In many workplaces, drug tests are taken regularly or without prior notification. Many cannabis consumers are accustomed to this practice and know how to get ready for it. The easiest scenario for employers is to conduct a saliva test, usually a swab test, though it is less likely to detect THC than urine or hair tests. In order not to be caught red-handed, daily and occasional smokers need to know how marijuana behaves in the system, how quickly it is removed and how one can get rid of the drug in saliva should the necessity present itself.
What’s the way of marijuana in your body?
Daily smokers of cannabis have their blood, urine, saliva and hair samples filled with THC, marijuana’s active component. It penetrates the bloodstream immediately and reaches the peak indexes in a matter of minutes, but in a few hours the amount of marijuana in the blood is reduced by half. Being processed and cleaned by liver, the blood rids of a part of THC. As a rule, it takes about three days to have marijuana completely removed from the body in a natural way. Does this mean one can safely take the test? Not at all. Liver transforms marijuana into metabolites, of which heavy users will have plenty! These toxins are stored in the fatty tissue and can be detected in one’s body weeks after smoking weed. That’s what happens to the drug in the body of a cannabis consumer.
What affects the period during which marijuana stays in saliva?
Logically, much will depend on the drug potency: the stronger the weed, the longer it will remain in the body. Next, one should pay attention to frequency of smoking. Irregular smokers will have no traces of marijuana in their saliva after 24-48 hours, whereas daily consumers will need up to 72 hours at the minimum. Yet another factor is the metabolism rate: THC is flushed from healthy people's bodies much quicker.
Are saliva tests marijuana-sensitive?
Luckily for many, saliva tests are focused on pure THC and do not point to the presence of inactive metabolites in the samples. Since the portion of THC in saliva is traditionally very small, the chance of passing the saliva test is not that bad, unless the case of using marijuana is very recent. A joint smoked less than 24 hours before the saliva test will most probably be the reason for a positive probe.
Therefore, it is definitely not enough to use a mouthwash before the saliva drug test and hope for its good outcome. At a job site, one can be asked to take a saliva test without prior notification. This may be a problem for active users, so they need specific products for passing a saliva drug test or checking themselves before the actual test. In this case, they might be interested in buying one of those oral liquid screening kits that indicate if the saliva is ready to be tested.
How’s a saliva test run?
During a saliva test, the inside of the mouth is swabbed to test for THC with the help of a small toothbrush-looking device placed in the inside of the cheek. To get the result, one just has to wait for a few minutes, which is very convenient for on-site random testing. The sample is tested immediately, and a special color chart indicates the presence of drugs in saliva.
10 tips to remove marijuana from saliva
- Avoid any drugs up to 5 days before the test.
- Flush the mouth, use a mouthwash, drink lots of water or cranberry juice at least half an hour before the test.
- Urinate more often to remove toxins, exercise and sweat to let marijuana particles evaporate while breathing and perspiration.
- Stay active: movement contributes to the digestive system performance.
- Eat fruits, high-protein foods and drink coffee to activate the bowels and clean saliva.
- Eat fatty foods to improve the absorption of metabolites from saliva and blood.
- Take aspirin at least three hours before the test.
- Chew ice before entering the testing site to mask any smell.
- Take a strong breath chewing gum to conceal any drug taken through the mouth.
- Brush the teeth and gums to neutralize the drug.
These simple tips will help you get rid of marijuana in your saliva and pass a sudden drug test at workplace easily.
‘Potalyzer’, also known as marijuana roadside saliva test, has been developed by the scientists from Stanford. It is based on magnetic nanotechnology that initially proved to be an effective way of screening cancer. This invention may be the first successful attempt of creating a roadside test for weed.
‘Potalyzer’ can be compared to breathalyzers in terms of effectiveness. The police that are currently testing the innovative method say no other tool on the market is known to be as quick and precise in diagnosing the driver’s intoxication with marijuana. Laboratory urine and blood tests are not very helpful to police officers as these tests focus on detecting THC, marijuana’s most powerful agent. ‘Potalyzer’ is very practical and can measure both the presence and the concentration of THC in saliva.
Stanford researchers, including the team leader Shan Wang, professor of materials science and engineering and of electrical engineering, managed to use magnetic biosensors as part of a mobile device detecting THC molecules contained in saliva. All the officer needs to get the result is collecting saliva samples with a cotton swab and analyzing the sample with the help of a laptop or a smartphone. The test takes less than three minutes.
Scientists claim analyzing THC from saliva is more representative than taking a blood or urine test. The new procedure is less invasive and more informative. It seems challenging, however, when it comes to detecting very little concentrations of THC through spit tests. The smallest allowed amount of THC not being set in many states, while those that did it have agreed upon 0 to 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood.
Wang’s method is applicable when THC concentration is within 0-50 nanograms per unit of saliva. As found by previous studies, having from 2 to 25 nanograms per milliliter can already be called an impairment that is too much for the driver. Wang’s ‘Potalyzer’ is fully functional within this range.
The user-friendly form factor for the invention is being worked at currently. As soon as ‘Potalyzer’ is tested and approved by regulators, the police will be allowed to use it. It also needs strict limits for THC concentration in a driver’s spit sample to be set by all state’s laws before the device can be of any help in law enforcement.