If you’ve watched the American drama series titled Suits, you know a great job can come with restrictions, one of them being zero tolerance for marijuana—the worst of all being impromptu drug tests.
Maybe you have to face regular drug tests but can’t afford to quit marijuana. What do you do to detox cannabis from your system in time for your drug test in such cases? To learn the answer to this question, please continue reading.
What Residues Does Marijuana Leave in Your System
Typically, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids pass into your bloodstream when you take marijuana. Then you’ll record high levels of THC for many hours. The actual duration of your elevated THC level depends on the delivery method or how you took in marijuana.
However, the effects of THC leave your body after your body finishes metabolizing it. The metabolites of THC are fat-soluble, or simply, fat cells can store them. This also means that your metabolites get back into your system when you burn fat, even after many months.
Duration of Metabolism
Unlike several other drugs, marijuana has an extensive detection window. It might surprise you to learn that you might take about 30 days to test negative for THC (more on this later).
Types of Testings for Marijuana
As an essential guide to cannabis testings and detection methods here are the kinds of tests you can expect:
This is a standard method for detecting cannabis and is approved by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). According to the Iranian Journal of Psychiatry’s explanations, the urine test is superior to the hair, saliva, and blood test.
Also, sampling urine from test subjects is fast and easy. The SAMHSA recommends a 50 ng/mL cutoff, meaning that you only test positive if THC’s amount in your urine exceeds 50 ng/mL.
In the same study published in the Iranian Journal of Psychiatry, researchers also disclosed that blood tests only work a few hours after usage. In the study, THC concentrations were at their highest 8 minutes after the subject started smoking. And they reduced to 1-4 ng/mL in about 3 – 4 hours.
Testing done on the hair is the most sensitive and can test positive even after 90 days of consuming cannabis. However, a 2015 research published in the Scientific Reports indicated that hair test could be inaccurate since a positive doesn’t necessarily mean test subjects used marijuana.
Occasional and frequent users can be tested with their oral fluid, but the test is only useful within a limited window. This is about 1 – 3 days for occasional users and about 29 days for chronic users, according to a 2014 study on cannabinoids.
5 Easy Ways to Flush Marijuana from Your System
Keep Your Body Very Hydrated
Perhaps there is no other substance as effective as H20 when you want to rid your system of marijuana. This is partly because it can help you pass the most standard test, the urine test. You can do this by drinking a lot of water and urinating as many times as possible within 24 – 48 hours before your test.
On the day of the test, keep your body hydrated with the aim of diluting your urine. However, you need to exercise caution since too much water can also dilute your urine completely, resulting in a retest and further suspicion.
Use Zinc Supplements
According to a 2011 research published in the National Library of Medicine, taking in zinc can cause a false negative due to its urinary adulterant effect. Hence, oral intake of zinc supplements can mask THC metabolites present in your urine for up to 18 hours after light usage. You can readily buy zinc supplements over the counter from health food stores or pharmacies.
Take In Detox Drinks
Detox drinks help you go a step further by helping expel or mask the metabolites such as THC. Usually, they contain diuretic substances that help you test negative. You can either make them at home by researching online for some everyday recipes such as cranberry juice. Also, you can buy some consumer detox products.
However, the cost of such products can be rather high. If you don’t have the money to spare, your homemade detox drink should do just fine.
Use Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is a known substance for dealing with medical cases of overdoses. It is also another effective way of preparing for a drug test. The elements of activated charcoal combine with several compounds in the body and facilitate their removal. The reason behind this is the negative charge of the charcoal molecules. This ensures that they quickly bond with different drug molecules that have positive charges, trapping them.
The same applies to THC metabolites. In a process called enterohepatic recirculation, THC metabolites undergo several cycles of circulation through the body. Normally, the circulation moves them from the blood, to the liver, bile, and intestines, then back into the blood through reabsorption.
Each time the process repeats, some of the THC metabolites are excreted. However, a study indicated that activated charcoal interrupts this process and quicken their elimination by binding with such metabolites as THC-COO-glucuronide and THC-COOH.
Properly Ingesting Activated Charcoal
One of the best ways to ingest activated charcoal is in the form of capsules. However, there are some exciting and delicious recipes, like activated charcoal bread and burgers.
Other ways of flushing out marijuana include the use of the following:
- Avoiding physical exercises
To conclude, here is a breakdown of the main takeaways:
- Marijuana leaves THC and other cannabinoids in the body, and this is what drug tests are after.
- The detection times differ according to drug tests and other variables such as metabolism, body fat, and frequency of use.
- The standard and most effective test for marijuana is a urinalysis, especially at workplaces.
- You’ll need to quit using marijuana immediately if you’ll be part of a drug test anytime soon.
- Drinking lots of water is good for speeding up the rate of THC metabolism.
- There are other alternatives, such as activated charcoal, zinc, and detox drinks, among many others.
Finally, due to the number of variables involved with the use of marijuana, there is no single fool-proof way to rid your system of it quickly. However, this doesn’t mean all hope is lost. There is enough research to support the methods listed above. Arming yourself with this knowledge and some luck, you should pass any drug tests.