How to Do a THC Detox: Our Best Tips
Published on 11/3/20
Can you ever have too much of a good thing? If you're a regular cannabis user with a THC drug test coming up, the answer is obvious. Unlike drugs like alcohol or cocaine, cannabis likes to stick around in the body long after your last hit. THC sticks to fat cells, so the more weed you consume, the longer it will stay in your system. For frequent pot users, traces of the drug can remain in your system for 30 days or longer.
Head shops and pharmacies across the country stock full shelves of products that promise to flush your system, but in a cannabis community full of myths and rumors about how to pass a drug test for weed, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. Luckily, a little science, a fair amount of common sense, and a lot of patience will help even the heaviest pot smoker with a successful THC detox.
Why Do a THC Cleanse?
Sure, most people looking for tips on a drug detox are doing so at the behest of an authority figure - be it a pre-hire screening at a new job, encounters with the police or a probation officer, or even pro athletes starting up a new season - but there are also plenty of personal reasons for people to take a break from toking. Like any mind-altering substance, the more cannabis a person uses, the higher their tolerance becomes. While the first joint you ever smoked probably glued you to a couch for a few hours, after months of daily consumption the same number of rips won't get you nearly as high. And if you need more weed to feel your desired effect, that means buying more flower or transitioning to high-potency dabs, edibles, or RSO. Instead of spending half of every paycheck at the dispensary though, you could take a tolerance break to clear your system and reset your body's THC levels.
People with an upcoming drug test wondering how long does it take to get rid of drugs in your system will often use supplements and drinks to try to mask the cannabis in their system, but when it comes to tolerance breaks, there are no shortcuts and the only successful technique is going an extended length of time without consuming THC. You don't need to flush THC completely out of your body to feel the effects of a tolerance break, and for heavy daily smokers, even a day or two without weed will make your next bong rip significantly more powerful. If you're looking to truly relive your early experiences with weed, take a full month break to completely clear your body of THC and watch your tolerance return to zero. No matter what, setting your intentions beforehand and picking a timeframe that you can actually commit to are key to a successful detox.
Weed Withdrawl? Side Effects of Abrupt Smoke Breaks
When we think of the word withdrawal, it is typically associated with weening off hard narcotics like heroin, methamphetamine, or cocaine. Going cold turkey on those drugs will often make people sweat, vomit, and induce fever. Thankfully, even ounce-a-week cannabis smokers won't feel extreme withdrawal symptoms during a THC detox or tolerance break, but there are often real, noticeable side effects of abruptly quitting weed. In a new peer-reviewed journal article published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Canadian researchers found that nearly half of frequent cannabis users experienced anxiety, headaches, pain, insomnia, and other negative issues after abruptly putting down the pot.
"People may feel that weed helps their anxiety level, but it may be more that you are developing worsening anxiety from marijuana withdrawal, rather than weed helping your anxiety level," Dr. Scott Krakower, unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, NY, told US News. "It's hard to explain to people that the symptoms they're experiencing could be from them not using marijuana." If you do feel headaches or anxiety after a day or two without bud, have no fear, cannabis withdrawal symptoms are short-lived, and will pass in a matter of days.
If you are feeling these side effects or just miss your routine of smoking, that's okay. If you still want to commit to a THC detox, bring some hemp flower into your routine. Hemp and CBD react with your body's CB1 and CB2 receptors differently than THC, so you can still get those relaxing side effects without messing with your tolerance levels.
Popular Marijuana Detox Myths
As we mentioned earlier, there are dozens of products on the market specifically tailored for people looking to clear cannabis from their systems. If you've ever consulted your stoner friends about passing a drug test, you've likely been recommended "the absolute best detox drink" such as cranberry juice detox drinks, detox teas, guzzling vinegar, or even niacin pills. Unfortunately, none of these products will actually decrease the amount of THC in the body.
Those hydration boosters and system flushes do help dilute the liquids in your body, meaning that they could potentially mask the presence of THC in your urine during a pee test. Because most cannabis-specific detox products are not regulated by the FDA, there is often no telling what you are truly consuming, and how well it works. Before buying any pre-made detox mixture, remember that there is no way to guarantee that your chosen supplement will mask enough of the cannabinoids in your body to pass a THC drug test.
How To Detox From Weed
The only way to make sure that your body is rid of THC after weeks or months of frequent use is to stop consuming cannabis for three to six weeks straight. And while over-the-counter detox concoctions from your local head shop won't magically dissolve the cannabinoids in your system, there are a few all-natural options that will help hydrate your body and clear your system a little bit faster.
The easiest way to help your body clear out cannabis is to drink water. It may sound basic, but proper hydration is a great way to properly flush your system. Chugging gallons of water every day isn't necessary, and water won't magically help you pass a drug test, but regular servings of H2O are a necessary step in any good tolerance break. Similarly, natural fruit juices and vegetables like watermelon, lemon, kale, spinach, and mint contain nutrients, vitamins, and supplements like iron that will help your body push out toxins and impurities. If you want the best cannabis detox experience, replace your favorite bud with a more edible, and less psychoactive variety of leafy greens.
At the end of the day, time and abstinence from cannabis consumption are the only ways to clear THC out of your system and not just mask it with extra water content from cranberry pills. Give it a few weeks though, and your cannabis screenings will come back clean and your rewound tolerance will have you sky-high after one bowl rip.
Do you have any other secrets for all-natural cannabis detox? Let us know in the comments below!