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Cannabis 101

The marijuana detox: Myths, facts, and tips

April 7, 2017

How to detox from weed

So 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?

Taking a break from marijuana can help cleanse your body.
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:

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

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?

Cranberry juice is not a good detox drink for marijuana

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
  • Vinegar
  • Niacin detox
  • Bleach (do not, under any circumstances, ingest bleach)

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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

Exercise is a great detoxing method to cleanse your body of marijuana

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.

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.

2. Exercise

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Rae Lland's Bio Image

Rae Lland

Rae Lland is a freelance writer, journalist, and former editor for Weedist and The Leaf Online. With a focus on culture, music, health, and wellness, in addition to her work for Leafly, she has also been featured in numerous online cannabis publications as well as print editions of Cannabis Now Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @rae.lland

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