The most common reason people want to detox from THC is because of their job. Despite full legalization in 11 states and Washington D.C., many companies still require their employees to pass a urine test. In fact, most places will not even hire an individual who has traces of THC in their pee. As you may know, it’s not uncommon for traces of THC to stay in urine for up to 10 weeks, and if you are one of the 10% of the population who lost their job due to COVID-19, passing a drug test might be something you need to consider. It’s a situation that has forced people to look for help passing these employment-based drug tests without much notice, thus entering the tricky world of finding the best way to detox from THC.
The only way to be positive you will pass a drug test is to refrain from consuming THC for 2-3 months, but this is not a feasible timeline for those who recently lost their job and need to get back on the job market within a short period of time. For this reason, many turn to detox kits. By promising clean urine in a week or less, THC detox kits can help individuals get back to work sooner.
Detox kits usually come in the form of pills or liquids. Like anything else, you should be hyper-aware of what you’re putting into your body. So, before starting that pill regimen or downing a bottle of detox formula, here are some important things to know:
Look Out for “Milk Thistle”
Many detox products claim that their herbal blend contains ingredients that boost liver function, with milk thistle being the most prominent ingredient. According to a recent study conducted among alcoholics, marijuana users, and even hepatitis B and C patients, there is weak evidence for milk thistle’s effectiveness as a detox agent. In fact, there is evidence that shows the opposite – that milk thistle can actually be harmful to your detox and prolong it.
Milk Thistle is from a subset of compounds known as “2C9 inhibitors.” Chemicals from this class shut down the liver enzyme system of the same name. This causes a clear problem for people trying to detox THC, given these enzymes play a key role in the conversion of THC to THC-COOH, adding the carboxylic acid moiety. Without this step, the undigested THC continues to circulate in the system, getting stuck in fat and other tissues and can’t become water soluble and disposed of through urine.
Don’t Try a High-Oxalate Diet
You may have a positive association with oxalates since they are chemical compounds found in healthy vegetables such as spinach and beets. Some detox kits are banking on this association and pump their detox product full of this naturally occurring substance. But consuming large quantities of oxalate can be harmful. According to the University of Michigan, oxalates exit the body through urine, and too much oxalate can result in kidney stones. Be cautious with your oxalates!
Laxatives Are Not the Answer
Many detox kits feel like they’re working because you’re running to the bathroom frequently. Unfortunately, this suggests the presence of laxatives, which don’t aid in detoxing your system of THC. Watch out for products containing magnesium hydroxide, cascara, senna and rhubarb – any of these additions to detox blends can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance instead of helping. The dehydration contributed by these laxatives is also harmful in the testing process. Dehydration naturally concentrates the urine sample you will provide, increasing your odds of failure.
What is helpful, on the other hand, is fiber supplementation as it helps bind metabolites in the gut and prevents reabsorption.
If the detox blend doesn’t use ingredients that actually break down the cannabinoids so that they can pass through the nephron barrier, it doesn’t matter how much you pee – you aren’t flushing anything out.
This brings us to the ingredients that will. Our friends at Green Gone Detox, the only known THC detox company developed by pharmacists, helped us curate this list of five natural ingredients that will help you detox from THC. Green Gone’s detox formula blends all of these herbs together to create an efficient way to remove THC from the body.
1. Horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.)
The horsetail plant is an herbal remedy that dates back to ancient Roman and Greek times. Horsetail has traditionally been used as a diuretic (helps rid the body of excess fluid by increasing urine output). People who took horsetail experienced an increase in diuresis (urine output), which is exactly what is desired in a detox product. The horsetail is able to safely flush the body of THC, preventing it from getting reabsorbed. To get the full health benefits of horsetail, it is best combined with other medicinal plants like nettle, dandelion, white willow or psyllium husk.
2. White Willow (Salix alba)
Willow bark is the bark from several varieties of the willow tree and contains a chemical called salicin that is similar to aspirin. In terms of THC detox, Green Gone tells us: “We use 15% white willow extract in our kits to break down the binding between albumin [a protein made by the liver] and THC.” THC needs to be broken down in order to pass through the urine and the properties that make white willow an effective aspirin-like aid in this process. It also has very minimal side effects – something Green Gone considered when deciding to use it in their product.
3. Psyllium Husk
One of the most notable benefits of psyllium husk is that it’s a great source of fiber. Increasing your fiber intake gives the THC in your liver and digestive tract something to bind to. As the psyllium husk exits your body, so does the THC. Working in tandem with the other herbs, like horsetail, psyllium husk is especially great for detoxing marijuana edibles.
4. Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)
While you probably have some in your kitchen right now, you may not have known that sodium bicarbonate can help boost your body’s natural THC elimination process. It is also used in many health and wellness products – not just for baking or freshening up your refrigerator. The high pH of sodium bicarbonate makes it an excellent antacid. It also works to raise the pH of your blood, encouraging the acidic THC to make its way to your bloodstream and get flushed out of your system.
5. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
While St. John’s Wart is commonly known as a natural treatment for depression; a great potential for wound care; and a promoter for the production of liver enzymes, the herb is still under scrutiny in the medical community due to the lack of verified research.
Through the lens of detoxing, the herb is used to induce an optimal liver enzyme balance to boost your body’s own natural processes. Make sure you look into the side effects before using any products that contain St. John’s Wort.
These are just a few ingredients to look out for when trying to find a THC detox product that works. And they can all be found in Green Gone Detox’s all-natural, pharmacist developed detox products.
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