Whether you are a die-hard herbivore in need of a tolerance break or are simply hoping to land that dream job, sometimes it’s good to detox. To get you started, we have both good news and bad news. Cannabis can take a whopping two weeks to leave your system.
In heavy consumers, it’s not unheard of for the process to take even longer. There’s no need to fret, however. When times are tough, there are a few quick and easy ways to get weed out of your system. With a little patience and effort, you’ll be acing that interview in no time.
If you need to pass a drug test on short notice and can’t afford to return for a retest or have to deal with the consequences of a failed test, then we highly recommend you go see a professional who can help.
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If you are trying to get cannabis out of your system in a hurry, we have some bad news. Marijuana is one of the most difficult substances to quickly clear out of your system. In fact, it takes between three and 10 days for a casual consumer to test clean from cannabis. For chronic consumers, metabolites of the herb (even CBD herb) have been detected in urine for up to a whopping 77 days after last consumption. Though, taking over two months to clear THC is not common.
On average, here’s how long you’ll have to abstain from cannabis to pass the standard drug test:
Heavy cannabis consumers likely face a substantial risk of not passing some types of tests without at least a week of abstinence, if not more. THC is stored in fat body fat, which means that it takes some time to purge the cannabinoid from your system.
As you burn fat, there is evidence that THC is re-released back into the bloodstream, which may be both a blessing and a curse for those trying to detox from THC. However, even if you exercise, you can test positive for THC and THC metabolites several days after consuming.
This is because there are several factors which help determine how long THC will hang out in your system, including:
The best way to get THC out of your system is to simply abstain and wait. Yet, there are shortcuts that many use in an attempt to pass a urine test, such as synthetic urine, detox drinks, and others. Other more natural methods are described in the sections below. Yet, it is important to keep in mind that detoxing is serious business.
Everyone’s body responds differently to the various possible detoxing methods. It is advised to pay close attention to how your body responds to your efforts and use natural materials that you know are safe.
Always consult a medical professional if you run into any complications, or are considering trying a vigorous detox regimen. If you decide to purchase synthetic urine and other test-prep materials, make sure you’re purchasing high-quality products. Sub Solutions Synthetic Urine for example, is laboratory designed to mimic human urine perfectly.
A person prepairs synthetic urine before a drug test.
There are many different types of drug tests and all of them work a little differently. The most common of them all is the urinalysis, more famously known as the dreaded pee test. This type of test is often used by employers to screen for cannabis consumers before hiring.
The routine drug test can also be used to test is used to test for cannabis consumption within the past two weeks, which makes it tricky to pass. During this test, consumers will be asked to urinate into a container which is then sent into a laboratory for analysis.
The standard five-panel urinalysis will test for the presence of five different illicit compounds, including:
However, some employers may request that more substances be checked during the the exam. In an extended nine-panel drug test, employers will also test for:
While the urine test is by far the most popular form of drug testing, it is certainly not the only drug test available. Depending on the needs of your employer, here are four additional ways that a tester can check for the presence of drugs and illicit materials:
A blood analysis checks for the presence of either THC or THC metabolites, or other drugs. This type of test provides a fairly accurate indication of whether or not you have consumed cannabis or another drug within a fairly recent time frame. Fortunately for cannabis consumers, THC does not like to hang around in the blood for extended periods of time. A consumer can typically test clean for THC or THC metabolites within two to seven days before a blood test.
Saliva tests are also used to check for recent cannabis consumption. In order for cannabis compounds to show up in a urine test, they need to be broken down and processed by the body. This means that it can take several hours for traces of the herb to show up in urine. Oral fluid tests check for the presence of drugs that were consumed within the past few hours.
For occasional consumers, THC can be found in saliva for up to 24 hours after consuming. However, for heavy consumers, you may test positive for THC over 34 hours after the last time you consumed. One of the most common ways to provide a saliva sample is with a cheek swab.
Hair follicle tests are not very common. However, these tests are used to detect the cannabis and drug consumption over the past 90 days. When performing a hair follicle test, lab assistants will take up to 100 or 120 short hair samples from very close to the scalp. Since hair grows at a fairly constant rate, the time-span tested in the sample represents a period of about 90 days.
Unlike blood and saliva tests, hair follicle tests are not an accurate indication of recent cannabis consumption. In fact, it can take upwards of five to seven days for cannabis metabolites to show up in a test.
It’s also impossible to cheat a hair follicle test by shaving your head. If your hair is too short or you do not have enough hair, lab assistants can use samples taken from other parts of the body.
To date, no cannabis breathalyzer has been implemented in routine practice. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be one soon! Unlike alcohol, which can be measured in parts per thousand on the breath, cannabis compounds are so small that they must be measured in parts per trillion. So far, only one company claims the invention of a breathalyzer test that can successfully detect THC on the breath with a meaningful degree of accuracy. The test would theoretically detect THC that was consumed within two hours prior.
While no breathalyzers have been implemented, this technology could be used during routine traffic stops to test for cannabis intoxication. However, whether or not firm science supports the use of the cannabis breathalyzer is up for debate. Several recreational cannabis states have set detection limits.
Pictured: Synthetic urine is often used to trick workplace drug tests.
During a drug test, a laboratory technician will collect a urine, blood, hair, or saliva sample and examine them for the presence of cannabis compounds. However, these different testing methods may look for different compounds.
For example, a saliva test may test only for the presence of THC itself. Urine screenings, however, look for something different. Urinalysis tests for the presence of THC metabolites, not THC.
Metabolites are chemical compounds produced by the human body as it breaks down active substances like THC. In this case, the guys in the white coats are going to be looking out for a specific metabolite called THC-COOH. When taking a test, the testing center will check to see if you have over 50 nanograms per millileter of THC-COOH in your urine.
If you test positive for this amount, the laboratory will then test your urine again to see if you have 15 nanograms per milliliter of the metabolite in your sample. If you test positive during both rounds of analysis, than you have failed your urine test.
However, the presence of intoxicants is not the only thing that a drug testing lab will look for in your urine. The laboratory will also test to make sure that the sample you have provided is not altered or fake. To ensure that the sample is not tainted, the lab will also check for:
For this reason, it is wise not to try to taint your sample with beach or other adulterants. Similarly, if using a synthetic urine, it is recommended to select a brand that takes all of these factors into account. It is important to note, however, that using synthetic urine to pass a urinalysis is illegal in some states.
As mentioned above, flushing THC from your system is not easy. As a fatty compound, the molecule likes to hang around for a while. The body will naturally eliminate THC over time with the help of diet and exercise. For those that are in a hurry, however, there are a few simple tactics that can help you detox THC fast.
If you are hoping to pass a drug test, there is one crucial thing that you need to do: drink water. Not only can drinking water help with a saliva test and with a urine test, but it is one of the most effective ways to pass. However, when it comes to diluting your urine for urinalysis, it is important to do so safely. Drinking too much water can lead to water intoxication.
During water intoxication, levels of vital electrolytes in the blood drop dangerously low. In extreme cases, this can lead to death and severe illness.
To safely dilute your urine, just stay hydrated. There’s no need to drink more than your standard daily dose. In fact, most people drink less than that already. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women drink between two and three liters of water per day. For men, that number increased to three to four. Of course, the more you exercise, the more water you will need to drink.
Activated charcoal has been used for centuries to prevent the absorption of poisons that people may accidentally eat. The charcoal can be found almost anywhere that sells dietary supplements, making it an accessible and inexpensive trick that may help you remove excess THC from your system. Charcoal is an especially porous form of carbon, which can attract free-floating ions in the digestive tract.
Once inside the intestinal tract, activated charcoal may attract fatty compounds that are entrapped in bile. Bile is a fluid released by the liver and gallbladder to help emulsify fats for digestion. As it turns out, most of the THC metabolites excreted from the body make their way to the intestinal tract via bile. Since activated charcoal can attract bile, this particular supplement may be helpful for those hoping to flush THC from their system.
Detox drinks are the most popular ways to pass a drug test. Detox drinks will basically help dilute urine and theoretically remove toxins from the body. Like most of the common detox methods, many of these drinks contain natural diuretics, laxatives, high doses of vitamins, and medicinal herbs.
Some detox drinks may be more effective than others and everyone’s body will respond differently to the materials. These drinks are often used a few hours prior to a drug test, pending package directions. One of the most popular varieties is the Nutra Cleanse Clean Shot.
This easy-to-take solution is one of the fastest and most effective ways to remove toxins from your body. The Cleanse Shot is a 2.5 oz drink that breaks down the toxins in your body so they can be easily eliminated from your system.
Even for those with heavy toxin levels, this is a great alternative if you need to pass a drug test. The effects take action in about 90 minutes and last for up to 6 hours.
If you’re hoping to avoid expensive detox drinks or gut-bomb home remedies, it is possible to slowly remove THC and other cannabis compounds from your system with the help of good ol-fashioned diet and exercise.
While diet and exercise may not be enough to detox THC for a drug test, a proper nutrition and exercise regimen are essential for speeding up the elimination process.
Eating nutrient-dense foods and getting the recommended 30 minutes of exercise daily can help reduce body weight, which will in-turn help you clear THC more quickly.
However, for those looking to kick things up a notch, there are a few additional lifestyle hacks that may enhance your ability to quickly detox from THC. These hacks can be summarized in two simple phrases: burn fat and eat fiber.
©marcin jucha – stock.adobe.com
One way to clear THC from your system? Go for lots of high-fiber foods before a drug test. The primary benefit of fiber? It helps you poop. Believe it or not, most of the THC and THC metabolites are excreted during bowel movements. If you’re trying to detox from THC, staying regular is important.
Soluble fiber, which is found in oats, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds, is one of the primary nutrients that can bind with bile in the intestinal tract. Bile is a substance secreted by the liver and gallbladder that helps emulsify fats for digestion. Soluble fiber, however, captures bile and pulls the substance out of the digestive tract via stool. While bile emulsifies fatty compounds hanging around in your intestinal tract, bile itself also contains fat-based waste products, including THC metabolites.
Without soluble fiber to help remove bile from the intestinal tract , some of the THC metabolites found in the substance may be reabsorbed into the bloodstream. For this reason, those hoping to pull excess THC products from their system should consider increasing their fiber intake. Some common sources of dietary fiber include:
Photo by Yulia Furman / Adobe Stock Photo
One of the reasons it takes so long to detox from cannabis is because of the way that excess THC is stored in the body. Unlike other illicit substances, THC is stored in fat cells. This means that the more you smoke and the more body fat you have, the longer it will take you to eliminate THC from your system. One way of getting rid of excess fat quickly? A ketogenic diet.
A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. Traditionally, the body relies on glucose for fuel. Glucose is sugar found in foods as carbohydrates. However, if you’re hoping to burn fat quickly, cutting the carbs and opting instead for nutrient-dense fats may be a worthwhile option.
In the absence of carbohydrates, the body has an alternate source of fuel: ketones. Ketones are to fat what glucose is to carbohydrates. They are molecules made by the liver when the body is forced to utilize fat for energy rather than carbohydrates. When put into a ketogenic state, the body goes through a period of rapid fat burning in an attempt to make ketones for energy.
However, you don’t need to starve yourself to make ketones. Instead, simply opting for a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet can do the trick. This means limiting carbohydrate sources like fruits, grains, and legumes while increasing the amounts of high-fat foods. Some common foods to consume on a ketogenic diet include:
If you are in a hurry to pass a drug test, opting for a ketogenic diet may not be the best detox option by itself. However, combining a ketogenic diet with other methods, like dilution or a detox drink may be beneficial.
The problem with keto? Many ketogenic diets tend to be low in fiber. While it is still possible to remain in ketosis while eating plenty of vegetables, many consumers forego healthy greens and veggies for high-fat meats and dairy. If you are hoping to detox, this is problematic. While ketosis may help you burn fat, it is soluable fiber that helps pull fat-based compounds out of the body. Some keto-compliant foods that are high in soluble fiber include:
Further, ketogenic diets can cause some complications. Those with diabetes should be particularly mindful with ketogenic diet, as the combination of both high levels of blood glucose and high levels of ketones can acidify the blood and cause a condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketogenic diets may also be risky to those with heart conditions.
If you have unlimited time and you are simply trying to detox THC from your system, than exercise is one of your best bets. Not only does exercise release many of the same neurotransmitters that cannabis mimics, but keeping a low body mass and burning fat will help you more quickly eliminate THC from your system.
Unfortunately, however, exercise alone likely won’t help you beat a drug test. If you’re in a hurry, increasing your exercise may help you more quickly detox from THC, however only time will completely eliminate traces of the compound in your body.
Before you start pumping iron, however, there is one important caveat to exercising right before a drug test. THC is re-released into the bloodstream as you burn fat. If you have an impending drug test, it is not recommended to exercise 24 hours or so before the test.
One small 2013 study found that exercise may increase blood plasma THC concentrations up to 15 percent. However, whether or not this THC is metabolized and can influence a drug test is unclear. Still, without knowing for sure, it may be better to skip the gym on the day of your test.
Spending time in a sauna probably won’t make much of a dent in your drug test results. Only trace amounts of THC are excreted in sweat. In heavy consumers, cannabis can be detected in a sweat test for up to one week after consumption. Yet, while the psychoactive can show up on your skin, THC metabolites are not found in sweat. This means that sweating alone likely isn’t enough to help you clear a urine test.
However, if you are trying to detox from THC the natural way, getting a little hot and heavy likely wouldn’t hurt.
Plus, it just feels good. If you are stressed about passing a urine test, spending an extra 15 minutes in the sauna after hitting the gym may be just the remedy you need. Just don’t forget to hydrate!
Disclaimer: The information in this article is meant for helpful and educational purposes. It should not be used in place of medical advice. Always talk to a medical professional before experimenting with intensive detox practices like the sauna, detox drinks, or vitamin supplements.
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