Last updated: December 4, 2023
It’s perfectly fine to eat before a drug test. That is, unless, you’re scheduled for an oral fluid test and planning to eat lots of fatty foods on the way to the facility. Some online advice suggests that will trap the THC metabolites floating around in your mouth and you’ll ace the test. We hate to burst your bubble right off the top, but that’s not going to work.
The body is constantly producing saliva so…
There are a few foods that can actually cause problems with a drug test though. If eaten prior to the test, there’s a possibility of a false positive result.
Let’s take a look at them.
Not so long ago, people were testing positive for opiates after eating poppy seed bagels and other foods containing them. That’s because even though the seeds themselves don’t contain the narcotic, opium alkaloids, such as morphine and codeine, attach to the seeds during the harvesting process. The problem of false positive test results due to eating poppy seeds was easily corrected though. The test levels were raised to a higher level—problem solved. Of course, distributors were notified of the issue as well to ensure seeds were well washed before putting them on the market to be sold in the United States.
Sadly, in late 2019, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released information about a growing problem. Seed harvesters, looking to benefit from the narcotics industry, intentionally make small cuts in the opium pods as they begin to ripen. The milky white poppy latex, then, covers the seeds with a thick coating. They market the seeds as “unwashed” which, of course, is a code for drug users. Amazon and some other major marketers have quit selling unwashed seeds to help fight the problem.
According to the information, people purchase the seeds and use them to make tea which contains “sufficient amounts of alkaloids to produce psychoactive effects.” There were at least 12 reported deaths associated with poppy seed tea brought to light by 2019.
Yikes! Who would think that this food—considered as a diet staple by many—can trigger a false positive on a drug test? It’s due to the yeast used to make the crust rise. Yeast ferments sugar into alcohol—and it can also show up as THC on a drug test! Rather than risk it, it’s best to lay off the pie for a couple of days before you take the test.
Yes. People eat hemp seeds. They’re found in snack bars, granola, and other foods, so check the ingredient list to be on the safe side. Hemp comes from the same plant family as marijuana and there are varying levels of THC found in it. Hemp doesn’t contain a lot of THC, but it accumulates in the body, so head’s up.
Coca leaves actually contain cocaine and if you have enough accumulated in your system, it’s going to cause you to pop positive for the drug for up to 36 hours after consumed. It’s probably a good idea to try a new flavor for a few days… mint maybe?
You may have thought the only problem with drinking water before a drug test is that you could receive an inconclusive result due to a diluted specimen if you drink too much. Wrong! Tonic water contains quinine and even small traces of it can trigger a false positive result on your drug test.
This prickly Asian fruit is more than just smelly. It leaves enough “mouth alcohol” behind that it can cause a positive breathalyzer result. In 2019 several officers in the Jiangsu Province of China refused to believe it could be possible. They tried the fruit themselves and then tested positive with a blood alcohol level of 0.016%—above the legal limit.
Non-foods that can cause positive results
There are a few other culprits that can cause a false positive result on a drug test. They include some over-the-counter medications and, surprisingly, soap could even be a trigger!
The list includes:
This anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) helps reduce pain, fever, and inflammation. There have been rare cases reported, published in the Journal of Clinical Chemistry: there is a “small likelihood of a false-positive immunoassay test result for cannabinoids, benzodiazepines, or barbiturates after the acute or chronic ingestion of ibuprofen.”
Certain antibiotics, namely fluoroquinolones and rifampin, have been known to cause false positive results on drug tests. The instances are extremely rare though.
Common antihistamines contained in over-the-counter allergy and cold medications can cause “mirror images” of methamphetamine. Rather than temporarily being pegged as a meth head, be sure to alert your test technician of any medications that you’re taking.
Believe it or not, soaps that leave babies smelling as only babies can smell could cause parents to trigger a positive THC response on a drug test. We’re quoting the study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry here, “commonly used soap and wash products used for newborn and infant care as potential causes of false positive THC screening results.”
The study noted the importance of documenting this information due to the fact that a false positive THC result could lead to social services being involved or false allegations of child abuse against the parent.
There’s a drug test that tests the drug tests
If someone is falsely accused of testing positive for drugs, a blood test can clear up any question. Instead of having to endure that, though, being aware of foods that can cause a false positive allows you to avoid them.
Medications that you take regularly should be disclosed as well—just in case.
Employers drug test to ensure they are doing everything possible to provide their employees with a safe work environment. They realize that the majority of their employees don’t use drugs and won’t hesitate to work with employees who claim that a positive drug test result is unwarranted.