Many questions run through your mind when you hear you have a drug test coming up. One of the first things you wonder is what kind of drug test you’ll be taking. If the test is for an employer or other circumstances that only require testing for recent use, you’ll likely be taking a mouth swab test.
If this is your situation, you may be wondering how to pass a mouth swab drug test. A few factors, like how often you consume THC, play into your chances of passing. But, if necessary, there are always things you can do to prepare better.
Mouth Swab / Saliva Test Overview
A mouth swab is one of the most common drug tests, especially for employers; it is gaining popularity over the urine test because it’s more pleasant for everyone involved. Additionally, it is favored for its quick and straightforward results.
When taking this kind of drug test, your saliva will likely be collected using a mouth swab, but you may be asked to spit into a collection device instead. Your saliva will then be tested for the presence of a variety of substances.
If the testing takes place on-site, you’ll have the results in minutes. But, sometimes, it will be sent to a lab for testing and take about a day; this is will usually be done in the case of a positive result upon initial testing.
Detection Times for Swab Drug Test
The big question is, how far back will a mouth swab drug test go? A major pro of oral examinations is that the detection time of drugs in the saliva is relatively low. For this reason, mouth swab tests are only used to detect very recent use.
Detection time is on a spectrum in which different people will fall on different points depending on things like toxicity level.
THC should only be detectable in the saliva for about 5 hours; but it can be detectable for two to three days in someone who consumes THC often.
Secondhand smoke that is orally inhaled can be detected in mouth swabs as well, but it only remains detectable for about one hour.
How to Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test
The first thing you need to do when you find out about an upcoming saliva test is stop consuming drugs. If you have a couple of days to detox and haven’t been a frequent user of cannabis products with high THC content, you should be fine. But, we have some advice for how to pass a drug test with home remedies if you need it.
The first and most simple option is to gargle with water or mouthwash periodically for a few hours before the test. Brush your teeth within that timeframe, too, if you have the option.
You can also suck (not chew) on sour candy to make your saliva acidic, and chew gum to increase saliva production and dilute the sample.
This one may seem counterproductive, but greasy foods can help as well. Since THC is drawn to fat, the THC in your saliva will bind to the fatty food and hitch a ride out your mouth and down to your stomach. With that in mind, this is only advised if you’re sure you’ll be taking a mouth swab test because greasy food can block up your digestive system.
Can I Pass a Saliva Drug Test in 24 Hours
If you have a low toxicity level, you should be able to pass a saliva drug test in 24 hours without too much effort. However, for an average toxicity level, 24 hours is approximately the cutoff, meaning it’s a coin toss whether your saliva will be passing at the moment it’s collected.
With a high toxicity level, you aren’t likely to be passing a saliva test in just one day; you have the best chance of being ready in two or three days.
When the mouth swab test turns pink, it means that some drug or alcohol has been detected in your saliva. From there, more testing will need to be conducted to confirm results and break down the kind of drugs consumed.
When a mouth swab drug test turns blue, it does not mean positive or negative. The blue line acts as a control line of sorts; simply indicating to the test administrator that enough saliva has been collected to produce results.
Mouth Saliva Tests Accuracy
The accuracy of saliva drug tests depends on how the saliva is collected and how much. The accuracy further varies between instant testing kits and laboratory testing, but not by too much. One study found that on-site testing yielded 97.5% accuracy compared to laboratory results.
Unfortunately, mouth swab tests are not 100% accurate, which means there is a slim chance your test could come back with a false positive. This happens with about 5-10% of saliva drug tests.
One of the biggest culprits of false-positive saliva drug tests is poppy seeds, so make sure those aren’t an ingredient in anything you eat a few days before your test. Perfectly legal medications such as cold medicine, antidepressants, certain types of antibiotics, and some HIV medications can also cause false-positive results.
Drug tests are always intimidating, but consider yourself lucky if you’re taking a saliva drug test. Mouth swabs aren’t as intense as, say, a urine or hair test because saliva drug test detection times will be less than either of those.
If you utilize the home remedies for passing a saliva test and are sure to avoid things that may cause a false positive, you’ll have no problem taking a mouth swab drug test.