If you’re a regular user of cannabis, you may be worried that your employer will at some point ask you to take a drug test. This practice has become increasingly prevalent over the last few years, so much so that the THC detox has actually become a thing.
But can the range of THC detox drinks and home remedies available actually improve your chances of passing the office drugs test?
At Seedsman, our team has been taking a much closer look at the options.
The Rise of the Corporate Drugs Test
Go back a decade or so and the only businesses that actively tested for drugs were those where people’s lives could be put at risk. That included construction companies, people working in government agencies like the FBI, and those providing frontline services such as doctors and nurses. Even then it wasn’t a given.
Apart from the testing of athletes, the general public was often blissfully unaware that drug testing existed and most of us were pretty much left alone.
That’s changed in recent years. Businesses of all kinds have introduced mandatory drug testing, both on the spot and for new employees when they first start work. If you haven’t had the time to implement a serious THC detox, that could spell trouble if you’re a regular cannabis user. Of course, advocates are going to say it is a good thing. The Safety & Health Magazine recently reported that positive tests were at a 13 year all-time high. Nevada, once it legalized cannabis, saw a stunning 43% rise in positive THC results among staff.
Many companies may not carry out spot drug testing but they will ask any new employee to provide them with a urine sample for examination. Failing that test can mean you don’t get the job.
Whether you agree with businesses drug testing their employees or not, it’s here to stay and it’s something most of us have to live with.
So what are the options? Can you really beat the test by drinking certain beverages? Can lemon juice make you THC negative? Is cranberry juice or coffee the best solution?
What Drug Tests Look For
When you take cannabis, either through eating something, smoking or vaping, it gets broken down in your body. The metabolites that are produced are basically the evidence that shows you have been using cannabis. In this case, the metabolite is THC-COOH. Tests for drugs like alcohol and cocaine look for different ones.
There are three main ways of carrying out a drug test. You can provide a urine sample, have blood taken or a hair follicle can be tested.
The most common one for businesses is the urine test as it’s basically the easiest to collect.
Can A THC Detox Really Increase Your Chances of Passing?
There is a caveat for any type of detox drink that is supposed to rid you of the signs of THC in your blood. There’s a lot that can affect how much shows up. Much depends on who you are, including your genetics, your metabolism, how much you weigh, whether you are a regular user or not and the medium being used to test you.
As you might expect, drugs testing processes are a lot more advanced than they were just a decade ago. In other words, it’s increasingly difficult to get away with things. Having said that, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that many of these THC detox drinks have worked for individuals.
Unlike alcohol, THC can stay in your body for weeks, if not months, depending on your level of usage. THC metabolites have what is called a half-life. That essentially means that after a period of time the level of metabolite in your body falls to half the initial amount.
In the case of THC this takes about a week to achieve. Another week after this and the THC level has fallen by a half again. That means it could take as long as four weeks to get significant signs of THC out of your body.
Here’s the important point, however: It only reduces by half if you abstain from putting more cannabis into your body. In other words, to fully do a THC detox you need to abstain. If that’s made the hairs prickle on the back of your neck, then you’re not alone. It can make it difficult to detox at all. The other issue is time and whether drug testing is sprung on you, giving you little or no option to do a detox in the first place.
There are various drinks that can help you reduce the amount of THC in your body, at least give the impression you have less. Because most businesses use urine testing as their basic model, that should be an advantage because it’s something you can actually affect.
Here are the basic facts that you need to remember:
- A frequent user can show up a positive test nearly two weeks after their last cannabis use.
- Heavy users can take up to 2 months to get the THC out of their bodies.
- Many businesses set a minimum level for THC (for example, 50mg/ml).
That means you need to get below this and not necessarily simply test positive for THC – our advice is check your company’s drug policy and what the guidelines are. They may be worried about heavy usage rather than someone who is an occasional cannabis user, particularly in states where recreational use is legal.
The Top THC Detox Drinks
Some of these drinks may work for you, others might not. Other factors can play a role such as how much fat you are carrying around, your metabolism, how fit you are and how often you take cannabis and what strength. You should always combine any detox process with a period of abstinence.
The most commonly used ‘cure’ for too much THC in your system is plenty of water. It dilutes your urine and consequently the amount of metabolites in it.
The trouble is that most labs have caught on to this practice and can easily spot someone who is trying to fool them. You can increase your chances of not being spotted by taking creatine and B vitamins with your water about an hour before your test. The former is depleted in diluted water and the vitamins will add a little colour to your urine.
This is not a full-proof solution but it is the easiest and quickest to implement. If you’ve had a drug test sprung on you, it’s your best chance for a THC detox and the all-clear.
2. Lemon Juice
Pick any detox plan on the planet and the chances are it will involve lemon juice at some point. It’s the darling of health gurus and yoga teachers and is thought to help the liver metabolise and get rid of waste among other things.
The general method is to squeeze a lemon into some water and drink it carefully over a period of a couple of hours. This works better if you have a week or so until your drugs test – you really need to do it every day up until then. And abstain at the same time.
You’ve probably reacted with a huge a sigh of relief once you reach this point. Coffee can help with a THC detox? The answer is maybe. Coffee is a diuretic. In other words it makes you go to the toilet more and that can help get rid of THC metabolites before you go in for your test.
4. Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is another darling of the health industry. It’s full of antioxidants and is great for flushing out the kidneys. There isn’t a lot of research evidence behind the success of the juice, however, as it does seem to work for some people rather than others.
5. THC Detox Drinks
The drug testing at work craze has led to a growth in the THC detox drinks market, especially in the US where many states have made cannabis use legal. Some of these are specially formulated for cannabis, others are focused on all sorts of drugs. They boast super-fruits and various antioxidant and body cleansing properties and chemicals.
That doesn’t mean a quick drink is going to get rid of your THC problem in the blink of an eye. Our advice is to check out the reviews and try products that are focused on THC rather than drugs in general.
Other Reasons for Detoxing
Being tested at work is not the only reason why you should consider a THC detox. It’s good for your health to take a break every so often, especially if you are a regular or heavy user. If you’re spending a week detoxing, we suggest drinking plenty of water, eating fresh, healthy food and doing plenty of exercise.
It may sound old school but it actually works.