Why is Detoxing from Marijuana So Difficult?

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Detox from marijuana isn’t straight-forward, and we can back this claim with science. Lots of detox drinks sold online claim to clear THC from your system before a test.

The truth is, most of them are a waste of money. They will not get rid of marijuana from your system. Just search a few of them on Amazon to see all the 1-star reviews.

Some detox drinks do work but only for urine and saliva tests. But even then, you need time, exercise, lots of water and a good diet to increase your chances of testing clean.

What makes detox from marijuana so difficult?

Here are the four reasons it’s so damn hard to rid your body of THC traces – and what you can do to speed things up.

1. THC Is Extremely Fat Soluble

detox from marijuana

One of the reasons why it is so difficult to detox from marijuana is that it sticks around in your body longer than most other drugs.

With most drugs, your urine will test clean within 2-7 days after you stop using. With marijuana, it can take several months to clear from the urine of heavy smokers.

To understand why it stays so long, it’s important to understand what happens to THC in your body when you smoke a joint.

THC is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream from your lungs. This causes a spike in blood THC levels.

But the spike doesn’t last long because THC is rapidly absorbed into your fatty tissues.

The THC metabolite that labs test for, THC-COOH, is highly soluble in fat. It is said to be lipophilic. It binds to fat cells and stays there for days or weeks.

If you only smoke once in a while, the metabolite is converted into another metabolite, THC-COO-glucuronide, which is then excreted from urine within a few days.

If you are a regular smoker, the level THC-COOH keeps on accumulating. After you stop smoking, it can take up to several weeks or months for all the THC-COOH to be excreted from your body.

2. Most THC is Eliminated Via Feces

Around 65% of THC metabolites are eliminated in the feces while only 20% goes out with your urine.

But most detox products do not address this elimination pathway. They focus primarily on diluting your urine, which doesn’t maximize THC elimination.

By the time you are getting the test, there is still a high level of THC in your body, and some of it is still getting out through your kidney. Your urine might still contain detectable traces of THC-COOH.

3. THC Metabolites Conversion    

detox from marijuana

Before your body clears THC out of the system, it has to be turned into water-soluble metabolites to allow excretion.

Again, this is another area most detox products don’t consider, making detox from marijuana challenging.

What you need is a product that increases liver metabolism to quicken the conversion of fat-soluble THC metabolites into water-soluble metabolites.

4. Some THC Goes to Your Hair

THC distribution does not stop at fat cells. Some THC metabolites also end up in your hair follicles, deposited there either by sweat glands or blood capillaries.

This is a BIG problem.

THC-COOH can be detected in your blood up to 2 days after smoking, in your saliva up to 10 days and in your urine up to 11 weeks (shorter for occasional users).

But THC-COOH can be detected in your hair up to 90 days after your last use.

And unlike a urine test, drinking lots of water, exercising or taking detox drinks does zilch to clear THC metabolites from your hair.

The long half-life of THC metabolites in hair is one of the reasons why many labs and employers now prefer hair drug tests over traditional urine tests.

For more on this type of test, read how the hair drug test works and how to beat it.

What You Can Do?

For Urine Tests

It’s not easy to detox from marijuana, but it’s not the end of the world. If you are getting a urine test, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of testing negative.

  • Drink a lot of water prior to the test. This will dilute your urine, lowering the amount of detectable THC-COOH to below the required threshold.
  • Get on a regular exercise routine. This helps burn up fat and release stored TCH metabolites. However, avoid intense exercise a couple of days to the test as it can cause an increase in TCH-COOH levels in your urine.
  • Eat a healthy fiber-rich diet to quicken the excretion of marijuana through feces.
  • Use a good quality detox product that dilutes urine and enhances liver metabolism. It should also increase the amount of THC excreted through urine and feces.

For Hair Follicle Drug Tests

detox from marijuana

There are only two detox options if you are getting a hair follicle drug test: the Macujo Method or the Jerry G method. 

These detox methods open up your hair cuticles. Afterwards, they then strip away THC-COOH metabolites from the hair follicles using shampoo or bleach.

They are tough on your hair and can cause damage, but they are the best options if you want to pass the test.