With the legalization (and decriminalization) of marijuana in several states across the U.S., it can be hard for people to know whether they should take a THC detox. It’s not an easy topic to tackle — there are many conflicting myths about how THC works in your body, and even if you’ve never smoked or otherwise used cannabis before, The Island Now says it can still be difficult to understand why some substances might cause negative side effects.
The good news is that there’s no need to panic. With a little knowledge, it’s possible to figure out which of those harmful byproducts will likely make their way into your body and what you might do to minimize them.
Here, we’re going to look at what marijuana actually does to your body when you smoke it, what it doesn’t do, and what you can do to mitigate any negative side effects without having to quit entirely.
Why should I do a THC detox?
It’s true that you shouldn’t smoke pot just because you want to detoxify your system of THC. The reason for this is that if you smoke too much, you could face potentially life-threatening respiratory problems, as well as other health risks like memory loss and anxiety.
However, there are plenty of reasons to do a THC detox, especially if you’ve been using regularly. If you have a medical condition that requires you to use prescription medication, you may be concerned about the interaction between THC and these medications. And if you’re someone who smokes weed all day long (or every day), then you may also be at risk for developing a dependence on cannabis. In that case, you’d probably benefit from a THC detox.
What does smoking weed actually do to my body?
When you first start smoking weed, you’ll notice that your heart rate increases slightly, but your breathing rate increases significantly. Because you inhale more oxygen than normal, the THC in your lungs will speed up your metabolism, resulting in a temporary weight gain.
There are some other, less noticeable changes that happen in your body after a few hits, such as increased blood pressure, dilation of your pupils, and a slight increase in body temperature — again, due to the rush of oxygen you get through inhalation.
You may notice that your sense of smell and taste become heightened, and you could experience a mild euphoria. This is also known as your “high” — although you don’t necessarily feel high all the time while you’re stoned. You’ll probably feel the effects of the drug within 30 minutes or so after smoking. But once you ingest cannabis, its effects will last longer.
How long do the effects of THC last?
If you smoke a small amount of weed once in awhile, you won’t experience any ill effects beyond the initial rush. However, if you smoke enough to induce a heavy high, the effects will last longer. For example, if you smoke half a joint, you’ll be able to drive around safely for a couple hours. If you smoke more frequently though, your symptoms could include nausea, dizziness, impaired coordination, and hallucinations.
In addition, if you start eating food while high, some of the cannabinoids in the plant can interact with your digestive enzymes, making it harder for your stomach to process food properly. This could lead to constipation, diarrhea, or nausea.
How does smoking affect my ability to concentrate?
The short answer to this question is that it depends on the type of weed you smoke. Smoking a strain high in CBD (short for cannabidiol) instead of THC can help improve your concentration and focus. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that people who smoked high doses of CBD were able to better remember information over a prolonged period compared to placebo subjects, while another study found that chronic users of CBD experienced decreases in anxiety.
On the other hand, smoking strains high in THC can impair your ability to pay attention. In one study, researchers gave participants either a placebo or THC-containing capsules under two conditions: when they weren’t distracted, or when they were distracted by listening to music. Participants who took THC performed worse on the tests, regardless of whether they were distracted. They also had difficulty remembering the list of words on the test, even if they weren’t being distracted.
What happens to me if I eat weed?
This is a common misconception about marijuana use. When you smoke weed, your body converts THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, which circulates in your bloodstream to bind to CB1 receptors located throughout your brain. These receptors stimulate your neurons and create a positive effect on mood and mental acuity.
But when you eat weed, your body can’t break down 11-hydroxy-THC. Instead, it creates metabolites called THCA and THCV, which act similarly to natural cannabinoids produced by your own body. These compounds aren’t psychoactive; they don’t produce any of the same euphoric reactions or physiological responses that THC produces. Rather, they simply interfere with the binding of naturally occurring cannabinoids to their receptors.
So why would you want to consume THC if it makes you less productive? The reason is simple: Many people believe that consuming THC instead of smoking it makes them happier and calmer. While that is certainly possible, the research isn’t conclusive. There’s evidence suggesting that both methods can provide similar benefits — but there’s also plenty of anecdotal evidence indicating that people who smoke THC tend to feel more relaxed and peaceful.
And in cases where people choose to consume THC because they find it more effective for treating pain, there’s also evidence showing that the drug can reduce inflammation in the body. So the decision to partake in a THC detox really comes down to personal preference.
Is vaping safer than smoking weed?
Some people think that vaping is less risky than smoking marijuana because vapor contains very little particulate matter. But the truth is that it’s impossible to completely eliminate all traces of tar and other carcinogens when you vape.
Even if you use a water vaporizer, you’ll still be exposed to the carcinogenic chemicals left behind on the heating coils. As a result, while you might be getting rid of most of the toxins in tobacco smoke, you’ll still be inhaling carcinogens in the form of CO2 and other gases.
Is taking CBD oil safe?
Many companies sell CBD products online and in stores, claiming that they contain only trace amounts of THC. That means that if you buy a product containing CBD, you can technically consume it without worrying about any potential interactions with THC or the other cannabinoids in your system.
However, some studies suggest that your body absorbs CBD differently depending on whether you take it orally or topically. One study in particular found that when taken orally, the compound was absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, whereas topical applications led to less absorption.
In general, researchers recommend taking hemp extract supplements in moderation, rather than in large daily doses. It’s also important to avoid combining CBD with THC, since doing so can potentially increase the chances of experiencing the intoxicating effects of marijuana.
What else can I do to get weed out of my system?
One thing that lots of people miss about smoking weed is that the experience itself isn’t always bad. There are moments during a high when you can sit back and enjoy yourself, even though you might be feeling uncomfortable. So you might consider taking advantage of these moments to exercise or meditate — activities that are sure to boost your energy levels and help you relax.
Another option is to try getting a massage. Studies show that your endocannabinoid system responds positively to physical touch, and massages can help relieve stress and promote relaxation. Massage therapists can offer a variety of therapeutic techniques, including deep tissue work, Swedish, sports, trigger point therapy, and aromatherapy.
If you’re worried about the side effects of cannabis withdrawal, it’s worth considering that many of the symptoms disappear when you stop smoking altogether. Many people report that the worst part of quitting marijuana is dealing with the hangover the next morning. Once you’ve kicked the habit, you should see improvements in your sleep quality, appetite, energy level, and overall outlook on life.
Ultimately, it’s important to learn more about the effects of marijuana on your body and decide for yourself whether you want to continue using it. If you’re feeling anxious or depressed after smoking, you might want to talk to a doctor about getting professional help.