free of the THC-COOH but (and this is the important part) only if you don’t use cannabis at all during this period.

For cannabis lovers, this presents a significant problem. First, most people don’t get 4 weeks’ notice that a test is going to be carried out. If you’re a regular user, it may also take a lot longer for the THC to exit your system as levels will build up over time. If you’re a reasonably heavy user, it could take as long as three months to get all the THC out of your system in order to pass a drug test at work.

There are other factors that could impact on your THC levels apart from the quantity you regularly consume:

  •  If you have more body fat, THC metabolites can be stored in these giving you a higher reading.
  • Your metabolism, or how fast you burn carbs, can influence how quickly you remove the THC from your system.
  • How you take your cannabis can also make a difference. If you are using concentrates, for example, you may be dosing higher levels of THC than if you smoke or ingest consumables.

The good news is that there are some ways to flush the THC out of your system though the effectiveness of these can vary from person to person.

Getting THC Out of Your System: A Guide To The Most Common Ways

If you have an upcoming drugs test, our advice is not to panic. Do you research and check your company policy to find out what levels they accept and what your rights are.

If you are a regular user and already believe you’re beyond help, make sure that you quit using cannabis before the test even if you’ve only been given short notice.

Drink Plenty of Water

This is probably the simplest method and doesn’t take much effort. It’s the only choice if you have a drugs test sprung on you and don’t have any time to detox. Flushing involves drinking as much water as possible to hopefully dilute your urine and get some of the THC metabolites out of your body.

There is one slight problem, however, with this method. Drug labs are usually pretty quick to identify when someone has been taking in lots of water. The urine is a lot clearer for a start. There is one popular way around this and that’s to take a creatine (this is low in ‘diluted’ urine samples) and a couple of B2 or B12 tablets. The latter should give your urine some color.

Of course, this solution not fail safe and there’s no guarantee that this approach will work but if you haven’t been given much warning of a drugs test it’s practically the only option open to you.

Detox Your Body

If you have a lot more time, it’s better to go for a full detox. That means first of all cutting out cannabis use altogether. It’s not often that you get that much warning, however. Some corporations do a drugs test before you actually join them (mainly to make sure they’re not taking on an addict), so you do have a lot more time.

Detoxing is pretty easy. Switch to a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and properly prepared foods. Avoid unhealthy snacks and stick to water if you want to see the best results.

For quicker effects, you can buy detox plans in most stores but how effective these are in ridding your body of THC quickly is not certain. Some claim to detox your body in a week and there are same day cleansers that you can take if your test is imminent. Our advice is not to trust that these will solve all your problems but as a panic measure they’re certainly worth a try.

Other Ways to Pass Your Next Drugs Test

Sometimes, of course, you have no option but to cheat. If you have a friend that doesn’t use cannabis, then you may like to borrow their urine rather than use your own. This depends on finding someone who is willing to do it for you and assumes that the collection of the urine if fairly lax in the first place.

Another option is to buy what are called fake urine sample kits. Do these work? They are supposed to synthetically resemble urine in look and composition but there is certainly no guarantee that they will fool a professional lab. The big problem is that you have to keep your fake urine warm and you need to be in a situation where you can swap it for your own sample – in most labs you probably won’t have the opportunity.

One other word of warning: If you are caught using a fake urine kit, it can be almost as bad as being found to be taking drugs. It at least shows you have something to hide!

There are a couple of other things that you can do if you believe you may only be slightly over the limit for THC or any other drug. The first is to make sure that you take the sample from mid-stream as you pee rather than the beginning or the end (where metabolites have higher concentrations). You should also avoid doing any exercise as this can help cause a spike in metabolites.

The other option, of course, is not to work for a company that requires drugs testing. Fortunately, there are still plenty about and it saves having to risk turning up positive and potentially needing to explain yourself.

Steven Meredith

Steven is a full-time freelance writer based in Wales. He joined the Seedsman team in 2018, contributing articles on a number of topics including global news, cultivation and strain profiles.

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