Can you pass a drug test with niacin?

The question of whether or not you can pass a drug test with niacin is riddled with a lot of confusion. If you’ve tried searching around, you must have come across sites that blush it off as completely dubious, stupid, and dangerous.

Warning: Hundreds of mild to life-threatening cases are reported each year where drug abusers end up being hospitalized for niacin toxicity.

Instead of using life-threatening remedies, read this article: How to Pass a Urine Drug Test in 24 Hours

On the other hand, there are a lot of different sources that claim that it does work. These claims tend to get a lot of support from first-hand drug users on several online forums who report that they have used niacin to cheat the test not once or twice but on several occasions.

Internet-proposed method of passing a Drug Test with Niacin

Assuming that you have several days before you drop it;

  • Wake up early in the morning and ingest 500mg of niacin followed by two large glasses of water
  • Eat a light breakfast including a caffeinated drink to help you piss a lot (avoid fats since they affect the performance of the niacin)
  • During the day, continue drinking as much water as possible (one source suggested 1 liter per 20 pounds each hour spaced out)
  • Take a 500g niacin pill after every 5-6 hours with two large glasses of water
  • Jog for at least 30 minutes every day
  • On the day of the test, take at least two pills (totaling to 1000mg) of niacin with two large glasses of water and then continue with the 1L/hour water regimen. Urinate as many times as possible and don’t jog this day. 1-2 hours before time, take a vitamin B-12 pill to give the urine its normal yellowish color


2 major theories have been put forward to explain how niacin helps to pass drug tests;

  • It boosts fat metabolism (thereby leading to the release of THC stored in the fats)
  • Flushing is a sign of fat being purged

In the next couple of minutes, we’ll be screening these claims against biological facts and scientific evidence to come up with a solid answer as to whether you can rely on this method or not. I’ll also provide answers to a few questions that are obviously roaming your mind at the moment:

  • If this method works, how many Niacin pills should you take to pass a drug test?
  • Does it have any adverse effects?

What is Niacin? What is its importance in the body?

Niacin is one of the eight vitamins in vitamin B family, and it’s also called vitamin B-3 or nicotinic acid. The body gets it from foods such as fish, milk, meat, beef liver, green vegetables, eggs, and cereal grains.

Note that this vitamin comes in 2 forms: Regular Niacin which causes flushes at a higher dose and non-flush niacin (also known as nicotinamide) which has a special coating that promotes the slow release of the vitamin supplement.

Niacin deficiency is very rare, but it can still occur in case you are suffering from a digestive disorder that either interferes with nutrient absorption or causes an abnormally increased use of this vitamin in your body.

In such cases, the body can manufacture Niacin in the liver by converting 60 milligrams of tryptophan (another essential amino acid obtained from high protein vegetables and dairy products) into 1 milligram of Niacin.

Your doctor may also prescribe Niacin pills as a dietary supplement although you can also buy them from pretty much every drugstore with or without a certified doctor’s prescription.

According to WebMD, the recommended daily allowance for this supplement is 16mg for men and 14mg for women. However, fairly high doses of up to 2000mg may also be prescribed for cholesterol treatment although these doses pose other risks such as liver damage, gastrointestinal problems, and glucose intolerance.

Role of Niacin vs. how it’s thought to Help Pass Tests

The claims that niacin can help cheat a drug test stemming from its role in the body and how it works. This vitamin plays several significant roles in the body although only the two functions that I have discussed below are highly referred to by sites that stand with these claims.

Role 1: Supports metabolism

The primary role of vitamin B-3 in the body is to support the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats from the food you eat. More specifically, sufficient Niacin in the body is the starting point for the formation of the coenzymes NAD (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) which are directly responsible for the production of energy.

Claim 1: Increased metabolism means an increased breakdown of THC

[summary]A higher intake of niacin does not boost your Basal Metabolic Rate in any way.[/summary]

When most people hear that niacin has a role in metabolism, they tend to believe that an increased intake of this supplement would increase the breakdown of stored fats which will consequently lead to the release of the THC stored in the fat layers.

This is where they get it all wrong.

It’s true that increased Basal Metabolic Rate helps in burning fat cells and this helps in the release of THC that might have been stored in them over time.

Unfortunately, a higher intake of niacin does not boost your Basal Metabolic Rate in any way. Again, even if it did, there would still be another catch: it has no control over how the body spends the produced energy. And this means that any excess energy would still be converted back into fats and stored for future use even in the presence of a high amount of niacin in the system.

To that end, we can consider this myth busted! Although niacin does support the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in the food we take, it does not affect the BMR. This means that it won’t help in releasing the THC in the fat cells.

Role 2: Dilation of the blood vessels which causes Flushing

As I have just told you, regular/immediate-release niacin is also used in high doses of up to 2000mg in the treatment of high cholesterol levels in the blood. It works by dilating your blood vessels to regulate the blood pressure.

20-30 minutes after taking these considerably high levels of niacin, your blood vessels dilate, a warming sensation sets in all over your body, and your face flushes.

These symptoms are adverse and might be very uncomfortable (although not harmful) especially if you are a first-timer. Most people develop tolerance after continued consumption of these high levels over time though.

Claim 2: Niacin flush is a sign of fat being purged

[summary]There is no scientific evidence that vasodilation occurs in the fat tissues and this boosts the removal of the stored THC and its metabolites.[/summary]

The flushing reaction that sets in a couple of minutes after ingesting immediate-release niacin is simply an assurance that the supplement is working. However, most people associate this with the belief that the blood vessels dilate to allow the burning and removal of fat cells all around the body.

Actually, most people go ahead to believe that vasodilation also occurs in the fat tissues and this boosts the removal of the stored THC and its metabolites.

Although there isn’t a lot of studies that have been carried out to disprove this claim, there isn’t any evidence that niacin can cause vasodilation in the fat cells too. If anything, a 2009 study published in the Journal of National Institutes of Health shows that there were very minimal alterations in the blood pressure levels of healthy people compared to those who had high cholesterol levels. This could be a sign that dilation of the blood vessels does not occur everywhere around the body.

Will you pass a drug test using Niacin?

There isn’t any medical or scientific evidence that supports the claim that niacin can be used to detoxify drug metabolites from the body. On the other hand, hundreds of mild to life-threatening cases are reported each year where drug abusers end up being hospitalized for niacin toxicity.

A critical analysis of how niacin works in the body versus the internet-based healthcare’s assumption of how it detoxifies drug metabolites makes it hard for me to believe that this method works.

However, I can’t say for sure that it won’t work especially with the copious amount of water that you are required to take. If this method works, you’ll simply be diluting the urine. That being said, I don’t find the essence of risking your life while there are other safer, tested, and proved methods of passing the test.

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Daniel Miller

Hey there! I'm Daniel, a Ph.D. in pharmacology and a member of THC Detox. My research into cannabis shows how cannabis affects health, including how cannabinoids can be used in the treatment of various diseases. I've got a long list of scientific and medical publications that show the positive effects of cannabis clearly.

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