If you’ve got a saliva drug test you need to pass, in a way that’s GOOD NEWS.
And why is that..?
Because the mouth swab test is considered one of the easier of the test types to pass.
And I agree with that, at least once you know how to (follow the guidelines laid out on this page, and you’ll pass yours too). So considering you could have been facing a facing urine or hair follicle test instead, this is indeed good news.
The swab test is pretty much the ONLY type of test where a weed smoker doesn’t have a harder time passing than say, a meth, ecstasy, cocaine or 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 in 2018.
Table of Contents
- 1 Saliva Drug Test Facts And Accuracy – Pros and Cons
- 2 How Long Does THC Stay In Your Saliva? (+ general oral drug test detection times)
- 3 How Oral Tests Work
- 4 How To Pass A Mouth Swab Drug Test Fast And Effortlessly (In 12 Hours If Needed + Handy Tips)
- 5 Oral Swab Test Home Remedies
- 6 What Happens If You Fail Your Test?
Saliva Drug Test Facts And Accuracy – 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 beneficial things for weed smokers as well, if you remember what I said above about the oral test 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 that for you and me, the weed consumers, are good, such as:
- Its THC detection time isn’t very long
- 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 short detection part holds the most weight for us, along with them being easy to fool with the right products, but with lack of proper knowledge about drug screening it’s no wonder a business goes with the cheapest alternative.
You can also deduct from above disadvantages of the saliva test that it’s a lot less accurate than many other tests when it comes to determining your habits of smoking weed.
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 Long Does THC Stay In Your Saliva? (+ general oral drug test detection times)
As mentioned before, one of the best things about the mouth swab drug test (for us stoners) is its shorter detection times. So, more precisely, how long does THC stay detectable in the saliva then?
It ranges from a few hours to a bit over a week, varying from person to person depending on different factors, but mainly on how much and heavy you smoke, especially at that last occasion.
Hence, to always be on the safe side, I recommend you use a detox product (more on that later) whenever you have not managed to abstain for at least a week. That is, for any oral swab test you actually care about passing.
When it comes to other drugs, the saliva drug test detection times are not that different from weed. It generally starts withing 1 to 7 hours, with estimated detection times varying from up to 2 days and up to 7 days for individual drugs.
Basically, just as with weed, the swab test is very unlikely to detect whatever you’ve been taking after a week of abstinence.
Since marijuana builds up inside the body to a different extent than most other, not fat-solubale, drugs, it’s exact detection time frame depends a bit more on how frequent and heavy a user you are as well. The method of consumption matters too, with for example hash oil and hashish haivng slightly different timelines compared to regular smoking.
How Oral Tests Work
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. Your saliva sample will be taken usually either from between you gum and lower cheek by placing a swab or 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 Fast And Effortlessly (In 12 Hours If Needed + Handy Tips)
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 THC 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 your test is coming up soon, I 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.
If there’s one thing you should get for a mouth swab test, it’s this gum.
It takes about 30 seconds to neutralize your saliva and then leaves you with a 30 minute window to leave your swab sample (that’s TWICE the time frame of most mouth washes for this purpose by the way). 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 the majority of its effect.
Simply put, detox mouth washes are 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 of stronger potency than most mouth washes, meaning you won’t have to supplement with other detox products the days before your test.
Oral Clear is of the Clear Choice brand, a brand that has been around since 1993, and their website is www.testnegative.com.
That said, being a premium product Oral Clear does come at a premium price tag, and if it’s out of your price range but you still want to improve your chances of passing your test considerably, my favorite budget product would be Rescue Wash. I have used this myself in the past before discovering Oral Clear, and it is very good value for it’s lower price.
In addition to using a tailor-made product 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 (worst case straight out suspicious) 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.
When you’ve got no other choice however (and a bit on how much/frequently you’ve been using the last time and few days back), as long as you’ve got some Oral Clear at home I don’t see why you wouldn’t have a good shot at passing your mouth swab test in 12 hours or even less. I’d not say it’s guaranteed though, so don’t try it on purpose.
Additional tips of things you can do to maximize your odds 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.
- Do some natural detoxing the days before, including exercise, sauna and eating healthy.
Oral Swab Test Home Remedies
I’ll include some of these mostly because I know how much people love their home remedies, although they rarely live up to their claims.
Seriously though, don’t rely on these. At most, keep them in mind as helpful additions to the strategies already mentioned above, because passing your drug test is nothing you want to take an unnecessary gamle on.
So, here goes, some common saliva cleansing home remedies in no particular order:
- Altoid mints
- Peroxide mouthwash
- Chewing ice
What Happens If You Fail Your Test?
If you test positive on an oral fluid test, 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 personally 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 nor accurate 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.
When I say serious action, what I mean is basically that you won’t get the job or might risk losing the current one (if it’s that kind of test). Just so you’re aware we’re not talking of any serious legal consequences here in general.
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, which is why I always consider it a great precautionary investment, even if you think you will likely pass without it.
As a last resort, you may want to seek legal counsel, although a need for this would be exceptionally rare.
Note however that I have no personal experience with failed saliva tests (neither should you if you follow the instructions above on how to pass a mouth swab drug test), and this last bit is based on what I could dig up online.