If you are an athlete who uses cannabis, sports league drug tests can pose a serious challenge for you. As you probably know, cannabis is a banned substance and you’ll want to get it out of your system before taking a drug test. You might wonder how long you have to refrain from using weed to pass the test.
What Do Drug Tests Check?
All types of drug tests will be looking for THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis. THC itself breaks down pretty quickly, but the process yields several inactive metabolites. These substances serve as markers of cannabis use and are present in the body long after the high sensation has passed.
Types of Cannabis Drug Tests
Urine, blood, hair, and saliva tests can detect the presence of cannabinoid components. Each testing method will show slightly different results.
A urine drug test will detect a THC metabolism byproduct called THC-COOH. This is the most precise type of test.
THC-COOH will show up on a urine test within the following timeframes:
- 3 days for occasional users
- 5-7 days for moderate users
- 10-15 days for chronic users
- 30 days for chronic heavy users
Usually, a blood test will detect the presence of THC within 1-2 days after the last intake. However, the detection window will be longer for chronic heavy users.
A saliva cannabis test has a very short detection window: 24 hours for occasional users and up to 72 hours for heavy users.
Hair Follicle Test
A hair analysis will detect the presence of THC in heavy cannabis users. The detection window can be as long as 90 days. However, this is an expensive test requiring advanced equipment. Blood and urine tests are much more common for athletes.
How to Pass a Cannabis Test
The only certain way to make sure you pass a weed test is to refrain from using cannabis for a safe period. However, drug tests are often unexpected, and if you know you have one coming up in a day or two, you might not have enough time to get rid of THC traces.
Here are some tips that might help you get rid of THC metabolic byproducts more quickly:
1. Consider detox products
Some safe detoxification products can help enhance your natural detox systems and speed up the flushing out of THC traces. Nutra Cleanse kits are a popular option.
2. Keep hydrated
Drinking plenty of water will flush out THC metabolites and help you pass the dreaded test. However, beware of water intoxication, an electrolyte imbalance that may occur when one drinks too much water.
Water with a squeeze of lemon, diluted cranberry juice, or sports drinks will help you keep up electrolyte balance better than plain water.
Urine may appear diluted if you overhydrate. Some people attempt to mask this by taking a vitamin B supplement for yellower color.
3. Avoid the first urine
Avoid collecting the first morning urine sample for the test. Your morning urine will be more concentrated and contain more THC byproducts.
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