If you need to take a saliva drug test soon, you may be asking yourself a few questions. Could a saliva test detect cannabis use, even if it was weeks ago? How can you best prepare yourself for a saliva test? We'll cover the process of taking a saliva drug test, as well as how it will affect a weed user.
Saliva drug tests
There are various advantages to saliva testing. Firstly, it avoids demeaning employees by making them pee into a cup. Secondly, an oral sample can be taken anywhere under supervision, so there's no way of tampering with the sample. It can also be easily tested onsite with immunoassay devices. Finally, saliva tests are much better at detecting very recent drug use (i.e., within the last few hours), so they're almost ideal for detecting on-the-job drug use.
That said, saliva drug tests aren't perfect, and weed users actually enjoy some advantages when compared to urine tests.
Could a saliva test detect cannabis?
As THC (the psychoactive ingredient in weed) is on the "SAMHSA-5" list of drugs, it's inevitably included in the vast majority of saliva drug tests. The main advantage for weed users, however, is the much shorter detection time, especially for heavy users.
In a urine drug test, a previously long-term, daily weed user could fail a drug test a month after quitting, with there even being reports of people failing much later than this. Even very infrequent users need to be wary of urine drug tests for a week or so after using. After this, the typical 2 to 24 hour detection window for saliva tests looks much more attractive, although some testing labs quote a detection time of up to three days.
Even with the longer estimate of three days, you might be fine, depending on when you last smoked of course. However, saliva tests are often used for random testing and following workplace accidents, so you may get very little (or no) notice of one. Assuming that you haven't been using weed at work, you can still be in danger if you smoked a joint the night before (or earlier, if a more accurate test is used).
How do you pass a saliva drug test?
Obviously, the most effective way to pass a saliva drug test is to not use drugs at all. If this isn't an option, you could try to avoid using cannabis when you need to work the next day, because this will minimize the chances of failing any saliva drug tests.
If neither of these options suits you, you can always invest in a good detox mouthwash. Seeing as a drug test could pop up at any time, it's best to order a mouthwash straight away and store it somewhere handy at work. When the time comes, you can use it by swishing small amounts around your mouth and then spitting it out or swallowing it, repeating until you've used the whole bottle. It's then important to go to your test relatively quickly and avoid eating or drinking anything in the meantime.