There is no shortage of people who swear on the efficacy of Azo pills in beating drug tests. A similarly large number of people think of it as a farce and are of the opinion that it doesn’t work. But on who’s side is science on?
The two most common types of Azo pills are Cranberry and Standard. What effect does each have on the body and does using them guarantee a negative drug test result?
To properly answer these questions, it is important to understand how drug tests work, and what they are looking for.
Basics of marijuana metabolism and detection
Whatever way you choose to consume marijuana or a product containing THC, it eventually ends up in the bloodstream. A process called decarboxylation turns THC active turning it into the psychoactive compound THCa.
This compound travels throughout the body binding with receptors, giving you the high effect. In an effort to bring your body back to normal, the liver starts metabolizing THC into THC-COOH. Depending on your metabolism rate, a couple of hours later all the THC will be metabolized.
The THC-COOH then reenters the bloodstream. Since it is fat-soluble, part of it is absorbed by fat.
Later, as your body taps into the fat supply for energy, the fat holding the metabolite is burned, releasing it into the bloodstream once more. It is at this point that it can be detected in urine and other fluids.
During the urine screening, the first thing that is checked is the validity of the specimen. The lab checks things such as color and appearance, creatinine, temperature, gravity, pH, and presence of adulterants.
After the sample passes the validity check, one of two methods is used to detect THC presence: Immunoassay, or GS-MS. Immunoassay tests use antibodies which bind to the THC metabolites. Using enzymes, fluorescent compounds or radioisotopes, they are able to detect the presence as the sample will change color. Its cutoff level is 50 ng/ml.
GS-MS method detects the presence of the metabolites based on fragmentation patterns at specific retention times. It detects specific metabolites, plus the quantity and identity of the drug. The cutoff for this method is 15 ng/ml.
How does Azo help to pass drug tests?
There are two types of Azo pills for beating drug tests: Cranberry, and Standard. They claim to assist in passing a drug test, each of them using a different mechanism. Details on the mechanisms, and whether or not they are true are given below.
The main active ingredient in this supplement is Cranberry. This fruit has a variety of other uses that include treating kidney stones and UTI’s, alleviating fever, and healing surgical openings.
The most active compound in the fruit – similar to other vegetables and fruits – is salicylic acid. This acid is the major metabolite in aspirin.
Extensive research, coupled with user experiences have shown that aspirin is very effective in passing drug tests. This is particularly true when the urine is tested using immunoassay tests.
On top of that, cranberry has diuretic properties. As such, taking it increases the frequency of passing out fluids from the body.
These similarities between taking Cranberry and taking aspirin coupled with dilution are eerie. It is very easy to pass one for the other and get the same results. But do they really work?
Why it is not reliable
There are a couple of downsides associated with this method of detoxifying. First, research has shown this method doesn’t work in all occasions. It can disappoint you at the worst possible time. There is no sense in letting your job hang in the balance and there are a number of methods that have been proven to work.
Some urine tests, as discussed above, start by checking the validity of the urine. If this happens to be your case, certain things such as gravity, pH, and creatinine levels of your urine will indicate the presence of an adulterant, subjecting you to additional tests.
Besides, the dark orange color of urine after use is a clear indicator of cheating.
The active ingredient in this over-the-counter medication is phenazopyridine hydrochloride (Pyridium).
To pass the test, you are required to take the 200mg pills three times a day for two consecutive days alongside vitamin B12 and a lot of water. Similar to Cranberry, as the drug is flushing your system, the color of your urine changes to dark orange.
Why it is not reliable
Most forums and reviews are divided into two; those who believe that it works, and those that don’t. However, scientific studies have shown that the active ingredient, Pyridium, has no real effect on the results of the test.
If the test experts have had previous experience, the dark orange color of your urine will directly mean the use of Azo pills. If the urine is subjected to further tests to prove its validity, the gravity and levels of creatinine will indicate adulteration.