Desperate times call for desperate measures, and there are few occasions less dire than an unexpected drug test. From apple cider vinegar to activated charcoal, the internet is full of supposed solutions that will cleanse your system. If you have quit smoking weed and know what foods to avoid before a drug test, have you considered the role alcohol might play in your detox efforts? Does alcohol make THC stay in your system longer, or can it help you flush faster? In the quest for how to pass a drug test, let’s explore alcohol’s role.
Alcohol for Flushing Toxins
The most common form of THC testing is through urinalysis. Since THC is detectable in urine for up to 30 after last use, this can be a tough test to beat if you have little time to prepare. One of the more bizarre home remedies for passing a THC test is using alcohol to flush your system. Where did this idea come from, and is it true?
Alcohol to Burn Fat
After you smoke weed and your body uses THC, it turns into a metabolite that is stored in fat cells. You have to burn fat to release the metabolites into the bloodstream until they are eventually released through your urine. So it makes sense that the more fat you can burn, the faster you can detox from THC.
Although one study shows that drinking alcohol might help you lose weight, it’s not a general rule that alcohol will burn enough fat to pass a drug test. The guideline for making this work is to drink eight ounces of alcohol every day, which will urge your body to burn excess fat to get enough energy to burn the calories from the alcohol. Supposedly, this exact formula of eight ounces of the same drink every day will help you burn fat, but many variables exist. Your overall percentage of body fat or the type of alcohol you choose can throw this plan off track.
Alcohol as a Diuretic
When your body is dehydrated, the pituitary gland secretes a hormone that suppresses the release of urine to maintain as much fluid in the body as possible. These anti-diuretic hormones (ADH) are a defense mechanism against dehydration, but adding alcohol to the body interferes with how they work. Alcohol signals the kidneys to release water by pausing the ADH from doing its job.
The result is that you pee more frequently, making alcohol a diuretic. However, the premise that drinking alcohol will flush your system of THC is a faulty one. Just because you will pee more often does not mean you will pass a drug test.
Will Alcohol Help Pass a Drug Test
In short – no. Whether you attempt the eight ounces a day or go on a bender before a drug test – you’re not going to pass if you’ve been smoking weed. Studies show that alcohol increases THC levels in your blood, so assuming that it will help you pass a test is foolhardy. THC might be more soluble in alcohol than water, but the only result you’ll get with this ‘remedy’ is a hangover.
Alcohol and the Body
Alcohol is absorbed in the stomach and small intestine and circulates throughout your bloodstream. The liver is responsible for breaking it down, and until it completes its job, the alcohol continues to swim around in your blood, affecting every organ in the body. Alcohol interacting with the brain causes the feeling of being drunk, and this feeling only dissipates if you stop drinking and let the liver process the booze.
Our body’s other major detox organs, the kidneys, are being nudged to release water and suppress the ADH. We know that alcohol is a diuretic, so whenever you are drinking it your body is still in the active process of dehydrating. Therefore, using alcohol to detox from THC is not a viable (or intelligent) option.
If you are serious about passing a drug test, look for a reliable remedy to help you detox THC. Instead, consider one of the following suggestions to help you pass a drug test.
- 3-4 Weeks: If you have a few weeks before a test or simply want to cleanse your system, stop using weed and let your body detox naturally. Get plenty of rest, extra exercise, and avoid foods that might slow down the detox. Drink plenty of water, reduce alcohol intake, and focus on eating mineral-rich foods like leafy greens and fresh fruit.
- 5-7 Days: It’s crunch time, and you need to consider what you can do to speed up your detox. This calls for a detox kit to help you get rid of THC, fast.
- 1 Day: You’ve just been offered the job of your dreams…pending a passing drug test. This calls for a same-day detox drink to rid your body of THC within hours.
So, does alcohol make THC stay in your system longer? Not exactly. But it also won’t help you flush it out any faster. Stick to the tried and true methods when it comes to detox, and don’t go on a bender before your next drug test.