How To Detox Marijuana

Everything you need to know about detoxing from cannabis.

Whether you want to save some money and take a break, want to flush the toxins from your system, or need to prepare for a workplace drug test, here's all the information you need to know.

What is in your body after smoking marijuana?

After smoking or consuming weed, the psychoactive effects will come and go, however, chemical markers from the plant will remain in the body. These marijuana metabolites are called cannabinoids, and they can be detected in saliva, blood, urine, hair, fingernails and even fat cells. Marijuana has the longest detection time compared to other drugs.

The cannabinoid that drug tests will look at specifically is called THC. THC is the psychoactive compound that results in the high that people experience after marijuana consumption. Usually, drug tests sample urine as it is easiest to collect and THC remains in the urine for the longest period than elsewhere. However, THC can also build up in fat cells and slowly spread to the blood from there.

How long does THC stay in the body?

Depending on different lifestyle factors, the length of time THC stays in the body will vary. Factors that influence how long THC remain in the body include:

  • frequency of marijuana use
  • quantity of marijuana use
  • metabolism
  • exercise frequency
  • body fat percentage

Varying per person, traces of THC will stay in:

  • hair for 3 months or more
  • sweat for 1-2 weeks or more
  • urine for 3 days or more
  • saliva for 2 days or more
  • blood for 1-2 days or more

These time frames are approximate and are dependant on frequency and amount of consumption.

More information about how long marijuana stays in your system can be found here.

Detox and withdrawal

Although marijuana is not physically addicting, it can definitely be psychologically addicting and people can grow dependent on weed when used heavily over a long period. The body of chronic users may become used to receiving large amounts of THC and CBD. Thus, when they stop and detox, their body needs to readjust and they might experience some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Not everyone will experience these symptoms and symptoms vary as people respond differently to detoxing.

The most commonly reported withdrawal symptoms from detoxing marijuana are:

  • insomnia
  • headaches
  • loss of appetite
  • lack of concentration
  • anxiety or depression
  • emotional instability or irritability
  • vivid dreams
  • hot flushes
  • tremors

These symptoms will occur whilst the body is eliminating the THC from the body.

How to deal with withdrawal symptoms

Unfortunately, there is no magic cure or quick fixes to accelerate the process of your body flushing the THC out of its system. However, there are natural ways to help with the symptoms of withdrawals and encourage the body to flush out the THC and here are the necessary steps:

  1. Abstain

The first and obvious step of detoxing means stopping all weed consumption. Whether you choose to wean yourself off or quit cold turkey, the body cannot detox the THC completely until the consumption of cannabis has completely stopped. Drink water

2. Exercise

As mentioned above, THC is stored in fat cells. Therefore, those who have more fat will take longer to detox. Exercise such as cardio, weightlifting or HIIT is ideal to help burn fat and increase metabolism, which will ideally speed up the detox process.

3. Healthy diet

It is essential to highlight how a healthy diet can make a huge difference throughout the detox process. Foods high in fat, salt and sugar can slow down metabolism and increase water retention, slowing down the body's ability to flush out THC. Eating a nutrient-rich and balanced diet can encourage the body's detox progress and also aid in stabilizing mood, sleep and other withdrawal symptoms.

4. Be aware and take care of mental health

Since the detox process can destabilise mood and possibly cause anxiety, depression or irritability, it is important to highlight the importance of taking care of your mental health. It would be a good idea to seek support from others and distract yourself from stressors or everyday agitations. Remember that you are doing your body a service throughout the process and take the chance to practice self-care through different means.

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Sylvia Hu
Sylvia Hu

Sylvia is a writer based in Sydney with an interest in learning more about the cannabis industry. Sylvia is currently researching cannabis culture as well as local and global legislation & reform.