While marijuana may be legal across Canada, not all companies are on board with allowing staff to use it, even off the clock. Many companies, large and small, still drug test employees, even for marijuana.
Whether you’re preparing for a drug test or just trying to take a tolerance break, you’ll have no problem finding products that claim to help you detox. You’ll also find plenty of people willing to share myths and advice about how to best flush your system and fast! Separating fact from fiction can be tough with so many available options, but there are a few drinks that some say seem to do the trick.
What Happens When Marijuana Enters Your System
When you smoke, vape, or consume marijuana in edible form, the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) enters your body and heads for your brain. When you smoke marijuana, the smoke moves quickly from your lungs to your bloodstream, which is why you may notice the high in a matter of minutes. The effects of edibles don’t show up as quickly, and in some cases, they can take a couple of hours to become noticeable. That’s because edibles must pass through your digestive system before they’re absorbed into your bloodstream and eventually your brain. No matter how long it takes to feel the effects, the high typically only sticks around for a couple of hours.
Your body naturally begins the detox process after that point, when the blood that carried the THC into your brain carries it down to your liver, where it’s destroyed and turns into urine. Marijuana affects everyone a little differently, so it’s hard to pinpoint how long that natural detox process would take without any supplements or detox products.
The “high” feeling may only last a couple of hours, but marijuana sticks around inside your body for a longer time. Don’t be fooled into thinking once the THC wears off, you’re in the clear. Metabolites, or chemicals from the marijuana plant, remain in your system for days, possibly even weeks. Those leftover chemicals are the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, and those are what you’re trying to get rid of with a detox.
How Drug Tests Work
Drug tests can detect a wide array of substances in marijuana, including THC and CBD (cannabidiol). Those substances can be detected in saliva, hair, nails, blood, and urine, with the latter being the most commonly used test.
Chemicals in marijuana are stored in your body fat, and for regular users, those chemicals remain there for 30 to 45 days in some cases. Dozens of factors play into how long the chemicals will stay in your system, including frequency of use, body fat percentage, metabolism, and diet. The better your overall health, the faster your body will likely be able to detox.
How Detox Works
Many detox products recommend giving yourself five to seven days to cleanse your system, but you may not have that much time. So, what about those rapid-detox drinks you can find just about everywhere, and do they really work? Here’s what we found.
Which Detox Drinks Are Best?
1. Water with Lemon
Regardless of whether you’re trying to detox, there’s a good chance you need to drink more water than you do right now. Water helps naturally flush and cleanse your system. Water, and more specifically water with lemon, will help keep you hydrated, and the lemon offers an added boost.
The acidity in the lemon juice has been known to help speed up certain processes, including digestion, which helps flush out toxins in the liver. If you want to change it up a little, try adding one teaspoon of ginger or one tablespoon of local honey to the water. In the summer months, you can swap out the ginger and try adding a slice of cucumber and a mint leaf.
2. Cranberry Juice
We’re talking about real cranberry juice, not cranberry juice cocktail. The cocktail is tolerable on its own, whereas 100% cranberry juice is a little tough to swallow, at least for some people.
While lemon cleanses the liver of toxins, cranberry juice works in a similar way, except it targets the intestines and kidneys. If you plan to detox from marijuana with cranberry juice, be prepared. Most people suggest drinking a total of two litres of 100%, unsweetened cranberry juice over the course of two or three hours. The earlier and further out from a drug test the better, because you may metabolize slower or faster than someone else.
If you’re already a coffee drinker, then you’re in luck. Coffee is one of nature’s very own diuretics, meaning it causes you to have to go to the bathroom more frequently, which helps speed up the process of flushing your system.
Keep in mind, THC binds to fat cells in your body, so if you do choose to go the coffee-detox route, hold the cream and sugar for another time. High-sugar, high-fat foods can actually cause the opposite effect and keep the chemicals in your system.
There are dozens of products that claim to help you detox from marijuana and other substances quickly, but in reality, they don’t help remove anything from your system. They’re designed to flood your urine with vitamins and minerals that seemingly “trick” the test, so you pass.
With so many myths and products that promise to help you detox, you’ll never have a hard time finding one to try, but these three options may be the best choices on the market. Just remember, if it sounds crazy, don’t try it. And just like with marijuana, people will react differently to detox products, so find what works best for you.
Finally, just because these drinks can help you detox doesn’t mean you can smoke then chug the drink and pass a test. It doesn’t really work that way. Abstaining from consuming marijuana for a couple of days or even longer will be your best bet if you need to detox.