Once upon a time, when saber-toothed tigers and dinosaurs still roamed the earth, and immunoassay drug test were most prevalent, lowering the pH of urine was thought to cause a false negative.
In 2018, however, this is definitely not the case. As the dinosaurs and saber-toothed tigers became extinct, so did the immunoassay type drug tests. Now, a drop or an increase in urine pH above the normal is easily detectable and indicates sample adulteration.
Unfortunately, some of us are stuck in the dinosaur era, and still, hold on to some myths that we are about to shed some light on.
Keep in mind that the best product to beat drug tests is that which leaves you with zero to mild side effects, masks/eliminates the drugs from your body, and most importantly, leaves no room for detecting adulteration of the sample.
Some of the most commonly used detoxifiers, such as vinegar, still rely on the same principle of lowering the pH of the urine sample. This leaves a huge room for detection. Unlike most detoxifiers that have no scientific evidence behind them, this one actually does. However, there is a catch; it all points in the opposite direction.
Not to burst anyone’s bubble but below are three of the most commonly held beliefs on the effectiveness of Vinegar, accompanied by the facts.
Myth 1: Adding vinegar to your sample will test negative
The hustle of smuggling the vinegar into the testing room is the first deterrent to using this method – especially if your test is being conducted as per the federal guidelines. This is so as your hands and nails need to be washed and scrubbed in front of the test monitor.
Assuming by chance you manage to sneak it into the urine, the only way you will be able to beat the test is if they are using an EMIT drug test. The vinegar makes the urine extremely acidic, neutralizing enzyme activity, resulting in a false negative.
If the test uses more sensitive and accurate methodologies, the chances of succeeding get slimmer. TLC test results are not affected by the vinegar.
Additionally, employers who know the possibility of use of vinegar as an adulterant may include a pH test. The pH range for human urine samples is from 4.5 to 8.5. If in the rare chance you manage to lower your pH to a ‘safe’ level, research has proven that the new pH lies outside the physiological range.
With that, if the employer includes a pH test, your efforts to sneak in the vinegar and slip it in the urine undetected will all be in vain.
Myth 2: Drinking apple cider vinegar will remove THC metabolites from the body
The smell, taste, and nausea are the first couple of things that you will have to overcome if you want to drink vinegar for detoxification. Most people recommend taking it with lemon juice and cayenne pepper.
If you manage to get through these, as it “gets down to work”, it has a couple of associated side effects. These effects, though mild in small doses, get really intense with an increase in vinegar intake.
1. Throat burns
As vinegar is highly acidic, it goes without saying that it can cause throat burns during ingestion.
2. Erosion of tooth enamel
Acidic beverages and foods have been proven to damage tooth enamel. The more widely studied are fruit juices and soft drinks, showing the effects of the acetic acid found in vinegar.
In a particular study, enamel removed from wisdom teeth was dipped in vinegar with pH ranging from 2.7 to 3.5. Within four hours, the teeth had a 1-20% loss in minerals.
Evidence from a case study concluded that it may also cause dental erosion. In the study, a 15-year-old girl had severe dental decay which was caused by taking a cup of apple cider vinegar to aid in weight loss.
3. Digestive problems
Taking vinegar has also shown to reduce appetite, and promote a feeling of fullness. Studies have shown that even though this may be an effective way to lose weight, it is mainly so because of indigestion. It reduces the rate at which food leaves the stomach for the lower digestive tract.
When taken as part of a drink, it also leads to nausea.
Additional side effects of taking vinegar include interaction with other drugs, skin burns, low potassium and bone loss.
Despite the unpleasant smell, taste and side effects, there is still no scientific evidence to prove that it will purify, mask, or remove the THC and/other toxins from your urine.
The active ingredient of vinegar is acetic acid. It has a pH of 4.3 and is classified as being derived from synthetic carboxylic acid. Some studies have cited it as the main active ingredient when it comes to weight loss. As THC metabolites are stored in the fat cells, these findings shed some light on some of the detoxifying claims of vinegar.
In the study, the scientists were researching whether the body fat-suppression qualities were as a result of increased energy expenditure. Nine-week-old mice were separated into two groups; one of them was given water and the other vinegar. The result was increased energy expenditure by the mice treated with vinegar, reducing the overall body fat mass and body weight.
These results were similar to those of another separate study done on 155 obese Japanese men. They were divided into three groups of similar body mass index, waist circumference, and body weight. Each group had to ingest 500ml daily of a beverage containing either 15ml, 30ml, or 0ml of vinegar.
After twelve weeks, the first two groups had significantly lower BMI, body weight, waist circumference, and visceral fat area compared to the placebo group. The results proved that vinegar may be useful in reducing body weight.
Another study done on 60 marijuana users showed that 15 to 20 percent of main THC metabolites excreted through the urine is in the form of an acidic urinary metabolite.
At this point, all the evidence points towards vinegar as a good detoxifying agent – its weight loss qualities lead to the purging of the THC and other toxins stored in the fat. What you may have failed to notice, however, is that these fat loss benefits kick in after weeks of taking vinegar. Drug tests are more often than not spontaneous, and the time needed for the vinegar to really function is never at hand.
What these studies have managed to show is that the claims of vinegar being a detoxifying agent aren’t too farfetched.
Myth 3: Drink water mixed with apple cider vinegar to dilute the urine and flush your system
Of the three myths listed here, this is the only with some element of truth in it, and can also work.
Most sites recommend this method when the smell and taste of vinegar becomes unbearable. The underlying reason for their recommendations, however, is not that; it is because drinking a lot of water, whether you have included vinegar or not, dilutes your urine enough to pass the test.
The instructions for this method generally require you to stir a small amount of vinegar in a gallon of water, then take the whole thing. This should be done days to the test and repeated at least four times, plus one more on test-day.
These instructions are eerily similar to those of urine dilution using plain water. The only difference is when using water, you are instructed not only on how much water to take but also on the ingredients that you will need to conceal dilution. These include Creatinine, electrolyte powder, and vitamin B2, all which are not included in the instructions of mixing vinegar with water.