Despite the legalization of cannabis and its growing popularity, there are still some setbacks weed users face from time to time, like mandatory drug screenings. In many states and countries, drug testing in the workplace has become a common practice, leading weed users to often look for ways to eliminate traces of marijuana in order to pass the test.
There are many ways you can help your body to eliminate traces of weed, and today we’ll focus on detox drinks. Let’s see some details about THC and what detox drinks can help you in the process.
How Long Does THC Take to Leave the Body?
Compared to other commonly used intoxicants, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a stubborn substance that takes the longest to leave the body. This is because THC is fat-soluble, meaning that it binds to the fat cells in the body and gets stored there until the body gradually eliminates it over time.
The frequency of your marijuana use will largely determine how long THC will stay in your system. The one rule of thumb is that the more frequently you use weed, the more THC residue you will have stored in your body. However, other factors may come into play as well, but more on that later.
Generally, after one-time use, your body will eliminate traces of THC from your urine in less than a week, but if you’re a regular user, it will take longer.
If you’re a moderate user, it could take between one or two weeks for your body to eliminate it completely, while if you’re a frequent user (eg. use weed nearly every day), it will take at least two weeks to flush THC out. Finally, if you’re a heavy user, meaning you use weed more than once a day, THC will stay in your system for more than 30 days.
How Do Common Drug Tests Detect THC in Urine?
The most widely used tests for drug screens are urine drug tests because they are very accurate and easy to use. These tests aren’t designed to detect THC specifically because once in, THC is quickly degraded by the liver.
What urine tests look for instead is a THC byproduct that is released in the bloodstream. This metabolite is called THC-COOH and it stays in the body much longer than THC itself. The THC-COOH cutoff level of a standard drug test is a concentration of 50 ng/ml – anything above this threshold will be detected in the urine sample.
If you use any full-spectrum CBD products, you don’t need to be worried about THC being detected as full-spectrum CBD contains only trace amounts of THC – not enough to show up on a test.
There are at-home THC test kits you can try before your scheduled drug screening to check how the detox process is going. These aren’t always reliable and don’t have the same sensitivity as medical ones, but they can give you an idea of where you’re at.
Remember that using synthetic urine to present a clean urine sample or using bleach to alter the chemistry is not recommended as these drug tests can detect such irregularities.
Cannabis Detox – What Is the Goal?
While detoxing is not always a pleasant process, there are many reasons why someone would want to do a cannabis detox, the most common one being a scheduled drug test at their workplace or a required drug test when you apply for a new job.
Some users, like heavy smokers, like to take a break from cannabis and go through a detoxification process when they feel that they have built a tolerance to marijuana, and usually, taking a break resets the way the body responds to cannabinoids.
Normally, you’d wait for your body to do a natural detox, but sometimes you can be in a hurry. Whatever the reason for the detox process, the goal is to eliminate as much of the THC byproducts as possible.
If you want to detoxify because you have an upcoming drug screening and you’re in a hurry, your focus should be getting the THC-COOH concentration below the cut-off level. First and foremost, this means that you’ll need to stop consuming weed during the detox process. If you’re a heavy user, you might experience withdrawal symptoms, but these should pass in due time.
What you’ll also need to do is to consume lots of water in order to help your body eliminate the THC faster. Drinking water is the most basic thing you can do to detox, but there are also some detox drinks that can help you speed things up.
Detox Drinks That Can Help You Flush THC
Let’s see what drinks work for flushing out THC from your system.
The caffeine in coffee is a known natural diuretic, meaning it helps to eliminate fluids from the body faster, also meaning that you’ll need to pee more frequently. Drinking coffee with plenty of water and electrolytes throughout the day can help you flush some of those THC metabolites. However, be careful not to overdo it with the coffee as caffeine can easily give you the jitters.
Tea High in Antioxidants
Any herbal tea will do, but teas rich in antioxidants are even better. Dandelion or milk thistle tea can do the job very nicely. Green tea is also a good choice for doing marijuana detox because in addition to the antioxidants, it also contains a small percentage of caffeine. Just have a cup of your chosen tea 2-3 times a day in addition to drinking enough water.
Lemon water may seem like a cliche, but it’s a classic for a reason. It’s refreshing and abundant in vitamins, and most importantly, it can help speed up your metabolism so that it’s able to flush out the THC just a little bit faster.
Cranberry juice is often recommended for going through a detoxification process due to its beneficial effects on the urinary tract system. It can help to flush out the kidneys and intestines, and can help treat minor urinary tract infections.
Pure cranberry juice is full of vitamins and minerals, so make sure you get a 100% pure juice to get all the benefits, instead of one with too many sugars. Also, remember that cranberry juice can turn your urine pink, so don’t drink it a day or two before the drug test.
Homemade Detox Drink
If you want to try a homemade detox drink, prepare for an intense sensory experience because this drink is unforgettable. It’s essentially all ingredients with detox properties mixed together in one jolly concoction. You’ll need:
- 500 ml water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp of cinnamon
- A small pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp honey (to make it more enjoyable)
Just mix everything well together and chug it down before you change your mind. You’ll get used to the taste quickly, as you’ll have to drink one of these at least three times a day on the day of your drug screening so you can achieve something similar to a same-day detox.
Other Things You Can Use
In addition to the natural detox drinks, there are other detox products that can help to eliminate THC faster and get it below detectable levels. There are some THC detox kits, cleansers, and detox pills. These products are designed to dilute your urine and replace some components that are lost due to dilution so that you can “fool” the drug test.
They often contain ingredients such as vitamin B for added color, creatine to mimic the creatinine that’s naturally present in your urine, niacin, which is a form of vitamin B3, and others. These ingredients are pre-measured in specific ratios to help you achieve the best results, but whether they really work for everyone is debatable. Some people have had success, while others have failed their test, so it all depends on the individual.
Factors that Influence the Detox Process
As we mentioned before, the frequency of use is the biggest factor that determines how long THC metabolites will remain detectable in your urine. However, there are several other things to consider too, that might make the process easier or more difficult.
For example, the strain that you use dictates the concentration of THC byproducts in the body. If you use a strain that’s higher in THC, that would automatically mean that there is a greater saturation of THC being stored in the fat cells. If you use a weed strain that’s lower in THC, it’ll be a little easier to eliminate.
Another factor is individual metabolism – and this may be the second most important factor. Everyone’s body is different and the way it processes cannabinoids will be different. Even though people with a lower body fat percentage are less likely to store THC in their fat cells than those with a higher body fat percentage, this isn’t always the case.
There are many reasons why someone would want to detoxify their body from weed, some of the most prevalent ones being a mandatory drug screening in the workplace or due to taking a tolerance break from weed. But, no matter the reason, sometimes you want to help your body eliminate THC faster.
Using a detox drink can help you eliminate THC residues faster, and the best detox drinks are the natural ones such as cranberry juice, tea, or coffee. However, when doing a detox, the most important first step is putting a halt to your weed use during the process.