How to detox from THC
Copy article link to clipboard.
Link copied to clipboard.
- What is detoxification?
- How long does it take to detox from THC?
- Does exercise help to detox from THC?
- Do detox drinks remove THC from the body?
- Do THC detox kits really work?
- How can I use marijuana and still pass a drug test?
- What is the best way to detox from THC?
- 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
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
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
How to Flush Marijuana Out of Your System
Friday September 18, 2015
M arijuana can be good for a lot of things, but helping you pass a drug test isn’t one of them. Many people ask us how to flush marijuana out of your system. Well, it starts with a bit of knowledge and a marijuana detox.
How can I clean weed out of my system?
There are many reasons why people want to ‘flush’ their system of marijuana. The most common situation is a drug test for employment purposes.
Workplace drug tests typically involve urinalysis (testing your pee) for metabolites. Metabolites are a byproduct of a substance after it has been processed by your body. When you consume marijuana, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels in your blood stream will immediately increase. As your body cleanses the THC out of your blood stream, metabolites are left behind.
Note that THC, the cannabinoid known for its psychoactive effects, is responsible for getting you “high.” Having said this, both THC and the non-psychoactive metabolite, THC-COOH, will remain in your body’s fat tissue for varying lengths of time depending on a variety of factors.
To figure out if you are ‘clean’ for a drug test and how to get weed out of your system, you need to be able to determine the following:
- The amount of THC and its metabolites in your system
- The type of test you’ll be required to take
- The testing levels for your drug screen
How Much THC is in My Body?
There are a handful of factors that will help you determine how much THC and THC-COOH are in your body after any length of time, post-consumption.
How often you consume:
When determining how much THC is in your system, you must take the frequency of consumption into consideration, first and foremost. Do you smoke once a month, once a week, everyday? When you do smoke, are you only taking one hit or enjoying an entire joint (or two)? Obviously, the more frequently you use (and the actual amount you consume), the more THC and THC-COOH will accrue in the fatty tissue throughout your body.
Total body fat:
As we just mentioned, THC and THC-COOH store itself in fat cells, no matter how often or little you use. As a result, the more body fat you have, the more THC and its metabolites will be inevitably stored.
Metabolism & overall health:
It makes sense that the healthier you are, the better off you’ll be (in all aspects in life). When it comes to THC and its metabolites, they have less of a chance of storing themselves in your body fat, if there isn’t a lot of body fat in the first place! Having said this, everyone has varying metabolisms that break down THC at different rates. Although exercise can potentially push THC back into your blood stream at a faster rate, this doesn’t mean that you should throw away healthy habits into the wind. Simply maintain a healthy lifestyle and don’t work out too much before a test.
What you’re consuming:
Depending on what you consume (flower vs. concentrates) and even the quality of what you consume (top shelf flower vs. schwag) will greatly effect how much THC and THC-COOH are released into your body.
How Long Does THC Stay in My Body?
Typically speaking, psychoactive THC cannabinoids can be found in the system for 1-2 days after consumption for very infrequent users, while those who consume everyday can expect it to remain in your body for longer.
The half-life of THC metabolites is 7 days. Meaning every 7 days, the amount in your body will decrease by 50%.
With this number in mind, most people can assume their body will be clean of THC metabolites within 3-4 weeks — more or less depending on frequency, body weight and amount consumed.
THC is fat soluble and as a result, it gets stored in your fatty lipid tissue. Because of this, your fat cells will secrete THC metabolites into your bloodstream at a constant rate. As a result, many different cleansing techniques are ineffective, as your fat cells will continue to release THC metabolites into your system over time.
Types of Drug Tests
Similar to the variety of factors that can define how much THC is in your system, there are a number of ways your (future) employer can test you. They include urine, blood and hair.
- Urinalysis (UA) is the most common type of drug test. It’s used in many businesses because it’s less expensive than other modes of testing and is fairly accurate. Note that urine drug tests detect THC-COOH (metabolized THC), versus THC itself.
- Blood Test identifies THC in your bloodstream. Unlike urinalysis, a blood test will show impairment. For those who rarely consume, THC might not be measurable several hours afterwards, however for those who use everyday, THC could remain in your bloodstream for a much longer period of time.
- Hair Test is a less common form of testing, however does take place in some work places. Because it measures THC-COOH remainders in the hair follicle over the past several months, it’s often difficult to get around this one. Don’t worry though, you do have options available which we address below.
How Do I Pass a Drug Test?
The best way to pass any drug test is to not consume at all. Having said that, don’t worry if it’s “too late.” There are ways to mask THC in your system, so do your best to follow our tips below – and think about a backup plan in case you might need the extra help.
Typically, random drug tests are delivered with short notice, which means you won’t have as much time as you’d like to prepare for a drug test. It may sound silly, but as soon as you know that you’re going to have to take a marijuana drug test, stop consuming cannabis in any form! Whether you’re a heavy user or casual user, do yourself a favor and stop all cannabis consumption.
Note that the longer you have before your drug test, the better your chances will be of actually passing.
It’s important to realize that marijuana cannot be flushed out of your system using cranberry juice, niacin, vinegar, large amounts of water, creatine pills, ginger root tea, surejell, bleach, etc. In fact, most of these products continue to remain top of mind due to incorrect drug testing myths but they won’t actually help you pass modern drug testing techniques.
Instead, here are three ways to pass a drug test:
Forget detox pills, detox programs or detox kits! A normal healthy, in shape person can rid their body of toxins in 4-6 weeks with a great diet, water and plenty of exercise. Obviously, those with a fast metabolism, lower water retention and overall low BMI will be able to do this faster.
Detox in 3-6 days, with detoxification products.
If you’re on a tight time frame, then you probably just received notice about a marijuana drug test and need answers now. Thankfully, there are many detoxification products available (which we cover below) to help your body rid itself of harmful toxins in approximately a week. They’re successful by leveraging herbal supplements to cleanse your body. Be sure to use a home drug test kit after to ensure you’re fully clean of THC.
Detox in 24 hours, with same day cleansers.
If you’re truly panicking a day or two before your test, it might be worth your while to try a same day cleanser from a company like TestClear.com (available online). Such products temporarily target the urinary tract to flush metabolites to give you a brief period for which to give a clean urine sample, meaning you could technically pass a drug test in 24 hours.
Tips to Pass a Urine Drug Test:
As we mentioned, piss tests are more common than a hair drug test. To pass a marijuana urine test, also known as a urinalysis test, you don’t need to be 100% free of THC metabolites. Rather, you need to have levels below the threshold for the test. Typically the threshold is 50 ng/mL, which is higher than you may think. As long as you register under this value, your test result will be negative.
The primary method of passing a urine drug test is to dilute your urine enough where it will be below the 50 ng/mL threshold. It’s a simple as that, but with a hitch. Drug testing labs are on the lookout for diluted urine samples. So in order to be an effective technique, you need not only dilute your urine, but to mask the fact that your urine is diluted.
There is no reason to start drinking excessive amounts of water weeks or days before your test. It’s a waste of time as it only temporarily dilutes your urine. Your best bet is to drink 2-3 liters throughout the day before your test, and then around 1-2 liters several hours before your test. Don’t drink too much water though, as it can be dangerous. Start with 2 liters max and be sure to know your limits.
After drinking this much water, your pee will be colorless and have low levels of creatinine. These are both red flags for any testing lab to indicate diluted urine, so there are some additional steps you need to take.
You’ll need to make your pee yellow, and the best way to do this is by using vitamin B. Vitamin B-2 or B-12 seem to be the most effective for this purpose, so stop by your local drug store and take 50-100mg several hours before your test.
Creatinine is a chemical waste product produced by muscle metabolism. Creatinine is naturally occurring in the human body and is one method labs use to determine if your urine is diluted. It has a half-life of three hours, so no reason to start taking it more than a day or so before your test.
You can buy creatine supplements from almost any health food store. Creatine then gets broken down into creatinine by your body and is flushed out in your urine. You should take an above-average dose several hours before your test.
Whether you’re applying for a new job or trying to hold on to the one you’ve got, passing a marijuana drug test can be an important step. Here are several tips on how to clean THC out of your system, starting with a weed detox.