Many misconceptions are surrounding the issue of how to get weed out of your system after cannabis consumption.
The major grey patches that I find are regarding whether or not THC detoxification really works, how to do it, and how long it takes to get weed out of your system.
These are the key areas that I seek to shed some light on in this write-up.
What is detoxing?
Since we are talking about cannabis consumption, detoxing refers to abstaining from weed to allow the body to flush all THC and its metabolites stored around the body, especially in the fat cells.
Detoxification is something that the body is designed to do naturally.
The liver, which is commonly regarded as the body's workhorse, is tasked with neutralizing, transforming, or getting rid of toxins in the blood.
For the record, the liver filters 1.4 liters of blood every 1 minute.
In the light of this, you could ask why we need to detox THC from the body when the liver is bound to do that anyway.
The thing is that THC is highly soluble in fat. This means that as it travels through the blood system, some are distributed and ‘trapped’ in the body fat cells.
These fat cells will eventually be burnt for energy, and the THC-COOH is released into the blood system for removal through the kidneys.
However, keep in mind that the body derives most of its energy from glycogen and will only tap into its fat stores periodically.
This means that burning fat can take quite a long time. Consequently, it might take a very long time for the body to get rid of the THC-COOH stored in the fat layers.
This gets more serious, especially if you are a regular and heavy smoker who has toked for some years since you’ll have several layers of THC-containing fat cells stacked upon each other.
So, detoxing THC is all about getting rid of those fat cells that contain marijuana metabolites.
This process involves improving and optimizing your body’s detoxification system and supporting these systems to enable them to get rid of the THC in the body fat(you could call it a liver support plan).
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How to Get Weed Out of Your System Naturally
There are different ways through which we can support the liver to do its thing. However, the following three protocols are a MUST for successful detoxing.
The first action towards successful THC detoxification is abstinence, or simpler terms, refusing to add more THC metabolites into the system.
This makes a lot of sense. You cannot try to get rid of THC metabolites from your system while still hitting the joint.
If you are a regular smoker of cannabis and toking has been baked into your everyday routine, I won’t lie to you that abstinence will be a walk in the park.
It’s a battle that you need to prepare for, not only regarding resisting the urge to light a stick.
It also involves getting ready to deal with the withdrawal symptoms that follow, including insomnia/bad dreams, decreased appetite, anger/irritability, nervousness, and stomach pains.
But it’s possible to abstain if you are armed with pure willpower.
Once you’ve successfully stopped adding more THC and its metabolites into your system, you now need to make it possible for your body to release the stored THC.
One way of doing this is by not adding more layers of fats than holding the THC molecules. And this is where the need for a change in your diet comes in.
Generally, the fatter you are, the longer it will be for you to detox.
But this might also be affected by other factors such as how long you’ve been smoking, how regularly, and the amount.
If you are a heavy smoker and have toked for several years now, the chances are that you have layers upon layers of THC- trapped between the fat.
Dieting to detox THC is more or less a weight loss program since it involves burning fat layers.
The following weight loss tips might, therefore, come in handy.
Tips for burning fat when detoxing from THC
Don’t skip breakfast.
Skipping breakfast won’t help much in losing fat because you might end up munching on unhealthy snacks once you feel hungry.
Eat regular meals
This might sound ironic, but eating regularly does help in losing fat. Eating healthy meals regularly during the day means that your body’s rate of burning calories is at an all-time high. If you love snacking, this will also be a good way to avoid unhealthy food and snack cravings.
Add a lot of fruits and veggies to your regimen.
If you have to snack on something, let it be a fruit. Fruits are nutrient-based foods in that they have lower calorie levels but are rich in important nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
Replacing high-calorie foods with fruits aids in creating a calorie deficit, which is a key ingredient in your weight loss regimen.
Besides being low in calories, fruits are also rich in fiber and water and can, therefore, keep you feeling full for longer.
The same case applies to vegetables. Like fruits, vegetables are considerably lower in calories, yet they pack a punch in keeping you full.
You must have heard that drinking water can help in losing belly fat, right? Well, it’s not a myth. A study published in the Journal of National Institutes of Health found out that overweight women lost an additional 2 kgs (4.4 lbs) after increasing their water intake to over 1 liter.
Taking a high amount of water boosts weight loss in some ways. First, it increases the number of calories that you burn by increasing the basal metabolic rate.
Secondly, taking water before meals has been found to reduce the amount of food you consume, and this means that you take fewer calories.
Most health authorities recommend taking at least 2 liters (eight, 8-oz glasses) of water each day.
Plan your meals beforehand
Although not commonly discussed, planning your meals is another key ingredient to a successful weight loss program.
Planning a healthy meal every time hunger strikes can be tough. In most instances, this leads to eating out and eating foods that are not in line with your weight loss goals.
The benefit of planning your breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals is to determine the number of calories that go in each meal. It also aids in being particular to foods that help in losing weight.
Avoid junk food
Truth is said! Junk food tastes great. Stocking junk in your fridge or on shelves cuts your ability to resist the temptation to binge on it by over a half. So, if you can’t resist it, don’t stock it.
If you are purchasing packed foods, always read the label first to determine its calorie information. This will help evaluate how different types of food fits into your daily calorie allowance.
Sample diet plan for one day
- Hot whole-grain cereal with Blueberries and 1 cup of non-fat milk. There is a wide variety of whole-grain cereals that you can choose from, including cracked wheat, oatmeal, and polenta. Whatever you choose to go with, ensure that it has no added sugars or salt.
- Tea or Coffee
- Mid-morning snack
- 1-cup diced watermelon
- Vegetarian Chili
- Mid-afternoon snack
- Cottage cheese and fruit
- Spinach salad
- Chicken with cherry tomatoes
- Brown rice
- Frozen yogurt
While cutting down on calorie intake has been found to boost weight loss, several research results show that close to a quarter of the weight loss comes from burnt muscles if you are not exercising.
When you cut down on calorie consumption, your body results in other sources of energy, which includes fats and a small amount of the proteins stored in muscles.
According to studies, incorporating an exercise plan into your dieting regimen highly reduces the amount of lost muscle.
This suggests that your body relies heavily on fats to produce the energy required.
Another benefit of minimizing muscle loss is that muscle is highly involved in metabolism than fat.
This helps prevent the issue of reduced metabolic rate that occurs after losing weight and may hinder your efforts of burning fat in the future.
Important: If you need to pass a drug test, you should stop exercising on the day of the test to stop the THC metabolites' excretion into the urine.
How much time will natural detoxification take?
The amount of time people take to detox completely depends on two factors; the amount of fat in their body and how much THC is stored in the fat.
That is to say that the more fat that you have, the more THC will accumulate, and the longer it will take to detox.
Cannabis Detox Methods That Do Not Work
The three natural detoxification methods that we’ve just seen above are the most effective. Their only drawback is that they can take a relatively long period of up to 6 weeks.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
If you have a drug test and can’t wait this long to flush out THC, the internet community has several other methods that promise to deliver results within a shorter time and with minimal demands regarding dieting and exercising.
Here are some of the proposed ‘quick fixes’ that you need to avoid;
Cranberry juice is, hands down, the most suggested detox drink, and most sites seem to have fallen for this.
The belief that this juice can help detox THC emanates from its increased use in passing a urine drug test.
Cranberry juice is known to have diuretic effects.
This means that it causes you to pee more in the hours leading to a drug test, which might help lower the concentration of THC metabolites in the urine to below the cutoff level.
Unfortunately, that’s all it does.
The fact that it does not affect your fat metabolism means that it won’t affect the stored THC in your fat.
Excessive water consumption
Water consumption has been linked to weight loss, which consequently leads to speedy THC detoxing.
And yes, it might also help in passing a same day drug test through the dilution method.
However, there’s no reason to believe that excessive water consumption might double the rate of complete THC detoxification.
There’s simply no need since it does not double the rate of metabolism.
It’s undeniable that vinegar can boost weight loss.
Its active ingredient- acetic acid- has been found to reduce body fat, which could lead to the release of the THC stored in the fat layers.
The only drawback to this method is that it takes a very long time (up to 12 weeks) to realize significant results. Read the research here.
The belief that niacin (also known as Vitamin B3) can at a drug testing has its roots in niacin’s role of aiding in fats' metabolism.
Worth keeping in mind is that this vitamin only helps in the digestion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates from the food we eat and has no effect on the existing layers of fats in your body.
Four words for this method: don’t ever try it. Bleach has recently been propagated as a viable way of passing a drug test.
The common belief is that it will mask the THC metabolites in the urine sample, thereby leading to an automatic pass.
The truth is that it could kill you long before it has made its way to the kidneys since it will cause serious burns from the mouth all the way to the stomach.
This means that there are zero guarantees that it will make it to your fat cells.
Baking soda is a popular myth when it comes to beating a urine drug test.
When ingested, this cooking ingredient is thought to make the drug user vomit toxins, including THC and its metabolites, which isn’t true. Myth busted here.
Goldenseal is yet another method that is highly regarded as a way of beating urine drug testing. Its active ingredient, berberine, is effective at fighting parasites, bacteria, fungi, and yeast.
While it’s somewhat true that Goldenseal does help in fighting harmful microorganisms, there isn’t any evidence that it can penetrate the fat cells and flush out THC.
Teatox/tea detox/tea cleansing is a whole new approach to the age-old trend that involves using a drink to detox.
These teas have several herbs such as thistle, dandelion, and lemongrass, all that are thought to contain properties that support the liver in its natural detoxification role.
While some of these teas have been found to help in weight loss, Dr. Newson, who owns a private clinic in Solihull, says that most of these effects are felt only within a short period.
But what you should worry more about is that most of these teatox products have Senna, which can cause adverse health effects such as diarrhea, dehydration, and vomiting.