Marijuana and Drug Testing

Updated: Feb 3

Now that you can legal consume medical marijuana, it's bound to happen ... you take your cannabis medicine and suddenly you get a call back for your dream job and - surprise! - you have to take a drug test. For marijuana medical patients this can be an incredibly stressful time since most of us know that marijuana stays in your system for about a month (or longer if you're a heavy user). The exact length of time is not known for sure (that's more a disclaimer than anything); it depends on the how much you use and how often, and also your physical state and health-level of your lifestyle.



So, how long does Marijuana stay in your system?


It's not really how long traces of marijuana will stay in your system, it's more about how long can drug tests detect THC - they psychoactive ingredient in MJ - in your system is probably a better place to start. And this is all dependent on the test that's being administered, since not all of them test the same levels of cannabis (or any drug, for that matter).

  • Urine Test: 30-45 days

  • Blood Test: 60+ days

  • Hair Test: 90+ days

  • Saliva Test: several days 

Long-term marijuana users usually agree that the biggest frustration (injustice?) is that of all the drugs available on the street, marijuana stays in your system for the longest period of time. Not only that by marijuana is also challenging (though not impossible) to detox quickly from your system.  Meanwhile serious, hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, meth, even heavy alcohol use are traceable only for about 36 hours.  


Fortunately there are several methods to detox your system and to help pass a drug test, there are also methods to mask or hide the traces of marijuana (primarily THC) in your system.  Let's take a look at some of them ...


Detox kits


There are dozens if not hundreds of detox kits out there.  When selecting a detox kit, be careful of the ingredients.  You should be able to read the ingredients - or at least most of them. The best ones are sold through reputable outlets like whole food stores, herbal supplement stores and GNC-type stores.  These kits range in intense, one-week cleanses all the way to a month or longer cleanses.   



Most of these kits include several consumable items, including drinks, tablets, concentrates and other supplements.  I personally have used several of these kits (to pass a drug test and for general wellness) and I can say that the longer the detox program, the less harsh the supplements are.  Shorter detox cycles tend to have extremely strong and harsh ingredients in order to do such a deep cleanse in such a short time. 


The type of detox kit you get, then depends on your purpose for detoxing - and if for a job, then the longer time you have to prepare, the better for your body and ultimate results.


Detox drinks


The same thing goes for detox drinks - the shorter the program the harsher the ingredients. Because cannabis has been so taboo for so long, detox drinks have a bit of a bad reputation since you had to order these off the internet for the longest time. It was also like the detox drinks themselves were as taboo as cannabis. It was like the wild west too; at the same time detox drinks were popping up online so were the mail-order prescriptions pills. It was like online snake oil sellers. 


Fortunately now there are a plethora of great manufacturers out there who produce top quality detox drinks and concentrated drinks.  And detoxing for general health is extremely popular, so many of those products can be used also for cannabis detoxing. Still as always, read the label and make sure you know what you are taking.  If you're visiting a brick-and-mortar store, the store personnel can probably point you in the right direction.  Don't be afraid to tell them the purpose, even if it's to pass a drug test.  Chances are smoke too and at least had had dozens of the other people asking for the same thing! 


XXTRA CLEAN herbal cleaning drink image courtesy of Walmart

For passing a drug test, I personally didn’t use detox drinks alone - I used them with a whole kit.  But for a general wellness cleanse these could be a good solution.  With one (sometimes) tasty drink, detox drinks are a convenient option.


Natural cleansing


If you have the time then a natural cleanse is a great option.  Most people can usually cleanse in 30-60 days and there are various programs, systems and options you can find online.  The gist of the natural cleanse is to eat only healthy food - some people even opt for a juice diet, cutting out meat or protein supplement shakes.  Whatever you decide, include a lot of water, exercise and sleep to help accelerate the cleanse.   



 If the natural cleanse you decide to start is something completely different from your current diet or you have a serious health condition, be sure to check with your family practitioner.  


How much you partake matters


Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different and will detox differently and at a different pace.  The amount you smoke also matters.  Heavy or long-time smokers will likely need more time to fully clean their system, while occasional users might get the job done faster. 


The general word on the street is that the longer you use the more likely you are to fail a drug test. This is not meant to suggest that it's true for everyone, but that wasn't the case in my situation - or three situations, that is. I've been had drug screen for jobs three times in my life and I passed them all. Maybe the employers weren't testing for marijuana (one was in Denver just a few years back), but I did what was necessary ahead of time to detox, cleanse and stay THC-free for as long as I could before those tests.



Recommendation

My best recommendation for folks who are facing a drug test is to do as natural of a cleanse as you can.  If you have the time, do a natural cleanse with a program from a reputable source.  If you don’t have much time, do as much of a natural cleanse as you can combined with a detox kit.  


It’s not always the most fun to quit smoking, but a break for your body or for an employment drug test will be worth it. 


Good luck!
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