The drug screening landscape in the United States is beginning to change. In some states, it is, or soon will be, against the law for a company to refuse to employ someone, or fire an employee, solely because they tested positive for marijuana on a drug screening.
Unfortunately, even in ‘liberal’ states such as California, you can still lose a job or fail to gain employment, because you used weed on a day off! The most common drug screening is a urinalysis, which involves pissing into a cup. Other firms still use a saliva test, which means swabbing the inside of your mouth, particularly under the tongue.
From a marijuana user’s perspective, the saliva test is better because you can pass it even if you smoked weed within the last few days. With a urine test, there’s a chance the THC metabolites will remain in your system for up to a week, even longer if you’re a frequent user.
This unfortunate situation means that so-called ‘detox drinks’ remain popular. The idea is to consume these beverages with a lot of water, and hope to ‘fool’ the test. If you are called in for a drug screening and are a regular cannabis user, it is unlikely that you’ll pass a urine test. As a result, you may need to take drastic action.
Otherwise, if you fancy detoxing from THC naturally, and don’t have a specific timeframe, there are plenty of ways to detox organically.
Why Would I Want to Detox?
Aside from ensuring you don’t get caught out by a future drug screening, perhaps you feel as if marijuana is no longer having the same effect as it used to. In this case, you can take a ‘tolerance break,’ also known as a T-break.
Over time, regular cannabis users could build up a tolerance to the herb, which means it takes more weed to produce the same effects as before. Tolerance is an especially big problem if you’re using marijuana for medical reasons. With a T-break, you can reverse the effects by steering clear of weed for a while.
When you ‘detox’, you cease consumption of a substance to ensure the body is cleansed of all traces. When it comes to weed, for example, the goal is to flush all THC out of your system. Although the process reduces tolerance and may help you pass a drug screening, it can lead to side effects such as insomnia, decreased appetite, anxiety, headaches, irritability, and even depression.
The most ‘organic’ way to detox from THC is to avoid marijuana consumption altogether. However, it can take days, or even weeks, for the psychoactive compound to leave your system entirely. In this guide, we outline ten other organic detox methods to accelerate the process.
1 – Hot and cold showers
Water is arguably the most potent detox weapon at your disposal, which is why it will feature on this list more than once. Alternate hot and cold showers are uncomfortable (occasionally downright painful) at first, but once you get used to the process, you’ll wonder why you took so long to come around to the idea.
Once you’re in the shower, begin with a 60-second burst of hot water followed by 30 seconds of cold water. Personally, I had initial problems with cold water as it caused me almost to hyperventilate. If this is also an issue for you, begin with lukewarm water and ensure it gradually gets colder as you get used to this form of hydrotherapy.
Complete between three and five cycles of hot/cold showers each day. Eventually, you’ll grow to love the cold cycles because they’ll prove stimulating and invigorating, especially in the morning. Make sure you end with a cold cycle but do so in a warm bathroom because your body must stay warm afterward. By alternating hot and cold showers, you increase circulation, boost metabolism and immune function, and encourage lymphatic flow.
Interestingly, hot showers could help ease the effects of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a condition that has symptoms, including vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain. A study by Habboushe et al., published in the Basic Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology journal in June 2018, looked at New Yorkers who used weed at least 20 times a month.
One-third of the volunteers experienced cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome or at least the symptoms associated with the condition. These particular users reported feeling a variety of symptoms that were mysteriously relieved with the aid of hot showers. One theory posits that hot water works because it produces a sensory signal that distracts the body from its pain signals.
2 – Dry skin brushing
Most people have never even thought about brushing their dry skin, but it is a health and beauty tip recommended by experts. It tones the skin, opens pores to release toxins, removes dead skin cells, improves blood circulation, and reduces the appearance of cellulite. Once again, it stimulates the lymphatic system which cleans toxins and debris from your body to help it work more efficiently.
For effective dry skin brushing, use a loofah or a natural bristle brush. One great tip is to press your fingertips on the terminus, the indentation between collarbone and neck, three times before starting to brush your skin. This process begins the flow of lymph. You should also press the groin area, rib cage, and armpits three times apiece.
Use the brush to stroke downwards into the terminus, and from the chest outward towards the armpits, but stay away from the nipples as they are sensitive! Brush the abdominal area above the navel toward the armpits, and below the navel toward the groin. Brush your legs upwards towards the groin and the soles of your feet and palms of your hands in small circles.
It is best to dry brush your skin twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening. If you only have the chance to do it once a day, do so at night to help the body detox as you sleep.
3 – Use castor oil packs
Castor oil was probably first used by the ancient Egyptians some 3,500 years ago. Proponents of the substance claim that it can increase the flow of fluids through the lymphatic system and boost blood circulation. It is also claimed that castor oil has a positive impact on the nervous system while improving your immune system.
One tactic is to add castor oil packs to the whole abdomen and cover the areas where the liver and colon reside beneath. Rub the oil over your skin and then cover with a towel and a hot water bottle for at least 60 minutes. It has been suggested that the hot water bottle’s heat can penetrate the intestines and liver to stimulate their contraction and encourage the release of toxins.
You can also consume a tablespoon of castor oil in the morning to perform a mini colon cleanse. Be careful when eating this oil though, because overconsumption can lead to severe diarrhea.
4 – Vitamin C flush
Also known as an ascorbate cleanse, a vitamin C flush could help remove toxins from the body. According to advocates of this method, you need to consume extremely high levels of vitamin C at regular intervals until your stool is watery. Vitamin C is believed to boost the immune system, help your body absorb minerals, aid the body in warding off infections, and protect the body from toxins.
As vitamin C is water-soluble, it does not get stored in the body which makes it relatively safe to consume large amounts. Although the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 60mg/d, there is a suggestion that it should be increased because of its antioxidant and health benefits.
To perform a vitamin C flush, begin on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Dissolve up to 1.5 grams in water and consume it. A healthy person should consume 1.5 grams of vitamin C every 15 minutes. The dosage increases to 3 grams for a moderately healthy person and 6 grams for unhealthy individuals. Continue until you produce watery stools. This obviously isn’t the most pleasant option, and you could suffer from severe cramps and bloating.
Although Vitamin C is often considered the star of the show, you can also use other vitamins and minerals because they also help eliminate toxins from the body and speed up the process of immune system repair. Drugs deplete all soluble vitamins in the body, especially in the early stages after abstaining. By taking a round of multivitamins, you can quickly restore the level of vitamins in your body to a ‘normal’ level.
Whether you have been drinking alcohol or using drugs for years, your B vitamin level will be significantly depleted. B1, B3, and B5 help turn sugar from the body into energy, while B6 and B12 help produce blood cells and keep your nervous system healthy. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, while Calcium & Magnesium can relieve anxiety and calm your central nervous system.
5 – Natural colon cleansing
The ancient Greeks are believed to have been the first to use colon cleansing. You can either purchase specific products or pay an expert to perform colonic irrigation. The latter involves a small tube being placed up your rectum while a low-pressure pump flushes several gallons of water through your system. The therapist may also massage your abdomen during the process. Eventually, you release the water like a normal bowel movement, and fluids and waste are removed from the body.
If this doesn’t sound appealing, you can purchase special powdered or liquid supplements to do the job. Some must be taken through the rectum, while others are designed for oral consumption. Products include magnesium, enzymes, herbal teas, enemas, and laxatives. The risks of natural colon cleansing include mineral imbalance, vomiting, kidney failure, and a bowel perforation.
There is quite a market for THC detox drinks to help eliminate the cannabinoid from your system. However, a colon cleanse, either with the aid of a professional or via a laxative, is more effective. A study by Sharma, Murthy, and Bharath, published in the Iranian Journal of Psychiatry in 2012, found that up to 65% of cannabis is excreted through the feces, and only 20% via the urine. Boosting your fiber intake should also help.
6 – Garlic
Unless you’re a vampire, it isn’t a bad idea to use garlic pills to help your body detox. Garlic can eliminate THC, as long as you consume a reasonably large amount each day. This is the main reason why we recommend using pills rather than trying to eat lots of raw garlic!
Withdrawal from cannabis places a significant amount of stress on the metabolic system and organs. Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may lead to low nutrient absorption and subsequent mineral deficiencies. When you supplement detox with vitamins, minerals, and foods such as garlic, you help return your body to a normal state and remove toxins in the bargain.
7 – Boost water intake
This seems like such a simple step, but you’ll be amazed at how many people fail to consume enough water on a regular basis. Those looking to pass a drug test normally drink liters, if not gallons, of water to ‘flush’ the THC from their system, but this dilutes their urine, which appears suspiciously clear during testing.
Rather than trying to drink tons of water in a blind panic before an upcoming drug screening, commit to boosting your water intake today. It will ensure your skin has a healthy glow, decrease appetite, increase energy, and flush out toxins naturally. If you drink just 500ml of water a day more than you’re doing now, you’ll probably see a positive effect.
Begin with a large glass of water in the morning to stimulate the digestive system. Believe it or not, this simple tactic sends a message to the brain which says that you’re committed to being healthy for the day. Begin with 250ml of water per hour. Over a 12-hour period, you’ll consume three liters of water without realizing it!
8 – Epsom salt bath
There’s a LOT more to a salt detox than dumping some table salt into your bath water! You need to use Epsom salt because it allows for minerals to draw toxins out of the body. Proponents of Epsom salt baths say they improve relaxation, help gain relief from sore muscles, and even promote healthy weight management.
These salts are named after the English town where a farmer discovered that the bitter water in his wells had a fantastic healing effect on rashes and injuries. In the 400 years since, millions of people have benefitted from the detox and relaxing properties of Epsom salts.
To create an Epsom salt bath, use two cups of the salt in a normal-sized bathtub with the water at a maximum temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the salt beneath the water spout, as this process leads to faster dissolving. Soak for up to 20 minutes.
9 – Bentonite clay
This clay has been championed as a natural detoxing agent which can be used both externally or internally. As you know, every cell in the human body excretes waste material which will become toxic if it builds up faster than it is excreted. Apparently, when bentonite clay is activated by water, it begins a healing process and promotes the removal of toxins from the body.
It is a ‘healing’ clay which contains a high concentration of minerals such as iron, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and silica. There are several ways to use bentonite clay to detox. You can create a ‘paste’ of clay and water and apply it to your skin. Alternatively, add half a teaspoon of clay to water and drink it to improve digestion. As the clay’s effectiveness is reduced when exposed to metal, mix it with water in glass or plastic containers.
10 – Apple Cider Vinegar
One rumor circulating the internet claims that apple cider vinegar helps you pass a drug test within a day. While it is an effective way to detox, it is not the best option as a last-minute solution. As you may know, ACV is created by crushing and squeezing apples. The liquid you get is fermented into alcohol by adding yeast and bacteria.
Acetobacter bacteria convert the alcohol into vinegar. The main component in ACV is acetic acid and is the reason why you get a sour taste. The theory about using ACV as a last-ditch attempt to pass a drug test involves mixing a spoon of it in a glass of water, and drinking an additional three gallons!
Realistically, ACV won’t help you that quickly, but it is an effective means of detoxing if you have a lot more time. It naturally detoxes your urine and gradually removes the THC metabolites stored in your fats, because acetic acid helps reduce body fat. It can take up to 12 weeks for ACV to take effect which is great if you have no specific timeframe, and very bad if you have a drug test later that week!
Final Thoughts on Organic Ways to Detox
As well as helping to remove traces of THC from your system, an organic detox can improve your energy levels, mood, and overall health. While there is some debate as to the efficacy of traditional detox methods, there is no doubt that increasing fiber and water intake will have beneficial effects.
There is a myriad of weird, wacky, and outright dangerous ways to detox. From drinking cranberry juice to consuming bleach, there is a long list of detox methods you should avoid as best as you can. Although some methods mentioned above have potential side effects, the majority of them are completely safe, and easy to complete. If you are unable to increase your water and fiber intake gradually and unwilling to try a relaxing Epsom salt bath, are you actually serious about detoxing or merely paying lip service to the concept?