Can You Pass a Drug Test Drinking Pickle Juice? Claims vs. Scientific Justification
Drinking pickle juice has made rounds as a remedy for passing drug tests for decades now. The sources that propagate this claim suggest that pickle juice has acidic contents that work by neutralizing the THC metabolites so that a lab test can’t pick them.
Well, it’s true that pickle juice is acidic in that it has acetic acid (vinegar) as its main component. However, as we know, while vinegar does help to detox naturally, it does not cut it as a same-day solution.
Without jumping into conclusions, let’s see why, how, and when vinegar seems to work for some people and the scientific justification for that.
What is apple cider vinegar
This simply refers to the juice obtained after crushing and pressing apples. This freshly pressed juice is passed through a series of fermentation processes to attain its acidic content.
First, bacteria and yeast are added to convert the sugar content into alcohol through fermentation. In a subsequent fermentation process, the resultant alcohol is converted into acetic acid by the acetobacter bacteria.
Using pickle juice to pass a drug test
The internet has two common ways of using apple cider vinegar to beat a urine drug test;
- Using it as a same-day solution
- Adding it directly into the urine
Using vinegar as a same-day solution
This method is considered the easiest. It involves simply drinking a solution of vinegar made by mixing one spoonful of this acid in a cup of water.
You should then continue drinking at least 1 gallon of water as the test nears. Also, you need to pee several times before the test to remove as much THC metabolites as possible.
This method suggests that, when ingested, the acetic acid dissolves into the urine to mask or neutralize the metabolites so that no lab test can pick them up.
This is incorrect and can’t happen.
‘’But we’ve heard of so many people who’ve used this method to beat the test. So, how did they do it?’’
This method involves drinking a lot of water and peeing a lot. This means that you are simply diluting.
Furthermore, there isn’t a single study that proves that the acetic acid in the vinegar will have any effect in the urine when ingested. On the other hand, there are hundreds of research reports that show that drinking a lot of water (or any other liquid) some hours before a urine test lowers the concentration of THC-COOH in urine and might help in cheating drug test results.
There are several catches to the dilution method though. Besides lowering the concentration of the metabolites, drinking a lot of water also dilutes the creatinine and specific gravity levels of your urine.
These are among the things that the lab guys check for a first thing during a urine test. That being said, your urine could be flagged for attempted adulteration in case these components are outside their normal range.
Dilution method works. It’s the most reliable way of beating a urine drug test. However, considering all the risks involved, believe me, you’ll need to do it like a pro. Read more about diluting your urine sample successfully in this article.
Adding apple cider vinegar directly into the urine
The other way of using apple cider vinegar to skirt a urine test involves adding the acid directly into the urine. This method is based on the varying pH levels of vinegar and urine.
Being an acid, vinegar has a pH of 4.3. On the other hand, the pH of urine ranges from 7.5 to 8 depending on the individual’s acid-base status.
According to this method, when vinegar is added to a urine sample, it lowers the urine’s pH level thereby making it a little bit more acidic.
This is very much true and can be supported scientifically.
According to an NIH experiment done to investigate the common adulterants causing false negatives in illicit drug testing, vinegar (among other additives) was found to shift the pH of urine to abnormal physiological ranges.
This is both good news and bad news.
When the urine’s pH level is either more acidic or basic, it tends to alter the antigen-antibody reaction rate by slowing rate. In most instances, this leads to negative results.
It’s not so easy though.
Almost all labs test for the pH level of any urine sample during a urinalysis. An abnormal pH range is a clear indicator that your urine specimen has been adulterated.
This could lead to a failed test which is the last thing that you want. If you are lucky though, you might be asked to collect another sample, with an observer this time. As you can imagine, it becomes pretty much challenging to add the vinegar solution into your sample with the observer’s foot on your neck. This will lower your chances of passing the test.
It’s evident that the 2 commonly touted methods of using apple cider vinegar to pass a drug test don’t work as claimed. This makes pickle juice hands down unreliable, especially in a random test.
However, as I told you in the introduction part of this article, vinegar could be of great use if you are trying to detox naturally to pass future drug tests.
How to Detox Naturally with Vinegar and the Scientific Rationale Behind it
The use of apple cider vinegar to detox is based on 2 principles. First, vinegar is thought to help in shedding off excess weight by burning fat cells. Secondly, THC is extremely fat-soluble, and most of it is, therefore, stored in your body’s fatty tissues.
What this means is that as you shed off weight from excess fats, more THC molecules are released into your blood system for excretion.
But how true is this? What does science have to say about it?
The use of apple cider vinegar to lose weight is not a new thing. While the jury is yet to come up with concrete evidence on whether vinegar does play a role in burning fat in humans, a lot of studies conducted on animals suggest that.
A good example here is a 2014 study that wanted to examine the effects of acetic acid on energy expenditure in mice.
This experiment involved 9 male mice that were divided into 2 groups each with similar mean body weight. The researchers treated one of the groups with acetic acid and the other group with pure water (placebo) and later calculated the amount of oxidized fat and carbohydrates.
It was found out that the mice that had been treated with acetic acid recorded a high energy expenditure and fat oxidation than the group that was treated with a placebo.
In yet another study in the same journal, researchers wanted to investigate whether vinegar intake can reduce body weight and body fat mass in humans.
This study involved 155 Japanese subjects with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of between 25 and 30 and who were considered obese. These subjects were divided into 3 groups.
Over the 12-week experiment period, the subjects in the first, second, and third groups were treated with a 500ml beverage daily containing 15ml, 30ml, and 0ml acetic acid respectively.
At the end of the study, it was observed that the subjects in the high and low-dose groups started to record a decline in weight, BRF, and BMI from week 4.
Generally, these 2 groups had significantly lower BMI, BFRs, body weights, and waist-hip ratios than the placebo group at the end of the experiment.
Worth noting, the high-dose group recorded much lower levels than the low-dose group at all fronts.
This study suggests that vinegar could help in reducing body fat mass- a good way of removing THC metabolites that are sequestered in the fatty tissues.
However, do note that this method takes some time and won’t save you if you are looking for a same-day solution.
As a reference, the high and low-dose subjects in the study above lost 2-4 pounds only over the 3-month period. This means that you might take quite a long time especially if you are a long time stoner with a high BMI.
You could, however, try to boost the results by adding a healthy low-carb diet and well-rounded exercises into the regimen.
Recent statistics show an increasing number of failed drug tests. Marijuana positivity at drug tests has increased nearly 75 percent since 2013.
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Results from several scientific studies prove that apple cider vinegar can help in burning fat. This might help in dislodging most of the THC molecules that are trapped in the fatty cells.
However, natural detoxification using vinegar alone might take quite a long time especially for heavy smokers with a high BMI. This method is also very unreliable if you have a urine test in a few days or hours.
If you are looking for a quicker way to detox naturally, dilution might help. The best part of this method is that it can also be used as a same-day solution ONLY IF it is carried out correctly. Read more about this method and how to carry it out successfully in this article.