Different metabolites have different half-lives. Cannabis is different [than] cocaine. That has to do with the makeup of the metabolite itself. Carboxy-THC is lipid-soluble. Cocaine’s metabolite is water-soluble. A water-soluble metabolite is going to be broken down and excreted as waste by the body much more quickly than will a fat-soluble metabolite. It’s literally simply the chemistry of THC that makes it present for a far longer time than it would otherwise be. Someone’s metabolic rate may influence some variation of how long that process is going to take. But at a fundamental level, drug tests are going to be much more likely to identify someone who uses cannabis as opposed to someone who uses other drugs, simply because cannabis’ metabolite is fat-soluble and most other drug metabolites are water-soluble.
Can the stuff they sell at the local head shop help you beat a dirty urine?
Barry Cooper: Yeah, 100-percent. 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. That’s why they’re sold as detoxifiers. 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.
What about dilution? How much water should your drink?
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.
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.
Armentano: Abstinence is the only sure-fire way to beat a drug test. And of course, drug tests and labs are human. It’s even possible that somebody may have never been exposed to illicit drugs and could have an unfortunate incidence where their test comes back positive anyway. That’s why our samples are generally split into an A sample and a B sample. In case something like that happens.
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.
Cooper: Test Clear and Pass Your Test. I know that shit works. For the last 12 years I’ve been working to keep people out of jail. These detox drinks do that. And the detox products for the hair follicles [work also]. I’ve been doing this a long time. They work.
What do you think is the best way to beat a dirty urine?
Cooper: The detox business is a multi-million dollar industry. It’s such a competitive money-maker because there are so many people being drug tested. It’s gangster out there, man, it’s such a big business because the drinks and these products do work. They keep people out of jail. I have one page that’s called “How To Pass Your Drug Test.” I’ve worked on it for over eight years now, and it’s received millions and millions of views. On that page, there’s a link to the products that I have used that worked and the products I endorse. On Never Get Busted and the “How to Pass Your Drug Test” page I teach how to pass the drug test, how to use the product properly, and people can click on the links that order the product.
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.
Some of the detoxifying drinks may work.