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How to detox from THC

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Contents

  1. What is detoxification?
  2. How long does it take to detox from THC?
  3. Does exercise help to detox from THC?
  4. Do detox drinks remove THC from the body?
  5. Do THC detox kits really work?
  6. How can I use marijuana and still pass a drug test?
  7. What is the best way to detox from THC?
  8. The bottom line on weed detoxing

If you’ve just been hired for a new job and need to pass a drug test, you might be wondering how marijuana can affect the results. Especially if you have recently smoked a cannabis strain high in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) , there is a possibility that the drug test will reveal the psychoactive cannabinoid in your system. The cannabinoid may be detectable in urine, blood, or even hair, though employers are unlikely to sample the latter in drug screenings.

Are there effective ways to remove THC from the body before taking a drug test? In this guide to detoxing from THC, we’ll examine the facts and myths about cannabis and drug testing.

What is detoxification?

Detoxification is the removal of a toxic substance from the body or waiting for a drug to clear the bloodstream on its own. In general, it is healthier and safer to allow the THC from marijuana to leave the body unassisted, as opposed to toxic drugs such as cocaine or heroin for which there are medications to facilitate detoxification.

How long does it take to detox from THC?

The psychoactive effects of THC may last fewer than two hours, but the compound can remain in the body for a significant amount of time — 30 days or longer by most accounts. This lengthy residence in the body makes detoxing from THC a challenge, but let’s consider the most common methods used to manipulate THC levels and eliminate cannabis products from the body.

The psychoactive effects of THC may last fewer than two hours, but the compound can remain in the body for a significant amount of time. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Does exercise help to detox from THC?

If you have ever practiced hot yoga, you have probably heard your instructors talking about sweating out toxins from the body. While this notion is debatable, can vigorous exercise and breaking a sweat cause THC to leave the body through the pores?

Dr. Adie Poe, assistant scientist at the Legacy Research Institute in Portland, Oregon, and scientific adviser to Weedmaps, weighed in: “Exercise can release stored THC from adipose (fat) tissue. Theoretically, exercise might help to speed up the detox process, but perhaps only marginally (28 days instead of 30). There is no scientific evidence showing that exercising can speed up the detox process and help you pass a drug test sooner than you would have without exercise.”

In terms of body fat, leaner individuals are less likely to store THC metabolites due to a faster metabolism. However, a person of any bodyweight may still show traces of the cannabinoid in blood and/or urine, especially if using marijuana on a daily or frequent basis.

Do detox drinks remove THC from the body?

Detox drinks such as cranberry juice or green tea may seem like good solutions to flush THC out of your system, but can they literally remove the cannabinoid? Not exactly.

Rather, Dr. Poe explained, “When it comes to passing a drug screen, ‘detox drinks’ don’t actually remove THC from the body or urine. Instead, they trick the laboratory test by artificially loading up the urine sample with vitamins and proteins like creatinine. it’s like adding sugar to coffee. Adding sugar doesn’t change the amount of bitter compounds in your cup, it just masks them, tricking your brain into thinking it’s less bitter.”

In other words, the THC may still be present in the body, but it is possible for the compound not to register on a toxicology report. Therefore, drinking hydrating beverages such as herbal tea and purified water will probably not rid your system of marijuana. Still, increasing your fluid intake can be beneficial to your general health, which is often not the case for unregulated products such as detox pills and kits.

Do THC detox kits really work?

A detox kit may also seem like a quick fix to cleanse your system of THC, but these methods may be even less reliable than detoxing with fluids. First, THC detox kits are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that they could be more harmful than helpful. While it could be possible to fool a drug test with a kit, it may not be worth risking your well-being for a product of questionable origin and safety.

How can I use marijuana and still pass a drug test?

If you want to enjoy cannabis but don’t want any evidence of the plant to appear in a blood or urine sample, you have other options to consider. CBD products such as oils and tinctures contain only trace levels of THC and may be ingested on their own or prepared in recipes for tasty edibles.

CBD products such as oils and tinctures contain only trace levels of THC. (Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps) Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Another option is to smoke marijuana strains that have low levels of THC. Popular cannabis strains with less than 15% THC content include Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, and ACDC. For even lower levels, try Ringo’s Gift which measures only around 7% and is a good choice for beginners as well.

What is the best way to detox from THC?

According to Dr. Poe, “the only way to truly ‘detox’ (remove the drug from the body) is to wait it out. The liver metabolizes THC, and its metabolites are further broken down, over time, until there are no more traces left. This process can take 30 days or more for a daily cannabis user.”

So, the best way to detox from THC may be simply to play the waiting game and allow enough time to pass for the cannabinoid to naturally exit your system. Sipping water, trying detox drinks, and practicing yoga may not speed up the process, but they can make you feel good and assist with any withdrawal symptoms you may be experiencing.

Likewise, home remedies like lemon juice and apple cider vinegar carry potential health benefits, but it’s a myth that they can strip your system of THC. These fluids may be able to mask marijuana in your bloodstream and urine, but this outcome is not predictable and depends on numerous factors including your body composition, frequency of cannabis consumption, and even the potency of the weed.

The bottom line on weed detoxing

As much as we all love a quick fix, abstaining from cannabis for 30 days or more may be the only way to guarantee that THC won’t show up on a drug test.

How to detox from THC Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is detoxification? How long does it take to detox from THC? Does exercise

Marijuana Detox: What You Should Know

As laws change, talking about marijuana use is slowly becoming more common. Some people are assessing its medicinal value, while others are looking for ways to flush it out of their system because of drug testing or a simple desire to get toxins out of their systems.

But what exactly are they flushing out, and how long would it take to happen naturally?

When you smoke or consume marijuana, you can feel profound and immediate effects. But even once those effects are gone, marijuana metabolites remain. This means that chemical remnants of the plant are still present within your body.

These remnants are called cannabinoids. They can be detected in saliva, hair, fingernails, blood, and urine.

Drug tests look for the presence of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its metabolites. Generally, urine is tested, both because it’s easiest to collect and because THC remains detectable for a longer period of time in urine than elsewhere.

The main metabolite these drug screenings look for is called THC-COOH. This substance is stored in your body fat.

“Compared to other drugs, marijuana has the longest detection time, up to months, because the detectable chemicals stay in the body’s fat cells,” explained Nicolas Rossetti, manager of clinical services of Mobile Health, an occupational health center that conducts about 200,000 drug tests in New York City each year.

The vast majority of marijuana detoxes seek to flush the body of any detectable THC. These kits include capsules, chewable tablets, drinks, shampoos, and even mouthwashes to help you pass a saliva test.

However, if a drug test is your concern, detoxes can have additional effects that can make your urine sample look suspicious.

“Cleanses and teas can lower THC levels through their diuretic properties. They make individuals urinate a lot, which technically washes out the kidneys,” said Rossetti.

“This flushing of the kidneys can lower the specific gravity or density of the urine,” he added, “and a low specific gravity indicates contamination on the test, and the specimen could be discounted.”

Also, cleanses and teas may alter the amount of creatinine in the urine, another measure that drug tests look at. Abnormal creatinine levels can indicate contamination, according to Rossetti. This means the tester could assume that you attempted to cheat on your drug test.

While that doesn’t mean a positive test, it does mean the sample is unacceptable, and you’ll likely have to take the test again.

THC can be detected in your blood, urine, and even in your fat cells. The length of time THC remains detectable in the body depends on several factors, including:

  • metabolism and eating habits
  • exercise routine
  • body fat percentage
  • frequency and quantity of marijuana use

Because of all these factors, there is no single standard detection time. Some estimate it can stick around for anywhere from two days to several months.

Urine

Cannabinoid metabolites can remain detectable in urine even after long periods of abstinence. One study found traces of one metabolite, delta 1-THC, in urine as long as four weeks after use.

Fat cells

THC builds up in fat tissue, and from there slowly spreads to the blood. According to a 2013 study , exercise can cause THC to be released from your fat stores and into your blood.

Blood

THC can remain detectable in your blood for as long as seven days, depending on how frequently you use marijuana. Someone who smokes marijuana daily will likely carry marijuana metabolites for longer than someone who smokes infrequently.

As of 2018, marijuana is legal for recreational use in the U.S. in these states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Washington, D.C. Medical marijuana is approved in over 20 states.

But regardless of its legality, it’s important to remember that marijuana carries with it certain medical risks. Know the risks before you decide to use it or not.

  • The main remnant cannabis drug tests look for is THC.
  • How long THC stays in your body depends on your weight and how much you exercise, among other things.

Last medically reviewed on January 25, 2018

When you smoke or consume marijuana, you can feel profound and immediate effects. But even once those effects are gone, marijuana metabolites remain in your body.