The marijuana detox: Myths, facts, and tips
How to detox from weed
S o the time has come for a cannabis detox. Perhaps you need to pass a drug test for a new job, or maybe you’ve decided to take a T-break (tolerance break) and want to flush your system before beginning anew. Whatever the reason, there are a few ways to approach a cannabis detox, as well as certain things you’ll want to avoid.
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What is detoxing from weed?
A detox is the process of abstaining from consuming a substance in order to cleanse the body of any trace. In this case, the goal would be a THC cleanse. By abstaining from consuming cannabis, the body is able to flush THC from the system.
This process may be simple for some and difficult for others; it often depends on how heavily you’ve been consuming cannabis and whether or not you were doing so for medical purposes. For heavy and/or medical consumers especially, the marijuana detox process may give rise to unpleasant symptoms, some of which include:
- Decreased appetite
There’s some debate over whether or not these effects can be considered withdrawal symptoms, or rather simply a result of discontinuing a medicine that once helped alleviate the aforementioned discomforts. But we can all agree that they’re unpleasant; luckily, Leafly has some recommendations for how to alleviate them in the first part of this series.
What’s the fastest way to detox for a drug test?
There’s a lot of bunk information out there with “quick fixes” for detoxing. Most of them are bogus and will not accomplish the results you seek. Some faulty methods to avoid include:
- Cranberry juice
- Detox teas
- Niacin detox
- Bleach (do not, under any circumstances, ingest bleach)
Most “quick fix” methods are based in myth and should not be trusted. Don’t default to questionable and unreliable methods. If you’re wondering how to pass a drug test for cannabis without taking a cleansing break, know that detoxification is a lengthy process. No vitamin, juice, tea, or chemical will magically flush the body of cannabis overnight or in a short period of time.
How to get THC out of your system
Now that we know what doesn’t work, let’s delve right into what does.
The best option for a full weed cleanse is using natural methods that can take up to six weeks to flush the system of cannabis. This is the most effective, fool-proof way to flush THC from the body. In addition to the guidelines outlined below, there also exists a number of products aimed at detoxification.
How to pass a drug test naturally
The best method to flush your system of cannabis will always be a natural cleanse. Although it takes the longest, it is by far the most thorough and effective. There are several methods of natural detox, all of which may be used in conjunction. Most are pleasurable and good for the body, making them positive habits to practice for good health whether detoxing or not. Consider the following for an all-natural detox experience.
This is pretty obvious, but in order to detox from marijuana, it will be necessary to halt all consumption of cannabis. Whether you choose to go cold turkey or ease into it, the process of detoxification cannot truly begin until cannabis is fully out of the picture.
First and foremost on the list is to get up and move. As discussed, THC is stored in the fat cells of the body. This means that for those who have more fat, it will take longer to detox. Exercise such as cardio and weight training will help burn fat and increase metabolism, thus speeding up the detox process.
A happy bonus to this method will be an increase in production of anandamide, which is the body’s natural “bliss” molecule. If you’ve ever experienced a “runner’s high,” you know the euphoric sensation this endocannabinoid provides. Thus, exercise will help you decrease detectable cannabinoids while simultaneously soothing the transition with endocannabinoids.
3. Drink water
Drinking plenty of water during this period will assist with cleansing the body. No need to overdo it–drinking excessive amounts will not speed up the process, but staying well hydrated will increase health and help your body expel toxins of all kinds.
4. Practice a healthy diet
Avoiding foods that are high in sodium, sugar, and fat will aid in the weed cleanse process. These types of foods, such as red meat and junk food, increase water retention and slow metabolism, which is in direct opposition to the body’s ability to shed THC metabolites. Instead, opt for a nutritious, healthy diet of vegetables, lean meats, fruits, and plenty of leafy greens.
Many greens increase metabolism as they are high in iron and other essential vitamins. Incorporate more spinach, kale, and other greens into your diet to assist the process of flushing out your system. Healthy fibers will also be beneficial during this period, so incorporate beans, legumes, peanuts, unenriched whole wheat, and other good fibers for an added boost.
These key detox foods will also have the added side effect of assisting in stabilizing mood and even sleep, helping ease possible withdrawal symptoms.
5. Drink more tea
Opt for teas with high levels of antioxidants, or liver-cleansing teas such as dandelion or milk thistle. This is a simple, enjoyable way to help the body along with the marijuana detox process.
6. Take care of your mental health
If you are suffering from higher levels of depression, anxiety, or even irritability while detoxing, it will be extra important to be gentle with yourself and take care of your mental health. This may mean different things for different people. For some, exercise or activities such as yoga and meditation may be a valuable resource to stabilize mood.
For others, it may mean putting less on your metaphorical plate and allowing yourself to use the detox time as a vacation from usual stresses and agitations.
If depression and anxiety are more clinical, consider taking advantage of resources such as therapy. Whatever the reason, be kind to yourself during detox.
7. Nurture yourself
On the note of treating yourself kindly, be sure to nurture yourself during detoxification. The process of detox is already a very nurturing, healthy journey, with improvements to diet and exercise. Consider the experience a chance to take care of yourself and you may find your entire perspective of detox shifting. Think of this time as a vacation, where you give yourself permission to worry less and pamper more.
Buy a fancy bath bomb and take a relaxing soak, spend more time with your closest friends, visit your favorite parks or nature centers for picnics or light strolls, garden, read, dance, or pick up an instrument. Whatever healthy habits make you happy, give yourself permission now to enjoy them fully.
How to detox THC with products
The following products are not all aimed specifically at removing THC, but instead at detoxifying the body in general by removing impurities and toxins. Some of these may be considered in conjunction with natural detox methods.
Note: We have not tested these products and cannot guarantee their efficacy in reducing THC and THC metabolites. Use them at your own discretion.
Bentonite clay – A popular clay, made of aged volcanic ash, bentonite clay has many detoxifying properties as it’s known for absorbing toxins, chemicals, impurities, and heavy metals. It has external as well as internal uses, and can easily be incorporated into a detox regime. Use a bentonite clay detox in a bath, on the skin, or even in a glass of drinking water.
Detox drinks – Refreshing beverages full of detox-friendly ingredients like lemon, mint, and watermelon are easy to assemble and enjoy. There’s a plethora of recipes available on sites like Pinterest.
In addition, there are plenty of pre-assembled detox drinks for weed available on the market. That said, as mentioned previously, there aren’t many “quick fixes” for the detox process, so use discretion and mind ingredients if you opt to try this route. If the goal is to find a marijuana detox drink for a drug test, remember to weigh the pros and cons before choosing this method.
Detox kit – Detox kits for THC often include various items such as herbal capsules as well as instructions about how to properly use the kit’s system to rid the body of toxins. Bio Cleanse Detox, for example, can be used as a THC detox kit and includes “90 herbal vegan capsules of Digest Power formula to stimulate the bowels and organs, 300 grams of Toxin Remover powder, to absorb the released toxins and carry them away safely, and also 30 veggie caps of vegan probiotics.” The kit also comes with instructions and a choice of either a nine or 14 day cleanse.
This article was originally published April 7, 2017. It has been updated for clarity and accuracy.
How do you get THC out of your system before a drug test? Learn how to naturally detox from weed and use products like detox drinks and clay powders.
What to know about marijuana detox
Marijuana contains many compounds, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These compounds remain in the system after use, but many factors can affect how long they stay there. This can influence the length and side effects of the marijuana detox process.
THC and CBD attach to the same cannabinoid receptors as endocannabinoids, which are chemicals that the body produces naturally. Typically, the body releases these compounds through urine and stool.
If a person wants to detox from marijuana, they will need to flush out or wait until the final traces of marijuana have left the body. Until this happens, they may also test positive in drug screening.
Keep reading to learn more about the side effects of marijuana detox, how long the drug stays in the body, how drug tests work, and some remedies that may help in the detox process.
Share on Pinterest Depression and loss of concentration are common side effects of marijuana withdrawal.
According to American Addiction Centers, a person can expect marijuana to remain in their body for the following times:
- Hair: 90 days
- Urine: 3 days to a month or more, depending on usage
- Saliva: 48 hours
- Blood: 36 hours
In addition to these figures, a study published in 2017 also identified that traces of cannabinoids could remain in sweat for 7–14 days.
How long these compounds stay in a person’s system varies widely. According to another study published in 2017, one of the factors that affect this time frame is the strain of marijuana a person uses. The strain refers to the specific subspecies of the plant.
Different strains of marijuana may contain varying amounts of cannabinoids, which can affect how long they remain in a person’s body.
How often a person uses marijuana can also affect how long it stays in their body. When a person uses marijuana for an extended period, traces of cannabinoids will remain in their body for a longer time.
This means they may still test positive for marijuana many months after stopping. In some instances, people have tested positive for THC 3 months after discontinuing use.
Some other factors that affect the length of time marijuana traces will remain in a person’s body include:
- how much marijuana they use
- how often they exercise
- the type of exercise they do
- their eating habits
- their metabolism
- the percentage of body fat they have
These varying factors may make it difficult to determine precisely how long marijuana, or more specifically THC, will remain in a person’s system after use.
Marijuana can create dependencies in people who use it heavily for long periods. When a person’s body becomes used to receiving THC and CBD, stopping using it may lead to a period of uncomfortable marijuana withdrawal symptoms as the body readjusts.
However, people respond to detox in different ways, and some may not experience any symptoms when they stop using marijuana.
According to Marijuana Anonymous, the most commonly reported withdrawal symptoms are insomnia and headaches. Other side effects of marijuana detox may include:
- vivid dreams or nightmares starting about a week following quitting and lasting for a month or more
- anger or irritability
- emotional instability ranging from anger to euphoria
- loss of concentration
- night sweats
- coughing up phlegm
- loss of appetite
- tremors or shaky hands
Some remedies that may help with the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:
- drinking plenty of water
- reducing the amount of fat eaten
- reducing or eliminating caffeine consumption
- warm baths
Detoxing from marijuana may take a long time because many of its compounds remain in the body.
Whether a person smokes, vapes, or ingests marijuana, cannabinoids enter the bloodstream. Marijuana contains at least 104 different cannabinoids, but THC is the one responsible for producing the high effect that recreational marijuana users experience.
However, once the high has worn off, the cannabinoids ingested as a result of using the marijuana will remain in a person’s body for a time.
Though THC remains in the blood for only a short period, it is fat-soluble. This means the body absorbs it through fatty tissue, and as a result of this, small deposits of THC can remain in the body’s fat deposits for several weeks.
A drug test identifies traces of the cannabinoids, specifically THC, in the person’s system. The most common type of drug test for marijuana is a urine test. Doctors often use a urine test because it is easy to perform and because, unlike other tests, it can still identify the presence of cannabinoids and metabolites up to 3 months after use.
Other types of drug tests may include:
- hair testing
- blood testing
- saliva testing
Drug tests look for the presence of THC and its associated metabolites. The metabolite most drug tests search for is THC-COOH. Because the body stores THC in the fat cells, the compound remains in the system for longer.
Marijuana contains some compounds that remain in the body after use. Many factors affect how long it stays there. Learn about the marijuana detox process here.