The late 80s and early 90s were popular for many things – Michael Jackson, Ronald Reagan, the birth of cable news, and drug testing. Yep, you read that right, drug testing.
On the 14th of October 1982, Ronald Reagan declared a war on drugs, advancing the initiative started by President Richard Nixon before him (Wikipedia). During this time, employers rushed to create drug-free work environments – even though there was no evidence showing their benefits or that the tests worked.
While drug tests are still common in many workplaces, they seem ridiculous now as the marijuana legalization movement gains momentum with each passing day. But if you’ve been called for a job interview and are required to take a drug test, worry not. Hydrogen peroxide can be your friend in time of need.
How A Saliva Drug Test Detects Marijuana
This test checks for active THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive form of marijuana that gives you a high. The common misconception is that fresh cannabis contains THC, but the plain truth is it contains almost none. It is filled with THCA (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) which must pass through heat to become active THC.
When you vape or smoke weed, THCA is activated by the heat and changed to THC. The same chemical process takes place when you bake marijuana in the oven or slow cook it in oil or butter to make cannabutter – which is used to make edibles. The common name for this activation process is decarbing.
After you smoke, delta-9 THC is absorbed by your saliva glands and forms a coat inside your mouth. If you eat marijuana edibles, your exposure is decreased, but you’re still eating decarbed cannabis. A lot of this THC doesn’t go to the bloodstream, it simply stays in your saliva till you gradually swallow it and get rid of its traces.
Now that you know a little about THC and THCA, let’s get back on track. How does a saliva drug test show a potential employer that the person they are about to hire is a lover of weed?
The test detects Δ9-THC, a cannabis molecule that can be found in the mouth. Weed smoke is rich in this molecule. When you smoke a joint, the smoke contaminates your oral cavity and stays up to 24 hours (National Center for Biotechnology Information). As the hours pass, the levels of THC in the mouth decrease as it gets absorbed into the bloodstream.
However, if your weed is more potent, THC can stay in your system for up to a week.
The saliva test is usually a qualitative type of test and gives a negative or a positive result. Different employers give a cut-off mark for the test (10 ng/mL, 20 ng/mL, 25 ng/mL, and so on). If the saliva sample has a THC level higher than the indicated cut-off mark, the test will turn out positive; if it’s below the cut-off mark, the test will be negative.
Don’t confuse a saliva drug test with a urine test – it is more efficient. It detects the same marijuana salivary traces as those police look for in their roadside screening tests. A saliva test checks for the same active THC a blood test does.
How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Work?
Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful sanitizer and can get rid of weed traces. But don’t take it as it is, dilute it with a little water and start using it some days before the drug test. To avoid any allergic reactions or sensitivities, you can test the mixture on your skin before gargling it.
A word of caution: hydrogen peroxide can damage your teeth so don’t use it excessively.
Does It Really Work?
In a clinical study conducted on 11 cannabis smokers, the researchers observed that when the individuals rinsed their mouths with water after smoking weed, the levels of THC in their mouths decreased (National Center for Biotechnology Information).
Since a hydrogen peroxide mixture also contains water, it is more effective. If you don’t know the exact ratio to use when mixing hydrogen peroxide with water, you can buy an over-the-counter solution. However, be sure to buy a 3% solution that’s available at any drugstore. To get rid of the flavor, you can mix the solution with liquid chlorophyll.
Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide Before a Drug Test
- Refrain from smoking a joint two days (48 hours) before the test. Marijuana is most effective the first 48 hours after its intake. While people are different and some can smoke later and still get negative results, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Don’t let a joint be the reason you don’t get that job you want
- Brush your teeth 3 times every day and gargle a mouthful of the hydrogen peroxide solution. Let it stay inside your mouth for a few minutes before you spit it out. Use mouthwash and drink lots of water as water cleans both your mouth and body. Also make sure you eat fatty foods as THC bonds to fat which removes it from the mouth quicker
- This is the most important point. On the day of the test, brush your teeth thoroughly, giving special attention to every area – especially the area where the swab will be placed. Afterwards, gargle with the hydrogen peroxide solution 3-4 times
- Carry a tiny mouthwash bottle and a water bottle to the test venue. Gargle one last time and drink as much water as you can before the test to remove any lingering traces of THC
To Sum It Up
Hydrogen peroxide can help you to pass that saliva drug test and get that job you really need (which will pay for your weed). But the thing is, regular water also works. If you want to save money (and who doesn’t? Except Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos), stick to water.
For the best results, use the two together.
When it comes to a drug test, time is of the essence. Don’t smoke or eat edibles 2 days before the test and you’ll be good to go.