No one wants to face a drug test, but anyone who tokes should be aware of some basic testing facts. You know, just in case.
And if a drug test is indeed looming in your future, we suggest checking out our Drug Testing 101guide for more in-depth advice. Regardless, you don't want to be caught blind-sided by these 7 drug testing myths.
Myth #1 - All companies will require you to pass a drug test.
Most stoners heard throughout their college and young adult years that once they enter the real world, all employers will want you to pass a drug test. While this may be true for many entry-level positions, outside of the medical and engineering fields, most employers don’t care if you do drugs or not—as long as its not on their time. There are always exceptions, however, so tread with caution and research your industry.
Myth #2 - Drinking lots of water before a test makes it harder to detect THC.
This one is less of a myth and more of a warning: While drinking water will dilute your urine and possibly make THC undetectable, it can also send a warning to the company testing you. Most drug tests track levels of creatinine, a byproduct of the digestion process. Diluting your urine will also dilute creatinine, which can be a red flag to the company and often leads to even more extensive testing.
Myth #3 - Heavy exercise before a test will help ensure a passing result.
While this may be true for the every-now-and-then smoker, if you’re a heavy smoker (and if you’re reading this, you likely are), this is only helpful if you have a few weeks before the test. When you have a month to detox, heavy diet and exercise will definitely help shave some time off your urine test, but for surprise tests or those with less time, this idea is just a hopeful myth.
Myth #4 - All drug tests are urine tests.
Urine tests are the cheapest and easiest to do in mass amounts, but not all drug tests are created equal. Hair tests are the hardest to beat (although that soon may be changing thanks to some German scientists), as they can go back 90 days and are impossible to cheat, short of shaving your head. Of course, if you’re applying for a job that cares enough to have a hair test, you probably knew it was coming. Saliva tests are for the lucky, as they only go back three days.
Myth #5 - There are homemade remedies that boost your chances of passing.
A Google search will show you crazy methods to pass your drug test using pantry items: Jello, cranberry juice, vitamins like niacin and many others. Most of these methods come from personal stories that trumpet their use, but really, they’re no more likely to help you pass than casting magic spells. (You can obliviate THC, right, J.K. Rowling?!?) While the benefit might not be exactly zero, these methods are not consistent or strong enough to place any hope in.
Myth #6 - Second-hand smoke can make you fail a drug test.
As long as you’re not hotboxing with Smokey the Bear, there’s no way you’ll inhale enough second-hand smoke to cause you to fail a drug test. Passive inhalation doesn’t bring enough THC into the system to register a positive, so no need to leave the room if someone lights up—but don’t be surprised if the temptation to smoke puts you in a dangerous situation.
Myth #7 - All weed stays in your system the same amount of time.
Urine tests measure THC, and different strains of weed have different amounts of THC. The reg from that fourth-year community college student leaves your system quicker than the Omega Ultra Kush from a Colorado dispensary. If you’re stuck with the former, thank your neighborhood dealer for his/her continued dedication to crap weed, which will help you more efficiently pass a drug test. If you have the latter, thank them for keeping you space-level high, but curse the THC levels required to do so.