Updated on February 14, 2024
6 min read

THC Detox Methods: How to Detox From Marijuana, Body, and Drug Test

Key Takeaways

Different THC Detox Methods

Knowledge of marijuana tests and the amount of time THC stays in the body can be helpful for people aiming to have a hassle-free drug test. They can detoxify in advance before getting tested.

Common THC detox methods include: 

Detox Drinks

THC detox drinks are cleansing supplements touted for their ability to flush THC on the same day of marijuana use. The effects are temporary and are only effective for a few hours. 

Detox Pills 

Detox pills, capsules, and tablets contain different herbs, vitamins, and minerals. Taken like an ordinary supplement, they are promoted as a less tedious alternative to detox drinks. 

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is acidic and can help detoxify the body. A drink containing lemon juice and water are particularly useful if you're taking a urine drug test.

Cranberry Juice

Of all juices with THC-detoxifying properties, cranberry juice is said to be the best. It’s a natural diuretic that induces frequent urination to flush out traces of THC. Like lemon juice, cranberry juice may help people taking a urine drug test. 

Coffee

Like cranberry juice, coffee is also a diuretic. People may use it to pass a urine test. It induces urination, which could help in detoxification. 

However, coffee can quickly lead to dehydration. It’s essential to increase water intake when drinking coffee for detoxification. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Best consumed before a meal, apple cider vinegar is also said to help with THC detox. It can be mixed with a non-alcoholic drink and used several times daily.

Detox Mouthwash

You may want to use a detox mouthwash for a saliva test. However, you must apply it 15 minutes before the test to be effective. 

Detox Shampoo

Some shampoos can help if you're taking a hair follicle test. They are simple to use. Focus on working the scalp to wash off any chemicals.

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Do THC Detox Remedies Really Work?

Many people believe the above remedies can help remove THC from your system. At a glance, there appears to be no harm in trying a THC detox kit, a detox drink, a detox pill, or home remedies.

However, these THC detox methods may affect your test results, making your samples unacceptable. Detox methods also affect color, pH, uric acid, and creatinine levels. 

Labs may interpret discrepancies as contamination or a sign of another medical condition. Labs may disregard the sample and request another one.

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What is the Most Effective THC Detox Method?

Time is the best THC detox method. It may take around 30 to 90 days to naturally detoxify the body from marijuana. 

Adding the factors affecting THC retention into the mix, here are some tips to detoxify naturally:

  • Stop marijuana use
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Maintain a balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly   

It may be true that detox drinks, pills, and home remedies can help you pass a drug test. But remember that you need more than these methods to achieve permanent THC detox.

Marijuana Detox

Some people seek ways to remove marijuana from their system because they want to quit using the drug. Other people, however, choose to stop marijuana use to detoxify and pass an upcoming drug test. 

Traces of marijuana can stay in the body for some time, and the detoxification process may not be immediate. To perform successful detoxification, it’s essential to understand how various marijuana drug tests work and how long the drug stays in the body.

Marijuana Detox & Withdrawal

Stopping marijuana use may trigger withdrawal symptoms, which may include:1

  • Irritability, agitation, and mood swings
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Decreased appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Tremors
  • Stomach pain

Withdrawal can complicate the detoxification process and marijuana abstinence. You can avoid this by checking in at a treatment facility for a proper medical detox.

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What Marijuana Drug Tests Look For

Marijuana drug tests look for cannabinoids in your system. These cannabinoids contain a psychoactive compound called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.2

THC is quickly absorbed in the lungs and enters the bloodstream in minutes. It's later absorbed into fats and other tissues before getting metabolized in the liver.

THC metabolites are then excreted through various routes, including:

  • Stool
  • Urine
  • Saliva
  • Hair follicles

How Long THC Stays in the Body

THC generally stays in the body for 30 to 90 days after the last marijuana use.3 Still, there’s no single standard for detection time. This is because several factors affect how long THC stays in the body. 

These factors include:4 

  • Frequency of marijuana use
  • Concentration of the marijuana  
  • Body fats storing THC 
  • Metabolic rate and lifestyle 

Types of Marijuana Drug Tests

Because various samples contain THC metabolites, different tests exist to accommodate them. Blood tests can detect THC metabolites in regular users for up to 45 to 60 days.

However, they are usually done only when a urine drug test produces unsatisfactory results. Other tests include:

Urine Test

The urine test is the most common marijuana test. It is done in two steps: 

  1. Immunoassay test: The initial screening test that looks for antibodies that could indicate the presence of drugs in the urine sample
  2. Gas chromatography: A more advanced test that uses a gas chromatograph; this is used to rule out false-positive results from an immunoassay test 

Depending on the frequency of use, different marijuana users will have different detection times for getting a positive result.5

  • Infrequent users (use marijuana less than 2 times per week): 1 to 3 days after last use
  • Moderate users (use marijuana several times per week): 7­ to 21 days after last use
  • Heavy users: 1 month or longer after the last use

Saliva Test

This oral drug test is the least used marijuana test. It’s easier and quicker than the urine test. This makes it the preferred test for federal government and roadside law enforcement agencies. 

Saliva can retain traces of THC metabolites for 1 to 7 days. The saliva drug test is done as an oral swab test. 

Hair Test

The hair follicle test requires the first 1.5 inches of a hair strand. Like the urine test, the hair drug test is also done in two steps: 

  • Immunoassay test: An initial screening test that looks for antibodies that could indicate the presence of drugs in the hair sample
  • GC-MS test: A more advanced test using sophisticated equipment to rule out false-positive results from an immunoassay test 

A hair drug test takes a long time to perform. It’s becoming more popular because it detects THC traces for 90 to 120 days. It is more reliable for regular marijuana users but ineffective for light users.6 

Summary

There are plenty of reasons to flush marijuana out of your system. You can do this to quit marijuana or prepare for an upcoming drug test.

Marijuana tests are looking for a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. It's typically stored in fat cells and metabolized by the liver. THC is excreted through urine, saliva, hair, and stool.

THC can stay in your system for 30 to 90 days after the last use. However, different factors affect how long THC stays in your body.

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Updated on February 14, 2024
6 sources cited
Updated on February 14, 2024
  1. Greenspoon, Peter. “If cannabis becomes a problem: How to manage withdrawal.” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, May 26, 2020. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/if-cannabis-becomes-a-problem-how-to-manage-withdrawal-2020052619922.
  2. Sharma, Priyamvada, et al. “Chemistry, metabolism, and toxicology of cannabis: clinical implications.” Iranian journal of psychiatry vol. 7,4 : 149-56. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570572/
  3. Verstraete, Alain. “Detection times of drugs of abuse in blood, urine, and oral fluid.” Ther Drug Monit 2004 Apr;vol 26,2 (2004 ): 200-5. doi: 10.1097/00007691-200404000-00020.
  4. Wong, Alexander, et al. “Exercise increases plasma THC concentrations in regular cannabis users.” Drug Alcohol Depend vol. 133,2 : 763-7. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.07.031.
  5. Johansson, Eva, and Magnus Halldin MM. “Urinary excretion half-life of delta 1-tetrahydrocannabinol-7-oic acid in heavy marijuana users after smoking.” J Anal Toxicol vol. 13,4 : 218-23. doi: 10.1093/jat/13.4.218.
  6. Taylor, Michelle et al. “Comparison of cannabinoids in hair with self-reported cannabis consumption in heavy, light and non-cannabis users.” Drug and alcohol review vol. 36,2 : 220-226. doi:10.1111/dar.12412.

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