From time to time, regular users of cannabis may come to the conclusion that it is time to take some time off from enjoying the herb. Perhaps you’re in the job market and want to be ready in case a prospective employer has a drug testing policy for applicants. Or maybe you aren’t getting the same buzz from pot that you used to and want to take a tolerance break to enhance your enjoyment when you begin smoking again. Whatever the reason, learning how to detox pot can help ease and perhaps even speed up the process.
What is a THC detox?
A THC detox is simply a period of time of abstinence during which the body’s natural processes flush built-up THC out of the system, and should not be perceived as an implication that the cannabinoid is toxic in any way. It should be noted that in a urinalysis screening for drug use, a metabolite of THC known as THC-COOH is the substance actually being detected. In this article, references to THC will include the relevant metabolites.
How to detox THC
Learning how to detox THC is not difficult—it’s really just a matter of abstaining from marijuana and letting your body do what it does naturally. But the process can be challenging for habitual users. Some may experience symptoms of withdrawal including sleeplessness, irritability, anxiety, headache, loss of appetite, and more. Understanding the possibility of withdrawal symptoms and learning strategies to manage them can help ease the THC detox.
It should seem obvious but in case it’s not, the first step to a THC detox is abstinence from all marijuana and cannabis products. If you are going to continue to smoke pot or otherwise use cannabis, you will continue to have THC in your system. So, put away the bong or the dab rig or whatever gear you use, and take a break. You’ll appreciate the hiatus when you start again as the time off will reduce your tolerance. Once the break is over, the first hit is likely to get you higher than you have been for quite a while. If you have trouble abstaining from cannabis, refer to the suggestions for weaning yourself off of pot later in this article.
It takes time
THC is a fat-soluble molecule, so with regular cannabis use the cannabinoid and its metabolites can be stored in the fat cells of the body. Because of this, heavy cannabis users are likely to have detectable amounts of THC in their system longer than infrequent users once a period of abstinence begins.
Chronic heavy users of cannabis can test positive for THC in a urinalysis screening for up to approximately 30 days, according to the Mayo Clinic. Those who use pot daily can expect to have detectable amounts of THC for up to 10 days. Moderate use of about four times a week will show a positive test result for about five days, while a single time using cannabis is detectable for about three days.
But the time needed to clear THC from the system will vary from person to person, so it is not possible to exactly predict exactly how long it will take for a specific individual to detox THC. The time periods given are only estimates.
Speeding up the process
Although an extended period of abstinence is the only sure-fire way to completely detox THC from the body, there are some methods that are purported to help speed up the process. However, the techniques have not been scientifically proven to work, so they may or may not be effective at actually reducing THC detection time. Exercise, hydration, and a healthy diet can all be part of a personal THC detox program.
Vigorous exercise can help the body burn fat, which will aid in flushing THC from fat cells. Regular workouts during the THC detox period should increase metabolism and help to speed up the time it takes to cleanse the system. But keep in mind that as the THC is released from the fat cells, there could be a temporary spike in blood and urine THC levels. So if you are learning about how to detox THC in order to pass an upcoming drug test, you probably should skip the gym on the day of the screening.
A healthy diet
A diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits high in nutrients and antioxidants will help cleanse the body and help to maintain a healthy metabolism. Plus, remember that THC is stored in fat cells. To burn fat, you have to take in fewer calories than your body uses. A healthy diet coupled with exercise will help you reach the caloric deficit necessary to burn fat and flush the THC from your system.
Drinking plenty of water will aid in maintaining a healthy metabolism and flush impurities from the body. Drinking a glass of water before meals can help with digestion and add to the feeling of being full, which can help you consume fewer calories and burn more fat.
So be sure to stay well hydrated, but don’t overdo it. Drinking excessive quantities of water will not speed up your THC detox and can cause health problems.
Weaning off THC
If you are a regular, heavy user of marijuana or cannabis products, you can lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms by weaning yourself off of THC before you begin your detox program. By slowly reducing your intake of cannabis as you approach the start of your detox, the period of THC abstinence will be less of a shock to your system.
Of course, the most obvious way to reduce your intake of THC is to smoke less pot. But there are other ways, as well. For example, using less potent flower or concentrates will allow you to reduce your intake and still enjoy a buzz, without quitting cold turkey. Switching to low-dose edibles can provide a long-lasting alternative to smoking or vaping, making it easier to ward off symptoms of withdrawal.
The benefits of knowing how to detox THC
Learning how to detox THC successfully can help make the process easier whenever it’s time to take a break from smoking pot or using other cannabis products. Staying healthy and active will help your body cleanse itself of THC, allowing you to pass a drug screening or reduce your tolerance. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to enjoy the herb at a new level