Why would anyone want to remove the THC from their system? Isn’t the whole point of enjoying a joint so that you actually put the THC into your system? Wouldn’t attempting to remove all traces be considered a waste of money?
Well, maybe this is true, it is an unfortunate fact that your enjoyment of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis that gives you the ‘high’, is not always something that you want to turn up on your employment record. In fact, in many workplaces having any trace of THC can be enough to get your fired. Which would be the opposite of a high feeling.
Of course, there may be other reasons that you suddenly need to remove all traces of any drugs from your system, from an adverse reaction to a looming medical procedure. The question then becomes, now that you’ve spent all that time and effort insuring that your body is nicely saturated from the golden resin, how are you going to perform a quick cannabis detox?
What Is a Detox?
Let’s start by clearing up this idea that you can take some magic bullet that will ‘detox’ your body, cleansing you of all toxins forever. For starters, toxins are poisons that are released by plants and animals. Unless you’ve been playing in the wolfsbane or hemlock you probably don’t have any actual toxins in your system.
You may, however, have toxicants in your system. In fact, it is highly likely that you will have toxicants in your body, as these are the traces of pesticides, heavy means, and drugs, that you might encounter in your environment in a daily basis. Cigarette smoke, car exhausted fumes, concrete dust, factory pollution, it all ends up as a toxicant in your system.
Thankfully the human body actually has a system to help ‘detox’ and remove all of these, and anything else that isn’t particularly good for you, out of your body. Your liver cleanses your blood and filters out most of these harmful substances, your kidneys flush any toxicants out through your urine, and your skin release a small amount through your sweat.
However, if you have been sick, overindulging, or just want to try and speed the process up a bit, you can use certain foods and drinks, along with massages, fasting and exercise.
A detox program may not help dramatically if you are a heavy smoker. Even if you manage to increase the functionality of your kidneys and liver 10-fold, you still have a lot of THC stored in your system. However, if you are a light to moderate smoker several days of a detox program may be able to help you pass a urine drug test.
There are a range of different detox drinks and products that are specifically marketed to cannabis users, which are probably safer to use than just eating several packets of turmeric (don’tdo this). However, if you have any preexisting conditions (diabetes, iron deficiency etc), then check the ingredients list and confirm that you don’t have any contraindications.
How Long Does Pot Stay Around?
Because cannabinoids in marijuana, including THC are fat soluble, meaning that they are absorbed into the fat cells of your body and stored, unlike water soluble substances which can be quickly flushed out through your urine, THC and its metabolites are detectable for a decent amount of time. However, the length of time that they can be detected does depend on quite a few different factors.
Your Body Mass Index will have an effect, as generally people with higher fat concentrations have more opportunity to store the fat-soluble metabolites. Do not assume that just because you are skinny looking that you have less fat that someone who is visibly larger, muscle and fat can create deceptive appearances and size discrepancies.
Unfortunately for women, they tend to have a slightly higher concentration of fat cells (think breasts) so will be storing THC for longer than their male counterparts.
The amount and strength of pot that you smoke or otherwise ingest will also have an effect. The more you smoke obviously the less time your body has to flush the THC from your system.
However, despite all of these variables, THC, or its metabolites, can be detected in your system anywhere from 3 hours right up to 90days, depending on the drug test that you are taking.
A roadside breath or saliva test is going to be the most immediate drug test. There is not really any way to beat this, as it is detecting any level of cannabis in your system right at that time. There are rumors around about using Listerine strips, but those have also been in circulation about beating alcohol breath testing for years as well.
The upside to a breath or saliva test is that if your high has worn off and a few hours have passed then chances are this will have been enough time for you to get through clean and clear. Unlike an alcohol test where even after you have slept off a hard night and feel, mostly, find you may still actually be over the legal limit to drive.
A blood test is a more accurate version of a breath or saliva test and will generally only be given if you have already failed a breath or saliva drug test and they need exact levels of THC for a court record. However, as with a breath or saliva drug test the blood test has only a short period of time to be administered before you body starts to process the THC out of your bloodstream (however, remember that it is still going to be detectable in your fat cells and you hair).
One of the more common types of drug tests administered to find signs of longer-term drug use is a hair strand analysis. This is where up to 100 strands of your hair are cut, and the inner hair shaft is chemically examined for signs of drug products and their metabolites. This is the test that may show very long-term drug exposure or use.