Asking for a friend, we promise.
I recently opened a Snapchat from my best friend informing me that she had been fired from her job because she failed a drug test.
Jasmine does not do drugs?—?her idea of a wild night includes catching up on “Jane the Virgin” while sipping Moscato. I started to panic, thinking, “My best friend has totally gone off the deep end.” Some form of telepathy must have kicked in, because seconds later, I received a text assuring me everything was okay.
The job loss wasn’t a tragedy: Jasmine was already planning to submit her two weeks notice. We spent the next few minutes laughing about how dumb it was that she lost her job because of a poppy seed (during the harvesting process, poppy seeds absorb opium extract, which can cause your pee to test positive for morphine). After we hung up, I started to wonder: How long does it take before a drug is out of your system?
According to the US Anti-Doping Agency, it can take up to 48 hours for drugs like morphine and codeine to pass through your system. But what about marijuana? It seems like all the cool kids are doobie-ing it up these days.
Green Rush Daily explains that the most common way for an employer to track your marijuana usage is through a urine test. These tests don’t detect THC (the ingredient in weed that makes makes you feel high). Instead, urine tests look for THC-COOH, a derivative chemical your body produces after smoking or ingesting weed. THC-COOH stays in your system longer than THC, which explains why you might fail a drug test, even weeks after a smoke session.
The more you smoke, the longer it takes for marijuana to completely exit your body. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- First time smokers usually test positive for marijuana for five to eight days after using.
- If you smoke two to four times in a week, THC-COOH will remain in your urine for approximately 11–18 days.
- Smokers that get high five to six times a week will test positive for over a month after smoking.
- If you smoke weed every day, THC-COOH can remain in your urine for up to 77 days.
Some weed enthusiasts claim that drinking water and cranberry juice can help you pass a drug test. Unfortunately, consuming too many fluids can dilute your urine, which may compromise your test results.
Sorry, marijuana lovers; it’s hard to outsmart science. Even the best employees can be brought down by a poorly timed drug test. When it comes to your weed (and poppy seed) use, tread lightly.