- Ayush Thej, MSc
- Knowledge Base
How To Easily Pass A Mouth Swab Drug Test
There is only one reason your employer would want you to take an orally administered drug test. Of course, it’s all about checking whether you have recently used marijuana.
If you’re reading this, chances are you have been exposed to one kind of drug test or another. Since we all enjoy pot, there’s always that fear that somehow some way we are going to have to take some sort of THC drug test. For this, we have to at least have a basic understanding of how to detoxify and pass such test.
To skip all the helpful information below and to go directly to our tips on passing a mouth swab test for marijuana, click here.
Make no mistake, regardless of its legality, smoking weed on job premises is a no-no. It’s treated the same way under the law as drinking alcohol on work premises. This is not allowed across the board. It doesn’t matter if you are in a state that’s otherwise very friendly to pot like California or Colorado.
Another issue that the rising decriminalisation of marijuana has produced is the rising number of automobile operators charged with drugged driving. Many local state municipal authorities have started to tighten roadside testing procedures.
Not only are they looking for people driving under the influence of alcohol; now they are gunning for people who smoke weed and drive. This has increased the authorities’ interests in roadside THC testing. They need something that is quick, easy to administer and delivers instant results.
This is where THC mouth swab testing comes in. If you fail this, you get a DUI (1). As weed fans, our collective attention then turns to how we can beat these roadside drug tests. Since these are usually oral swab tests, the advice you will see in this post focuses on that specific type of THC test.
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Oral testing for marijuana is not exactly new. Over the decades, people have come up with all sorts of tricks and tips to beat that test. These methods can be as basic as cranberry juice, vinegar or even herbal products like goldenseal.
Unfortunately, drug tests are proven quite resistant to these tricks. You’re not really going to beat them using these traditional techniques.
Also, agencies and those who administer drug tests have developed certain in-house procedures to follow up if they detect any kind of abnormal result. This leads to instant voiding of drug tests or screening if they think such outcomes may have been the result of tampering.
People who think that they have come upon some sort of secret technique to beat oral THC swab tests or the typical marijuana urine test often recommend a wide range of liquids – such as simply drinking a lot of water to buying all sorts of detox drinks to loading up on vinegar.
To get an inside look on how a roadside THC mouth swab drug tests work, I’m going to give you an overview and then break down specific details on how you can pass it.
THC MOUTH SWAB TEST OVERVIEW
The first and most important thing you need to know about oral THC swab tests is that they can only detect pot in your system for a fairly short period. Even if you are a heavy weed smoker, you have a lower risk of failing a THC oral swab test than other types of tests. You only need to stay away from weed for a full day.
This is a ridiculously short period compared to the typical THC urine test. Those drug tests require a longer period of marijuana abstinence if you want to beat them. Given this short THC detection time frame, it’s very good news for both casual and regular marijuana smokers.
If you are slated to take some sort of drug test and whoever requires the testing gives you a choice of which test to take, it’s usually a good idea to pick the mouth THC swab test. Again, it all goes back to these tests’ fairly short detection period.
Unfortunately, not all employers give you a lot of lead time for testing. Many don’t even announce a test. They are completely random. In that case, even if you are given a marijuana mouth swab test, if you smoked a joint during lunch, you might be out of luck if your boss requires you to take a test right away with little notice.
This is why it’s really important to know ahead of time some effective ways to beat an oral swab THC test. You have to do this quickly and naturally. Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of oral THC testing.
WHAT IS A THC ORAL SWAB TEST?
This type of drug test is also called a saliva or oral fluid system. It’s pretty self-explanatory. The person giving you the test would collect samples of saliva from the inside portion of your mouth. The saliva is going to be subjected to certain chemicals that would react a certain way if specific compounds are within your saliva. These drug compounds will only show up in your mouth if you have recently smoked weed.
These spit or saliva drug tests are fairly new. However, as marijuana has become decriminalised in many parts of the US, this test type’s popularity has grown recently.
Authorities and employers prefer THC tests because it seems to be less intrusive. They don’t have to worry about invasion of privacy.
It’s also fairly easy to carry out. You don’t need highly trained technicians or specialist nurses around.
Also, the results of these tests can be seen instantly. Compared to urine drug tests, saliva THC tests are cheaper. They’re also more tamper resistant.
If you are trying to pass a drug test, hope that it’s an oral THC test. Many people who have gone through the testing process consider this type of test as one of the easier drug tests to beat. As long as you know what you’re doing, there’s a good chance you will be able to beat an oral THC test.
Unlike a urine test, which basically puts frequent or regular pot smokers in a very tight spot, even heavier users have a good chance of surviving an oral marijuana test. Also, compared to tests that detect other drugs like opiates, cocaine, ecstasy or crystal meth, this test is relatively easy.
Please note that drugs tend to stay in the system in different durations. Generally, the current oral drug tests sold in the United States detect the presence of amphetamines, methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and alcohol.
Also, please note that the type of test you take often screens for different types of drug compounds.
Urine marijuana tests are set up to detect THC-COOH. This is a chemical compound that THC metabolizes into. THC, of course, is the chemical in weed that makes you high (2).
Oral tests, on the other hand, detect THC itself. Since your body breaks down THC fairly quickly, the time frame in which oral tests can react with THC is fairly short.
THE GOOD NEWS & BAD NEWS
When it comes to oral drug tests, the good news is that is that they are completely blind to compounds that THC breaks down into. However, they can still detect recently ingested THC that lingers in your saliva.
EMPLOYERS REQUIRING DRUG TESTS
Depending on the industry you’re in and the type of employer you have, you may not have much to worry about when it comes to random or scheduled drug tests at work. In general terms, more and more companies are requiring oral THC testing. They don’t spring this on you as a surprise.
Usually, you can look up the existence of any company drug testing policy in your employee manual or as part of your application process. Generally speaking, the HR department of such companies will give you a full explanation of what they expect from both applicants as well as people they’ve hired. They often require you to sign some sort of form that you are going to be submitting to drug testing.
In the private sector, this type of test is usually required as part of collective bargaining agreements or union agreements. These are fairly specific as far as industries are concerned. If your job involves any kind of high risk or high security like energy generation, transport, expect a higher likelihood of this type of testing.
Also, look into your employee manual if the employer is legally allowed to do drug testing if there is some sort of safety incident at the work site.
In addition to these industries, more and more construction companies are requiring drug screening. In the US government, federal employees are routinely required to take drug tests if they’re in the national security and law enforcement field.
If you are exposed to classified information or your services involve protecting others’ safety, government property, others’ health or protecting life in general, you might be required to take this type of test.
In addition to law enforcement, an increased number of employers throughout the United States are requiring drug testing. Generally, they put up this screening to avoid hiring people who use drugs.
The problem is not all drugs are illegal. Increasingly, in many parts of the United States, using marijuana for medical purposes is perfectly legal.
Unfortunately, the way employment is set up across many states, if you use medicinal weed and you fail an employment drug test, you don’t get the job. Worse yet, if you go through a random drug test, you might even lose your job.
DRUG TESTS AT WORKPLACES
There are certain specific times when employers might opt to require oral swab drug tests. Usually, these involve four distinct periods: before you get hired, during your background check, after a workplace incident and random testing. Here is a quick breakdown of each of these types of periodic tests.
Before you get employed
A part of the pre-employment practices of many corporations include employee screening involving drug tests. This doesn’t apply across the board. It depends on the industry you’re applying to. It also depends on the type of business your prospective employer runs. This is actually a very vulnerable time for people. You really don’t have that much protection because before you get hired, you’re obviously not part of a union.
Many unions have strong protections in their collective bargaining agreements that help you avoid unnecessary drug testing. Since you’re being screened for drugs orally before you get accepted by your new employer, you obviously don’t have union protection. That type of protection happens after you get hired. It is no surprise that a lot of employers use this opportunity to require drug tests from applicants.
Once you have put in your application, you might be required to sign an agreement with some fine print. It’s a good idea to read what’s in the fine print because this may include an oral test for drugs. Typically, this is included in a consent form allowing your prospective employer to conduct a series of background checks.
Not only can your criminal background, past convictions, arrest records and other records get reviewed in this process, you might have to also supply an oral swab. Background checks may also be made part of a promotion screening. If you’re already employed and looking to get promoted to a higher position, you might have to go through a new background test which includes an oral drug swab test.
Generally, this type of testing involves regular intervals. While you really can’t know when the test will be given, you do have some advanced warning in terms of the intervals of these tests. Employees usually find out at the day of the test that they would have to get oral swabs taken.
The only warning that you could get is a notification from your employer that they can, if they want, conduct random tests. Legally speaking, that’s the only advanced warning that they are required to give.
These states also require a minimum number of months prior to the actual drug test. This can give you quite a bit of protection. Even though you don’t know the exact date when the test will be conducted, the fact that your employer says that they may be testing you after a few months should tip you off. This should be your cue to stop smoking weed at least for the time being.
After an incident
Depending on your industry, drug tests might routinely be conducted if there is some sort of workplace incident. Normally, this happens when there is some sort of near miss at work involving narrowly escaped accidents, damage to company property or some sort of injury. Post-incident testing can take place either automatically or based on the discretion of a supervisor.
In certain sensitive industries, whenever there is any kind of covered incident or specifically stated incidents, the employer will automatically conduct a drug test. In other situations, these tests are completely discretionary and depends on whether a supervisor believes that some sort of drug use was involved in the workplace incident. Generally speaking, these tests are undertaken as part of a broader effort to figure out who is responsible for the workplace incident (3).
REFUSING A DRUG TEST
Let’s cut straight to the chase: under the law, you are not required to submit oral drug tests. Put in another way, your employer or prospective employer cannot force you to get saliva drug tests taken from your mouth. The problem is, if you don’t submit to the test, this might have a very negative impact on your career.
Although you can so no to a workplace drug test, regardless of whether it’s random or not, the employer is well within their rights to respond negatively. This can take many different forms. For example, if you are applying for a job and you refuse to take an oral drug test, your prospective employer doesn’t have to offer you a job. Even if they had offered you a position already, once you reject the oral drug test, they are well within their rights to revoke that offer.
If you are already employed, barring any illegal grounds for your termination like discrimination or retaliation, most employers can legally suspend or terminate a current employee. Finally, if you refuse to take a drug test as part of a promotion screening, your employer can blacklist you from any future promotions and this would be perfectly legal.
FAILING A DRUG TEST
If you go through a drug test and the result comes out positive, it’s not the end of the world. You can ask to retake the test or you can have the saliva sample you gave reviewed again by the testing service used by your employer or prospective employer. In certain jurisdictions in the United States, employees have the legal right to contest test results, demand an alternative drug testing method like a blood test, or explain the result that they received.
Lastly, if you think you’re a good actor or actress and you have the guts to do it, you can fake it. That’s right, you can tell your supervisor of whoever is charge that you absolutely and fully believe that you are clean. As part of claiming your innocence, you can pretend that you’re shocked by the drug test results. For obvious reasons, we don’t condone this method.
Keep in mind that you cannot act all aggressive, upset or angry. Focus on looking confused, concerned and disoriented by the shocking results. It takes some practice to pull this off. You have to be very convincing and you need to be quite persuasive. It also takes a little bit of cunningness. Not everybody would want to do this. At the end of the day, the range of options that you give yourself is entirely your decision.
If you’re not all that comfortable submitting to an oral drug test, you don’t have to give in. There might be a tremendous pressure, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should just be a pushover. Please understand, though, that if you put up a fight, you have to be ready for whatever consequences you get. At least at this point, you are aware of some options.
FEDERAL & STATE DRUG TESTING LAWS
Since the United States has a federal form of government, drug testing policies vary on a state by state basis. The US supreme court has held that even though drug testing might violate individual employees’ privacy, safety and health considerations may override these privacy rights. Broadly speaking, state laws don’t really differ all that much from federal jurisprudence.
Not surprisingly, most state laws allow for employee drug testing. As mentioned above, more and more private employers are now insisting that their applicants or existing employees take drug tests. Local, municipal, county and state laws vary quite a bit in regulating private employer drug tests. While local and state laws seek to protect the private employees’ privacy rights, these are offset by other considerations.
In many jurisdictions, private employers have to give a safety or health reason for their drug testing policies. They can also claim that they require these tests to discourage employees from engaging in unlawful activities while at work. Finally, depending on the jurisdiction, it may be completely legal for a private employer to use increased productivity as a valid justification for random drug testing.
Regardless of whether or not you’re an employee, it’s your responsibility to yourself to stay current with relevant workplace laws to ensure that you don’t get caught up in state drug testing laws.
SHOULD YOU BE AFRAID OF AN ORAL DRUG TEST?
As mentioned earlier in this post, oral drug tests are becoming increasingly popular all over the United States. As more and more people legally use marijuana, jurisdictions on city, county and state authorities are increasingly using rapid oral drug test kits to discourage DUI incidents. Also, if you work in certain industries involving safety, health, transportation or you work for the federal government, you also have to take the occasional drug test.
It would be nice if only these types of employers required drug tests. It would be great if that was case because all other employees, applicants and employers in other types of industries can relax. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Depending on the state you live in, your employer may legally require random drug testing. They just need to have the right reason.
It doesn’t really matter if that’s not the actual reason. As long as they come up with something that seems plausible and fits existing state or local drug testing justifications, they can pull it off. Employers give all sorts of justifications for random drug tests. These, again, include workplace safety, improvements of worker productivity and performance, and of course the old standby of workplace security.
Now, just because an employer can make these claims, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be able to pull it off. Generally, if these employers get sued for unreasonable drug test policies, courts would look at the specific nature of such companies’ employees. If it turns out that these companies employ people whose work requires a higher level of awareness, conformity to form or procedure, requires great dexterity or skill, drug testing in this context might make more sense.
When are you at risk of failing an oral marijuana test?
In purely technical terms, if THC can be detected in your spit and it is found to be north of a certain minimum threshold, you will flunk your test. This threshold is also known as the test’s confirmation cut off. Please note that this minimum threshold varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Also, if that’s not confusing enough, different states have varying legal limits just like states and jurisdictions differ in terms of blood alcohol levels during breathalyzer tests.
They also vary when it comes to oral swab test confirmation cutoffs. Without boring you with too much of the scientific details involved, if you want to pass your test stop smoking weed anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. If you can make it past this point you should be okay. If you are a fairly heavy user of marijuana try to stop smoking it for about a week. However, please note that this advice is for people who don’t have information to beat an oral drug test.
TIPS FOR BEATING AN ORAL SWAB TEST
The most important thing to keep in mind when looking to beat any kind of oral drug test is to understand what the test is trying to detect. It’s also very important to have a clear idea of the length of time you utmost risk for flunking that test. For example, if you know or have a high suspicion that you will be subjected to a drug spit test in the coming days you might want to stop doing any kind of drugs until after the test.
Since oral marijuana tests look for the direct presence of THC you are in luck. THC does not stay in your spit for extended periods of time. In fact, once THC metabolizes in your system and ends up in your spit most tests won’t detect them. These tests are not actually looking for metabolites of THC. They are directly looking for the THC compound itself. With this in mind, it becomes clear that the only way your spit will have THC is if you keep smoking weed.
The first thing that you need to do if you are looking to beat an oral drug test is to always brush your teeth, gargle with mouthwash and floss.
Also, make sure that you thoroughly clean your mouth. If you only just brush your teeth you might want to also scrub down the inside of your cheeks with your toothbrush along with your gums and tongue. If you ingest marijuana in edible forms like cookies, fudge brownies, or gumdrops, this can also reduce oral drug test detection risks. How? Unlike smoking marijuana (which coats a larger area of the inside of your mouth with THC residue), edibles go straight to your gut.
It’s also a smart idea to abstain from cigarettes. According to at least one study, when you smoke any kind of substance the smoking process exposes your taste buds and your mouth cells. This leads to your mouth producing a lot more saliva. This is bad news because the more fluids your mouth produces the higher the likelihood THC will be released as well. If you know that you’re going to have to go through an oral drug swab test, it’s a good idea to avoid smoking anything for at least two days prior to the test (4).
The problem with the above tips…
The big limitation with the tips I’ve listed above is that they require advance notice of your test. Normally people have to take an oral drug test at the last minute because they got pulled over for erratic driving. How can you plan for such tests?
Also, depending on your employer and depending on the circumstances, your oral drug test might be completely random. They don’t give you any notice at all. If you’re lucky they’ll give you a few hours of advance notice. You might just show up for work in the morning and all of a sudden your boss tells you after a couple of hours that the whole staff is going to have to take an oral swab test prior to lunch.
If this is the case here are some helpful tips that can boost your chances of beating whatever oral drug test you have to take.
BEATING A DRUG SALIVA TEST WITH SHORT NOTICE
If you have at least 48 hours of advance notice regarding an upcoming oral drug test you can beat the test by simply loading up on fluids. Seriously. Just drink a lot of juice and water and flush out chemical compounds from your system. Although this works for a lot of people it is by no means bulletproof. It doesn’t work for everybody.
By drinking lots of fluid, you basically sweat away whatever chemical compounds are present in your body. You could even chew on some ice in between. Not only will this increase your body’s hydration levels but there’s a good chance you will also end up diluting the amount of THC your saliva contains.
If you keep this up, hopefully the dilution works so well that you end up below detectable levels.
Another approach is to eat extremely fatty foods. The fattier, the better. We’re talking about bacon, pork rinds or really greasy french fries. As you can imagine, a lot of people prefer this method. You need to load up on fat because THC, the active compound of marijuana binds to fat. When you increase the amount of fat in your digestive tract it can go a long way in soaking up whatever THC you have in your upper digestive tract. From your mouth area to your esophagus, THC can be soaked up by fatty foods you eat before you take a saliva drug test.
Loading up on fat increases your body’s overall THC absorption speed. This also pushes your body to break down as much of the THC into untraceable THC-COOH. Since saliva tests only detect THC itself, once your body breaks THC down into its metabolites you are in the clear. Just hope that your employer doesn’t follow up with a urine test because this type of test detects THC-COOH (5).
BEATING AN ORAL DRUG TEST WITH NO PREPARATION
We’ve saved the worst case scenario for last. Let’s face it. Your boss can be quite tricky. They might just fake you out at the last moment and whip out an oral drug swab test. You have absolutely no preparation.
Your last resort in beating a drug test is to tamper with your spit. There are quite a number of adulterants in the marketplace specifically designed for oral drug tests. These have been around for many years. The good news is a lot of the latest generation oral chemical adulterants are very effective. Now here’s the problem.
Oral drug test manufacturers know that these drug beating adulterants are on the market. This is why they come up with their own improved versions. There is an arms race going on as adulterants get better and better at masking THC. However, oral drug tests also get better at detecting adulterants.
One of the most used adulterants is hydrogen peroxide. In fact, at least one company has come up with a product that packs this compound into chewing gum. Nice and discreet. Chew on the gum to produce spit and then you continue to chew until you have enough adulterated spit in your mouth. Take out the gum and then undergo an oral swab test. Other products come in the form of mouthwashes. They operate in the same way as hydrogen peroxide gum.
A lot of people prefer gum because it’s easier to hide. It looks more natural and it’s so much more convenient. Please also understand that this adulteration technique will clean up THC in your mouth for a maximum of 30 minutes. You should only use these techniques if you really have no other option. Usually, if your employer announces an oral drug test, it doesn’t give you much time to prepare anyway, making these gums ideal.
Some people claim to get great results with goldenseal. This is a natural root based herbal supplement. The good news here is that many drug testing companies do not seem to have factored in the presence of this herb.
However, ultimately you need to also understand that drug testing companies are aware that people use all sorts of ingredients to mess around with drug screening results. This is why they have special procedures or they include warnings to people using the tests that if certain ‘abnormal’ results appear in the tests, the results will be interpreted as ‘void’.
I wish I could tell you that all the techniques that we’ve mentioned here will work in all circumstances all the time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The good news is drug tests are usually only required under certain circumstances and in particular industries. Although it’s legally true that almost anybody can be asked to take a drug test, generally speaking there has to be a good reason for you to take such a test.
With that said, as recreational marijuana becomes legal throughout the United States, it’s becoming more popular among employers to require drug tests. If you’re looking to get promoted or you’re looking to get a new job this is definitely something that you have to keep in mind.
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