Marijuana detox: how to get THC out of your system

marijuana detox

Whether you need a tolerance reset, are looking for a holistic cleanse, or need to pass a drug test, there are multiple reasons why you may want to engage in a marijuana detox. But when it comes to how long this process could take, there are a number of factors at play.

There are plenty of THC detox products available, marketing themselves as fast-acting ways to rid your body of cannabis. However, these goods aren’t regulated by the FDA, and there’s no real science to back up their claims. The only guaranteed way to detox marijuana is to abstain.

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Having said that, it is possible to help your body process cannabis in a quick and efficient manner. If you’re ready for a marijuana detox, this guide may be just the ticket.

marijuana detox
People may want to cleanse for many reasons. Photo: GreenState Team / Canva

How long does marijuana stay in your system?

Marijuana can remain in the body for as little as a few days and as long as a few months. It depends on several different factors, including frequency of use, body mass and metabolism rates, and methods of consumption.

THC, the active compound in cannabis, is fat-soluble. This means the molecules get stored in fat deposits throughout the body. It also explains why THC is often infused in butter and other oils—it just sticks better to fat.

People who smoke or eat cannabis regularly and have slower metabolisms will need the most time for a full THC detox. However, even infrequent marijuana users may have traces of THC in their systems long after they last consumed. For people who are subject to drug tests, this can be a major concern.

THC and drug tests

There are several different types of drug screens, with some being more sensitive to THC than others. 

Urine drug tests

Urine testing is one of the most common forms of drug testing. It analyzes metabolites in pee for the presence of drugs. Depending on the test, THC may be detected anywhere from a few days to a month post-consumption.

Blood drug tests

Blood tests are often used by law enforcement or the medical community. While analysis can vary, one 2009 study showed that THC can be found in blood samples six days after use—other tests may be positive even longer after consumption.

Hair drug tests

Hair follicle drug tests are some of the most controversial due in part to the fact that they can be some of the most inaccurate. THC may be present in hair up to 90 days after consumption. However, it’s possible for second-hand smoke to result in a positive test—people subject to hair testing should steer clear of the sesh.

Saliva drug tests

Mouth swabs are typically used to detect recent consumption. Some law enforcement agencies are even starting to try THC sativa tests during suspected marijuana DUI cases—however, whether they accurately prove impairment is dicey. Tests can vary, but one study found people tested positive for cannabis eight days after their last toke.

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How to detox from THC

There are many THC detox methods, ranging from natural body processes to drinks promising to cleanse the system. And while there are plenty of anecdotal reports of people purging the weed out quickly, the only foolproof way is time—and plenty of it.

Getting marijuana out of your system isn’t a fast process—it can take days or even weeks. Aside from abstaining completely from cannabis and avoiding second-hand smoke, here are some other steps you can take to flush the weed from your body.

Make a move

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to boost metabolism and, by proxy, get THC out of your system. Not to mention the fact that cannabinoids are stored in fat cells—theoretically, the fewer you have, the fewer places THC has to hide.

Switch up your diet

Another great way to promote metabolism is through food. When you eat meals high in fat and sugar, it takes longer for the body to process toxins. Maintaining a healthy diet of vegetables, legumes, grains, and fruits is sure to get you closer to your marijuana detox goals.


Hydration is one of the keys to overall health, especially during the detox process. Drink plenty of water, but don’t feel the need to chug gallons a day—while staying hydrated helps, it’s not going to flush your system completely. It’s also possible to overdo it on water—yes, you can actually O.D. on H20.

Do THC detox kits work?

THC detox drinks are marketed to people who need to pass a drug test fast. Users are instructed to down the beverage (usually along with copious amounts of water) within a certain time frame prior to urine testing. While the promise is never guaranteed, many anecdotal reviewers swear by this quick fix. 

These products typically contain a blend of herbal extracts thought to promote liver function, a key to detoxification processes. This often includes milk thistle, dandelion root, ginseng, cranberry, and turmeric. Vitamins and minerals such as B12 are typically added as well.

There are several issues with THC detox products, even if users claim they work wonders. The main issue is the unregulated nature of the industry—you simply don’t know for sure that the drinks are safe or effective. They may also lead to side effects, such as stomach upset. Some may also produce irregular urine (think radioactive green), which may arouse suspicion from the drug testers and could lead to automatic failure (especially if you’re on probation). 

That’s not to say that you can’t create your own detoxifying beverages at home to help promote the flushing of THC from your system. Teas made with lemon juice, turmeric, ginger, and cayenne pepper can help promote liver function. A spoonful of apple cider vinegar is also a great help. But when it comes to THC detox kits bought online: buyer beware.

marijuana detox
The only foolproof way to detox from THC is time, but there are ways to speed up the process. Photo: GreenState Team / Canva

Marijuana detox final thoughts

Detoxing THC from your body can be inspired by many things: a much-needed T-break, an upcoming drug test, and health concerns are just a few. Just remember: it can be a long-term process—months may pass before you are fully clean from cannabis.

While cannabis is not considered to be addictive, heavy consumers may suffer from marijuana withdrawal symptoms like irritability in the days after their last toke. However, these are mostly thought to be psychological and not physical. 

The marijuana detox journey takes time, and products that promise a quick fix may or may not provide the desired results. Lifestyle changes and abstinence are the best ways to detox from THC—just remember that if you light up again, your tolerance may not be what it once was. 


Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, Cannabis and Tech Today, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter