Understanding Employer Drug Tests 101

The goal of every employer is to provide their employees with a safe work environment. Not only is a safe workplace important for the safety and well-being of employees, but it also helps to avoid liability issues; not to mention the fact that it can help to increase productivity, as people tend to work more effectively and efficiently when they feel safe and know that they’re employers have their best interest in mind.

Of all the different ways that business owners aim to ensure the safety of their employees, drug testing is one of the most common methods that are used. Drug testing may be done for new hires only, or they may be done randomly, and in both cases, the goal of this type of testing is to ensure that workers are focused and have a clear presence of mind.


While it’s completely understandable to test employees for certain types of drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and other kinds of hard substances, as they have an undeniable impact on the overall health, well-being, and functionality of individuals, there are certain kinds of drugs that really aren’t that big of a deal; marijuana for example.

The perception about marijuana has shifted in recent years. Thanks to new legislation that has legalized the use of marijuana for both medicinal use, as well as recreational use in some locations, many people are not only has there been a huge increase in weed use, but it’s also just become a lot more acceptable and commonplace in society.

With that said, whether you have an employer or sports organization who wants to test for other types of drugs or your boss does actually want to check to see if you’re using marijuana, if you have to submit to drug testing in the workplace, you’re probably wondering how your employee will test for THC, what will fail the test, and how you can even go about successfully passing a drug test by making the THC in your body undetectable.

Below, you’ll find more information about weed testing in the workplace and how you can go about successfully passing one.

urine testing

How Employers Test for Drugs 2023

There are several different types of drug tests. While each type collects different types of samples, they all test those samples to see if they can detect any type of illicit drugs, as well as legal drugs – such as marijuana. What kind of drug testing could employers use at the workplace? Here’s a look at five of the most common testing methods for drugs.

1.) Urine Drug Testing

Hands down, the most common type of drug test is a urine screening. In fact, it’s estimated that about eight in 10 employers – or about 90 percent of companies – require prospective new employees to take a urine test before they are hired.

These tests can be given on-site or at a lab. Either way, you will be provided with a small cup with a lid that will be used to collect your specimen. The cup will be labeled with your name and once you’ve filled it up with a certain amount of urine, the specimen will be tested using specialized technologies to check for any evidence of THC, cocaine, opiates, amphetamine, and even alcohol.

2.) Saliva Drug Testing

Behind urine testing, saliva testing is the next most common methods employers use to screen their employees. These tests involve collecting saliva via a swab that is rubbed along the inside of the mouth or by the employee spitting a small amount of salvia into a cup.

Either way, the saliva specimen is tested to determine whether an employee has any cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, or marijuana in their system, and can detect traces of these elements that go back as far as a few days, except for marijuana, which can only be detected 10 hours after use.

3.) Hair Follicle Testing

As the name suggest, this type of drug testing involves collecting a specimen of an employee’s hair. A piece of hair, complete with a small bit of the scalp, will be removed from the head. The hair must measure at least 1.5 inches long, and every half inch of the hair can reveal drug use within the last month.

If you REALLY needed to avoid a hair test, you COULD just shave off all your hair!

Hair follicle testing is a non-invasive, non-painful way of testing for drugs, and while it’s easy to obtain a specimen, the downside is that it takes longer to complete the testing. Another con of hair follicle testing is that it does not reveal any evidence of recent drug use, but instead, it checks for historic drug use from 5 days to 90 days. This form of drug testing checks for traces of marijuana, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), methamphetamine, and opiates.

4.) Prescription Drug Detection Tests

This is the newest form of drug testing and it is predominately used to assess those individuals who are in recovery and who are on parole or probation; however, it can also be used by employers. With this form of drug screening, a patch is placed on an employee’s skin and it is left on for 14 days. As the subject perspires, the patch collects the perspiration, and once it’s removed, the sweat is assessed to check for cocaine, LSD, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana.

5.) Blood Drug Testing

Of all the different types of drug testing that employers can use to screen their employees, blood testing is the most common; it’s also the most effective and reliable. It’s the most invasive form of drug testing, too, and it must be conducted by a trained and licensed phlebotomist.

After the blood is withdrawn, it is analyzed in a laboratory for traces of cocaine, amphetamine, opiates, methamphetamines, and marijuana. Blood testing can detect THC in the bloodstream for up to one week after it was last used.

weed test meme

What Traces are Left Behind by Marijuana?

When you use marijuana – whether you smoked it or ingested it orally – the effects can vary, as can the length of time that those effects can be experienced. However, once that “high” feeling wears off, the metabolites are remain in your system; the chemical remnants of the marijuana plant.

Formally known as “cannabinoids”, these remnants can be detected in the hair, fingernails, saliva, blood, and urine, and they can remain for a few months. The more weed you use and the more intense the strain, the longer the traces will last in your system.

What Do Drug Tests Check For?

Drug tests analyze the specimens within a person’s system for different types of chemical compounds. In the case of marijuana, these tests check for cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinoil (THC, the naturally occurring compound that is responsible for creating that psychoactive “high” feeling.)

The primary metabolite that drug tests screen for is referred to as THC-COOH, which is stored in the body fat. When compared to other types of drugs, the detection time for weed is the longest; for up to several months. That’s because the chemical compounds that drug tests check for remain in the fat cells of the body.

Best Ways to Pass a Drug Test (*In Theory)

If you’re a marijuana user and you’ve recently found out that you have to take a drug test for work, you might be panicking, but you don’t have to! Fortunately, there are ways that you can successfully pass a drug test, even if you’ve recently smoked marijuana. How? – By going through a process that’s known as detox.

There are several different types of detoxes, including chewable tablets, capsules, drinks, and even mouthwashes and shampoos. The goal of all types of detoxes is to flush out any detectable traces of THC in the body.

No products found.

For example, detox teas can lower THC levels, as it acts as a diuretic; in other words, it flushes the remains of THC compounds through your urine, as it cleanses the kidneys.

*Do note, however, that some forms of detoxes can be detected with certain types of drug tests, so you do need to be sure that you use a high-quality detox that will effectively flush your system without being detected on the test you are going to have to take.

To verify the success or failure of a detox before actually going to take a test it is advisable to invest in your own home test kit to verify results before actually going on the record.

15 Pack Easy@Home Marijuana (THC) Single Panel Drug Tests Kit - #EDTH-114
  • More than 99% accurate in detecting specific drugs according to the designated cut-off levels
  • Easy to use-just dip the test into urine and read results in 5 minutes, 2 lines appears if clean, 1 control line only appears if not clean; DO NOT read the result after 5...

Sure, it costs a bit more, buying a text kit or two for home use, but think of how much stress will be avoided on the real day of testing if you’ve already passed two trial-runs at home beforehand.

*Also be aware that using synthetic urine, gum, shampoo or mouthwash to pass drug tests, particularly those mandated by government agencies and organizations is illegal in many states and thus you need to do your own research for your city/state to review the laws regarding drug screening and fake urine. HerbCEO cannot advise anyone use products recommended in this review roundup outside of their intended use as described by the manufacturer.

How to Successfully Pass a Drug Test for Work

As mentioned, there are several types of detoxes that you can use to cleanse your system of any built-up THC that remains in your body after you have used marijuana. There are other methods, as well. Some of the most common methods that employees use to pass drug tests that they’re required to take for work include:

1. Make Results Inconclusive by Diluting Urine:

If you’re going to be asked to take a urine drug test, you can try diluting your urine beforehand. To do this, you should drink a significant amount of water beginning 24 hours before your test is scheduled, and the water will flush your system.

Alternatively, you can put water directly into the sample of urine that you provide. When the urine is diluted, any detectable traces of THC is diluted; thus, you’ll be able to achieve a negative result.

2. Pass With Flying Colors by Using Someone Else’s Urine

You can also try to use someone else’s urine. Obviously, you want to make sure that the urine you use comes from someone who is clean.

You would provide the individual with the specimen cup and they would urinate in it. You would then provide your employer with the individual’s urine sample, passing it off as your own.

3. Go High-Tech and Use Synthetic Urine

You could also use synthetic urine. There are different types of synthetic urine, which is usually sold in powdered-form, and is then mixed with water. The synthetic urine is then tested by the laboratory.

4. Buy Time by Invalidating the Sample by Mixing in Harsh Chemicals

You could also try altering your urine specimen. In order to do so, you could try mixing some salt, bleach, peroxide, bleach, or even eye drops in your own urine sample.

However, do be aware that if you use this method, there is a chance that the chemicals that you use to alter your urine may be able detected on a drug test. As such, you may want to avoid using this method due to the high risk associated with intentionally obfuscating samples.

5. Use Vacation Time, Find an Emergency, Get Sick; Just Do Anything to Buy Time and Delay Testing

You could also just try to delay taking a drug test. For example, if you’ve recently used marijuana and you’re asked to take a drug test, see if you can wait for at least a week to complete the test. During that period of time, make sure you drink plenty of water in order to flush out your system.

Essentially, the more water you drink over that period of time, the less likely it is that THC traces will be detected in your drug test when you do take it.

6. Find a Better Job that Doesn’t Drug Test In the First Place

Yes, much easier said than done but in all seriousness, if you’re looking for a long-term stable job, something that not only pays the bills but gives you a sense of satisfaction and is something you could see yourself doing every day, then maybe working for an employer that upkeeps this archaic form of employee control isn’t someone you really want to be working for in the first place?

Yes, sometimes we have not other choice, families to support, debt to repay, but if you do have options around your town/city, it may be worth seriously considering a different type of career that will both provide a steady paycheck, health insurance (hopefully), and also will never require a drug test, would be a worthy alternative to a company that drug tests regularly and/or randomly in our opinion.

Why do Employees Try to Fake Passing Drug Tests?

The answer to this is obvious. Whether you’re applying for a new job and the employer you’re interviewing with requires you take a drug test before they can determine if you are hired or your current employer requires you to take random drug tests and you’ve recently used marijuana – or any other drug, for that matter – trying to pass the test is definitely in your best interest. If you take the test and fail, you won’t be hired or there is a chance that you could be fired.

piss test meme

Ultimately, it’s a form of control. Some employers feel that the more you control your workforce the more productive they will be. This logic is obviously fundamentally flawed.

Some companies also just enforce drug testing if they work for, or are sub-contracted at all by the federal government. The federal government will not conduct business with companies that break federal law, which, today, still applies to cannabis.

Popular Products to Help You Pass Drug Screening Reviewed

Outside of abstaining or buying yourself enough time to let your body naturally detoxify and remove any traces of drugs there are other popular products designed to help pass drug tests, albeit in some cases, in less than ethical ways.

But considering the fact that subjecting people to drug tests for harmless plants like cannabis, and given that in America people’s livelihoods, healthcare, retirement etc are ALL tied to employment, we figure the gloves are off when it comes to enabling hard working people achieving steady employment.

That said, the below solutions should be your last resort if you are unable to just abstain for a few weeks before your screening and are most useful with randomized/last-minute drug test appointments that could not be foreseen or planned for.

dr greens detox-x review

Dr. Greens Drug Screening Products Reviewed

Dr. Greens is an OG within the online community, with a name and branding to match the basement dwelling stoners who were spreading the good word of cannabis long before state-level legalizations started sweeping the country.

Product offerings fall into four main categories, including detox, fake pee, cleaners, and home test kits.

The Dr.Green cleaners, designed for quick, easy cleaning of water pipes, bongs, and other smoking accessories, come in multiple sizes and strengths, including The Flash Chalice Cleaner (staple product for glassware), 4:20 Pink/Bedazzled Chalice Cleaner (similar to The Flash but targeted at different customer base), and Dr.Greens Grinder Cleaner, for removing caked up resin.

In terms of fame and reputation though Dr.Greens is most well known for their detox products including Wash Away shampoo (for removing any chemicals stuck onto hair, but not removing any chemicals within the hair follicles themselves), and Cool Rinse mouth wash, which cleans out your mouth, useful for saliva-testing only.

For drug testing specifically Dr.Greens has a pretty wide variety of laboratory-produced synthetic urine that mimics real urine in terms of chemical makeup, most notably the presence of uric acid, the hallmark of urine. Agent-X is their best selling synthetic urine product and comes in pre-mixed or mix-yourself offerings.

The Agent-X kit comes with powdered sample (not premix version), a mixing bottle with temperature strip to judge heat, and a heat pad to help keep the urine warm, in order to replicate real-world urine as closely as possible.

Please note that Dr.Greens does not ship to certain states due to laws regarding synthetic urine in those states so read each product carefully before shopping. Also note that Dr.Greens markets these products as novelty items, so they are, designed for novelty and not for breaking any laws.

They are PERFECT however for urine analysis and drug screening equipment calibration and testing to ensure they are working correctly. You can even verify the quality with Dr.Green’s home drug test kits which come in standardized 1, 3, and 5-panel screening kits, similar to what is found in professional screening labs.

Quick Fix synthetic urine belt

Quick Fix Synthetic Urine Reviewed

Quick Fix is a brand of fake urine and fake urine stealth bottle owned by 513 Ventures specializing specifically in high-quality synthetic urine and synthetic urine delivery systems. the urine itself contains all of the ingredients and organic compounds found in natural human urine and is balanced for specific human-pH, gravity, and creatinine.

Quick Fix claims every batch sold is laboratory tested before it is approved for shipping and they hold multiple patents for their synthetic urine in the United States. Quick Fix claim that their urine is designed to mimic all natural components found in natural human urine making it indistinguishable from the real thing.

Products include the urine itself, either in 2oz or 3oz single bottles or 2/3oz 4-packs. They also offer a urine belt, which holds a small portion of Quick Fix discreetly around the waste. There is also a smaller stash leg strap that straps Quick Fix to the inside of your thigh as well as a pair of “stash undies”, essentially a pair of black nondescript underwear with a pocket for holding a bottle of Quick Fix artificial urine.

Listed applications for Quick Fix include “scientific uses” relating to lab testing and equipment calibration, urine therapy for those practicing Ayurveda therapy, for fetish applications for adults, for pranks/stunts where real urine is not possible, or as animal repellent. As with all synthetic urine products check your states laws on their legal use.

Test Negative Synthetic Urine and Detoxification Products Reviewed

Test Negative offers perhaps the most comprehensive range of synthetic urine, detox, and home-test kits on the market. From simple single-panel home-drug test kits to full Hollywood-esque “XXXTreeme Solutions” which come full kit-and-kabootle with synthetic urine mix, a belt, heat pads, syringe for re-fills, temperature test strips, and of course, a life-like prosthetic human penis for ultimate guise.

Test Negative has generally positive reviews, particularly for their home test kits, synthetic urine products (offered in “Quick Luck”, “Sub Solution”, and “Xtreme Solution” grades with Sub Solution Rescue Cleanse being their most popular product) and detox products, the most popular being their Rescue Cleanse from Clear Choice solutions.

Clear Choice complete synthetic urine kit

Rescue Cleanse is a powerful detox pre-mixed drink that can work in as few as 5 hours, will work on individuals up to 200lbs, and comes in a pleasant cranberry apple flavor. These cleansing products are essentially potent diuretics so make sure to be consuming plenty of clean water to replace all the fluids being flushed from your system.

Oral Clear saliva detox gum

One noteworthy product offered via Test Negative under the “Oral Clear” brand is saliva-neutralizing gum which removes any lingering chemical toxins in your mouth in just 30 seconds. This is only effective for saliva-screening but is still a very clever, discreet solution worth considering if saliva-testing is something you are interested in researching.

The Future of Drug Testing for Work

Ultimately, forced drug testing for employment in the United States is barbaric, particularly because our healthcare and retirement are tied directly to our employment, meaning, most people don’t have an option.

Compare this to Europe for example, where national healthcare systems exist to care for people regardless of whether they are employed or not, and where there are more social security and welfare safety nets, the United States appears medieval in comparison.

Still, there is no getting around the fact of reality that in America today many people are still forced to be subjected to drug screening if they are to be able to provide a means of living. Hopefully in the near future, with federal legalization support at record highs (pun intended), this may soon become a less and less common form of labor control.

By trying the methods mentioned above, you may be able to successfully pass a drug test for work.

HerbCEO Final Thoughts

Summing It Up

In 2018, marijuana was approved for recreational use in several US states, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, DC. In 2020 we saw New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, and Montana legalize cannabis as well. In 2021 there are reform bills on the docket for North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Needless to say, state governments are waking up to both the popular demand for legal cannabis as well as the massive windfall in tax revenue that legalization brings with it.

Regardless of the legality of this natural drug today however, it is pertinent to keep in mind that there are certain risks that are associated with using it; namely, there’s the unfortunate chance that you may be subjected to a drug test for work.

If you’re planning on using marijuana in any capacity and in any way (smoking it or via edibles, for example), do note that there is a chance that your current or future employer may not accept the fact that you’re using it; even if it is legal and even it if is for medicinal purposes. By using the tips discussed in this article, you may be able to still use marijuana and pass a drug test for work.

Last update on 2024-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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