Article written by
Tina MagrabiSenior Content Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
A marijuana detox is an attempt to flush all traces of cannabis and its chemical compounds from your system. There are many reasons people try marijuana detoxes, including employer drug tests and taking a t-break (tolerance break).
People who feel they are becoming dependent on marijuana may also choose to detox. There is no “quick fix” or easy shortcut when it comes to marijuana. But there are ways to safely complete a marijuana detox and reset your body. Learn what to expect when doing a marijuana detox, including possible withdrawal symptoms and the best ways to flush tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) out of the body.
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How Cannabis Affects the Body
The psychoactive effects of cannabis and THC generally leave the body within 24 hours, sometimes in just a few hours. But that does not mean that cannabis has fully left your system; only the intoxicating effects have subsided. THC and other cannabinoids like CBD may be present for days, weeks, or even months after you consume cannabis. This is because cannabinoids like to cling to fat cells in the body.
Smoking cannabis tends to be the quickest way to experience the effects of the plant and have its compounds exit your system. Consuming edibles, on the other hand, can lead to cannabis lingering in your system for much longer, as the body more slowly metabolizes the compounds.
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What to Expect When Doing a Marijuana Detox
Doing a cannabis detox entails the cessation of marijuana use for a specific amount of time. You may choose to commit to a 30-day cleanse, a full 90-day detox, or suspend your cannabis use indefinitely. Whatever type of detox you choose, there are certain things to expect.
If you have been a regular cannabis consumer (daily or multiple times per day) then you may experience some withdrawal symptoms when doing a marijuana detox. These common physical symptoms may include:
- Trouble focusing.
- Mood swings, including depression and irritability.
- Digestive issues.
- Appetite or weight disturbance.
- Chills or sweats.
- Cravings for marijuana (especially in the first few days after ceasing use).
There are several ways you can cope with these withdrawal symptoms if you experience them. The best THC detox methods are simple:
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat a balanced diet rich in proteins like fish and lean meats like chicken and turkey, as well as fresh produce and whole grains.
- Avoid processed sugar.
- Exercise. Moderate exercise goes hand in hand with a healthy diet, so get out in the fresh air and take a brisk walk or jog. Engage in your favorite activity like dancing or golf, and keep your mind off of what your body and brain are missing.
These withdrawal symptoms are temporary and should resolve within a week.
However, if your symptoms are severe or last longer than a week, consult with your doctor. You may also seek the support of a detox program at a rehabilitation center or other drug treatment programs. Group therapy and one-on-one counseling are other excellent options if you need help dealing with marijuana withdrawal symptoms.
You may also find that you don’t experience any withdrawal symptoms at all, especially if you used cannabis lightly prior to detox. But a lack of symptoms doesn’t mean the cannabis has completely left your system. Even if you feel like yourself, it will still take time to totally detox.
It is worth noting that many people who stop using cannabis experience few withdrawal symptoms. One systematic review finds that the prevalence of cannabis withdrawal syndrome in 23,518 regular or dependent cannabis users was 47%.
Is Marijuana Withdrawal Ever Dangerous to Health?
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms generally range from mild to moderate and tend not to be dangerous. But in some cases, people may experience adverse effects to health when they suddenly stop cannabis, especially if they are patients using medical cannabis to alleviate a particular symptom. Carefully monitor how you feel each day during your marijuana detox and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these severe symptoms:
- Persistent nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
- Fever of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Thoughts of suicide or of harming others
However you feel, know that you are not alone and there are people who can help you.
Do Store-Bought Marijuana Detoxes Work?
Buying a weed detox kit might be tempting, but it is more than likely a waste of money. Detox pills, detox drinks, and even shampoos abound on the market, promising that you’ll pass your next drug screening. But these products are gimmicks, and the only way to truly rid your system of cannabis is through time and patience.
It’s also worth noting that home remedies for marijuana detox — like drinking cranberry juice, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar — don’t work to clear your body of THC, either.
Leafwell’s medical professionals are here in our virtual clinic to consult with you. Reach out today and we’ll get you started on an application for a medical marijuana card in your home state.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to detox from marijuana?
The length of time your body will take to detox from marijuana depends on how heavy your usage is, your body composition, your method of ingestion, and other individual factors. As a rule of thumb, cannabis may be detectable for up to 30 days in urine and as many as 90 days in human hair.
What is the best way to detox your system from THC?
The best way to detox your system from THC is to abstain from cannabis for at least 30 days. You can drink large quantities of water and try other home remedies, but ultimately time is the most crucial component in detoxing from THC.