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How to Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test

Canadian Government Approves Device for Roadside Saliva Drug Tests

For cannabis consumers, knowing how to pass a mouth swab and saliva test is more important than ever. Those with an interest in drug testing, namely law enforcement and employers, love mouth swab and saliva tests because they’re inexpensive and fast. Furthermore, mouth swab tests have the most proximate detection window. That means they’re best-suited to detect immediate or very recent cannabis consumption, whereas urine tests typically detect prior-week consumption and hair follicle tests detect consumption over the last 90 days.

On top of that, companies have made major strides in saliva drug tests. With legalization expanding, and states concerned about traffic safety—even though legal weed doesn’t making driving less safe—roadside saliva and mouth swab tests are more common, more accurate and more widely used than ever before.

In short, with more people consuming weed, more people are interested in testing for it, especially on the job and behind the wheel. Would you know how to pass a mouth swab and saliva test if an officer pulled you over or your boss surprised you at work? Scroll on to learn how to face down even the latest and greatest saliva drug tests and pass with flying colors.

Overview: Who’s Afraid of a Mouth Swab Drug Test?

This guide is for anyone who’s facing or could face a mouth swab drug test or saliva drug test for weed. We go beyond the basics, offering practical advice for passing your mouth swab drug test, even if you have just 24 hours to spare. We also share the most important information about what a mouth swab drug test looks for, when you’re most at risk, and how to be prepared with little or no warning.

What Do Mouth Swab Drug Tests Look For?

How to Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test

It’s important to understand what separates saliva swab tests from the standard piss-in-a-cup approach to screening for weed in your system.

For starters, saliva drug tests and urine tests screen for entirely different compounds. Urinalysis screens for THC-COOH, which is a metabolite the body produces as it metabolizes delta-9 THC, the compound that’s psychoactive and gets you stoned when you inhale it or eat it.

Swab tests, on the other hand, are looking for activated THC, that is, delta-9 THC. In other words, exactly what you’d have all over the inside of your mouth after hitting your vape, doing a dab, or just puffing on a joint.

And that’s both the good news and the bad news about mouth swab tests for weed. These tests can’t detect cannabis metabolites that may be lingering in your system from prior consumption. But they can detect the psychoactive THC that gets caught in your spit.

What Is The Range Of Risk For Failing A Mouth Swab Drug Test?

And this brings us to our next point: when are you, cannabis smoker/eater that you are, at risk of failing a saliva drug test?

In technical terms, you’re at risk for as long as the concentration of THC in your saliva is above the lower threshold the test is able to detect. Experts call this the “confirmation cutoff.”

This cutoff varies depending on who makes the test, and manufacturers are always trying to dial in the ideal level.

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Additionally, different states have different legal limits for cannabis intoxication, so tests have to fit the law.

Sparing you the details about micrograms per liter, etc. etc., what this all means in practical terms is simple.

You’re probably in the clear if you stop smoking, vaping or eating cannabis for 24-48 hours Giving yourself a week-long weed break would be playing it really safe.

Fortunately, many states require employers to give employees at least a day’s notice in advance of a mouth swab drug test or other type of drug screening.

Simply put: the range of risk for failing a mouth swab drug test is relatively short. Remember, these tests are basically all about seeing if you’re high at the moment—or at least, fresh off a session.

That’s why you’re most likely to encounter them after a reportable incident at work, if you get in a traffic accident or pulled over, or at a random time on the job.

Why Doesn’t THC Stay In Saliva For Very Long?

THC just doesn’t stay in your saliva for very long. And of course there are steps, which we’ll cover below, you can take to speed up the process of eliminating it.

Thankfully, THC metabolites which might make their way through your saliva glands on their way out of your system aren’t going to show up on the swab test. It just isn’t looking for those chemicals.

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Ultimately, there’s nothing keeping delta-9 THC in your saliva, except for the fact that after you smoke weed it coats the entire surface of your mouth.

That’s why it only sticks around for a day or two. A week, maybe, if you never brush your teeth or something.

How Do I Pass a Swab Drug Test?

How to Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test

Knowing what a swab test is looking for and how long you’re at risk is crucial information for passing your screening. If you suspect a saliva drug test is in your future, just hold off smoking for a few days prior.

Eating edibles can reduce your risk of detection, but of course, it’s not as surefire as abstaining altogether. In fact, researchers are hard at work trying to develop tests that have a range low enough to detect for recent edibles consumption.

Sometimes, however, you don’t have the luxury of an advanced warning. Without a heads up, like a surprise test at work or a police checkpoint can leave you vulnerable to mouth swab detection, especially if you’ve smoked recently.

In this case, there are two reliable ways to pass the swab test.

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How Do I Pass a Swab Drug Test in 24 Hours?

Let’s start with the best-case scenario. You’re going to get a test at work, but you have a day’s notice before you get swabbed. That’s great news, because even if you did nothing, you’d still have a decent chance at passing the mouth swab drug test. THC only hangs around in your saliva for 24-48 hours. Still, a decent chance may not be good enough. So here’s what to do to speed up the process.

First, start drinking lots of fluids and double check marijuana detection times for your usage. Vigorously swish water around your mouth. Rinse and repeat! You can use mouthwash, if that makes you feel better, but it won’t do anything water can’t. Just be sure to use a mouthwash without alcohol in it, in case the test is also checking for recent alcohol consumption, too!

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Remember, you’re just trying to get the active THC from your last smoke or edible out of your mouth and into your stomach, where no swab can swab. Good oral hygiene, like brushing twice a day, using mouth rinses and anti-cavity chewing gum after smoke sessions can go a long way to keeping your saliva clean.

Hydration does wonders, too. Drink water throughout the day to keep your saliva flowing.

This next tip will satisfy the glutton in you: get yourself a helping of the fattiest food you can find. Oily, greasy burgers, fries, pizza, hot wings—any of it. Active THC bonds to fatty foods, hence all those cannabis oils and butters out there. So eating a slice of pizza, for example, will help draw that lingering THC out of your mouth.

Finally, try to remember not to inhale or otherwise consume any weed before your mouth swab drug test. Sounds obvious, but it really is too easy to just take a quick hit of your vape without a second thought. So keep your stash out of arm’s reach until you pass your swab test. Then, celebrate in style.

How To Pass A Mouth Swab Drug Test With Little To No Warning

Now for the worst-case scenario. You’re pulled over and have no time to spare. No sweat: after reading this guide, you’ll be prepared. Time to commit some adulteration… of your saliva!

Adulterants are chemicals that interfere with drug tests, and new and improved ones come out all the time. It’s a dance: a new adulterant works, it beats the test. But then a new test figures out how to detect the adulterant’s traces. If a tester sees the fingerprint of an adulterant, they’ll just void your test and make you take it again. Of course, that’s one way to buy yourself some time.

For mouth swab drug tests, hydrogen peroxide is the adulterant of choice.

And one company had the ingenious idea of putting little packets of it inside chewing gum. Just pop in a piece of gum, break open the packet and swish.

There are mouthwashes out there that do the same thing, but using one of those in your car might be a little less discreet.

Keep in mind adulterating your saliva will only keep you clean for a half hour, tops. But since this is a last-minute solution, hopefully, that’s all you need.

Final Words On How To Pass A Mouth Swab Drug Test

Hopefully, you can breathe a little easier knowing that mouth swab drug tests for weed are definitely the easiest tests to pass. The Delta-9 THC swab tests are looking for doesn’t hang around in your saliva very long. And in a pinch, you can neutralize your saliva. In fact, these tests are so unreliable, you might even pass a swab test a few hours after you smoke. Good luck!

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(Updated from a previous post.)

Adam Drury
Written By

Adam is a staff writer for Green Rush Daily and High Times who hails from Corvallis, Oregon. He’s an artist, musician, and higher educator with deep roots in the cannabis community. His degrees in literature and psychology drive his interest in the therapeutic use of cannabis for mind and body wellness.

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Steven Egli

    April 28, 2020 at 10:53 am

    I stopped smoking for a week, had 3 puffs from a one hitter, then stopped for 10 days. I ordered my own saliva test (Precision OralScan test), and took it one week after I stopped, it showed negative. Two days later I took an Orasure Intercept saliva test, which they will send to a lab for results. Will it show a negative result as well..?

    • Avatar

      Ann Leigh

      July 23, 2020 at 11:05 am

      You’ll pass. It only detects recent marijuana use 5-10 hrs prior. On the day of the test just brush real good. And then swish your mouth with apple cider vinegar and alcohol mouthwash real good. You should be ok.

  2. Avatar

    Rebekah

    May 30, 2020 at 9:10 am

    I stopped smoking for 3 fuckin days. Swished hydrogen peroxide in my mouth, in the parking lot til I was foaming. Drug test within 20 minutes… Still failed! So 72 hrs with peroxide and I’m not even a heavy smoker! So don’t believe everything you read!

    • Avatar

      Monet

      June 11, 2020 at 10:54 am

      Thank You . I Really was Thinking of Trying this .
      Sorry it Failed
      Did you try something Else that Worked ?

      • Avatar

        Bri

        July 26, 2020 at 6:34 pm

        Daily smoker, actually smoked day before around the evening time well into the night and had the test in the morning. Brushed very well, rinsed my mouth out with peroxide, non alcohol mouthwash, altoids (mints), and the strips of breath fresheners. my cheeks were BEYOND sore for a couple days after lol but well worth it, i passed! Better safe than sorry

    • Avatar

      KC

      June 13, 2020 at 7:41 am

      I toked up the usual a day and a half before a job related mouth swab and came out successful keep them teeth brushed and the fluids flowing and my ole lady had me swish with salt water any workings behind the salt water I don’t know but still passed.

    • Avatar

      Julio Ruiz

      July 12, 2020 at 8:39 pm

      That’s wierd I beat one after smoking the day before

      • Avatar

        Mikie

        July 17, 2020 at 10:00 am

        Help me pls how’d u do it. 😅!

        • Avatar

          Mikie

          July 17, 2020 at 10:01 am

          Julio Ruiz

      • Avatar

        Edward cole

        July 23, 2020 at 8:01 am

        I’m hoping the same right now lol

  3. Avatar

    Ganja Babe

    July 7, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    Found this article after I was surprised with a next-day pre-hire drug test. THANK YOU! I’m a daily smoker, MMJ for peripheral neuropathy. Once I knew I had a drug test the next morning, I immediately abstained from further MMJ use (I had smoked the night before I found out about the test) and started super hydrating, brushing and flossing, tongue and cheek scraping, and rinsing with peroxide after every snack and meal. All my snacks and meals were fatty – iced lattes with whole milk, chicken wing pizza… next morning coffee with cream and a donut, then one last intensive brushing session. I brought a little bottle of peroxide with me and swished it for a couple minutes, spit it in an empty water bottle, went in and did my test. Passed!!!

  4. Avatar

    Tyler

    July 9, 2020 at 9:55 am

    I have a saliva drug test at about 745-8am on friday morning. I smoked at about 10:30pm on Wednesday night.

    Reading about what to do I am still nervous.
    I’m going to be eating pizza maybe a burger and I’ll be washing my mouth out with mouthwash and brushing my teeth and tongue multiple times today. I will also use hydrogen peroxide just before my test.

    Is this enough time to pass?

    • Avatar

      Mac

      July 9, 2020 at 7:58 pm

      Yo let us know if you passed

    • Avatar

      Danielle Wiegand

      July 11, 2020 at 1:02 pm

      Did you pass???

  5. Avatar

    nikki

    July 13, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    I’m a daily smoker and I used mouth wash and peroxide n i failed…

  6. Avatar

    Jim

    July 15, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    I had a swab test at work with no notice..was able to get my two sticks of oral clear gum..the test came back inconclusive..then I was sent to the hospital for a piss test.failed and lost the best job I ever had.. I’m by no means a heavy smoker.just a few hits daily at home..pot laws need to change so companies don’t fire so many decent hard working people..in my former company you could be a child molester,wife beater,felon and still have a job… but don’t smoke a little weed at home on your own time and property.. you’ll be treated as a criminal.

    • Avatar

      Faye

      July 17, 2020 at 9:39 pm

      My employer asked if I was chewing gum before my test, which I wasn’t.. so I bet it threw ur results maybe a false positive. I wonder if they would let u retake if u tell them u had gum just before..

  7. Avatar

    Queen Evans

    July 17, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    I had a pop up test today and didn’t have any type of notice to do anything helpful before the test. But I drink plenty of fluids before work. And it didn’t hold it in the bottom back due to the pockets as well as the build up I’ve been told about. I was able to hold it up top and I flipped it so that the strip would be on my teeth and not the wall of my mouth. Do any of you think this helped me to pass? If so do you think the small amount of cocaine I did earlier in the day would show up on this swab drug test? I’m so freaking nervous because I’ve never done drugs before. But I went out with friends and got loose for the first time in 37 years! And today out of all days my job drug test me for full time employment. And didn’t even give me notice or I would’ve called out sick. But no I pushed myself to go to work because in almost a year of employment I haven’t missed a day of work!

    • Avatar

      Lisa k

      August 7, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      I ate brownies that were my kids “special” brownies on Monday I don’t smoke almost ever and I ha be a text tonight will I be ok?

  8. Avatar

    Faye

    July 17, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    Paranoid. Just had a mouth swab for new job but instead of letting the swab sit on my gums forever I started producing spit so I could remove it. Now my hubby saying that was stupid lol its been like 3 weeks since I smoked tho. What do u think?

    • Avatar

      Victoria

      July 20, 2020 at 9:33 am

      Do you know if you passed??

      • Avatar

        Faye

        July 20, 2020 at 10:18 am

        Yes, just found out today I passed. It had been since like early to mid June that I smoked. But I was smoking daily like two to three times..and it was medical grade gooood sh$# now I can start back lol so u can totally put spit from under ur tongue and not scrape your cheek or gums.

  9. Avatar

    Anna

    July 21, 2020 at 2:35 am

    This might be stupid but I took an oral test the other day. I hadn’t smoked in like almost two weeks and even then I had a tiny hit and that was it. BUT I had made out with my boyfriend who is a VERY heavy smoker the night before (like 15 hours before the test), and (TMI I’m so sorry) I had gone down on him about 6 hours before my test. I brushed my teeth and swished with Listerine just in case, and then had a panic attack after realizing I may have fucked up. Can the copious amount of THC in him have transferred into my mouth through either his saliva, etc? I’m freaking out because I should know about the test result tomorrow or the next day. If anyone can give me any reassuring words that would be fantastic.

    • Avatar

      Anna

      July 21, 2020 at 2:37 am

      Edit: I also smoked a cigarette hoping that maybe it would mask any possible THC from him and THEN swished with Listerine. I’ve been researching nonstop lmao.

  10. Avatar

    Ethan Tyler

    July 22, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    I don’t think the test just wipes the weed out of your mouth. It tests the saliva itself for the compounds. You can’t just move the THC to your stomach.

  11. Avatar

    Anonymous

    July 24, 2020 at 8:38 am

    I had a oral test on a Tuesday And didn’t know up until Tuesday morning and I took a couple hits of joint Literally Monday night, I ended up passing my test and I’m active smoker here’s what I did… that morning I brushed the roof of my mouth, under my tongue and my cheeks throughly for about six minutes, after I rinsed with mouth wash for like two minutes I think when I got to the interview I chewed the extra mint gum and rub around in mouth swishing it around with water up until they called me. And when the swab was put in mouth I didn’t let my spit touch it I had my mouth ajar just enough to suck in air to dry it out and I passed.

  12. Avatar

    SimplySavvyLife

    July 31, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    I was so certain I would fail my test I actually told my prospective employers probably fail (and that I had my medical cannabis card, which they dont “honor” as a legit Rx but makes it look less elicit)..

    And then I was surprised by a negative result! Almost threw myself under the bus!
    I have to retest in 3 days. I’ll prob still smoke a little today, my usage has really not been much anyways, give it Sat and Sun to clean out, extra hydrate, scrub mouth and swish peroxide on monday before my test and cross my fingers. Will update !

  13. Avatar

    (D)aily smoke(R)

    August 5, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    Hey yall, daily smoker here. Taking drug screen for new job in the Morning. Not sure if it will be oral or urine screen. I’m hoping it will be urine because I always bring a bottle of my girlfriends pee to drug screens. But, I’ve been hearing a lot about these oral swabs lately, seems like oral swabs are the new norm. By the time I test I’ll be 36 hours clean. Everyone is saying peroxide and brushing will do the trick so i’ll give it a shot. I’ve been brushing and rising with listerine and peroxide for 2 days. Wish me luck!

  14. Avatar

    Ryan

    August 6, 2020 at 12:49 am

    So does any one k is about probation mouth swabs how they are different and possibly anyone’s stories on how they passed them in a few days I’m very curious because I have a medical card and have decreased my usage now one night of smoking 3 days but in order to transfer my probation I need to Get a complete clean swab of thc and I’m just waiting for her to tell me to come in. Thank you if anyone can give me feed back because I feel like these tests might be different from the ones used at jobs.

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