Detoxing the Body of THC
The word “detox” may conjure in our minds stories of the long, difficult process undertaken by drug users on their way to getting clean. Detoxing the body of any substance, drug or otherwise, can be hard and often brings with it uncomfortable symptoms. Detoxing from THC, however, is typically a more straightforward and painless undertaking. Regardless of the reason, making the decision to end use of marijuana, permanently or temporarily, and cleanse your body of THC can be achieved, with or without the help of a detox aid.
Natural THC detoxing is a gradual process and can take anywhere from several days to a several months. That means the drug will still present in your system and be detected by a blood, urine, saliva, or hair test some time after you stop. If the decision to detox work-related – if, for example, you’ve been hired for a new job and must submit to a drug test – a detox aid may be necessary.
Let’s start with the basics. What is THC?
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Marijuana and THC
Tetrahydrocannabidol, THC for short, is the chemical in marijuana that produces marijuana’s bodily responses. Simply put, it’s what gets you high. The body holds on to THC longer than most other substances consumed in one fashion or another; the chemical is stored in fat cells, or adipose tissue. Because the chemical is released from the tissue slowly over time, it can show up in a drug test days, even weeks, after you’ve used marijuana.
How quickly THC is absorbed, and how long it remains in the system, depends on a number of factors, including:
- How long marijuana has been used
- How often and how much marijuana is used
- Body mass, metabolism, and overall health
Reasons for Detoxing
There are three main reasons a person might decide to detox their body of marijuana, which are for the purpose of a drug test, to reset the body’s tolerance, or because they’ve decided to no longer use the drug.
Ceasing Marijuana Use
A person might decide to detox if they decide to end their use of marijuana permanently. This decision may be health-related, due to a change in lifestyle, or one of many other personal, unique reasons. If someone is deciding to end their use of marijuana for personal reasons they will probably opt for a more gradual, natural detoxification of the body. There is no real reason or rush to rid the body of the chemical under these circumstances.
Frequent, regular users of marijuana may find they’ve developed a tolerance to the effects of THC, which may lead to even great use of the drug. Another, perhaps better, option is to detox the body of THC by taking a break from marijuana use. Doing so many have the effect of resetting the body’s tolerance, so to speak; at the end of the detox, an individual might find that using less marijuana has a greater effect on their body once again. The THC receptors have, in effect, become less tolerant and more sensitive to the chemical.
Passing a Drug Test
Of course, an individual might decide to detox their body of THC not because they want to but because they must, in order to pass a drug test. Drug tests are performed for a variety of reasons, including as a pre-employment requirement. Many companies required tentatively hired employees to submit to a drug test before becoming an official employee. Employers will utilize one, or more, of several drug testing methods, and the presence of THC in the system depends on the type of test.
General guidelines note the possibility of THC registering in the system by test type according to the following:
- Saliva: Up to 7 days
- Urine: Up to 30 days
- Blood: Up to 7 days
- Hair: Up to 90 days
These are only rough estimates, of course, and the amount of time THC remains in your system depends heavily, again, on factors such as usage habits and individual body differences.
The most commonly utilized drug test is a urinalysis. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration is responsible for regulating occupation drug testing. If the results of a urinalysis yield more than 50 nanograms of THC per milliliter, a confirmatory test will be required. If the confirmatory test yields results more than 15 nanograms per milliliter, the employer will be made aware of the results and employment will most likely be revoked.
How To Detox
The body can be detoxed of THC via a number of methods, including natural, gradual elimination, detox drinks, detox pills, and detox kits.
The body will cleanse itself naturally of THC over the course of time. As the chemical is gradually eliminated its concentration will decrease until it’s gone entirely. The following will also aid in a natural detox:
- Water: Drinking a lot of water – about a gallon a day, ideally – will aid in the elimination of residual THC.
- Exercise: Exercise, too, is also beneficial in ridding the body of consumed substances and chemicals. Not only does exercise burn the fat cells storing THC it makes a person sweat, which also aids in the detoxification of THC from your body. Keep in mind that exercising right before a drug test is not a good idea, as it can release more of the chemical into the blood stream.
- Diet: Certain foods contain nutrients that assist in the removal of THC from the blood stream. Foods high in fiber, for example, will help to expel the chemical through bowel movements. Acidic fruits, garlic, vegetables high in antioxidants, and foods generally high in fiber are all good choices.
Though the is not exactly indisputable, detox drinks offer another option of ridding the body of THC. Detox drinks contain vitamins and minerals intended to aid in the elimination of the chemical. As previously stated, drinking large amounts of water along with the detox drink is strongly recommended.
Detox pills work either by masking the presence of THC in your system right before a drug test or by gradually eliminating the body of the chemical. Those intended to gradually eliminate THC from the system are typically a safer bet. Detox pills contain common vitamins, electrolytes, and minerals.
Detox kits are typically a combination of drinks and pills intended to flush the system of the presence of THC. These kits may purport to work in a matter of hours or days, so it’s important to note the product’s intended timeframe. Most kits contain fruit pectin, a substance that promotes the elimination of THC through bowel movements.
The market for detox aids is vast, and many products simply don’t work. The effectiveness of detox drinks, pills, or kits is consistently under question, in fact, and there is no guarantee any of these aids will aid in passing a drug test. Some products, too, might not be safe and might elicit harmful side effects. Though not always ideal, the only sure way of detoxing the body of THC and passing a drug test is abstaining from marijuana use, permanently or temporarily depending on the reason.