If you’ve got a saliva drug test you need to pass, in a way that’s GOOD NEWS.
Why is that..?
Because it’s considered the easiest of the test types to pass once you know how to.
It is pretty much the ONLY type of test where a weed smoker has an easier time passing than say a meth/ecstasy/cocaine/opiate user.
On this page I’ll go through the pros and cons of mouth swab drug screenings, how the testing is done, some legal aspects of it as well as the best way to pass oral drug tests consistently in 2015.
Table of Contents
The Saliva Drug Test – Pros and Cons
Mouth swab tests go by many names. Don’t get confused however. Here are some examples, all of which refer to basically the same thing in this context and are passed the same way:
There are more but you get the picture…
Saliva screenings are relatively new but have increased in popularity over the last decade. Some of the reasons for this are that compared to other available test options they are:
- Non-invasive, so no issues with privacy or embarrassment
- Easy to administer randomly on-site and thus conveniently no nurses, technicians or laboratories need to be involved.
- Results can be determined instantly (less than 10 minutes)
- Cheaper than the still more common urine tests
- Hard to tamper with or adulterate the sample
These are good things for weed smokers as well, if you remember what I said above about this being the most weed-friendly test. If there’s gonna be a test at all, this is the one to prefer.
So although it has its advantages for the employer, it also has many disadvantages, also these good things for us, such as:
- Generally only detects weed use up to a week back
- More people pass this test than other tests
- There are products that can trick the test quite easily (see Oral Clear below)
- Measurements vary between saliva drug testing kit suppliers and there are no exact benchmarks for interpreting the results.
- Not as sensitive to THC in particular compared to other tests such as urine tests
Obviously the detection part holds the most weight but in lack of proper knowledge about drug screening it’s no wonder a business goes with the cheapest alternative.
Mouth swab tests are commonly used for post-accident tests, pre-employment tests, when there is any reasonable suspicion of drug use, when returning to duty, and as random tests.
How Oral Tests Work
If you’re curious about the process, here’s a brief walk-through.
As you probably know, toxins are everywhere. In the air we inhale, the food we eat, the water we drink.
These toxins then gets converted naturally by our body into metabolites.
Some of these metabolites get stuck and stored in the body, how many depending on the substance and of course how much you were exposed to.
The metabolites get released from where they’re stored over time and thus get into our blood stream and then into saliva, hair and urine.
These metabolites are what urine tests screen for to decide whether you pass or fail your test. Saliva tests on the other hand, look for the THC itself, before it’s broken down into its metabolites, which contributes to its shorter detection time.
As for the method of testing, it is very simple. You saliva sample will be taken usually either from between you gum and lower cheek by placing a swab/strip there for a minute or two, or by swabbing along the gum line, lower cheek, under the tounge or close to the tonsils.
Within a couple of minutes the result can be determined.
The swab resembles a common toothbrush or a mix between one and a cotton swab.
How to Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test
If you haven’t been using any marijuana the last 10 days, you should generally be alright. No need to stress about getting clean since your saliva should have cleared up naturally.
Saliva tests used to only be able to detect for a day or two but sensitivty has increased with more recent technology and I sometimes hear of people testing positive after abstaining for a week, while at the same time not being heavy smokers. It’s rare, but it can happen.
If you did smoke weed recently and the test is coming up soon, I’d recommend you take some precautions.
My definitive go-to product in this case is called Oral Clear. It’s one of the most popular products for saliva tests since it’s very consistent, and comes in the form of a gum (only gum on the market) that you chew before your test. It takes about 30 seconds to neutralize your saliva and then leaves you with a 30 minute window to leave your swab sample. Still, don’t forget to always read the instructions.
I’ve touched on this before, but I used to rely on detox mouth washes in combination with a 3 or 5 day detox program, which in my opinion is way less convenient (as well as more costly) than just using this gum
Most mouth washes you need to rinse with, several times, and then leave them up to 5 minutes before they take effect. And then you have up to a 15 minute time span where you must leave your sample. If your test is delayed for 10-15 min, your mouth wash may have just lost its effect.
Simply put it’s riskier and leaves a much bigger room for error.
The gum is not only much more discrete and easy to use anywhere (rinsing your mouth requires access to some place to spit only minutes before your test), but also stronger than most mouth washes, meaning you won’t have to supplement with other detox products.
Oral Clear is of the Clear Choice brand, a brand that has been around since 1993, and their website is www.testnegative.com.
In addition to using this however, make sure you brush your teeth and mouth thoroughly and preferably rinse with regular mouth wash twice or even three times daily the days before the test. This includes brushing the tounge, cheek and gums. This should be a regular habit of any weed smokers since it helps protect you against on-the-spot saliva THC tests without notice that can happen in some work places and organizations.
Don’t RUIN your mouth however. In other words, don’t overdo the brushing part. It doesn’t look entirely natural to those administering your mouth swab test if your mouth happens to look like you’ve been eating barbwire or if there is blood on your cotton swab.
If you’re in a position where said random mouth swab tests can be administered without warning, another great tip is to always carry an Oral Clear Gum with you when you’ve been smoking weed recently.
Obviously you should abstain from weed for as long as possible before the test, the most crucial time being the last 24-72 hours. It says on the Oral Clear description that no abstaining is necessary, but I still think that 24 hours at the very least is a best practice.
Additional things you can do are:
- Eat a fatty meal an hour or so before your test – the fat will help absorb THC metabolites from your bloodstream and in theory make less of it available to make its way to your saliva during your drug test.
- Stay hydrated to keep your oral fluids moving.
- Ignore some of the laboratory instructions if possible, making it more difficult for it to work accurately.
- If you get to hold the swab yourself, then avoid swabbing along your gum line and between teeth since there can be slightly more toxin metabolites there.
- Altoid mints, peroxide mouthwash and chewing ice is rumored to be helpful.
What Happens If You Fail Your Test?
If you test positive, appropriate action will be taken depending on the circumstances.
You can either accept your fate, or…
If the actor inside you can pull it off, one thing you can do is to hold firm that you’re innocent. Act surprised, not at all angry or aggressive, but rather confused and concerned. This must be done very convincingly (I don’t recommend this though!).
Although false positives for THC-specific tests is mostly a myth (no other substances really resemble THC-metabolites) drug tests often screen for many drugs at once, some of which false positive results are not that uncommon for.
Be prepared to tell those working at the testing facility about any supplements, medicines or prescription drugs you may have taken recently.
It may be a good idea to ask for a urine test to help prove that you’re innocent. Saliva tests aren’t as legally sound as urine tests, a.k.a more questionable in terms of the law. They are not approved by either FDA or SAMHSA for use in DOT-regulated federally mandated tests. However this is mainly due to potential contamination risks concerning those collecting the samples (it is possible for blood to be present in the saliva of someone with damaged cavities). Nonetheless, your concerns of how you could’ve failed may have them want more evidence before any serious action is taken.
Usually it takes a few days to schedule a urine test, which will give you time to prepare!
This is no excuse however, considering how simple it is (as explained above) to pass the test to begin with. A job will pay for a simple detox gum many times over.
As a last resort, you may want to seek legal counsel.
Note however that I have no personal experience with failed saliva tests (neither should you if you follow the instructions on how to pass a mouth swab drug test), and this last bit is based on what I could find online.
What do you think?
And no more questions in the comments about what the chance you passed is or if I think you passed your recent test, they will not be approved because they take up too much of the comments already. If your test is in the past then the only way to know is for sure is to wait for your results and they can’t be changed so whether I think you passed or not is pretty irrelevant. I get a lot of comments already and to be able to answer those that still have a chance to affect their test in a timely fashion, this is necessary.