Green tea has been used as a health tonic since ancient times. In recent years, green tea has been touted as a cure-all for health issues from aging to diabetes to cancer and has also gained a reputation as a way to remove traces of marijuana from your system as a means of beating a drug test.
Green tea comes from the same plant – Camellia sinensis – that black and oolong teas come from, but the processing of the leaf does not involve the fermentation that the other teas undergo before consumption.
Green tea comes in powdered, liquid, capsule, and dried herb form.
To drink as a tea: Green tea in dried form – usually less than five dollars per box – and water.
Or: Green tea is powdered form (such as matcha tea) – normally between ten and thirty dollars – and water.
To take as a supplement: Green tea capsules – which can vary in cost from a few dollars to thirty dollars per bottle
The tea is brewed as you usually would by steeping the tea bags in hot water – steeping it in boiling water can kill the beneficial properties of the tea. The tea is traditionally consumed in extremely large quantities either a couple of weeks or just before a drug test. Alternately, one can take the green tea in pill form, which comes with the benefit of decreased caffeine content.
Just because green tea is viewed as a health tonic, keep in mind that it still contains a good bit of caffeine (which is more of a problem when using tea bags as opposed to supplements in pill form), and when consumed in large quantities can cause nervousness, insomnia, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, tremors, irritability, ringing in the ears, heartburn, and dizziness.
Green tea should be avoided if you take blood-thinning medication such as Coumadin (Warfarin). Green tea should not be used in combination with diabetes medication. Green tea may cause adverse reactions in those people who take birth control pills, Tagamet, Clozapine, hormone replacement therapies, Lithium, and MAO inhibitors (used to treat depression), among a long list of other prescription medications. Those who have used cocaine, amphetamines, or anything containing ephedrine should not consume green tea.
Although green tea has some natural health and antioxidant benefits that have been proved in clinical trials, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that these benefits would help someone pass a drug test for marijuana.
Besides the staggering amount of drug interactions, drinking green tea has a host of side effects which, given the large quantities suggested for detoxing, are only going to increase in intensity.
A lot of the claims that list green tea as a detoxifier are based on the fact that green tea has antioxidant benefits. Unfortunately, there aren’t any connections between antioxidants and the ability to remove marijuana from your system. When one takes into account the long list of medications that are known to interact with green tea and the long list of potential side effects, coupled with the fact that the amounts recommended for consumption are only going to intensify both the interactions and the side effects, make green tea a detoxification method best avoided.