Need to detox from THC today? The effects of medical marijuana fade quickly, but cannabinoids can remain detectable within your system for many months. Here’s how to flush marijuana out of your system fast.
Patients enrolled in their state’s Medical Marijuana Registry Program are legally allowed to use THC to manage their qualifying condition. However, unfortunately, the recent legalization does not overrule an employer’s right to maintain a drug-and-alcohol-free workplace. Employers can, therefore, conduct random or scheduled drug testing on applicants and employees so long as those individuals are clearly informed of the company’s drug-testing policies.
Unfortunately, for both recreational and medical marijuana users, a failed drug test is currently considered fair grounds for dismissal. So, whether you’re interviewing for a new job or your employer has just tightened their drug testing policy, here’s everything you need to know about removing marijuana from your system and passing a drug test.
What Does Marijuana Leave Behind?
When a person smokes or consumes marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids enter the bloodstream. THC levels remain elevated for several hours, depending on the delivery method. Once your body metabolizes THC, the effects fade away, but by-products, known as metabolites, are left behind as evidence. THC metabolites are fat-soluble, which means they can be stored within fat cells. As you burn fat, the metabolites are released back into your system over the course of several months.
How Long Do Metabolites Stay in Your System?
Compared to other drugs, marijuana has one of the widest detection windows. In fact, it can take up to 30 days for a one-time cannabis consumer to test completely clear for THC, while a heavy cannabis consumer can test positive for up to 90 days after the last consumption. However, the exact length of time THC remains detectable with your system depends on a variety of factors, including:
- Frequency of use
- Consumption method
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Total body fat
- Exercise 
Detection Windows for Workplace Drug Testing
Workplace drug testing usually involves either urine or hair analysis, although some employers may request an on-the-spot blood or saliva test.
Urine analysis detects carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH), which is a metabolite released after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been processed by the body. It’s the most common type of drug test conducted in the workplace as it has a wider detection window and is relatively affordable.
According to Mayo Clinic, THC-COOH is detectable in urine for the following amounts of time after the last use:
- Occasional users (<3 x week): 3 days
- Moderate users (4 x week): 5 to 7 days
- Chronic users (daily): 10 to 15 days
- Chronic, heavy users (multiple times a day): 30 days or longer
Blood tests detect active levels of THC in your bloodstream and are the best indicator of recent cannabis consumption. However, due to a lack of clear evidence, blood tests cannot currently be used to indicate impairment or distinguish whether a person’s behavior is, or was, impacted by marijuana. 
THC will show up in a blood sample within 2 to 12 hours after the last consumption. However, metabolites can be detected in the blood for up to 3 weeks, as fat tissues gradually release THC back into the bloodstream.
Oral fluid or saliva testing is less commonly used for workplace drug testing. It involves collecting an oral swab from the lower gums, which is left in place for several minutes. These oral samples can contain cannabinoids or metabolites for up to 48 hours post cannabis consumption in occasional users, and up to 29 days in chronic, heavy users.
Hair testing has the longest window of detection, providing a history of drug use going back up to 90 days. Similar to urinalysis, hair testing measures THC-COOH metabolites rather than THC itself. These metabolites enter the hair follicle seven days after consumption and hence don’t test for current impairment.
How to get THC out of your system
Firstly, there are several “quick fixes” out there that promise fast and effective results, including detox teas, cranberry juice, vinegar, bleach, creatine pills, and niacin detox. These products are unproven or based on out-dated testing procedures. Instead, try the below methods:
Natural THC Detox
The most effective way to cleanse the body of THC is to completely abstain from consuming cannabis altogether. By committing to a THC cleanse, your body is able to naturally remove cannabinoids and their remaining metabolites from your system. You may be able to completely cleanse your body of THC within 4-6 weeks so long as you eat a high-fiber diet, drink plenty of water, and get at least 30 minutes of daily exercise.
While detoxing from THC can be easy for some, it can be challenging for others. It depends on how much cannabis you’ve been consuming and for how long. When a person has been using marijuana consistently for medicinal purposes, their body can have a volatile reaction with unpleasant, and even painful, withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Abdominal pains
- Shakiness or tremors
- Fever or chills
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Increased aggression
- Strange dreams
- Depressed mood
Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on your current usage. If you suspect that you might be addicted to marijuana, abruptly reducing your dose or stopping completely may cause significant disruption to your daily life and make it more difficult to wean off marijuana.  We recommend consulting with your doctor to discuss the safest way to reduce your reliance on marijuana.
Keep in mind; this natural method could take up to three months to completely cleanse your body of THC for a hair analysis.
How to Get Marijuana out of Your System (fast)
More often than not, drug tests are delivered with minimal notice, which means you don’t have adequate time to prepare. Although depending on the test, you may still be able to pass with this 24 hour THC detox:
If you’re hoping to pass a urine test in a hurry, drinking 1-2 liters of water throughout the day before your test might help to dilute your urine. Although be careful–drinking too much water can lead to a dangerous condition, called hyponatremia, during which the cells are flooded with water causing seizures, coma, and even death.
While drinking 1-2 liters per day will sufficiently dilute your urine, colorless urine is an immediate red flag for any testing lab. Therefore, it’s crucial that you mask your dilution attempt by taking a multivitamin, or preferably a vitamin B12 or B2 supplement several hours before your test. These water-soluble vitamins are very effective in darkening urine.
Laboratories also test urine samples for creatinine levels to determine whether the urine is purposefully diluted. Creatinine is a waste product produced when phosphocreatine is broken down for muscle metabolism. Over-the-counter creatine supplements can be used to increase your creatinine levels as creatine gets broken down into creatinine. So taking some extra creatine before your test won’t hurt.
When you’ve only got 24 hours to prepare, using a mouthwash, breath spray, or other oral rinses containing alcohol 30 minutes before may help prevent THC from appearing in an oral sample.
If you’ve got more than a week to prepare for a drug test, daily exercise, preferably high-intensity interval training, is recommended to boost your metabolism and remove as much remaining THC-COOH in your system. However, you should refrain from all exercise for at least 24 hours prior to your test. Exercise will break down fat cells, thus releasing any stored THC metabolites into your bloodstream.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there is no quick fix to get THC out of your system in a hurry. While there are some things you can do to mask the effects (e.g. water, mouthwash, etc.), the best way to ensure you are THC free is to go on a natural detox. However, if you’re a moderate to heavy user, you should consult your doctor before making any major decisions about your dosage or routine.