The use of THC and nicotine has increased dramatically in the past years, and you might want to know how long do THC and nicotine stay in saliva. A study from 2021, available in the National Library of Medicine, reveals that approximately 46 million adults in the United States use tobacco products.
Concerns often arise regarding the potential detection of nicotine or THC in drug tests. THC, a compound present in cannabis, and nicotine, found in tobacco products, are the focal points of such apprehensions. To address these concerns, there is a growing adoption of saliva drug tests, providing a convenient means of detecting drug presence.
The appeal of saliva testing lies in its straightforward administration process and its capability to identify recent drug use. This article aims to elucidate the duration of THC and nicotine retention in the system, offering insights into effective and swift detoxification methods to outpace saliva drug tests.
What Does Saliva Drug Testing Entail?
Saliva drug screening is a popular method that detects drug use in the saliva of an individual. It is a non-invasive procedure to test for the use of drugs. This includes cocaine, marijuana, opioids, amphetamines, etc.
This drug testing method is highly favourable because of its easy process and faster results. Moreover, this process is known to show recent use of drugs.
The Types of Saliva Drug Tests
- Mouth Swab Test: This includes using a cotton swab to extract saliva from the insides of your mouth, which afterwards is sent for testing.
- Oral Fluid Test: This type uses a device to collect the saliva. It is through swabbing gums or passive drool.
Saliva vs. Other Drug Tests
In terms of detection windows, saliva testing is different from other drug screenings such as urine, blood, and hair testing.
Saliva tests can identify recent drug use in a matter of hours to days. In contrast, blood tests offer a limited window of a few hours, while urine tests cover a longer time, ranging from days to weeks.
The longest detection window is provided by hair tests, which can detect drug use over a few months (90 days) but they cannot detect recent use. The benefit of saliva testing is that it has a shorter detection period and can reflect recent substance intake.
How Long Does THC Stay In Saliva?
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC usually has a shorter detection window, especially in saliva. This ranges from a couple of hours to about one or two days after consumption. This timeframe opposes different drug testing options like hair or urine analysis. It makes saliva testing beneficial to check for recent marijuana use. It offers a quick result.
Mouth Swab Drug Test Weed Timeline
|up to 3 days
|Heavy chronic use
|up to 30 days
Factors Influencing THC Detection in An Oral Drug Test
Many factors impact THC detection for saliva drug testing.
- Frequency of Use: People who use cannabis regularly have a bigger chance of detecting THC.
- Dosage and Potency: Consuming THC in higher concentrations does impact the detection levels.
- Metabolism: An individual’s metabolism rate has a huge impact on how quickly drugs clear from the saliva. This means THC persists longer in people with poor metabolism.
- Hydration Levels: If the body gets dehydrated, it tends to concentrate the level of THC.
- Oral Hygiene: Bad oral hygiene can impact the retention of THC.
- Time Since Use: The detection timeframe is within a couple of hours to one day. Consumption beyond this timeframe may not be detected.
How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Saliva?
Nicotine is one of the major components of cigars, snuff, cigarettes, and tobacco. It is one such compound that can create over 7,000 different chemicals if burned. A person can absorb around 1–1.5 mg of nicotine from a cigarette on average.
It is the main psychoactive element in tobacco. Its primary metabolite, cotinine, is produced when the system breaks down nicotine. Often during saliva testing, cotinine is detected more as compared to nicotine. This is because cotinine tends to have a longer half-life than nicotine.
Nicotine usually has a half-life of two hours. But cotinine lasts for over 16 hours. This is why cotinine saliva tests offer a wider detection frame that makes it a reliable method for detecting tobacco use for an extended time.
Detection window for nicotine and cotinine in saliva
|24 hours to 14 days (based on smoking frequency)
|Up to 4 days (with higher detection sensitivity than nicotine)
Factors Influencing Nicotine/Cotinine Detection in A Saliva Drug Test
How long can nicotine be found in human saliva depends on different factors and some of them include:
- Type of smoking: The variety of tobacco products, as well as the methods of smoking, does impact traceability. For instance, smokeless tobacco and cigars can affect the results differently from cigarettes.
- Frequency of use: Heavy and regular cigarette smokers have a higher level of detectable cotinine and nicotine levels, prolonging the detection window.
- Metabolism: Metabolism plays an important role in which nicotine processes into cotinine. People with better metabolism flush cotinine metabolites faster.
- Second-hand nicotine exposure: Being close to a person who is smoking or vaping makes you a passive smoker. This smoke can raise your nicotine cotinine level.
- Hydration levels: Being dehydrated can cause higher concentration levels of nicotine as well as cotinine.
- Time of use: Nicotine is more traceable after tobacco consumption.
People who regularly smoke or take marijuana have a high nicotine or THC content in their saliva. Such high levels cause a drop in the production of saliva. Often, nicotine levels can cause brown stains, bad breath, and other dangerous diseases like lung cancer.
Now that you know how long cotinine lasts in your saliva or how much time you need to cleanse yourself of THC, you can start with a detoxification process.
Here are some detox strategies to lower the nicotine and THC levels in your body.
- Quit Smoking: The best way to reduce the nicotine or THC levels is to completely stop smoking or taking weed. Avoid using any tobacco and cannabis products. Consuming dry herbs that are rich in tocopherol or retinol can prove to be effective in this regard.
- Stay Hydrated: Water is helpful to reduce these levels and flush out the toxins from the system. To do so, drink 9 to 10 glasses of water each day.
- Exercise: Staying active can increase metabolism. This can help to eliminate nicotine and THC.
- Eat a Healthy Diet: Consume fruits and vegetables. Indulge in an antioxidant-rich diet. This supports detoxification.
- Seek Professional Help: There are support programs or nicotine replacement options that help with an individual’s nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
- Oral Hygiene: Having great oral hygiene helps in eliminating nicotine from the system. It helps to flush out residual toxins and promote gum health. Furthermore, regularly brushing and flossing can help remove nicotine residues. This supports overall health and the detoxification procedure.
How To Pass A Saliva Drug Test for Nicotine and THC
Tobacco and weed are responsible for the death of many people per year. They hurt the life and health of both active and passive users. For this reason, many people look for ways that speed up the detox process for several reasons.
Following is a product that can fast-track nicotine and THC detoxification
Toxin Rid Rescue Wash Mouthwash
It is an all-rounder mouthwash that neutralizes the metabolism of toxins in the saliva. It remains inside your mouth and continues to neutralize the drug metabolites that enter the mouth and keep it clean for 15 minutes.
Toxin Rid is a reliable brand that has been catering detox products for decades. The mouthwash comes with a money-back guarantee. Plus, it has great reviews on the internet.
How To Use Rescue Wash from Toxin Rid
- Take around 1/3rd of Toxin Rid Rescue in the mouth a couple of minutes before the oral drug tests. Swish with liquid and hold it in the mouth for around 3 minutes and then spit it.
- Follow this process for 2 more times.
- After the rinsing process, use around 6 breath mints.
Toxin Rid Rescue Wash Mouthwash is not a perfect remedy, but it can help with detoxification. While caution is advised, we do recommend it. To make well-informed decisions about detox, people should consult a professional while taking into account their unique circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will nicotine show up on a drug screen?
Nicotine is detectable for 1 to 14 days in saliva. The detection window varies based on usage frequency and test type.
Can nicotine be passed through kissing?
You cannot pass nicotine through kissing. However second-hand exposure to smoke can cause trace amounts of nicotine.
How do you flush nicotine out fast?
Quit smoking, drink water, exercise, and have an antioxidant-rich diet to eliminate nicotine faster. However, this process can take weeks as well.
How long does it take nicotine to go away?
The elimination time for nicotine differs for all. For infrequent users, it can take some days. For regular smokers, it can take weeks. Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated to flush nicotine faster.
Do various cannabis products have varying effects on THC detection times?
Indeed, they do. The type of cannabis product does matter. Because edibles have a slower metabolism than inhalation methods like smoking or vaping, they may take longer to detect.
What colour does a saliva drug test turn if you fail?
When a reddish-purple line appears in the control region but not in the test region after 10 minutes, it indicates that the drug concentration is higher than the cut-off level, indicating a positive result for any one drug.
If no line or colour appears in the control area, then the test is invalid.
The time frame for nicotine saliva testing and THC detection does vary. While nicotine is detectable for over 1 to 14 days, THC is present for over 24 to 72 hours. It is important to understand the timelines for maintaining personal health.
Those suffering from addiction must seek professional help. Some expert professionals can help with the recovery process which is safe and often fast. In addition, drug test support services can offer reliable assessments and help people live a healthier life.
List Of Sources
- Monica E. Cornelius, PhD, corresponding author Caitlin G. Loretan, MPH, Ahmed Jamal, MBBS, Brittny C. Davis Lynn, PhD, Margaret Mayer, PhD, Iris C. Alcantara, MPH, and Linda Neff, PhD (May 5, 2023). Tobacco Product Use Among Adults – United States, 2021.
- The American Lung Association (May 31, 2023). What’s In a Cigarette?
- Han B, Volkow ND, Blanco C, Tipperman D, Einstein EB, Compton WM (Apr 26, 2022). Trends in prevalence of cigarette smoking among US adults with major depression or substance use disorders, 2006–2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9044114/
- Budney AJ, Novy P, Hughes JR. Marijuana withdrawal among adults seeking treatment for marijuana dependence. Addiction. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10615717/
- Budney AJ, Hughes JR. (May 19, 2006). The cannabis withdrawal syndrome. Curr Opin Psychiatry. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16612207/