That’s what I’ve learned taking literally hundreds of urine tests. I’ve also written about the many ways that prisoners beat them. I took my last drug test in January 2016, when I got off federal probation, and I’ve been toking up ever since. But with so many people getting drug tested these days and the outdated War on Drugs mentality still prevalent, it's still not a terrible idea to know how to beat these things when they come up. As such, I contacted two experts on the subject for VICE.
Barry Cooper is a former drug agent and current drug expert/humanitarian who’s been featured on VICE before. He’s been teaching how to pass a drug test for over 12 years and has a website, Never Get Busted. NORML has been a player in the marijuana legalization effort since the jump. I talked to both by phone to find out the best way to beat a drug test, if the stuff they sell at the local head shop works, and what home remedies can help beat a drug test. Can the stuff they sell at the local head shop help you beat a dirty urine? What I tell people, if they don't have time to buy from a good online source, go to the local head shop and ask the clerk what their best detoxifier is. And it's important not to say "Drug detoxifier" or "I'm on probation" or “employment drug test" because they won't sell it to you. They're not allowed to sell these [items] to pass a drug test. The local head shops have the right product to beat the tests that are being used locally in that court [district].
That's why I tell people to go to the head shop in whatever court jurisdiction they're in, that's the store they need to go to, to buy their stuff. And then the drug testing industry becomes aware of such products, and they impose countermeasures that tend to make the use of those products obsolete. Then the industry that has sprung up to try and help people thwart drug tests comes up with new potential strategies. That sort of cat-and-mouse game has literally been going on for decades. I'd also add that most of the products available in those sort of facilities that involve consuming any sort of fluid, by and large, are simply diuretics and they may work to some degree, but they're largely overpriced and they certainly over promise. You always hear people talk about putting bleach or detergent in the urine and the like, any truths to these home remedies? Armentano: Well, there's different strategies people employ prior to taking a test. With a product that is going to lower the sensitivity of the test. Another option is the use of an adulterant, which is something that is added to the sample itself in hopes that that's going to create a false negative result. When it comes to the latter adulterants, again that's your sort of perfect example of a cat-and-mouse game. There are certainly products that, when added to urine, can throw off the sensitivity of the test. In most cases, over time, the drug testing industry becomes aware of what those adulterants are, and they either begin to screen for the adulterant itself, or they check some sort of composition of the urine that they anticipate will be altered when an adulterant is used. Cooper: There are home remedies that work, but they don't work 100-percent. There are so many different factors in terms of being able to fool these drug tests. I tell people all the time I wouldn't take my chance with lemon juice and cinnamon and several other things you can mix together, that's one home drink that works sometimes. I just wouldn't take a chance with my freedom on those. I would go to a local head shop or go online and buy from a good source because that's the only way to really pass excepting abstinence. Cooper: There's a rhyme that says, "The solution to pollution is dilution." There's a lot of truth to that. The problem is when we dilute and drink a lot of water—the idea is to drink it an hour before your test—you pee really nothing but water. The amounts of THC are not high enough to be detectable. The problem is that the color of the urine is the same color as pure water.
When they see that, it's usually flagged as a test that's been tampered with. That's why a lot of these products, these detox drinks, they tell you to drink a lot of water with it. But it has niacin and other colorings added to it on purpose so your urine is a normal color after diluting. Armentano: The test itself is screening for metabolites, which are breakdown products of certain active drugs. The test is going to be more sensitive or more likely to detect those metabolites when the urine is concentrated. The less concentrated or the more diluted the sample is, the less sensitive or accurate the test is going to be. Consuming any sort of fluid, but particularly diuretic fluids, in the hours prior to a test is going to lead to a less concentrated sample, and thus is going to lead to a less sensitive test result. But of course, drug testing labs are well aware of people trying to dilute their urine through the use of fluids, and there's a number of different ways they try to test to see if a sample is overly diluted or not. Armentano: Different metabolites have different half-lives.
That has to do with the makeup of the metabolite itself.