So what is a stoner (or casual cannabis consumer, or medical patient, for that matter) to do when all you need is a single, reliable option?
If you have to pass a drug test for weed, it is important to understand how drug tests and detoxing works in order to put yourself in the best position to pass. We broke it all down for you here so you don’t have to ask the internet anymore.
How long does weed stay in your system?
- Urine Test: 30-45 days (daily consumer)
- Blood Test: 45-60 days
- Hair Test: 90-120 days (daily consumer)
- Saliva Test: 1-7 days (daily consumer)
What factors determine the time window for THC still being in your body?
- Body Mass (BMI)
- Levels of THC in your body
The natural timeline for THC leaving your system is different for everyone, as it is dependent on a number of factors that include age, body mass, metabolism, frequency of exposure, duration of exposure, and the potency of the cannabis consumed.
For most people, it can take as long as 4-6 weeks for traces of THC from cannabis to naturally exit your system from the last point you consumed. Unlike other testable substances, THC is fat-soluble which means it gets stored in your fat cells and organs.
Generally speaking, the less frequent you consume and less body fat you have the lesser amount of time it will take you to cleanse. As you may have guessed, the more frequent and concentrated your consumption is and the higher your body fat levels are will have the opposite effect, making it a longer process to getting THC out that often requires detoxing with a hardcore diet plan.
What types of drug tests are there?
- Urine Test: most common method of drug testing
- Hair Test: fastest-growing new method of drug testing
- Blood Test: less common—typically for specialized or sanctioned drug testing
- Saliva Test: least common—typically for government/roadside drug testing
The urine test is by far the most common drug testing method used by employers and drug testing labs due to its convenience and low cost. Hair testing is rising in popularity amongst the government and certain employers with specialized positions because of its unique ability to detect previous drug use far longer than other tests; sometimes as long as several months in the past. Larger companies as well as government agencies will administer a blood test. Saliva tests are generally used for roadside testing. You can always ask which test will be administered so you can be prepared on test day.
How do marijuana drug tests work?
Answer: Cannabis leaves traces of THC in your fat cells that deposit into your bloodstream making those traces detectable by drug tests designed to check your urine, hair, blood, or saliva.
Nanograms per milliliter, or ng/mL, is the unit of measurement used in drug tests. The most common urine analysis used is set to detect 50ng/mL or higher of THC in your system. What this means is that you need to have at least 50 nanograms of THC per milliliter of urine for the test to come back positive. This method of testing is the easiest to overcome by flushing your system for the day with a detox drink or permanently with a detox kit.
There are two different types of drug tests for urine analysis. Immunoassay, the most common, is the cheaper of the two options and offers results quickly. Like most things that are fast and cheap, there are a few drawbacks to this method of testing; sometimes immunoassay tests will give a false positive.
Diluted urine in drug tests
A urine drug test is used to detect the presence of illegal and prescription drugs in urine. It’s also known as a urine drug screen.
In a urine drug test, a sample of urine is sent to a lab. A tester analyzes the urine for certain drugs or their metabolites. Metabolites are byproducts formed by the body after it processes a drug.
The urine shouldn’t contain too much or too little water. Otherwise, the results of the drug test might be inaccurate.
Diluted urine occurs when there’s too much water in the urine. It means the urine’s concentration is weak. As a result, the tester will be unable to properly detect the presence of drugs in the urine.
If you’re an employer who requires drug tests, you might wonder what causes diluted urine. This article explains the potential reasons of urine dilution and how to get accurate results.
What can cause urine to be diluted?
Urine can become diluted due to many reasons. It’s not always because someone is trying to “cheat” the test by drinking lots of water. It can happen accidentally.
Possible causes of diluted urine include the following.
Drinking fluids for health reasons
Many people recognize the importance of staying hydrated. So, it’s common for individuals to frequently drink a lot of water.
If they regularly consume large amounts of fluid, their urine might be diluted.
Preparing to give a urine sample
If a person is unable to provide enough urine, they might have to return or repeat the test. Some people might drink lots of fluid beforehand to ensure that they can give a urine sample.
Some prescription medications have a diuretic effect. They increase urine production, resulting in diluted urine.
Drinks like coffee and tea are also diuretics.
The kidneys remove waste from the body by making urine. If the kidneys aren’t working properly, they might release too much water in the urine.
How testers detect diluted drug tests
Diluted urine usually has a lighter color than normal urine.
Additionally, testers can determine if the urine is diluted by referring to measurements called validity checks. These checks include urine creatinine and specific gravity.
Creatinine is a waste product that’s produced by your muscles. It’s made during the breakdown of creatine, an amino acid.
Your kidneys remove creatinine through the urine. The amount of creatinine in your urine indicates its concentration.
The normal range is between 20 and 400 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). In diluted urine, the urine creatinine level is between 2 and 20 mg/dL.
Urine specific gravity indicates the concentration of urine. It compares the water content to the amount of substances in the urine.
Normal urine has a specific gravity of between 1.002 and 1.030. If the urine is diluted, the specific gravity is between 1.001 and 1.003.
Is it possible to prevent dilution in urine tests?
To prevent diluted urine, you can set guidelines for urine drug tests:
- Ask the people being tested to limit their fluid intake before the test.
- Ask them to avoid diuretics, like coffee and tea, before giving a sample.
- Collect the urine early in the morning.
- If their job requires frequent hydration, collect the urine sample before work.
- Schedule urine drug testing randomly.