Can Exercise Help You Detox Before a Drug Test?

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The last words anyone wants to hear are, “But first we’ll just need you to take a drug test.” It seems like they always come without warning and no matter the reasons, it’s a stressful time. Whether you smoke weed every day, or took a hit at a party last night, you are probably here trying to figure out how to pass a drug test.

The internet is full of all kinds of crazy home remedies and drug testing myths. From using fake pee to flushing with niacin, everyone’s got a story about something they believed worked for them. While exercise seems like a practical way to help your body detox, does it actually work? Using exercise for detox does hold some benefits, but we did a little research to find out how effective it is as flushing out THC.

How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System

Unfortunately there isn’t a calculator for exact timelines because there are so many variables that determine how long weed stays in your system. If you smoke weed only once, you can probably pass a drug test in just a few days. However, if you smoke daily, it can take a month before you are fully clear of THC. Other factors, like body fat percentage, hydration level, and overall play a critical role in detox efforts.

In addition, the type of test matters. Urinalysis is the most common drug test because it’s affordable, fast, and detects THC use for up to 30 days. Mouth swab testing has a shorter window of just three days, and blood tests usually find traces within just a few days, but have caught THC metabolites for up to 14 days after last use. In the unfortunate event that you have to take a hair follicle test, you’re looking at a 90 day detection window.

Where Is THC Stored in Your Body?

Moments within smoking weed, THC levels infiltrate your bloodstream. THC is a fat-soluble molecule, and once it has been used up, it filters through the bloodstream and becomes a THC metabolite. Because it is fat-soluble, these inactive metabolites live in the body’s fat cells. The more fat you have, the more THC you can absorb. The metabolites reside here until the body burns fat. Then, the metabolites are released back into the bloodstream before being excreted through pee or feces.

Using Exercise to Detox THC

It makes perfect sense that fat-burning exercises will help you detox from THC. There is some truth to this statement. However, consider the full story before you hit that CrossFit class.

Will Exercise Help You Pass a Drug Test?

Consider this. You’ve been smoking weed regularly and have a drug test coming. Knowing that THC lives in your fat cells, and regularly moves out of your body via urine, you decide to hit the gym extra hard. What is happening to the THC metabolites? Is there an amount of time it takes to burn them all, and pee or sweat them out completely?

A 2013 study set out to explore whether or not exercise could help detox THC and the results were, well, disappointing. Regular cannabis users got on stationary bikes for 35 minutes of peddling. Before this, their THC levels were measured in their bloodstream. Their blood was tested again after the exercise and THC levels skyrocketed. Yes, they were burning fat, but it didn’t flush out all of the THC. Instead, it kind of “loosened” it up, causing a THC surge in the bloodstream. It’s assumed that the same would be true for a urinalysis when peeing after the workout.

What about exercising for several days prior to the drug test? Perhaps it could help remove more THC than without the exercise, but there is no evidence suggesting that exercise can help you pass a drug test. It’s best to find another approach if you really must pass a drug test.

Steps You Can Take to Pass a Drug Test

The best way to pass a drug test is with a multifaceted approach. The more effort and focus you can put into it, the better your chances of passing. Some tactics you can start right away, and others require the help of experts.

1. Stop using all substances right away

No more weed, vape pens, edibles, beverages, or other cannabis products. That includes and alternative cannabinoids. Today’s drug tests are not quite sophisticated enough to determine source of origin, so even a hemp-derived product can trigger a positive test result. Likewise, a full-spectrum CBD product with trace amounts of THC is still considered THC.

2. Adjust your diet

This is an easy way to support your body’s detoxification. Lighten the load on your digestive system and major detox organs (liver, kidneys) and they can focus on purging toxins more effectively. To do this, it’s best to temporarily give up wheat, gluten, sugar, dairy, alcohol, red meat, pork, fried food, and other troublesome processed foods. Instead, focus on leafy greens and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. If you prefer animal proteins, stick to fish and chicken.

3. Stay hydrated

With healthy, clear fluids if possible. Yes, pure cranberry juice can help flush your kidneys, but avoid caffeine and sugary drinks. Instead, drink at least two liters of water daily and add herbal teas to your daily routine.

4. Invest in a detox kit or detox drink

When failure is not an option, it’s time to bust out the big guns. Detox experts offer a full line of detox options to help you pass a urine, blood, or hair follicle test. Head to their website and you’re prompted to fill out a quiz based on your consumption, weight, and other details that help them find the right product for you. They offer cleanses based on toxicity levels, or timelines to testing. Opt for a , , or even a for those last-minute surprises.

While exercise can support your system before a drug test, it’s not a reliable or sure-fire method for passing. Follow the above steps and you’ll be on the right track to a passing test.

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