If you are looking for a way to pass an upcoming marijuana drug test, chances are that you have come across numerous remedies that promise 100% success. Depending on your urgency, you might even have used some and are probably wondering if they work. Azo is one of such product.
Can Azo products really help you to pass a drug test?
Before we look at that possibility, we will briefly explain the metabolism and elimination of marijuana by your body and let you know exactly what a marijuana urine test looks for. We will then go ahead and give you all the information that will help you to decide whether Azo is worth your effort.
Basic Marijuana Metabolism and Detection
Marijuana has several chemical components that work together to produce its effect in the body. Some are inactive, active while others are psychoactive. The major psychoactive compound is simply known as THC. Once in your system, THC is metabolized by the liver and broken into several acidic metabolites.
The body then starts the excretion processes. More than 65% of marijuana is excreted in faeces in form of metabolites while approximately 20% is excreted in urine. 80-90% is excreted within 5 days. Quite a number of acidic metabolites are found and can be identified urine.
With continued use, THC which is fat soluble builds up and is stored in fat cells. It may take longer to be eliminated depending on the duration and the amount of use. For chronic users, it may take up to 12 weeks to leave your body.
For casual users, marijuana may remain detectable in urine for up to 28 days after use.
Urine tests are simple and easier to administer and therefore account to more than 90% of all drug tests. An immunoassay test checks for the presence of THC metabolites (THC-COOH) in your urine. If the level is below cut-off level of 50ng/mL, the test is negative and is considered a pass.
If it if higher than 50ng/mL, it is a positive result. It is further confirmed using a gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry test under a threshold of 15ng/mL. The test is very accurate. A THC metabolite level higher than this is reported as a positive test.
A suspicious negative test may also warrant further scrutiny to rule out adulteration and/or dilution.
What is Azo?
Azo products are used to alleviate symptoms that come with urinary tract infection (UTIs). UTI refers to any infection that happens on the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra.
Azo products are also used for general urinary tract health and are said to clear it of toxins and disease causing bacteria. We have given details of the two Azo products used for passing drug tests below.
The active ingredient is Cranberry which is a fruit produced by an evergreen shrub that is native to North America. Its juice is used as alternative medicine to treat urinary tract infections (UTI’s) and kidney stones. It’s also used to alleviate fever as well as healing surgical openings made on the skin during redirection of urine away from the bladder.
Azo Cranberry is available as a juice or capsules also known as ‘water pills’. A litre of the juice contains 7mg of salicylic acid. According to a research done by the Rowett Research institute of Scotland, consumption of cranberry juice significantly increases the levels of salicylic acid in urine. This is comparable to taking aspirin tablets since the acid is its major metabolite.
Scientific research has shown that ingestion of therapeutic doses of aspirin may result to false negatives during drug testing. When aspirin is metabolized, the resulting salts and esters are known as salicylates. Urine samples that contain salicylates have been found to have reduced drug metabolites signals.
Azo cranberry is also used because it’s a diuretic. These are medications, herbs or fruits that increase the expulsion of water from your body.
Why it is not reliable
The negative results with aspirin use are not a guarantee. Note that the acidic metabolites of aspirin; acetic acid and salicylic acid may lower your urine pH below normal average of 6.0. This will show up in a urine test. The lab may also subject your specimen to a ferric chloride spot test which will show the presence of salicylic acid.
You will also have to cross your fingers on the fact that this trick has been in public domain for a decade or so and the lab experts already know about the effect of aspirin on urine tests.
The other downside to this method is the unmistakable dark orange colour of the urine that comes with Azo products. The normal colour of urine is light yellow to amber. Such a urine sample may be rejected or subjected to further testing. Even if you were to clear the urine colour with large water intake, will the following work in your favour?
Specific Gravity Test
The sample will be subjected to a Specific Gravity test. This is the measurement of the density of urine. The acceptable values range between 1.010 and 1.040 which is always higher than water’s which is 1.000. Levels below the cut-off will be an indication of dilution.
Creatinine is the compound produced by the breakdown of muscle tissue. It’s excreted primarily in urine. Levels range from 20-370mg/dl in males and 20-320mg/dl in females. Normal urine tests also check for its amount. The increased water intake may tamper with this. Levels that are lower than this are sure to cause suspicion of dilution.
The active ingredient in the medication is phenazopyridine hydrochloride (Pyridium). It’s dispensed in forms of tablets. The medication is sold over the counter to relieve pain, burning or the persistent need to urinate caused by urinary tract infections (UTIs).
The usual dosage is 200mg tablets taken 3 times daily for 2 days. It’s sold under the brand name Azo Standard. Ideally, you should take Azo pills alongside vitamin B12 and plenty of water to pass the test.
When you take an Azo Standard pill about 40% is metabolized by the liver, the rest is excreted unchanged in urine. The urine is characterized by a dark orange colour.
The large water intake is supposed to rid your system of the metabolites and if by any chance you manage to clear your urine off the orange colour, the vitamin B12 should keep your urine colour in check.
Why it is not reliable
The dark orange coloured urine acts as a red flag to the test experts who will easily identify pyridium use. They will either reject the sample and ask for another or subject the sample to further investigation.
There is no way out here either; why? There is no scientific evidence to show that the active ingredient, pyridium affects the results of drug testing. Azo standard also contains other inactive ingredients like carnauba wax and hypromellose and as such have no effect on THC or its metabolites.
There is an off chance that dilution may have shifted thing to your favour but creatinine level and specific gravity of urine as explained above will still come back to haunt you.
- Drug Monitoring Technology. (1994). Decreased Signal in Emit Assays of Drugs of Abuse in Urine after Ingestion of Aspirin: Potential for False-Negative Results http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.562.8591&rep=rep1&type=pdf
- Duthie, G.G. Kyle, J.A. Jenkinson, A.M. Duthie, S.J. Baxter, G.J. Paterson, J.R. (2005). Increased salicylate concentrations in urine of human volunteers after consumption of cranberry juice. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15826036
- Georgia Highlands College. (n.d). Complete Urinalysis. Retrieved from https://www2.highlands.edu/academics/divisions/scipe/biology/labs/cartersville/2122/urinalysis.htm
- Huestis, M. A. (2007). Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 4(8), 1770–1804. http://doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.200790152
- Journal of Analytical Toxicology. (1997). Reducing False-Negative Tests in Urinary Drugs-of-Abuse Screening. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.874.2831&rep=rep1&type=pdf
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. (2017). Cranberry. Retrieved from http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/nd/PrintVersion.aspx?id=958&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
- Oxford Academic. (2003). Cranberries and Their Bioactive Constituents in Human Health. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/4/6/618/4595566
- RxList: The Internet Drug Index. (2016). Pyridium. Retrieved from https://www.rxlist.com/pyridium-drug.htm#description
- Sharma, P., Murthy, P., & Bharath, M. M. S. (2012). Chemistry, Metabolism, and Toxicology of Cannabis: Clinical Implications. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry, 7(4), 149–156. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570572/
- The Vaults of Erowid. (2015). Drug Testing FAQ. Retrieved From https://www.erowid.org/psychoactives/testing/testing_faq.shtml#7
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