The dilution method is always the trump card for most stoners who are short of enough abstinence to beat a drug test. The good thing about this method is that it is not only legal, but it is also fast, and it always works.
Unfortunately, albeit seemingly easy, passing a drug test with water is a complex process and might not work if not done correctly. Believe me, contrary to what most online sources will tell you; there are a lot more things to consider besides drinking gallons of water.
So, let’s go to the rock-bottom of this procedure and show you how to do it like a pro.
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What Drug Testing Companies Look for in Urine
The first crucial step in beating a UA test is to know how a clean urine sample looks like and delivering just that. A near equivalent is the saying: it takes a thief to catch a thief.
In our context, you need to think like the lab guys by knowing the validity checks on urine samples and making sure that yours meets the threshold.
The general appearance of your pee (color)
The very first thing that the collector does even before carrying out other detailed tests on your specimen is to observe the color of your urine.
Normal urine ranges from pale yellow to straw yellow. Urine that has almost no color at all may indicate intake of a lot of water or a diuretic.
So, when diluting your urine sample, you’ll want to ensure that you don’t throw the color off. I’ll tell you how to prevent this later.
WARNING: Mixing water with urine will not work!
The temperature of the urine shouldn’t worry you much if you are collecting the urine sample within the premises of the lab or clinic. However, if you intend to collect it at home, then this is yet another parameter that you’ll need to keep a close eye on.
The normal temperature of a human being’s urine is 94°F to 96°F, but most labs have an acceptable range of between 90F and 100F. A sample outside this ballpark will immediately be suspicious.
Creatinine refers to a blood chemical waste generated by creatine molecules after muscle metabolism. Your kidneys maintain your creatinine level in 20-370mg/dL in male and 20-320mg/dL in women. Elevated levels indicate kidney impairment. On the other hand, drinking too much water may lower the levels to abnormal levels.
Also known as urine density, this refers to the ratio of water and the concentration of the salts and compounds in urine. In its pure form, water has a specific gravity of 1.000 at 40C. Adding any solute in the water elevates its density. Thus, since urine is a solution of water and other excreted components, its specific gravity is always above that of pure water.
Healthy adults’ urine has a specific gravity in the range from 1.005 to 1.030, but most labs have a cutoff of 1.003. Elevated density levels may be due to several factors including dehydration, excessive sweating, and diarrhea. On the other hand, excessive fluid intake (among other reasons) might lead to a lower specific gravity level.
What You’ll Need to Dilute Your Urine Successfully
THC test strips
You’ll use these strips to test for the availability of THC metabolites in the urine sample. Most drug stores stock them, but you could also buy them from Amazon. The basic THC test strips use FDA’s recommended cutoff of 50ng/ml and will indicate whether you are positive or negative.
If you are concerned about accuracy, however, I recommend going for advanced strips that indicate the level of THC concentration in your urine.
As I told you before, there’s more to the dilution method rather than just drinking water and hoping for the best. A test strip that indicates the THC concentration will help you determine how much water that you need to take for a guaranteed pass.
The UTest-O-meter strips are my best recommendation here. These are multi-level drug tests that measure THC metabolites in 5 distinct levels (15, 50, 100, 200, and 300ng/mL).
Creatinine test strips
Similar to THC test strips, creatinine strips measure the concentration of creatinine in the urine. This helps in ensuring that you don’t dilute its concentration level to below the cutoff mark.
The normal creatinine level in a healthy adult is 20-370ng/dL in males and 20-320ng/dL in females. The notable difference in the upper limit is due to the high muscle mass in males.
This also means that people with a higher muscle mass don’t struggle so much in meeting the 20ng/dL cutoff threshold. A higher creatinine level allows you to dilute your urine several folds with minimal risk of taking it way too down.
Accuracy is key when measuring the creatinine values in your urine samples. That being said, you want to go for a brand that is as precise as possible. Models that offer several distinct levels such as these Kidney Test strips by Home Health (UK) are ideal.
You’ll want to include a creatinine supplement in your regimen if you are struggling to keep the creatinine level above the cutoff mark when diluting.
Unfortunately, raising the creatinine level isn’t so easy even with creatinine supplements. Several studies published in National Institutes of Health including this one prove that while taking creatinine supplement elevates its levels in the blood serum, there isn’t a statistically significant change in urine.
There are other ways of going around this though. Dr. J. Singh, a medical expert at Medhelp.org, says that regular exercises such as jogging, walking, and cycling might help. Quest Diagnostics also recommend taking protein-rich foods such as lean beef, legumes, and chicken.
Although there’s scarce information on how to do it, your good bet here would be to exercise and eat lots of protein-rich foods several days before the screening day.
An electrolyte powder is a mixture of several electrolytes. Most brands contain sodium and potassium only. Some add calcium and magnesium and are the most recommendable.
Why is an electrolyte powder essential, anyway?
You see, slurping down copious amounts of pure water not only dilutes the concentration of drug metabolites in your urine, but it also affects the electrolyte balance in your blood.
This condition is scientifically known as hyponatremia. As WebMD explains, taking too much water too fast affects the concentration of sodium- an electrolyte that controls the movement of water in and out of the cells.
This imbalance causes the cells to take too much water causing them to swell. Swollen brain cells are fatal and could easily lead to death.
Adding an electrolyte powder to the water helps in 2 ways. First, it ensures your safety by keeping the electrolytes in your blood in check.
An electrolyte powder also boosts your urine’s specific gravity. Most of these electrolytes are filtered by your kidneys into the urine. This helps in elevating the urine’s density to above most labs’ 1.003 cutoff mark.
Word of caution: Note that even with the addition of an electrolyte powder into the water, it’s not safe to consume too much liquid within a short time. To prevent yourself from water intoxication, you should consume the utmost 1 liter across a span of 1 hour.
This brings up another question; how much water should you take when diluting? I’ll explain this in the next section.
A urinary test starts right at the point of collections simply by observing the color of the specimen. Although a sample that is very clear won’t automatically make you fail a test, it will cause suspicion and make the lab technician carry out several validity tests on it then he/she would have carried out on a sample with normal color.
Taking vitamin B2 a few minutes before collecting the urine sample helps curb the issue of discolored urine.
How to Dilute the Urine
While dilution is a surefire method of passing a drug test, it requires adequate planning. Planning here refers to carrying out a series of activities at the right time.
It’s important that you carry out a trial test first. This gives you a baseline of how much water, supplement, or exercise that you need to ensure that the THC metabolites are below the detectable levels while maintaining all other values at the right levels.
Doing a Trial Test
1. Determine your Lean Body Mass (LBM)
Put in a layman’s language, LBM refers to your body weight minus the weight of the fat that you carry. Knowing your lean body mass helps in determining the amount of water that you should take per hour. This varies from one person to the other.
2. Drink the electrolyte solution for 3 hours
With your LBM in mind, add the electrolyte powder into water to make a solution. Follow the instructions on the package to determine the amount of powder to add in a given amount of water.
The next step is the most important.
For the next 3 hours, you’ll need to drink 4ml of the solution for every pound of your LBM each hour.
For instance, if you have a Lean Body Mass of 120lbs, you’ll need to take (120lbs X 4ml) each hour for 3 hours. This means that you’ll be taking 480ml (0.48L) per hour. In 3 hours, you’ll have taken 1440ml (1.440L).
On the same note, it is advisable to drink the solution evenly across the hour rather than gobbling the entire amount all at once. You should also pee as many times as possible throughout the 3 hours.
3. Collect a sample and analyze the results
At the end of the 3 hours, collect a sample in a cup and test for THC metabolites, creatinine, and density (specific gravity) using the respective testing strips. Analyze the results and take the necessary step.
Analyzing the Results
At the end of this trial test, you should be able to determine the concentration of THC metabolites, creatinine, and specific gravity. I hope you now see the importance of going for testing strips that estimate the amount of each component.
Here are 4 possible results that might come out
THC metabolites <50ng/mL and Creatinine level >20ng/mL
If the THC metabolites are below 50ng/mL and the creatinine level is above 20ng/mL, you are safe and assured of beating the real test using the same procedure.
THC metabolites >50ng/mL and Creatinine level >20ng/mL
If the THC metabolites are above 50ng/mL, but the creatinine levels are way above the cutoff mark, then you’ll need to dilute your urine further by elevating the hydration rate per hour.
For instance, if the trial test shows that the THC metabolites stand at 60ng/mL, then you’ll need to take more water to dilute the extra 10ng/mL (60-50).
Going by our previous example, if you took 480ml per hour, then you need to take 576ml per hour to bring the concentration of metabolites down to 50ng/ml.
( 480ml X 60ng/ml ) / 50ng/ml = 576ml per hour
Take note not to alter the concentration of creatinine though.
THC metabolites <50ng/mL and Creatinine level <20ng/mL
In case the THC metabolites are below 50ng/ml, but the creatinine level is way below the cutoff level too, there is the risk of being flagged for dilution. In this scenario, consider whether it is possible to reduce the rate of hydration to just below the cutoff mark in a bid to raise the creatinine level to over the 20ng/ml bar.
Repeat the test
After identifying the applicable hydration rate, repeat the trial test to verify that it works. You might want to make adjustments again if necessary until you are guaranteed a pass.
THC metabolites >50ng/mL and Creatinine level <20ng/mL
What if the metabolites are above 50ng/ml but the creatinine level is below 20ng/ml? What do you do? This situation requires you to elevate the hydration rate which will lead to an even lower creatinine level.
This might be a very tricky situation especially if you have less than a day to the test. If you can postpone the test to a later date, the better for you.
If you have several days to the test, then you’ll need to do everything you can to boost the creatinine levels. This will include adding creatinine supplements and exercises to the regimen and eating protein-rich foods.
At the Day of the Test
3 hours to the test, start the hydration process using the rate that worked for you in the trial tests. Remember to piss as many times as possible within this time. 1 hour to the test, take a vitamin B12 pill to give your urine its natural color.
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Tips and Tricks
Can I pass by adding water directly into the urine instead?
Adding water into the urine sample will lower the drug ratios in it. Unfortunately, this opens a box of Pandora, and your sample might be flagged for dilution right off the bat.
This is because adding water directly does not take care of other vitals including pH, creatinine and density levels and color.
Can over-dilution lead to failing a urine drug test?
Negative results mean that you have passed. But that isn’t the case with negative-dilute. Luckily, lab technicians have no way of proving that the exceptionally high intake of fluids some hours before the test was intentional or not. In any case, it isn’t illegal to drink lots of water or juice!
In such a scenario, the lab may request you to collect another sample. If that happens, you need to be sure that your subsequent specimen won’t fail you. Mind you, a significant number of substance abusers who get dilute-negative results tend to come back positive on their second test.
How soon should I expect the results from the lab?
Most labs will have the results out in 24 hours. However, it might take them up to 48 hours or more if the urine specimen needs to be delivered to a laboratory. On the same note, positive results may prolong the turnaround time since they have to be verified using other stricter methods mostly the gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).