Whether you’re expecting to take a drug test for a job interview, court case, or something else, knowing that you have THC in your system can be concerning. This is why so many people turn to Google for help finding a way to clear their system or clean their urine of THC. Among the search results, Zinc is one of the most commonly discussed methods for passing a urine drug screening, but does it really work and flush your system of THC?
There have actually been a handful of studies related to zinc’s effect on drug tests, which are worth reviewing if you want the facts. According to PubMed:
Zinc can be an effective adulterant in urine for some illicit drugs that are commonly screened under routine drug testing.
This one statement has led to a lot of buzz on different sites, hailing zinc as a miraculous fixer for THC-tainted urine, but you need to know more here. We’ve got the truth about zinc, and how it interferes with your drug test.
Can Zinc Interfere with Urine Tests?
Just as the PubMed study expressed, zinc can have an effect on urine drug tests. On top of THC, cocaine and methamphetamine metabolites may also be masked by adding zinc to the urine sample itself, as well as most other drugs.
Where there’s a lot of misconception is with the word “adulterant.” Using zinc as an adulterant basically means you’re adding the supplement directly to your urine, rather than ingesting zinc into your body. So even though zinc can interfere with drug tests, it’s only possible in this one risky way of adding it to your urine sample.
In short, zinc doesn’t actually do anything to the THC that’s in your urine. What it does do is affect the urine test so accurate results cannot be measured. Urine drug tests initially tend to be immunoassay types, which provide colored lines when a negative result is measured. Zinc somehow affects these kinds of tests by causing the colored lines to appear and show a negative reading, even if the drug is actually present.
How much zinc do you need to cause this to happen? This is the tricky part. According to ProfofPot, you will need between 1 and 50 mg/mL of zinc sulfate, but 15 mg/mL is probably a good concentration. However, those with higher levels of THC may need more zinc, and the more urine you have in the cup, the more zinc you will have to add, which can be difficult to determine on the fly in a drug testing situation.
How Do Zinc Supplements Work?
Because zinc sulfate can be used as an adulterant for a urine drug test, people often assume taking the supplements will provide the same result, but this is not true. Zinc taken as supplements cannot produce enough zinc in a urine sample to effectively mask the presence of drugs, according to a study performed in 2013.
Additionally, zinc added as an adulterant may cause a negative result, but the amount of zinc that would have to be present in the urine would have to be 5,000 times higher than what would be in an unadulterated sample. So, what does this mean exactly?
It means if you do try adding zinc to a sample, you could easily be caught. Because zinc is such a common method of manipulating a test, many have taken measures to combat the problem. There are actually spot tests that can detect high levels of zinc in the urine right away. Plus, when adding a bunch of zinc, your urine color may change.
Not every drug testing center uses the spot tests to detect zinc in urine, so technically, you may be able to squeeze by and produce a false negative. However, the risk of getting caught is high, and the penalties for tampering with a drug test can be pretty stiff in some states.
Should You Use Zinc to Pass a Drug Test?
It’s not recommended to use zinc to pass a drug test, whether it is by taking supplements or by adulterating the sample with zinc sulfate. Not only could zinc be ineffective at helping you pass your drug screening, it could be detected by the agency giving you the test. Tampering with a drug test may even be illegal in your jurisdiction, which means not only would you fail the test and face those repercussions, you could also face legal action if you are found with zinc in your urine, or caught adding it to your urine sample.
Interested in learning more?