Karen told her to drink Rescue an hour before “cleansing time,” then refill the bottle with water twice and drink that within 30 minutes. She was then supposed to pee three times, after which she should be good to go for three to five hours. Quite a lot of work!
When it comes to balancing a professional life with even a casual weed habit, American stoners have a delicate line to walk. Despite being recreationally legal in nine states and medicinally legal in 29, the federal ban on marijuana consumption means employers across the country have the right to refuse or terminate the employment of anyone who fails a drug test for THC.
The drug tests we purchased are pretty standard pee tests. Basically you wee into a cup, take the cap off the drug test, and then submerge the little rectangular piece at the end for about ten seconds. Results take about five minutes. The test we bought for the purposes of this experiment are used specifically to detect THC and nothing else.
There are several of these on the market, “cleansing supplements” that, at a glance, seem to be nothing more than herbal energy drinks. On the back of each bottle, the language used is deliberately vague.
Photo on left from Getty Images. Right and all other photos via the author
As such, we decided to put three brands to the test:
But do they actually, like, work? This is a question even the most diligent Googler is wont to find. As it stands, all the available information on these detox drinks seems to be either an obvious paid promotion for one brand or another, or come from anons with usernames like Stoner4Lyfe420 on eight-year old marijuana message board threads.
Our test was simple. We ordered a ten-pack of THC pee tests from Amazon for $7.99, and recruited a regular recreational weed smoker—a 28-year-old woman we’ll call “Jolene”—to test out these drinks over the course of a week without altering her normal weed habits. She’d try out one drink every two days, and take a control test before starting each one to make sure she was still testing positive before drinking them. Then she’d follow the directions on each bottle and see whether she could piss herself clean.
For context, Jolene’s marijuana consumption is probably slightly, but not much, below average for stoners. She smokes a bowl most days after work, and blazes up two to three times a day on the weekends. Occasionally she’ll have an edible or do a dab, but says she usually sticks to traditional smoking methods—bowls, bongs, and joints. Most of these drinks caution “heavy” users to double their dosage, or go with a more concentrated version, so if you smoke more or less than Jolene, you’re likely to have different results. And none of the results we got here should be considered scientific or at all conclusive.
From the Stinger Detox to the Detoxify Xxtraclean Herbal Cleanse & Rescue Detox, we tested these detox drinks that say they’ll help you pass a urine test.
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Then you have a small window of opportunity, usually around five hours after you’ve drunk it, during which you can submit your sample. If you have more metabolites in your body, which most of the time you will if you are a regular smoker, then after a few hours, the bladder will fill up with toxins again.
But for light users, a detox drink is definitely one of the fastest ways to pass a drug test. If you’ve got a couple of days notice, then abstain, that will really help, but the most powerful detox drinks, with a moderate user, will definitely mask the toxins for a handful of hours.
Another great detox drink, from the same company who makes Sub Solution synthetic urine. I would recommend this detox drink for moderate smokers.
With so many people smoking weed, but employers still not giving jobs to people they detect smoking the occasional joint, it’s no wonder that people are looking to use detox drinks for THC, to cover up the fact they smoke a bit of weed.
Amazingly, there aren’t that many drug detox drinks out there that work. If you’re a really light user like you smoke a couple of joints a week, then most detox drinks will work, as long as they contain the basic ingredients to flush the toxins out, and they contain vitamins, minerals, and creatine, to keep your urine balance natural. I’ll mention a couple to you:
If you are a chronic weed smoker, I’m talking three or four joints a day, every single day, then the number of metabolites you have in your system will mean that any detox drink struggles. The reason for this is that the number of metabolites coming into your bladder will be constant, which means once you flush them out, within an hour or so they will be back present again.
Let’s cut to the chase, by telling you that a detox drink doesn’t actually detox your body at all.
So yes you can trust detox drinks for THC masking, but only for a few hours. Plus, I want to just say here, that you can’t buy special drinks that will mask THC metabolites on their own. A drug metabolite in your urine stream, is drug metabolite, is a drug metabolite. They will all be flushed out, and if they are still in your body, they will start to reappear.
With so many people smoking weed, but employers still not giving jobs to people they detect smoking the occasional joint, it's no wonder that people are looking to use detox drinks for THC, to cover up the fact they smoke a bit of weed.