Detoxing from Marijuana
What is Detoxing?
Detoxing is the way in which your body gets rid of the toxins accumulated from years of using. It happens the first few days or weeks after getting clean and/or sober. It is also the very beginning of getting used to dealing with reality and real feelings with no numbing agent.
Can there be physical effects from quitting marijuana?
In spite of numerous years of being told that there are no physiological effects from marijuana addiction, many of our recovering members have had definite withdrawal symptoms. Whether the causes are physical or psychological, the results are physical.
Others have just had emotional and mental changes as they stop using their drug of choice. There is no way of telling before quitting who will be physically uncomfortable and who will not. Most members have only minor physical discomfort if any at all. This pamphlet is for those who are having trouble and wonder what’s happening to them.
Why do some effects last so long?
Unlike most other drugs, including alcohol, THC (the active chemical in marijuana) is stored in the fat cells and therefore takes longer to fully clear the body than with any other common drug. This means that some parts of the body still retain THC even after a couple of months, rather than just the couple of days or weeks for water soluble drugs.
Can this affect a drug test?
The experiences of some members have shown that if you quit marijuana and expect to take a drug test you should not go on a crash diet at the same time. Fasting, or a crash diet, can release the THC into the bloodstream very rapidly and can give a positive reading. This has happened to several of our members, but each time only with crash diets and major weight loss, not with just eating less than usual.
What are some of the more common symptoms?
By far the most common symptom of withdrawal is insomnia. This can last from a few nights of practically no sleep at all, up to a few months of occasional sleeplessness.
The next most common symptom is depression (that is, if you’re not euphoric), and next are nightmares and vivid dreams. Marijuana use tends to dampen the dreaming mechanism, so that when you do get clean the dreams come back with a crash. They can be vivid color, highly emotional dreams or nightmares, even waking up then coming back to the same dream. The very vivid, every night dreams usually don’t start for a about a week or so. They last for about a month at most and then taper off.
“Using dreams” (dreams involving the use of marijuana) are very common, and although they’re not as vivid or emotional as at first, they last for years and are just considered a normal part of recovery.
The fourth most common symptom is anger. This can range from a slow burning rage to constant irritability to sudden bursts of anger when least expected: anger at the world, anger at loved ones, anger at oneself, anger at being an addict and having to get clean.
Emotional jags are very common, with emotions bouncing back and forth between depression, anger, and euphoria. Occasionally experienced is a feeling of fear or anxiety, a loss of the sense of humor, decreased sex drive, or increased sex drive. Most all of these symptoms fade to normal emotions by three months.
Loss of concentration for the first week or month is also very common and this sometimes affects the ability to learn for a very short while.
What about physical symptoms?
The most common physical symptom is headaches. For those who have them, they can last for a few weeks up to a couple of months, with the first few days being very intense.
The next most common physical symptom is night sweats, sometimes to the point of having to change night clothes. They can last from a few nights to a month or so. Sweating is one of the body’s natural ways of getting rid of toxins.
Hand sweats are very common and are often accompanied by an unpleasant smell from the hands. Body odor is enough in many instances to require extra showers or baths.
Coughing up phlegm is another way the body cleans itself. This can last for a few weeks to well over six months.
One third of the addicts who responded to a questionnaire on detoxing said they had eating problems for the first few days and some for up to six weeks. Their main symptoms were loss of appetite, sometimes enough to lose weight temporarily, digestion problems or cramps after eating, and nausea, occasionally enough to vomit (only for a day or two). Most of the eating problems were totally gone before the end of a month.
The next most common physical symptoms experienced were tremors or shaking and dizziness.
Less frequently experienced were kidney pains, impotency, hormone changes or imbalances, low immunity or chronic fatigue, and some minor eye problems that resolved at around two months.
There have been cases of addicts having more severe detox symptoms, however this is rare. For intense discomfort, see a doctor, preferably one who is experienced with detoxing.
How can I reduce discomfort?
For some of the milder detoxing symptoms, a few home remedies have proven to be useful:
- Hot soaking baths can help the emotions as well as the body.
- Drink plenty of water and clear liquids, just like for the flu.
- Cranberry juice has been used effectively for years by recovery houses to help purify and cleanse the body.
- Really excessive sweating can deplete the body of potassium, a necessary mineral. A few foods high in potassium are melons, bananas, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, and tomatoes.
- Eliminate fat from the diet until digestion is better.
- Greatly reduce or eliminate caffeine until the sleep pattern is more normal or the shakes are gone.
- The old fashioned remedy for insomnia, a glass of warm milk before bedtime, helps some people.
- Exercise not only helps depression and other unpleasant emotions, it helps the body speed up the healing process.
From “How it Works”:
Do not be discouraged, none of us are saints. Our program is not easy, but it is simple. We strive for progress, not perfection. Our experiences, before and after we entered recovery, teach us three important ideas:
- That we are marijuana addicts and cannot manage our own lives;
- That probably no human power can relieve our addiction; and
- That our Higher Power can and will if sought.
The marijuana detox: Myths, facts, and tips
How to detox from weed
S o the time has come for a cannabis detox. Perhaps you need to pass a drug test for a new job, or maybe you’ve decided to take a T-break (tolerance break) and want to flush your system before beginning anew. Whatever the reason, there are a few ways to approach a cannabis detox, as well as certain things you’ll want to avoid.
Jump to section:
What is detoxing from weed?
A detox is the process of abstaining from consuming a substance in order to cleanse the body of any trace. In this case, the goal would be a THC cleanse. By abstaining from consuming cannabis, the body is able to flush THC from the system.
This process may be simple for some and difficult for others; it often depends on how heavily you’ve been consuming cannabis and whether or not you were doing so for medical purposes. For heavy and/or medical consumers especially, the marijuana detox process may give rise to unpleasant symptoms, some of which include:
- Decreased appetite
There’s some debate over whether or not these effects can be considered withdrawal symptoms, or rather simply a result of discontinuing a medicine that once helped alleviate the aforementioned discomforts. But we can all agree that they’re unpleasant; luckily, Leafly has some recommendations for how to alleviate them in the first part of this series.
What’s the fastest way to detox for a drug test?
There’s a lot of bunk information out there with “quick fixes” for detoxing. Most of them are bogus and will not accomplish the results you seek. Some faulty methods to avoid include:
- Cranberry juice
- Detox teas
- Niacin detox
- Bleach (do not, under any circumstances, ingest bleach)
Most “quick fix” methods are based in myth and should not be trusted. Don’t default to questionable and unreliable methods. If you’re wondering how to pass a drug test for cannabis without taking a cleansing break, know that detoxification is a lengthy process. No vitamin, juice, tea, or chemical will magically flush the body of cannabis overnight or in a short period of time.
How to get THC out of your system
Now that we know what doesn’t work, let’s delve right into what does.
The best option for a full weed cleanse is using natural methods that can take up to six weeks to flush the system of cannabis. This is the most effective, fool-proof way to flush THC from the body. In addition to the guidelines outlined below, there also exists a number of products aimed at detoxification.
How to pass a drug test naturally
The best method to flush your system of cannabis will always be a natural cleanse. Although it takes the longest, it is by far the most thorough and effective. There are several methods of natural detox, all of which may be used in conjunction. Most are pleasurable and good for the body, making them positive habits to practice for good health whether detoxing or not. Consider the following for an all-natural detox experience.
This is pretty obvious, but in order to detox from marijuana, it will be necessary to halt all consumption of cannabis. Whether you choose to go cold turkey or ease into it, the process of detoxification cannot truly begin until cannabis is fully out of the picture.
First and foremost on the list is to get up and move. As discussed, THC is stored in the fat cells of the body. This means that for those who have more fat, it will take longer to detox. Exercise such as cardio and weight training will help burn fat and increase metabolism, thus speeding up the detox process.
A happy bonus to this method will be an increase in production of anandamide, which is the body’s natural “bliss” molecule. If you’ve ever experienced a “runner’s high,” you know the euphoric sensation this endocannabinoid provides. Thus, exercise will help you decrease detectable cannabinoids while simultaneously soothing the transition with endocannabinoids.
3. Drink water
Drinking plenty of water during this period will assist with cleansing the body. No need to overdo it–drinking excessive amounts will not speed up the process, but staying well hydrated will increase health and help your body expel toxins of all kinds.
4. Practice a healthy diet
Avoiding foods that are high in sodium, sugar, and fat will aid in the weed cleanse process. These types of foods, such as red meat and junk food, increase water retention and slow metabolism, which is in direct opposition to the body’s ability to shed THC metabolites. Instead, opt for a nutritious, healthy diet of vegetables, lean meats, fruits, and plenty of leafy greens.
Many greens increase metabolism as they are high in iron and other essential vitamins. Incorporate more spinach, kale, and other greens into your diet to assist the process of flushing out your system. Healthy fibers will also be beneficial during this period, so incorporate beans, legumes, peanuts, unenriched whole wheat, and other good fibers for an added boost.
These key detox foods will also have the added side effect of assisting in stabilizing mood and even sleep, helping ease possible withdrawal symptoms.
5. Drink more tea
Opt for teas with high levels of antioxidants, or liver-cleansing teas such as dandelion or milk thistle. This is a simple, enjoyable way to help the body along with the marijuana detox process.
6. Take care of your mental health
If you are suffering from higher levels of depression, anxiety, or even irritability while detoxing, it will be extra important to be gentle with yourself and take care of your mental health. This may mean different things for different people. For some, exercise or activities such as yoga and meditation may be a valuable resource to stabilize mood.
For others, it may mean putting less on your metaphorical plate and allowing yourself to use the detox time as a vacation from usual stresses and agitations.
If depression and anxiety are more clinical, consider taking advantage of resources such as therapy. Whatever the reason, be kind to yourself during detox.
7. Nurture yourself
On the note of treating yourself kindly, be sure to nurture yourself during detoxification. The process of detox is already a very nurturing, healthy journey, with improvements to diet and exercise. Consider the experience a chance to take care of yourself and you may find your entire perspective of detox shifting. Think of this time as a vacation, where you give yourself permission to worry less and pamper more.
Buy a fancy bath bomb and take a relaxing soak, spend more time with your closest friends, visit your favorite parks or nature centers for picnics or light strolls, garden, read, dance, or pick up an instrument. Whatever healthy habits make you happy, give yourself permission now to enjoy them fully.
How to detox THC with products
The following products are not all aimed specifically at removing THC, but instead at detoxifying the body in general by removing impurities and toxins. Some of these may be considered in conjunction with natural detox methods.
Note: We have not tested these products and cannot guarantee their efficacy in reducing THC and THC metabolites. Use them at your own discretion.
Bentonite clay – A popular clay, made of aged volcanic ash, bentonite clay has many detoxifying properties as it’s known for absorbing toxins, chemicals, impurities, and heavy metals. It has external as well as internal uses, and can easily be incorporated into a detox regime. Use a bentonite clay detox in a bath, on the skin, or even in a glass of drinking water.
Detox drinks – Refreshing beverages full of detox-friendly ingredients like lemon, mint, and watermelon are easy to assemble and enjoy. There’s a plethora of recipes available on sites like Pinterest.
In addition, there are plenty of pre-assembled detox drinks for weed available on the market. That said, as mentioned previously, there aren’t many “quick fixes” for the detox process, so use discretion and mind ingredients if you opt to try this route. If the goal is to find a marijuana detox drink for a drug test, remember to weigh the pros and cons before choosing this method.
Detox kit – Detox kits for THC often include various items such as herbal capsules as well as instructions about how to properly use the kit’s system to rid the body of toxins. Bio Cleanse Detox, for example, can be used as a THC detox kit and includes “90 herbal vegan capsules of Digest Power formula to stimulate the bowels and organs, 300 grams of Toxin Remover powder, to absorb the released toxins and carry them away safely, and also 30 veggie caps of vegan probiotics.” The kit also comes with instructions and a choice of either a nine or 14 day cleanse.
This article was originally published April 7, 2017. It has been updated for clarity and accuracy.How do you get THC out of your system before a drug test? Learn how to naturally detox from weed and use products like detox drinks and clay powders. ]]>