It’s popular, the marijuana detox. Many people try to clean their systems so they can enjoy the effects without handling the consequences.
The biggest issue with marijuana is that in many places, it is illegal. Until your area legalizes marijuana, you should not be doing it at all, nor should you try to fool the authorities with special pills or detoxes. Nothing in this article should be construed as condoning or recommending marijuana if it is illegal in your area.
In some areas, medical marijuana is legal. It is obtained by a doctor’s prescription. In this case, you don’t want to do a detox at all because you want the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) components in your system. You can’t fail a drug test for marijuana when you are medically supposed to have it.
And, finally, in a few areas, marijuana is legal. There are some jobs that require you to be clean, but if you qualify for those job, why would you risk it all by doing something that doesn’t help you?
Why Do a Marijuana Detox at All?
Most of the time, a marijuana detox is completed to either help people overcome a marijuana addiction or to fool a drug test and we want to help you know what to expect when you detox from marijuana. We are going to assume you are all law abiding citizen and that you are attempting to help yourself or a loved one overcome an addiction rather than try to break the law by attempting to fool a drug test.
If you used marijuana just once, you most likely will not experience any withdrawal. But, if you are a chronic user, withdrawal is very likely.
People are affected in different ways with marijuana. Some people only experience slight symptoms, while others experience massive symptoms.
By far, the most common symptom is insomnia. Marijuana tends to dampen the dream reflex, so it can cause your brain chemistry to be upset (again) by the cessation of additional weed. Since the dream reflex is dampened during use, when your brain finally detoxes, your dreams will return and appear more vivid, colorful, and real than before. They aren’t actually more potent, you just became used to them being dampened.
These two main effects usually last for a week to months, depending on your usage.
Other side effects include depression, anger, rapidly changing emotions, unexplained anxiety, repressed sexual drive, headaches, reduced or increased appetite, sweating, unpleasant odor, tremors, and loss of concentration. Most of these will last about 3 months, with some long-term users experiencing these for up to a year.
Fortunately, there are no severe withdrawal symptoms that could require hospitalization for most people. We recommend you talk with your doctor about stopping so they can monitor the withdrawal symptoms. In nearly all areas, doctors are not required to report drug use during a sincere attempt to quit.
Before we go into the actual detox, we want to tell you what marijuana does in your body. You can experience effects of marijuana for up to a year after you stop. Most commonly, 2 to 3 months will have you through the worst of it.
First, you damage your lungs by breathing in the smoke. For people who are using medical marijuana and use the smoke to control asthma or lung cancer, this is still a worry. Coughing up phlegm is common for users as they try to clear the damage. This cough could continue for years after stopping.
You heart will beat faster. For most people, this isn’t a problem. But, if you have any kind of heart issue or blood issue, this could be a problem. When you stop, fatigue often sets in because you became used to the increase in your heart rate.
Your nerves are slowed. Reflex, reaction time, and the ability to form memories are all depressed by the THC in marijuana. This can take months to clear out and many users never recover from the brain damage.
Your immune system is also depressed. Since we rely on the fresh air and good nutrients that marijuana blocks, your ability to fight off colds and flus is depressed.
Of course, it’s not all bad. Current research is showing that medical marijuana is helping many people.
For those with cancer, THC has the ability to block tumor growth with nearly no side effects, unlike chemotherapy. It also helps people reduce pain, and can stimulate the immune system for these people.
In people with chronic pain, medical marijuana can help reduce pain and increase a sense of well-being.
THC is doing wonders for aiding people with glaucoma by reducing the pressure in the eyes.
For people with eating disorders, medical marijuana is being tested to help increase the appetite without making a person feel as if they are overindulging.
Finally, medical marijuana is being tested in those who are mildly to moderately depressed. Researchers believe that the mild effects of medical marijuana is preferable to harsher medications used today.
Just a note: if you experience any of these, do not self-medicate. Visit your doctor and obtain a legal prescription.
Most marijuana testing relies on testing for the metabolites of THC in urine. This is a very simple test that gives results right away. It’s also a highly sensitive test with specific test ranges.
Current standardized testing can detect trace levels of marijuana for 5 days after a single marijuana use and up to 90 days with daily use. If this test comes back inconclusive, a second test may be required that can detect the waste products up to 30 day past a single use.
Since marijuana, the THC specifically is stored in fat, a juicing diet will not remove the fats stored traces. It only will remove the easily accessible liver stored traces. Once the liver traces are removed, the body will start removing the THC from fat storage, thus increasing the chances of failing a urine test for marijuana.
One of the most common ways to try to fool the test is to drink lots of water or juice prior to the test. The hope is to dilute the metabolites enough to get outside the range of testing. This will cause the urine to dilute and produce tell-tale markers, triggering testing that can detect marijuana up to 180 days past a single use. Hair testing can detect marijuana use for years, depending on the length of your hair. Oh, and recently cut hair is a sign to authorities that you are trying to hide something.
Most tests also co-test for creatine and B vitamins, which are often used to cover diluted urine by changing the color. A positive result for either of these in the urine, beyond normal biological levels, will trigger a fail.
Sweating, another popular myth, actually increases the amount of THC in the blood, increasing detection levels. Sweating is not an acceptable or recommended way to remove THC. In fact, an increase in sweating, through teas or exercise, may help the THC move through the blood-brain barrier, increasing the toxic load of the brain. The waste products are also detectable in urine tests.
Science has gotten better at being able to understand what is happening in the body. Drug and alcohol test has become much more sophisticated in the past 20 years since these popular myths first started floating around.
The typical lower level range of detection for a marijuana urine test is 50ng/ml. This is about 200,000 times lower than what you would find in a single joint. It’s the reason you can’t detox out marijuana.
And Now: The Detox
Like we said before, we’re going to assume your detoxing to become an upstanding member of society, not to commit a crime by fooling a drug test. And I think as we showed before, you can’t fool the drug test.
When you detox from weed, you want to control the symptoms. Very little of what you do will actually increase the rate at which your body can remove the marijuana. The best you can hope for is to speed up your detox to avoid side effects.
Any company that tries to sell you supplements, marijuana detox kits, or detox drinks are scamming you.
One question we see often is about pregnancy and detoxing. When you are pregnant, anything that goes in your body goes into the baby’s body. This goes for marijuana and the detox. If you are pregnant, stop using marijuana.
Also, don’t just jump into a detox. This can cause serious health problems for the baby. You are required to have a doctor’s aid when detoxing because of serious and fatal consequences. A marijuana detox when pregnant is too risky to do on your own.
THC is a fat soluble molecule. You can’t clear it out of your system with juices or teas. It takes time to leech it out of your fat cells, then the juice and teas can clean it up. This can take 3-12 months.
So, if you’re going to do a juice fast for marijuana detox, be prepared to keep at it for months.
There is nothing that will specifically cleanse marijuana from your system. Only your body can do that. But, there are ways to decrease the withdrawal symptoms and help your system recover faster.
Lemon juice is promoted as a marijuana detox. It helps your system, acidifies your urine, and helps promote good digestion. It’s easy and tasty to use lemon juice as part of your detox regimen. Just take 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and mix it into 16 oz of water. Drink this over the course of 2 hours. You can repeat this as often necessary, with most people refilling their water 7-8 times per day.
Lemon juice in water will help your digestive system and hydrate your body. As your hydration increases, your kidneys work better, as does your liver. Then, you will be able to filter out the wastes from the marijuana.
Additional hydration also tempers your moods, eating habits, headaches, and body pain.
Does Cranberry Juice Help Detox Marijuana?
By itself, cranberry juice doesn’t help you detox marijuana. What it does help with is to keep your kidneys working well and avoiding damage. This detox drink works by increasing the amount of urine produced, which means you need to drink much more liquid while you use cranberry juice.
The juice also decreases the pH of your urine, making it less like to cause kidney stones, have infections, or smell poorly.
Researchers recommend no more than 8oz of cranberry juice per day. After this amount, you run the risk of dehydration and sugar issues. Diabetics are not recommended to use cranberry juice.
The Pickle Juice Marijuana Detox
This one made me laugh the most. Not only are you supposed to drink gallons of pickle juice, but it’s supposed to magically make all your numbers perfect.
It’s a fairy tale. Pickle juice does nothing for marijuana detox.
Rather than getting weed out of your system with the pickle juice, you’re adding in lots of toxins. That’s because commercial pickle juice no longer has the healthy components that old-style pickle juice has. Salts, vinegar, and seasonings have been replaced by acetic acid chemicals, artificial flavors, and artificial colors. None of these will help your body. In fact, they could delay the detox as your liver attempts to clear out the higher order toxins, leaving the THC to wreak havoc in your brain and body.
That doesn’t even touch the fact that drinking that much vinegar is toxic. A few sips here and there may help your digestive system if you use a natural, homemade mix (the commercial stuff is just bad, don’t use it). However, drinking more than a pint’s (500 ml) worth could cause gastric distress and acetic poisoning.
It also will trigger urine tests to give a false positive. So, enjoy homemade and natural pickles, even a few sips of the juice. Just avoid drinking lots of it and don’t use it to detox.
Wheatgrass Marijuana Detox
Wheat grass has become popular as a detox drink. However, nutritionists are concerned with the levels of toxins that are naturally present and the surprising lack of nutrients found in wheat grass.
The thing that makes wheat grass so popular is that it tastes good and has lots of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has been used to help reduce pain, cancer risk, and remove toxins. Chlorophyll itself if a healthy nutrient.
Wheat grass has lots of chlorophyll. So does broccoli, kale, spinach, and all other green vegetables. What’s more, all other green vegetables have more nutrients than wheatgrass.
As for whether it helps marijuana detoxing or not, we say not. There is no research on whether it truly does help or not. Since THC and the wastes are mostly fat based, and wheat grass is based on water, there should be little mixing of the two. Wheatgrass isn’t going to make things better, but they won’t make it worse.
Until you drink too much. Drinking more than 1 serving of any green leafy vegetable per day places you at risk of oxalic acid poisoning, vitamin K poisoning, and general nutritional deficiencies. It could cause your skin to take on a green hue, cause pain, constipation, and iron issues.
Green Tea Helping Detox
This is one we support. Green tea is a wonderful part of a detox regimen. It has been shown in several studies to help the liver and kidneys remain healthy and active while flushing out an increased amount of toxins.
The standard dosage is 3 8oz cups per day. Researchers have been quick to point out that more than this provides no benefits. Chinese medicine often uses more cups per day, however, their standard size cup is only 3 to 4 oz. Thus, the typical recommendation of 6 cups of tea in Chinese medicine is equal to the researchers 3 cups.
Green tea may provide added anti-oxidant action. It can help reduce the stress on the body, and help repair damage.
For people using medical marijuana, green tea may provide an additional layer of protection for the body. It can increase your chances of avoiding cancer, pain, and oxidative damage. Unfortunately, there is no research to back up this statement because it has not yet been done on the combination of medical marijuana and green tea.
The best way to get marijuana out of your system is to slowly and methodically clear your body. It also requires that you don’t add in other toxins. Simple recreations, like alcohol, affect marijuana detoxes in a negative way.
- Avoid Marijuana
- Sip lemon water all day
- Add in several cups of green tea
- Use healthy foods, like green leafy vegetables to gain chlorophyll and other nutrients.
Finally, know that this is a process. There are no shortcuts to detoxing marijuana or any other drug from your system. The more you use the marijuana, the longer it will take to clear from your system. Current testing will discover regular usage and any shortcuts you attempt to try by-pass the system.
Natural marijuana detoxes can be done at home easily and safely. We recommend you talk with your doctor first, and then work on yourself.
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