Testing is rarely fun, especially if you are a cannabis user. But don’t worry; if you have a drug test coming up, here are some simple tips to help you get rid of THC from your body.
Great news! You just got your dream job. But with your new career comes a problem – zero tolerance for drugs. Do you have to give up ganja? We know that this can be intolerable or even impossible for some people. There are many reasons why people choose to use cannabis, and here we don’t judge them; we just shoot, shoot, and spin.
So you decide to continue your habits. But all of a sudden you find yourself facing a drug test. Ouch! What the hell?! Read on to find out how to get the THC out of your body.
How long does cannabis stay in your system ?
The length of time cannabis stays in your system is affected by your biology and personal habits. While everyone is different, cannabis is usually detectable in fluids such as urine and saliva 1-30 days after your last use. It can be detected in hair several months later.
THC is metabolized in the liver, where it is broken down into about 80 metabolites. Eventually, THC and its metabolites are excreted and disappear from your system. However, many of these compounds stay in your system longer than the THC itself. More screening tests are designed to detect certain metabolites such as 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THC-COOH).
Factors that affect your rate of THC metabolism
So, how long does it take before all traces of ganja disappear from your system? Your own THC-related time will depend on several factors, such as:
– Your amount and frequency of cannabis use
– Your body fat level or metabolic function
– Sensitivity and screening type
Dosage and frequency of use
The amount (and frequency) of cannabis you use is probably the most important factor. Here, you should not look for 12 to 14 hours: the more cannabis you smoke, the more metabolites in your body increase. Cannabis, when consumed orally, like edible products, can also stay in your body longer than if it is smoked.
The rules of use apply to both individual doses and to small habits that you have had for a long time. Two grams of weed will take longer to be eliminated from your body than one. The more powerful weed will also take longer to come out. If you are an occasional smoker, your system will eliminate THC faster. So take note! If you are a chronic ganja smoker, it will probably take longer before you can be tested.
Fat mass and general metabolic function
THC is detectable for a longer time in chronic smokers because THC metabolites are stored in fat cells (they are fat-soluble). A person with less fat mass will logically store less of these molecules, and for someone with more fat mass, it will be the other way around. This is why gender can sometimes also be a factor. Women tend to have more fat mass than men, which is why men metabolize cannabinoids more slowly.
A person’s overall metabolic function also plays an important role. Some people can burn calories without being very active, while others struggle to lose weight with an active lifestyle. Those with accelerated metabolism will process and eliminate cannabinoid metabolites more quickly. Be aware that if you exercise a lot before a screening, the fat you burn may release even more THC metabolites into your system and cause a temporary spike.
There are different screening tests: urinary, capillary, salivary, blood. Each has a different window of detection. Urinary and capillary tests tend to measure THC-COOH, while blood tests measure THC levels. Of all the standard methods, the urine test is by far the most common . If you are tested at your workplace, it will very often be a urine test.
The sensitivity of the test refers to the threshold concentration of THC or its metabolites above which a test is considered positive. The threshold for most urine tests is 50 ng/ml THC-COOH. However, the threshold may be as low as 15 ng/ml. The more sensitive the test is, the larger the detection window becomes.
Screening tests and detection windows
According to the available research, here are the most common detection windows for the different tests. Keep in mind that the duration varies depending on your unique physiology and personal habits.
Cannabis and its metabolites are detectable in the urine for varying lengths of time after your last use, depending on how often you use:
– Occasional smoker (one to three times a week): 3 days
– Moderate smoker (four times a week): 5 to 7 days
– Chronic smoker (daily): 10 to 15 days
– Space smoker (multiple times a day): more than 30 days old
This is, of course, only reliable if the threshold of the test is 50 ng/ml.
Roadside saliva tests can be used to detect driving under the influence in certain areas where cannabis is legal. According to one scientific study, the time within which cannabis can usually be detected in the saliva is as follows
– Occasional smoker: 1 to 3 days
– Chronic smoker: up to 29 days
The blood test is relatively expensive and intrusive, making it a relatively rare method, unlike others. However, blood tests may be requested in some clinical or medical settings. Unlike urine tests that detect metabolites, blood tests look directly for the presence of THC. THC is almost instantly detectable in the blood when cannabis is inhaled, making blood tests very reliable tools for determining recent drug use.
Research shows that cannabis remains detectable in the blood for 1-2 days. However, in some cases, it has even been found up to 25 days later. Heavy cannabis use can increase the length of the detection window.
Following cannabis use, THC reaches the hair follicles through small blood vessels. Traces can be detected in the hair for up to 90 days, as confirmed in a 2015 study . In general, a 4-cm section of hair taken from near the scalp indicates cannabis use over three months (hair grows at a rate of approximately 1.2-1.5 cm per month).
If you need to be tested for cannabis in your hair follicles, about 100 hairs will be taken from near the crown of your head. Washing, dyeing, or styling your hair with products will not affect the accuracy of the test.
How to eliminate THC from your body :
So you’ve got some kind of a planned screen in the crosshairs, and you don’t know what to do. Don’t be afraid! Here’s how to deal with it.
Stop using cannabis
It may seem obvious, but the first thing to do if you have a test is to stop using it immediately. The goal here is to purge as much of the THC or its metabolites as possible. The earlier you quit smoking, the more likely you are to be negative on the test. Depending on your smoking habits and the test that will be put in place, you may need to take an even longer break to cleanse your system.
Drink lots of water
Speaking of cleaning your system, there’s nothing better than our good old faithful H₂O. Of course, drinking water will be very effective for a urine test, and fortunately, these are the most frequent tests.
To help you clean your system, urinate as much as possible 24 to 48 hours before the test. Keep yourself well hydrated on the day of the test. The goal is to dilute your urine, which will make it more difficult to detect residual metabolites.
But don’t overdo it. If you consume too much water, it may be noticeable in a sample that is too diluted, which could lead to a new test or increase the suspicion of others. Drink a lot of water, but not so much that it looks suspicious. It’s all about balance here.
A 2011 study found that zinc is an effective urinary adulterant that has the potential to produce a false-negative test result. The research suggests that oral use of zinc supplements after occasional cannabis use may interfere with the detection of THC metabolites in urine for 12-18 hours.
Zinc supplements are widely available without a prescription in pharmacies and health food stores. So, if you are suddenly told that you need a test or need to be reassured, consider taking a trip to the vitamin section. Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if you’re taking another treatment.
If you want to move to the next level of water, why not try detox drinks. These work on the principle of eliminating or masking the presence of THC and its metabolites. Many of them exploit diuretic substances to ensure a good flow of frequent urine.
Detox products for the general public can be quite expensive. If you don’t have money, focus on simple detox drinks that you can make at home, such as coffee or cranberry juice.
Another method to prepare your body for screening is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is often used to medically manage overdoses because it binds to different substances and helps the body get rid of them. This is because the molecules in the charcoal have a negative electrical charge and therefore bind to the positively charged molecules in the different drugs or medications and thereby trap them.
This binding process works with the THC metabolites. These circulate through your system multiple times through a process called enterohepatic recirculation. They move from the blood in the liver to the bile and into the intestines before being reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. The cycle starts all over again, with the only difference being that a portion of the metabolites is removed as waste with each new cycle. Eventually, after many cycles, all metabolites are eliminated from your system.
Research shows that activated charcoal binds to metabolites such as THC-COOH and THC-COOH-glucuronide, preventing their absorption into the bloodstream and speeding up their elimination. This means that charcoal may help you get tested faster.
How to use activated charcoal
So, what’s the best way to take activated carbon? Due to its purifying properties, carbon has gained popularity as an addition to cosmetics, health products, and even food. The easiest way to take it is in capsule form. But, let’s be honest, it’s more fun to do a little baking!
Please note that you must be careful when ingesting activated carbon as it may interfere with the absorption of medications and vitamins. If you have any concerns or if you regularly take medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist before trying it.
Here is a quick summary of the main points:
– THC is broken down into metabolites like THC-COOH in the liver, and that’s what many screening tests look for.
– Each test has its detection window, which can sometimes be influenced by metabolism, body fat, and your frequency/quantity of consumption.
– Urine testing is by far the most common method, especially among employers.
– If you have a test scheduled, you should immediately stop smoking weed.
– To speed up the elimination of THC or help you mask its presence, drink plenty of water (but don’t overdo it!).
– You can also try zinc, detox drinks, or activated carbon.
In the end, there is no perfect formula to quickly remove THC from your system. There are too many variables involved. But that doesn’t mean there are no solutions. Research shows that the methods discussed above can help speed up the process. With all this knowledge at your disposal, and with a little luck, you’ll be able to get back to your normal routine and glide like never before without bothering anyone. Because let’s be honest, it’s your business, not other people’s.