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There’s Only One Reliable Way to Get Weed Out of Your System, and It Sucks

To pass that drug test, you’re gonna have to put down that bong — permanently

So you smoked some weed, and now you need to pass a drug test. Fortunately, where there’s a will, there’s a way. But before we contemplate how to get weed out of your system, just know that marijuana is one helluva clingy fella. Let’s talk a bit more about that as we discuss your options (and no, now is not the time to spark up another bowl).

How to Get Weed Out of Your System: What You Need to Know

The more weed you ingest, the longer it takes to leave your system, and different drug tests have different detection windows. Typically, THC is detectable for up to 90 days in hair, anywhere from three days to over a month in pee, up to 29 days in saliva and usually up to two days in blood (though, it’s been detected in blood a whopping 25 days later — ugh). 

The reason weed stays in your system for so long is because it builds up in your body fat. Since our bodies are programmed to retain as much flab as possible to keep us energized, anything in that blubber is bound to stick around for a while, too. That’s why Nikki Lastreto, co-founder of the Swami Select cannabis brand, says it takes longer for people with more fat on their bodies to be deemed completely free of THC by a drug test.

Apart from that, there are no real conventions for how soon weed leaves your system — everyone expels THC at different rates. “There are many factors at play, including length of time of use, amounts being used during that time and your own personal metabolic rates,” says Jeffrey C. Raber, CEO of The Werc Shop cannabis laboratory. “It’s quite complex and rather individualized.”

How to Get Weed Out of Your System: What You Need to Do

Stop smoking immediately, because time is the only reliable way to bid the weed in your body farewell. “Fluids and exercise could help to a very small extent, but that’s most likely negligible,” Raber explains.

If you’re desperate, you could attempt the tricks described in my manual for passing a drug test, but these typically come with their own set of problems, such as:

Aduleration: One study found that dropping vinegar and lemon juice into your already-filled pee cup can produce a false negative, but being caught is a very real concern.

Dilution: Weed detox kits are available all over the place, but all they really do is dilute your pee and they’re pretty unreliable. Highly diluted piss is a big red flag for drug testers.

Substitution: Fake pee is equally unreliable, and clean pee from a friend needs to be kept at body temperature in order to pass a drug test. It can be done, but again, it’s no easy feat.

How to Get Weed Out of Your System: What You Can Look Forward To

Ideally, we’d live in a world where it’s inconsequential to have weed in our systems. Thankfully, that might happen soon — earlier this summer, the normally diabolical megacorporation Amazon announced it would quit drug testing many of its employees for cannabis and promised to lobby Congress to pass a bill to federally legalize marijuana. Another bill introduced in the California state legislature around the same time aims to ban pre-employment drug tests for weed. And we all felt the public outrage when gifted American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was denied her spot in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for a little kush.

So if you don’t pass this drug test, never fear — it just might be your last.