How long does cannabis stay in your system and how can you detox?

how long does cannabis stay in your system and how do you detox

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The time has come for a THC 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 weed detox, as well as certain things you’ll want to avoid.

What is a detox?

A detox is the process of cleansing the body of something, in this case weed or THC, and taking a break from that substance. By abstaining from cannabis, the body is able to flush THC from its system.

This weed detox process may be easy for some people and difficult for others: its duration often depends on how heavily you consume cannabis and whether or not you do so for medical purposes.

For heavy and/or medical consumers especially, the marijuana detox process may give rise to unpleasant symptoms, which include:

  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased appetite
  • Insomnia

Professionals debate 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.

How long does cannabis stay in your system?

Cannabis enters the system in 1 – 3 hours if smoked – time to reach full effects. It takes another 1 – 3 hours for it to fully leave the system. When eaten this is slowed down to around 12 hours for a completed trip and come down

Different types of test detect cannabis for different periods

Each person will be different based on certain factors but

Generally speaking:

  • Urine – 3 – 30 days
  • 3 days for first time onc- off consumer
  • 5 – 7 days – consistent consumers ( 4 x per week)
  • 30 days for daily consumers
  • Saliva – Up to 24 hours – 3 days
  • Hair – up to 90 days and can give false positives if you’ve been in contact with smoke even if not consuming
  • Blood tests – 3 – 4 hours up to 36 hours

 

Things that can affect how long it takes:

  • How often you consume
  • The dose and way it’s consumed
  • Persons body fat
  • Gender
  • Exercise
  • Hydration
  • Metabolism 

Although conventional wisdom says at least 30 days, the answer is not straightforward. There are many different kinds of drug tests available, which have varying levels of sensitivity and time periods to detect marijuana in your system.

About 40 to 50 million drug tests are conducted by employers each year, which analyze biological material including urine, hair, blood, saliva, breath, sweat, and even fingernails. When cannabis is consumed, THC levels temporarily rise in the body, which are detectable in blood tests from several hours up to a day after one usage. Although these levels drop significantly after a few days, there are other means of determining recent usage.

THC, CBD, and their metabolic byproducts, called metabolites, are lipid-soluble and accumulate in fat reserves throughout the body. These molecules are then slowly released over time, resulting in a considerably longer time period for the body to purge itself of marijuana traces compared to other recreational drugs, especially for chronic users.

Hair tests tend to have the longest detection window, capable of registering the levels of a non-intoxicating THC metabolite called 11-nor-delta9-caboxy-THC (THC-COOH) up to 90 days after cessation.

While each drug test has its advantages, urine tests tend to be the test of choice by most private employers and are the sole test recommended by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. department of Health and Human Services that sets standards for drug testing of government employees.

Like hair tests, these urine screens do not directly measure the amount of THC present, but rather the levels of the metabolite THC-COOH.

And what about those who consume other non-intoxicating cannabinoids such as CBD (cannabidiol)? How long does CBD stay in your system, and will it show up on a drug test for marijuana?

Because standard urine testing only analyzes metabolites of THC, those who consume CBD/hemp oil have very little risk of testing positive. But because some hemp oils contain very small amounts of THC, those who use an extraordinarily large amount of cannabinoid-rich oil products (greater than 1000-2000 mg each day) might show a positive test on the initial urine screen, which is susceptible to cross contamination from other cannabinoids.

However, this initial “false positive” would not hold up to the more rigorous second round of confirmatory testing, which specifically measures THC-COOH.

What is the fastest way to detox for a drug test?

There’s a lot of bunk information out there about quick fixes for detoxing. Most are bogus and will not show results. Some faulty “fast” THC detox methods to avoid include:

  • Cranberry juice
  • Detox teas
  • Vinegar
  • 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, remember 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 pass a drug test naturally

The best weed detox method will always be a natural cleanse. Although it takes the longest—up to six weeks—it is by far the most thorough and effective method. There are several other ways to get a natural THC 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, no matter whether you’re detoxing or not. Consider the following strategies for an all-natural detox experience.

  1. Abstain

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.

  1. Exercise

Get up and move! THC is stored in fat cells of the body. Exercise such as cardio and weight training will help burn fat and increase metabolism, thus speeding up the weed detox process.

A happy bonus to exercise 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. Exercise will help decrease detectable cannabinoids in your body while simultaneously smoothing the transition away from endocannabinoids.

  1. Drink water

Drinking plenty of water during this period will assist with cleansing the body. Don’t 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.

  1. Practice a healthy diet

Avoid foods that are high in sodium, sugar, and fat. These types of foods, such as red meat and junk food, increase water retention and slow your 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 because 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: Incorporate beans, legumes, peanuts, unenriched whole wheat, and other good fibers for an added boost.

These key detox foods will also have the added bonus of assisting in stabilizing your mood and even sleep, helping ease possible negative symptoms.

  1. 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 depression, anxiety, or irritability while detoxing, it’s 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 valuable to help stabilize mood.

For others, it may mean putting less on your metaphorical plate and allowing the detox time to be a vacation from typical stresses and agitations.

You may also consider taking advantage of resources such as therapy. Whatever the reason, be kind to yourself during detox.

7. Nurture yourself

Consider the THC detox experience an opportunity to check in and take care of yourself and you may find your entire perspective of detoxing shift. Approach 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 utilized 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: It absorbs toxins, chemicals, impurities, and heavy metals. It has external and 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. Sites like Pinterest offer tons of helpful recipes.

In addition, there are plenty of pre-assembled detox drinks for weed available to buy. That said, as mentioned previously, there aren’t many quick fixes for the detox process, so use discretion and check out the products’ ingredients if you opt to go this route. If your goal is to find a marijuana detox drink for a drug test, remember to weigh the pros and cons before choosing this method.

Detox kits

THC detox kits 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 9- or 14-day cleanse.

Read more here 

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