How to detox from THC
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- 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 Pass a Drug Test Using These Detox Drinks
When it comes to balancing a professional life with even a casual weed habit, American stoners have a delicate line to walk. Despite being recreationally legal in nine states and medicinally legal in 29, the federal ban on marijuana consumption means employers across the country have the right to refuse or terminate the employment of anyone who fails a drug test for THC.
While Jeff Sessions seems to believe otherwise, countless studies have shown marijuana to be significantly less dangerous than other Schedule I drugs like heroin and cocaine and much safer than legal substances like alcohol and tobacco. To add insult to injury, when it comes to pre- or post-employment drug testing—which most often takes the form of a urine test—marijuana is the substance that takes the longest to get out of your system.
According to a poll released by the Society for Human Resource Management, about 57 percent of American companies subject employees to drug tests. That’s down significantly from 81 percent in 1996, possibly because employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find quality candidates who are able to pass.
Luckily for them, and those of us who enjoy the occasional after-work blunt or who use marijuana to treat otherwise unmanageable chronic illnesses, there’s an entire industry devoted to beating the dreaded piss test. With enough advanced notice, there might be several ways you could go—quitting outright, subbing your dirty pee with a straight edge friend’s. But if your boss springs the news on you with only hours to spare, you’ve got pretty much one viable option: detox drinks.
Putting Detox Drinks To The Test
The War on Drug Tests
There are several of these on the market, “cleansing supplements” that, at a glance, seem to be nothing more than herbal energy drinks. On the back of each bottle, the language used is deliberately vague.
“Drink the entire bottle 60 to 90 minutes before your desired time.”
“Frequent urination indicates that you are experiencing optimal cleansing.”
These drinks can be expensive—up to $60 a pop—but that’s a small price to pay when your job may be on the line. They all offer the same thing: a same-day, temporary fix for your THC-tainted piss, so long as you use ‘em exactly as directed.
But do they actually, like, work? This is a question even the most diligent Googler is wont to find. As it stands, all the available information on these detox drinks seems to be either an obvious paid promotion for one brand or another, or come from anons with usernames like Stoner4Lyfe420 on eight-year old marijuana message board threads.
As such, we decided to put three brands to the test:
Our test was simple. We ordered a ten-pack of THC pee tests from Amazon for $7.99, and recruited a regular recreational weed smoker—a 28-year-old woman we’ll call “Jolene”—to test out these drinks over the course of a week without altering her normal weed habits. She’d try out one drink every two days, and take a control test before starting each one to make sure she was still testing positive before drinking them. Then she’d follow the directions on each bottle and see whether she could piss herself clean.
In the photo above, you’ll see Jolene’s first pre-drink test. It is very positive. The “C” on the test stands for “Control.” The line next to it appears whether the test is negative or positive. The “T” stands for “Test.” If a line appears in “T,” the test is negative. If no line appears, the test is positive. As you can see above, Jolene was not able to produce a “T” line because she is high af. The drug tests we purchased are pretty standard pee tests. Basically you wee into a cup, take the cap off the drug test, and then submerge the little rectangular piece at the end for about ten seconds. Results take about five minutes. The test we bought for the purposes of this experiment are used specifically to detect THC and nothing else.
For context, Jolene’s marijuana consumption is probably slightly, but not much, below average for stoners. She smokes a bowl most days after work, and blazes up two to three times a day on the weekends. Occasionally she’ll have an edible or do a dab, but says she usually sticks to traditional smoking methods—bowls, bongs, and joints. Most of these drinks caution “heavy” users to double their dosage, or go with a more concentrated version, so if you smoke more or less than Jolene, you’re likely to have different results. And none of the results we got here should be considered scientific or at all conclusive.
Detox Drink Test #1: Rescue Detox Blueberry Ice Instant Cleansing Energy
First up, we had Jolene try out a 17-ounce bottle of Rescue Detox. According to Karen, the very sweet Applied Sciences customer service lady we reached at the “LIVE SUPPORT” number listed at the bottom of the bottle, Jolene had to avoid eating for five hours before she did the cleanse. Luckily, it was Sunday, so Jolene had just woken up from a four and a half hour nap after spending the morning smoking and eating an entire large portion of Popeye’s mac and cheese, as one does.
The results shocked us!