Pickle juice is listed as a home remedy for many conditions – for everything from hangovers to sports rehydration – and has also been touted as a way to rid your urine of any traces of THC from marijuana consumption.
Pickle juice is quite literally the solution that pickles are soaked in, which usually contains salt, water, various spices, and acetic acid (vinegar). The only ingredient needed to try this remedy is the fluid in a jar of pickles, which is usually under three dollars per jar, and maybe something that you already have in your pantry.
The procedure consists of simply drinking the juice before a urine drug test, making sure to allow time for the solution to work its way through your urinary tract. Dosages seem to vary widely, as do suggestions for the amount of time needed to perform the treatment.
One theory is that the acetic acid in the pickle juice will change the pH of your urine, and thereby fool the test into a false negative result. Another theory is that the solution can remove the THC from your urine.
Because of the high salt content in pickle juice, drinking it may result in dehydration, excessive thirst, vomiting, stomach ache, diarrhea, bloating, gas, excessive flatulence, water retention, muscle cramping, high blood pressure, and worsening of symptoms in patients suffering from gout. Pickle juice also places undue stress on the kidneys – which could potentially cause kidney damage with repeated use.
Patients who already suffer from gout, kidney disease, high blood pressure, or any other heart condition should not try this remedy as it may increase the symptoms of those conditions. Because of the high sodium content of pickle juice, anyone who is on a sodium-restricted diet should avoid using this treatment.
The excessive thirst that drinking pickle juice can result in would cause you to drink more and more water – thus diluting your urine and counteracting the initial effects of the pickle juice.
While drinking acetic acid may affect the pH of your urine, this could, conversely, lead to a false positive result as an unnatural pH level raises a red flag for probable urine contamination. Some articles make references to the probiotic properties of pickle juice as a cure-all ingredient, but the commercial pickling kills these healthy bacteria, and there is no evidence that probiotics can change the results of a urine drug screening.
It’s not clear whether drinking pickle juice has any health benefits at all – studies seem to be inconclusive on this point – so it is not something you want to experiment with to pass a urine drug test. Also, some of the health issues that pickle juice is recommended for – such as dehydration and muscle cramping – not only make this particular cure seem counterintuitive but can also actually cause the problem you’re attempting to alleviate. Don’t be fooled by the claims that pickle juice contains probiotics, and these probiotics are a cure for everything: Commercial pickle processing kills any probiotics that would naturally be found in the pickle juice, and there isn’t any scientific basis for claims that probiotics could somehow alter urine drug screening results.