There are speculations that drinking alcohol could help in passing a drug test. Sources that support this claim believe that alcohol does help in removing THC from the body and might, therefore, be a remedy for detoxification.
This is a ruse. Alcohol doesn’t remove THC from your system. In any case, it might make detoxification even harder.
But as a diuretic, it might help you pee a lot and consequently dilute your urine.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the scientific justifications of how and why alcohol might help in passing a drug test and why it might not.
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Why is Alcohol believed to Help Flush out Drugs? Most People’s Beliefs
People who believe in the power of alcohol to beat a THC urine test have 2 versions of how it works. The major theory is based on 2 principles
- THC is more soluble in alcohol than in water
- Alcohol inhibits testosterone and thereby minimizes fat burning
They believe that when ingested, alcohol will penetrate the fat cells and dissolve the THC in them for excretion through urine.
Is this possible? We’ll find out soon.
The next theory is based on the diuretic effects of alcohol. Here, sources that advocate this method claim that alcohol makes you pee like hell.
This may help in flushing out as many THC molecules from the body as possible.
And this will consequently help you skirt the test.
We’ll be digging into this belief in a couple of minutes too to help you get the facts right.
Meanwhile, here is the internet’s method of using alcohol to pass a urine drug test
How to use alcohol to beat a urine test: the Proposed Method
- Abstain from marijuana at least until you are through with the test- this method is mainly used as a detoxification process. Thus, it’s recommendable that you refrain from building up more layers of THC in your fat cells during this time
- Take alcohol- fortunately or unfortunately, this method is not specific to the type of brand and how much alcohol you need to consume. Therefore, it might be safe to assume that virtually any alcoholic beverage will do. But, in my opinion, if this method really works, then you’ll want to go for a beverage with a high alcohol content by volume.
Here is a guide on the alcoholic content in typical beverages in the USA today;
- Beer- anywhere between 3% and 6% (depends on brand)
- Whiskey- 40%
- Wine- 11% to 13%. Some may have upwards of 16% though when alcohol is added to them
- Take water
- Pee a lot
- Repeat this for at least one week- this method requires at least one week to work. It is believed that the alcohol in your system will make you pee a lot of times compared to drinking water and this will consequently lead to more THC being flushed out of your body.
Does Alcohol Remove THC from the Body? Claims vs. Scientific Evidence
Claim 1: Alcohol Helps in Removing THC from the Body
As I told you earlier on, one reason why alcohol is thought to be a remedy for detoxification is based on the fact that THC is more soluble in alcohol than in water.
This belief is further complemented by the latest findings that prove that alcohol can aid in losing weight when consumed in low amounts.
Since THC is stored in fat, then getting rid of the THC-laden fat cells by drinking alcohol might surely help in detoxing.
But wait. Is it really true that alcohol does boost the metabolism of fats?
Let’s get this right.
Alcohol has for long been portrayed as the devil’s juice.
It has also been associated with unhealthy weight gain until some studies popped up proving that it could, in fact, aid in losing some pounds.
According to a follow-up study recorded in the Journal of Medical Archives, it was found out that women who took one or two (4 ounces) alcoholic drinks a day were less likely to gain weight than those who didn’t.
Explaining these latest findings, Lu Wang, M.D, Ph. D and lead researcher in this study say that women who take alcohol tend to use more energy burning the calories in the drink and perhaps even more while digesting it.
The researchers are yet to come up with the specifics of how this happens.
However, they do note that the calories in a moderate amount of alcohol are not stored as fats.
Alcohol is also known to lead to alcohol-induced weight loss.
Drinking too much alcohol makes your stomach feel full. Thus, you are less likely to take food and nutrients.
When done on a regular basis, your body may resort to burning stored fat for energy.
Sure, the THC molecules stored in the burnt fatty acids might be released for excretion through the kidneys in their metabolites form.
Unfortunately, dyspepsia, upset stomach, and upset vomiting are other perks that come with this method.
Before concluding that alcohol might help in burning fat, Lu Wang says that this will only happen if you take the utmost 8 ounces of an alcoholic beverage per day.
In addition, you need to do this regularly for your body to adjust.
If this is not done on a daily basis, your body fails to adjust and the calories in the drink are automatically stored as fats.
Note that it becomes much harder to detox THC from the body as you gain weight.
As you can see, relying on alcohol to eliminate THC from the body is somewhat tricky.
Again, there’s not a guarantee that you’ll be able to eliminate all the THC in your system by the day of the test.
Alcohol might help in another way through…
It might inhibit fat burning thereby fewer THC molecules released
While it’s hard to rely on alcohol to detox, it might inhibit the release of the THC molecules from the fatty cells.
Consequently, this might minimize the concentration of the metabolites in the urine.
As a result, dilution or any other method of minimizing, hiding, or masking the THC metabolites in the urine becomes easier.
How does this happen?
Alcohol is well known to lower the production of testosterone. Testosterone refers to a hormone that is more in men than women.
This hormone is responsible for several activities within the body including muscle growth and sperm production.
Chronic consumption of alcohol has been found to inhibit the liver’s ability to produce NAD+ – a coenzyme found in the liver and testes that helps in the production of testosterone.
It also leads to the release of endorphins which besides making you feel good also affects testosterone synthesis.
These are just some of the major ways through which alcohol intake minimizes the number of testosterone hormones in your body.
A decrease in this natural hormone is bad news to the average man since it leads to a lower sex drive and depression among other things.
On the other hand, it might be good news to a stoner who is fighting hard to minimize the release of THC that is stored in the fatty cells in the days leading to a test.
This is because lower testosterone in the body leads to fewer muscle gains which consequently lead to a lower metabolic rate.
Lower metabolic rate means that fewer fats are burned.
It also means that fewer THC molecules are released into the urine. And this might make it easy for you to pass a urine test.
Bottom line: As a recap of the findings above, it might be quite hard to rely on alcohol consumption to detoxify your body of THC molecules.
First, it’s not certain how long you would take to get rid of the THC completely.
People have different amounts of THC levels in their fat cells at any given time.
This means that even if taking a moderate amount of alcohol might aid in detoxification, we will definitely take a varying amount of time to get rid of the THC in the body completely.
Secondly, alcoholism affects people differently. The Centers for Disease Control states that this may be due to a few factors including physical condition (height and weight), gender, family history, and age.
This makes it quite hard to determine the amount of alcohol that is MODERATE for you as the stoner.
With regard to inhibiting the testosterone levels, it’s also not clear how long the effects may last.
As in, will the low testosterone condition inhibit fat metabolism long enough to allow you to pass the test?
Moreover, the amount of alcohol that someone should take to cause low testosterone isn’t determined yet.
Claim 2: Alcohol has diuretic effects
It’s pretty much well established that alcohol is a diuretic and does make you pee like hell. The porter in Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, knows this too when he says that beer provokes ‘’nose-painting, sleep and urine.’’
And how it does this is quite fascinating.
When your body is dehydrated, signals are sent to the pituitary gland in your brain to start secreting the vasopressin a.k. Anti-Diuretic Hormones (ADH).
These hormones minimize the rate of urination as a way of saving more water.
When you consume alcohol, it invades the pituitary gland and minimizes the number of Anti-Diuretic Hormones that are released into your system.
Less ADH means that more and more water is released as urine through the kidneys.
Mind you, the amount of water that you lose through the diuretic effects of alcohol is significant. Dr. Robert Swift says that 4 2-ounce shots of liquor can make you urinate up to 1 quart of urine.
So, what’s the relationship between alcohol, increased urination, and passing a test?
According to this claim, the more you urinate, the higher the rate of THC metabolites removal from your body. Hence, this might help you detox and pass a urine drug test.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
As a diuretic, alcohol only makes you pee more than average. For instance, going by Dr. Robert’s explanation above, after drinking 200ml of alcohol, you’d soon need to urinate approximately 200ml of water plus another 120ml.
The extra amount of water is caused by the diuretic effects of alcohol.
The extra amount of water in the urine leads to dilution of the THC metabolites available for detection in the urine. Successfully diluting the level of concentration of THC metabolites in the urine is what makes you pass the test.
Importantly, do note that the kidney filters THC metabolites into urine at a constant rate.
This rate is not affected by increased urination.
So, YES, alcohol has diuretic effects and will make you pee like mad. Urinating more than average in the hours leading to a test might dilute the THC metabolites in the urine to below the detectable threshold.
Thus, you might pass the test.
However, it does not increase the rate at which your kidneys filter out THC metabolites from your body. Simply put, regardless of its diuretic effects, alcohol won’t make you detox faster.
It’s true that alcohol might inhibit fat burning. This action coupled with the diuretic effects of alcohol might help you pass a test. It does this by minimizing the number of THC metabolites released from the fat cells while diluting the few metabolites available in the urine.
Unfortunately, there are a few grey patches that make this method quite unreliable. First, the amount of alcohol that you need to take to minimize fat metabolism isn’t yet clear.
Second, while its diuretic effects might lead to dilution of the THC metabolites in the urine, they might also affect other important values of urine that are tested by almost any lab; color, creatinine levels, and the specific gravity.
Even worse, excessive intake of alcohol is known to come with effects some that are short-lived while others haunt you forever.
For instance, it might impair your motor skills and make your feet a little less steady when meeting the lab technicians.
I’m certain that’s not the first impression that you want to portray to those guys especially when you are planning to beat them at their own game.
That being said, trying to beat a urine test by drinking alcohol is unreliable and we would never go for it.
Instead, we recommend using the detox products that work: https://greenfleets.org/
Hey there! I’m Daniel. A Ph.D. in pharmacology and an owner of Green Fleets (former THC Detox). My mission is to help people pass drug tests and get their dream job.
My research into cannabis shows how cannabis affects health, including how cannabinoids can be used in the treatment of various diseases.