If you’re facing the possibility of marijuana drug testing by your employer and have smoked recently, things can get a little scary. Did you know marijuana can stay in your system for up to several months if you are a heavy user? Because of this, it is important for you to understand more about the testing process before you show up at the lab.  But before you dash out to your local grocery store and buy a gallon or two of cranberry juice, it’s time to clear up a few of the myths regarding how to beat a test for cannabis consumption.

1. You Will Be Taking a Urine Test

One of the most common forms of marijuana drug testing for decades has been a urinalysis. The reason for this is that the test is inexpensive and easily conducted.  Bear in mind that a urinalysis only tests for THC metabolites that tend to hang around longer than any other substance. In cases where the person is being tested to see how often they are consuming or how intoxicated they are, the mouth swab is now being used. This method is more efficient and accurate than any other form of testing.

2. Drinking Lots of Fluids Will Flush Your System

Water will surely help flush your system of THC metabolites, cannabinoids, and several other substances, but it will also flush out creatine. If the test detects a lower than normal creatine level, your employer may ask you to submit to further testing to ensure you have not been trying to cheat the test. Diuretics like coffee or cranberry juice can also help to flush your system but have the same effect on creatine levels. Therefore, flushing your system is not the best way to pass a urine test.

3. Second-Hand Smoke Can Make You Fail

So many people try to use the “second-hand smoke” excuse when their test comes up positive, so many in fact that it’s almost funny. But the reality is that according to a study conducted in 2015, it is virtually impossible for someone who does not smoke marijuana to fail a urine test following exposure to second-hand cannabis smoke.

4. Bleaching Your Hair Will Help You Pass a Hair Follicle Test

While bleaching your hair will reduce the level of drugs that can be detected in your hair follicles, it will also make your hair more porous. Thus, if you do consume any type of illicit drug, your hair follicles may soak more of the residue than before and make it harder for you to pass a subsequent test. In the event you are subject to frequent tests, you should not bleach your hair unless you are planning to quit smoking marijuana.

5. Nanogram-Based Tests are Considered an Accurate Measure of Intoxication

It is true that scientists consider nanogram-based tests to be a very accurate way to measure the level of THC metabolites in a person’s system. But when you read the drug testing facts, they state that the results of this test do not reflect an accurate measurement of a person’s toxicity. The reason for this is that tiny amounts of cannabinoids can remain in a person’s system for several weeks or more. Along with this, there are several variables that come into play such as BMI, exercise levels, amount and frequency of use, and age.  The only time a company should use this test is when there is a zero-tolerance policy in place.

With more states legalizing the sale and use of recreational marijuana, many companies across the country are switching to marijuana drug testing using a mouth swab test. Companies in states where cannabis is legal are now more concerned with their employees showing up to work under the influence than what they do in their off hours.