Marijuana is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 48.2 million people, or 18%, of Americans used marijuana at least once in 2019, CDC notes.
It is generally thought that traces of marijuana use can remain in someone’s system for as long as a month. Other drugs do not stay in your system as long as marijuana does because they are broken down much faster than marijuana, which means that traces of it can remain in your body much longer than other substances or medications can.
Depending on the test used to detect marijuana in someone’s system, they could be given the wrong impression that the drug is flushed out mere days or even hours after the last use. Case in point, a urine test that detects the presence of THC-COOH is not actually an indicator of marijuana, but rather a byproduct of it.
The truth about how long marijuana stays in your system depends on several factors. How much do you weigh? How often do you smoke? How long have you been smoking? If you are a light smoker and have only been smoking for a short period of time, then it is likely that the traces of marijuana will leave your system within a week. However, if you are a heavy smoker or have been smoking for a long period of time, then it could take up to a month for the traces of marijuana to leave your system.
Speeding Up the Detoxing Process
For those needing to cleanse themselves of marijuana from their system, there are several ways to speed up the detoxing process. Before you try any of them, however, it is important that you do some research. There are many safe and effective methods available that can help you speed up the process of ridding marijuana from your system.
Some ways to speed up the detoxing process include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. This will help flush out the toxins from your body and will also help to keep you hydrated.
- Eating healthy foods. This will help to give your body the nutrients that it needs while it is cleansing itself.
- Avoiding processed foods and sugary drinks, as these can actually be harmful to your body.
- Exercising daily. This will help to jump-start your metabolism and release toxins from your body through sweat. (However, be careful when exercising because extreme amounts of activity can actually cause THC-COOH to release back into your bloodstream.)
Marijuana Consumption and Benefits
Marijuana is a drug that is used to treat certain medical conditions. It is made from the dried flowers of the cannabis plant. The active ingredient in marijuana is THC. When marijuana is smoked, the THC enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain. There, it attaches to special cells called cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are found in areas of the brain that control movement, coordination, sensory perception, pleasure, thinking, memory, and appetite.
Marijuana can also be eaten or vaporized. When it is eaten, the THC is absorbed by the stomach and then travels to the liver. The liver changes the THC to another chemical called 11-hydroxy-THC. This active form of THC is stronger than the original and can result in unwanted side effects such as increased heart rate, shortness of breath, and anxiety.
When marijuana is vaporized, it is heated into a vapor and then inhaled into the lungs where it diffuses into the bloodstream very quickly. Vaporizing has been touted as a healthier way to use medical marijuana because there isn’t any burning involved which produces smoke that contains toxins and carcinogens.
Because marijuana contains THC, using the plant for medicinal purposes benefits many who suffer from certain ailments including anxiety, chronic pain, lack of appetite, and sleep disorders. For example, marijuana can help to treat or alleviate anxiety by stimulating brain receptors which control paranoia and allowing them to relax. Marijuana also relieves pain because it provides relief from muscle tension and reduces inflammation.
Other benefits of consuming marijuana include the ability to stimulate the appetite and reduce nausea. Moreover, because marijuana can be used as a sedative, it can help individuals to sleep better by suppressing nightmares and allowing them to rest peacefully.
John DiBella is a medical marijuana advocate, owner of The Sanctuary Wellness Institute, and a writer. When he’s not writing blogs about medical marijuana, he enjoys hiking, camping and sailing.