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General overview

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive chemical which is found in marijuana/cannabis. This plant has been used for many years for it's euphoric effects which it elicits, as well as for medical reasons to help manage chronic pain in cancer and to help suppress nausea caused by chemotherapeutic drugs.

THC is rapidly absorbed by the body and this occurs within seconds. The inhaled cannabis smoke is more rapidly absorbed than when the plant is ingested. Depending on how long one uses cannabis, as well as for the quantity which is being used, THC can remain in the body for a long period of time.

Factors affecting THC absorption

Unlike other substances such as nicotine and alcohol, which are water soluble, THC is fat soluble. This means that THC gets stored in the fat cells of the body.

Water soluble products will be metabolized and then excreted through the kidneys and the bladder more rapidly than what THC will be. For THC to be excreted through the urine, the fat cells where the THC is stored will have to breakdown first. If the involved individual uses a large amount of cannabis on a daily basis and over a long period of time, then THC will remain longer in the body.

Obesity plays a big role since the more fat cells there are in the body then the more THC will be stored and therefore more difficult to get rid of. A sedentary lifestyle will also reduce the metabolism of THC since exercise is needed to burn these cells off faster. A diet high in carbohydrates and refined foods will also lead to an increased number of fate cells in the body. 

What this then means is that any THC urine test will remain positive even when abstaining from cannabis use for anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months.

How to get rid of THC faster

There are ways that one can get fat cells in the body to break down faster and therefore help to get rid of THC that remains from chronic cannabis use. These are natural suggestions and they are as follows:

  • Stop smoking cannabis - the health benefits of not using cannabis are more than using it. One should speak to a doctor or rehab centre in order to aid in stopping cannabis use.
  • Drink plenty of water - water not only helps to flush out toxins from the body via the kidneys, but it also helps to prevent issues from the withdrawal effects of stopping cannabis use, such as dehydration from excessive sweating.
  • Eating healthy - cutting out highly refined and fatty foods from the diet can help reduce fat cell accumulation in the body.
  • Physical activity - exercising helps to increase the body's metabolic rate which will help in burning off fat cells faster. The increase in physical activity will also cause one to sweat more which is another route for the THC to be release. The best physical activities to perform are aerobic exercises such as biking, swimming and walking/jogging.


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