How to Use Cannabis to Boost Creativity

As a psychoactive plant, marijuana has long been used for its recreational as well as medicinal effects. Many long-term stoners say they use cannabis to boost creativity, citing the improved creative flow as one of their favorite aspects of the herb. Since there is overwhelming anecdotal evidence linking cannabis and creativity (and creators, for that matter), leading to the common acceptance of the idea in present cannabis culture

So, is our understanding of cannabis’ power to unlock our creative power true, or is just so much blown smoke? Here, we’ll delve into what science and research have to say about the relationship between cannabis and creativity. We’ll take a look at the science of creation and imagination before examining the role cannabis plays in opening up our connection to our creative mind. We’ll also include some guidance on the practical applications of cannabis (and cannabinoids) for harnessing your creative potential.

Creativity & Dopamine: Inside the Brain

Before we go further, we’ll need a cursory understanding how marijuana behaves in the brain. Marijuana contains cannabinoids (specifically THC) that act on our endocannabinoid system to mediate the production and reception of neurotransmitters. THC in particular stimulates dopamine production, which leads in turn to a better mood, relaxed mindset, and general sense of wellbeing.

The more dopamine the brain releases, the more intense the resulting feelings of euphoria become. This high often leads to increased creativity, improved mood, and reduced stress response. Dopamine, amplified by THC, helps regulate specific brain functions to improve focus, mental clarity, and sensory perception.

Creativity & Divergent Thinking

Creativity, based on research, is associated with the brain’s frontal lobe. When cannabis is consumed, it makes this area of the brain more active due to its ability to increase cerebral blood flow (CBF). The activities of these neurotransmitters spur creative outputs.

The frontal lobe also houses what’s called “creative divergent thinking.” One of the metrics in measuring creativity, it helps in coordinating abstract ideas for creative problem-solving. Divergent thinking is imperative for creativity—which is the ability to yield several solutions to a somewhat broad problem.

Divergent thinking is what makes creative thinkers creative. Examples of such are brainstorming, freewriting, and coming up with outside-the-box solutions.

Cannabis Connects Abstract Ideas

A 2015 study by the University College London, reveals that the psychoactive attributes of marijuana can potentially improve divergent thinking.  Cannabis increases the ability to form abstract connections leading to breakthroughs of inspiration and ideation.

However, it should be noted that this is only effective when appropriate doses of cannabis are consumed. As too much of this psychoactive plant may lead to the opposite effect.

Cannabis Improves Episodic Memory Retrieval

The memory of autobiographical events such as times, places, and so forth—which can be stated clearly and in detail, is what is called episodic memory. The recollection of these events is one of the main components of the episodic memory process.

Studies show that cannabis can enhance episodic memory retrieval. This improved retrieval of past events can make a person more creative by drawing upon more inspiration.

Cannabis Improves Pattern Recognition

Another important aspect of creativity is pattern recognition. It allows an individual to conclude any sort of data, whether it be visual, mathematical, or semantic.

Pattern recognition helps find solutions to a problem by noticing related things. It helps the brain curate multiple ideas and filters the most relevant one.

A Psychiatric Research study published in 2010, reveals that marijuana consumers show greater ability to connect seemingly disconnected words. Researchers have also found that cannabis users are more able to connect abstract ideas, see patterns easily, and produce more creative ideas.

How to Use Cannabis to Boost Creativity

While weed has been scientifically demonstrated to enhance creativity, it can also have the opposite effect. In circumstances such as using the wrong strains, overdosing, consuming it with the wrong people or environment—can hamper creative output.

Everyone has their level of tolerance and preference. The cannabinoids in weed may affect people differently. Below are some tips to use cannabis to enhance creativity.

  •     Use Cannabis that contains THC and CBD together

Lastly, when using marijuana to elevate creativity—choose cannabis products wisely. Cannabinoids, as mentioned above, affects people differently so it’s important to choose the right strain for you.

You may start by picking strains that contain a mix of THC and CBD. This is because CBD can prevent THC from producing an overpowering effect. This will allow you to become more focused and productive.

  • Pick the right strain – Different marijuana strains produce different effects. Sativa and sativa-dominant strains give a cerebral high which is more likely to boost creativity. On the other hand, indica and indica-dominant strains have a more relaxing, sedative effect. If engaging in creative work, it’s best to avoid overly sedative strains. Instead, pick strains that will make you more alert, energetic, and clear-headed.
  • Start with lower doses – When it comes to cannabis and creativity, proper dosage is key. If your goal is to consume weed to boost your creativity, it is always recommended to start with lower doses. Doing so will prevent the possibility of becoming too elevated, or too “high.”

If you’re consuming strains high in THC content and taking it in large doses, chances are, it may make you less creative. This is specifically because if THC content is high it may enhance divergent thinking but may weaken convergent thinking—which is also essential to creative thinking. What’s more is that studies show that a higher dose of THC (22mg) had a strong opposite impact while a lower dose of THC (5.5mg of 19% THC) increases the creative impact on fluency, flexibility, and originality. The research also infers that high doses of cannabis can, in reality, impair divergent thinking. Another reason not to overdose is that too much weed can promote anxiety and restlessness.

Best Drug Test Products of 2019

Drug testing is an unfortunate reality for millions of cannabis consumers across the US, even in states that have legalized the herb for recreational use. Unlike many substances that carry a much higher risk of abuse, dependence, and overdose (looking at you, opioids), the active ingredient in cannabis, THC, can hang around in your body’s fatty tissues for days, weeks, or even months after your last puff or edible. 

This makes passing drug tests daunting for cannabis consumers, especially those of us that take the herb regularly or prefer edibles over smoking or vaping. Even in legal states, testing positive for THC can disqualify you for a job (New York City recently adopted legislation that prohibits employers for testing for THC, but so far no other cities or states have followed suit). Without the best drug test products of 2019, your career might be in doubt.

Fortunately, there are ways to pass a drug test, even at very short notice. The key to pulling off a successful negative result is choosing a product that works; even the strictest observance of detox instructions can be foiled by subpar cleansing products. Here, we’ve compiled the best drug test products of 2019, each designed to help you pass.

We’ve broken down our list into four categories, with products created to help consumers pass urine, hair, and saliva drug tests (the three most common forms of drug testing), followed by an additional category for home drug testing kits. We’ll lay out what we like about each of the products listed here, along with any special considerations to make before purchase.

Criteria for Listing       

Before we begin, we should lay out a little bit of information about our selection process. Each of the products listed here has been personally and rigorously tested by our team. To make the cut to be considered one of the best drug test products of 2019, a product must be effective above all else — when used as directed, each of these products are effective for their indicated purposes. 

Secondly, they are safe for human consumption; while it may not be the best idea to use detox products very frequently, each of our best drug test products of 2019 are free of harmful ingredients that could cause adverse effects in the average consumer when used as directed. Finally, each of these products are simple to use and require no special equipment that isn’t included in the product.

Urine Drug Screen Products

best drug test products 2019

Urine drug screens are just now beginning to fall out of fashion, but they still dominate the drug testing industry and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Because of this, we focused our attention on this category in order to provide a broad variety of products for consumers of all levels and needs. While our personal favorite method for passing a urine drug screen is substitution, we’ll also talk about a few different detox options for when subbing out your sample isn’t an option.

  • Powdered Human Urine Kit – Unlike the powdered or premixed synthetic urine options available from other retailers, this kit consists of powdered human urine, ensuring that your sample won’t be flagged for tampering. The kit includes enough urine powder for your sample, contained within a convenient plastic vial. It also contains specialized warmers to bring your sample to temperature, as well as a highly accurate temperature strip that makes it easy to know when your sample is ready to go. While it’s more difficult to use this kit for a supervised drug test, it is our go-to for most pre-employment tests and a standout among the best drug test products of 2019. For more details about user experience, check out our detailed review of the powdered human urine kit from TestClear. We prefer this kit over competitors because it is:
    • Easy to use for unsupervised tests
    • User-friendly
    • Adaptable
    • The most reliable way to ensure a passing result on a urine drug test
    • Bulk discounts available when purchasing multiple kits
  • Toxin Rid Detox System – If you decide to go the detox route, a Detox System from Toxin Rid is our preferred method to ensure that your system is clear of THC on test day. Available from TestClear, each kit contains cleansing tablets to be taken with plenty of water that will help ignite your body’s natural cleansing capabilities, purging your system of THC. They also contain an electrolyte-mineral shot to boost cleansing, along with a dose of dietary fiber. Both of these components are to be taken on the day of testing. One of our favorite things about these kits is that they’re available in variable durations, from 1-day to 10-day detoxes. We recommend choosing the appropriate duration for your level of use — if you smoked a blunt with some buddies two weekends ago, the 1-day detox should suffice, but don’t expect the same results if you chief like Cheech (in which case, we recommend choosing the 10-day detox). When used appropriately, this is a reliable cleanse and one of the best drug test products of 2019. We describe our experience with the Toxin Rid Detox Systems here; we love the kit because it’s:
    • Relatively gentle on the body, making it a good choice for sensitive systems
    • Customizable according to your level of use
  • Mega Clean Detox Drink – When we need to pass a urine drug test in a pinch, this is the product we reach for. Suitable for occasional to moderate cannabis consumers, Mega Clean’s tropical punch flavor goes down easy and helps you pass a urine drug test for up to 5 hours from consumption, with maximum cleansing power at 3 hours. We recommend at least 48 hours of abstinence from THC prior to using Mega Clean, but lighter consumers may be able to get away with less. When used as directed, Mega Clean will help ensure a clean result on test day. This is one of our tried-and-true products and an absolute staple of the best drug test products of 2019. We talk about our experience with Mega Clean in detail here, but we like it most because it is:
    • Palatable for most consumers
    • Effective when used as directed
    • Excellent for short-notice tests
    • Bulk discounts available on multiple bottles from TestClear
  • XXtra Clean Detox Drink – An extra-concentrated detox drink designed to flush the systems of moderate to heavy consumers, XXtra Clean is our choice for short-notice cleansing for heavy consumers. If you’re a daily user, XXtra Clean will help you pass your test when used as directed (though we strongly recommend at least 48 hours of abstention prior to testing). Like Mega Clean, XXtra Clean provides a 5-hour window during which you will test clean, with maximum effect at 3 hours. Check our our detailed review here for more information on why we consider XXtra Clean one of the best drug test products of 2019. We like XXtra Clean because it is:
    • Potent and effective for moderate to heavy consumers
    • Tropical fruit flavor goes down smoothly
    • Effective for short-term detoxing
    • Bulk discounts available from TestClear on purchases of multiple bottles

Hair Drug Screen Products

best drug test products of 2019

While they’re far less common than urine drug screens, hair tests are pretty intimidating. This is because, unlike other types of tests, hair drug tests detect substances up to 90 days from consumption (and even longer, though these tests only look at a 1.5 inches of hair, about 90 days worth of growth for the average person). There are several methods out there that attempt to strip traces of THC and other substances from the hair shaft, but most of these involve repeated bleaching and recoloring of hair (we can feel hairdressers everywhere cringing at the mere mention of it), causing substantial damage to your hair. 

Fortunately, there are cleansing shampoos available that work to effectively remove THC and other substances from the hair shaft without frying your hair. So before you reach for the bleach — or worse, the razor! — check out our top cleansing shampoos to help you pass your drug test and save your tresses.

  • Aloe Toxin Rid Shampoo – With its fresh scent and powerful cleansing properties, this shampoo is our favorite product to help us pass hair drug tests. While it’s a bit pricey, a little goes a very long way (and you’ll only need to focus the product on the hair closest to the scalp at the crown of the head, since this is where testing administrators will take their sample from) and it is effective. Wash your hair as many times as you’re able to before your test for thorough cleansing — the aloe vera extract helps smooth and condition hair, returning the moisture lost during cleansing (you can read about our experience with the shampoo here). Aloe Toxin Rid Shampoo is one of the best drug test products of 2019 and our go-to cleanser because it is:
    • Effective for even heavy consumers
    • Gentle on hair, sparing your follicles from damage
  • Zydot Ultra Clean Shampoo – This three-part system is a great way to amp up your cleansing routine for ultimate cleanliness and confidence. First, the shampoo opens up the hair’s structure to reveal the core within. Then, the purifier removes contaminants and cleanses the hair shaft thoroughly. Finally, the conditioner restores moisture and manageability, adding shine and sealing the cuticle of the hair to reduce damage. We prefer to use this product in addition to the Aloe Toxin Rid shampoo rather than as a replacement, especially for frequent consumers. Our favorite way to use it is as a final deep clean before testing — the conditioning step is excellent for nourishing hair that’s a little bedraggled from intensive cleansing. Check out our detailed review here; we consider Zydot Ultra Clean one of the best drug test products of 2019 because it:
    • Works well for all hair types and minimizes damages
    • Effectively cleanses hair of contaminants without excessive dryness
    • Bulk discounts available  from TestClear on purchases of multiple units

Saliva Drug Screen Products

best drug test products of 2019

The saliva test is growing in popularity among employers, and for good reason: mouth swabs are much less invasive than urine or blood tests and, unlike urine screens, saliva tests give a sense of recent THC consumption over long-term usage patterns. A test administrator swabs the subject’s mouth, then tests the saliva for THC and any other substances.

Since THC doesn’t hang out in saliva nearly as long as it does in urine or hair (48 hours as opposed to weeks or even months), this makes saliva tests much easier to beat than other types of testing. This is the only category with a single product, and it isn’t for no reason — this is our go-to, failsafe product that has never let us down. We’ve passed saliva tests after smoking less than an hour before the test using this stuff, and it’s achieved “swear by it” status among our testers.

  • Toxin Rid Rescue Wash Mouthwash – While the taste of this mouthwash isn’t our favorite (it’s intensely tingly and makes for an, um, interesting sensory experience), it is outstanding at removing THC from saliva before testing. We’ve obtained clean results with this product every single time we’ve used it, even after smoking just an hour before testing. We can see Rescue Wash being especially helpful to keep on hand if your company uses mouth swabs for their random drug testing program — just rinse twice according to the directions, and you’re good to go! Check out our full review here; Rescue Wash is absolutely one of the best drug test products of 2019 and our favorite way to pass a saliva test because it:
    • Works consistently, even on extremely short notice
    • Thoroughly cleanses saliva of trace substances, including THC
    • Is very user-friendly and practically foolproof
    • Bulk discounts available from TestClear on purchases of multiple units

At-Home Drug Testing Products

best drug test products 2019

There are a variety of reasons you might want or need to take a drug test at home. Perhaps you want to make sure that your detox worked before the big day, or maybe you’re monitoring the presence of THC in your system for a tolerance break or for medical purposes. Whatever your reasons, it’s important to choose a test you can be confident in using. Here are the best drug testing products of 2019 when it comes to home testing kits. Available in bulk or individually, these drug testing kits are simple to use and provide accurate, consistent results. Note that each of these kits are also available for other substances, but we focused our attention on THC-specific testing kits.

  • Marijuana Urine Drug Test Kit – This urine drug test kit contains the testing apparatus, which is similar in design to a pregnancy or other urine test. To use the test, immerse the tip of the testing stick into your sample for 10 seconds, then cap the testing stick and allow the urine to be absorbed into the results window. The kit is very easy to use and provides reliable, accurate results (you can read up on our experience with it here). This is our favorite THC urine drug test and one of the best drug test products of 2019 because it:
    • Is easy to use without any mess or stress
    • Provides quick and accurate results
    • Available at a discount from TestClear when purchasing multiple kits
  • Marijuana Saliva Drug Test Kit – Once you know what you’re doing, this kit is easy to use: simply unwrap the sanitary swab included in the kit, then hold it in your mouth for 1-3 minutes, until it is sufficiently saturated with saliva. Then, insert the swab into the testing apparatus and snap it down securely. This squeezes the saliva out of the swab and onto the testing panels. The testing kit works quickly and unobtrusively while maintaining accuracy (read about our experience with it here). This simple swab is hands-down one of the best drug test products of 2019 for its simplicity and accuracy. We like it best because it’s:
    • Easy to use 
    • Gives quick results
    • Available at a discount through TestClear when purchasing multiple kits

Takeaway

Don’t gamble with your career or legal status — choose reliable products to help you pass your drug test. When combined with responsible pre-cleanse habits and hygiene, these products will help reduce the risk of a positive result. To find the best product for your body, we recommend conducting a “dry run” beforehand to test yourself in advance. This offers you the opportunity to make any necessary adjustments well in advance of the big day itself.

How to Choose a Drug Test Cleanse that Actually Works

Drug testing, whether for employment or legal/insurance purposes, is an unfortunate fact of life for many of us. We at Key to Cannabis believe that THC and CBD use should not impact your career and want to help you make informed decisions about any cleansing or substitution products you choose. 

In a crowded market of flashy packages on cleansing products that practically promise the moon, how do you find the things that live up to their labeling? Here, we’ll break down how to choose a drug test cleanse that actually works. We’ll outline the things you need to know choosing a product to help you pass your drug test, what to look for in a provider, and how to optimize your chances of passing.

A General Note on the Drug Testing Industry

how to find a drug test cleanse that actually works

As we talk about how to choose a drug testing product, we’ll need a certain level of understanding of the relationship between the drug testing industry and the companies creating products designed to “spoof” those tests. These two fields are locked in an arms race of sorts, a self-sustaining cycle that creates an ever-evolving line of products. As testing companies create tests capable of detecting things like dilution or substitution, cleansing companies reformulate their products to meet the requirements of the new tests. 

Because the two industries are at constant war with each other, the product that worked last year might not work on Tuesday of next week, and what works for a small lab in Poteet, TX might not fly at a major testing lab in San Diego, CA. Your odds are affected by where you are and the type of test you’ll be taking, but ultimately, it’s still a bit of a gamble every time.

With that in mind, it’s important to choose cleansing and substitution products that are on the cutting edge of drug testing technology. Using the best products available will give you the best chance of passing your drug test, even accounting for all other factors.

Types of Drug Test Products:  Cleansing

how to find a drug test cleanse that actually works

Drug test products marketed as “cleansing” are sort of right — but also sort of not. Because THC sticks around for so long in the body (it attaches to fat rather than water, making it very hard to flush out effectively), there isn’t a way to truly cleanse your body of THC quickly. The only way to do that is to abstain completely, often for months if you’ve been a heavy consumer for a long time. 

So, if these products don’t truly cleanse your body, then what do they do? Drug test cleansers like drinks and detox systems work by a few different mechanisms (more in a moment) to give you a short window of time during which you will test clean. After this window, THC will again show up in your system, so time is of the essence when testing using a urine cleansing product. 

First, these products use ingredients like cayenne pepper, dandelion, and turmeric to purge surface cells of THC so that it can be flushed away by the kidneys. Second, diuretic ingredients like caffeine and cranberry extract are used to induce flushing of the system. Finally, masking ingredients like B vitamins are used to improve the chemical content of the urine and avoid diluting it too far to be tested.

When looking for a cleansing product, it’s also important to keep in mind that the longer you abstain from cannabis before your test, the better off you’ll be. In a perfect world, you’d have a week or more of advance notice — but that’s not usually the case. If we’re going to go the cleansing route, we feel that at least three days of abstinence is necessary to produce a passing result (and that’s just us personally — your mileage may vary here, by a little or a lot). 

The exception here is saliva cleansing products like Rescue Wash Mouthwash — we smoked an hour before our test and still passed with flying colors. For urine cleansing, however, much longer periods of abstinence are required, and that may not be an option for you. In that instance, you still have another option:  substitution.

Types of Drug Test Products:  Substitution

how to find a drug test cleanse that actually works

Unlike cleansing products, which attempt to make your own urine into passing urine, substitution products aim to create an artificial urine that will pass the test for you. Substitution products may be premixed or powdered (we strongly prefer the powdered versions) and contain essential ingredients like urea, B vitamins, amino acids, uric acid, and creatinine, creating a version that behaves exactly like the real thing. 

The problem with some substitution products is that they’re sometimes behind on the latest technology, which can lead to formulas that can cause you to fail. This is primarily a problem with premixed urine substitutes, which may contain additives or preservatives that can trigger a red flag for the testing agency. Additionally, ingredients like biocides should be avoided, as many tests search for their presence in samples (they interfere with the enzymes that the test relies on). 

Drug Test Product Sellers

how to find a drug test cleanse that actually works

Just like the products they sell, not all drug testing product retailers are trustworthy. There are products that are available from Amazon, GNC, and other major retailers (often at bargain-basement prices), but these products don’t stand by the products they sell — if it doesn’t work, you’re up a certain creek without a paddle. 

Additionally, they won’t be able to tell you anything about how the product works or whether it will work for your particular situation. You might save money in the short term, but that savings won’t be of much help if you lose your job or miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime because you failed your drug test.

We prefer to use TestClear for our drug testing needs. Drug testing is TestClear’s entire business — they stand behind the products they carry, provide outstanding customer service, and can advise you on what product will best suit your needs and the test you’ll be taking. They provide guaranteed shipping to ensure that your order arrives when you need it, and all reviews on their website are from verified consumers.

Takeaway

Because drug testing is such a high-stakes issue, we feel that it’s important to choose the most advanced, reliable products available to help ensure you pass. We trust TestClear and their drug testing experts for our cleansing and substitution needs — we’ve had outstanding results with their products and their team of friendly, helpful drug testing pros can answer questions any time. Next to their competitors, TestClear stands apart; their customer-focused approach and attention to detail make them an exceptional source for your drug testing needs.

 

What is Live Resin and Why Should You Try It

With so many new cannabis products emerging, it’s hard to keep up. One innovative form of cannabis concentrates has recently garnished tons of attention, especially among medical cannabis users. Live resin, which is often referred to as the “freshest form” of cannabis concentrate, is different from other concentrate products in many ways. Understanding this unique product, how it’s made, and all the added benefits it may carry will help you see why you should be using this magical stuff for yourself. 

What is Live Resin?

what is live resin why should you try it

Live resin is one of the newest forms of cannabis concentrates and is considered to be a form of Butane Hash Oil (BHO). It differs from other forms of BHO (and most concentrates) in multiple ways that make it more appealing for some users, especially those hoping to reap the many medicinal benefits associated with the cannabis plant. Unlike other concentrates, which are generally processed from dried cannabis flower, this concentrate is made using nearly the entire plant immediately after harvest. Making it requires expensive, high-quality equipment (which need to be operated by professionals), so it isn’t the type of concentrate you can make at home

To make live resin, the stalk, leaves, stems, and flower of freshly harvested cannabis plants are cryogenically frozen, and then blasted with Butane at temperatures below -20 degrees Fahrenheit. The butane-based extraction process removes all of the trichomes from the plant material, which includes the “full spectrum” of the plant’s cannabinoid and terpene profile. 

The collected material is then dried in a vacuum chamber at low temperatures, which allows sensitive terpenes (like Myrcene) to be better preserved. The resulting material is a concentrated, full spectrum cannabis product that contains more terpenes than many other concentrate formulation. Because the product is made from a fresher source (frozen, not dried cannabis) and contains the full spectrum of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes, many people consider it to be more “pure” and of higher medicinal value than other products. 

Live Resin Gives a Fresher Experience than Other Concentrates

what is live resin why you should try it terpenes

Though other types of cannabis concentrates are popular, live resin offers a unique sensory experience that is closer to smoking bud. Many concentrate products lose quite a bit of their terpene content during the extraction process. 

Terpenes are responsible for most of the flavor and aroma of the cannabis plant, therefore many concentrates have a “bland” aroma compared to cannabis flower. Live resin, however, maintains most of its original terpene content and is made from fresher plant material. Because of its fresh source, it also contains more water than other cannabis concentrates, making it a bit more viscous. When these characteristics combine, you get a concentrate product that offers the same fresh, skunky aroma and bold cannabis flavor that many smokers love. 

Medical Users Gravitate Towards Live Resin for Boosted Effects

what is live resin why you should try it

Further, many people believe that live resin offers boosted medicinal effects since it offers a cannabinoid and terpene profile that is closer to cannabis in its natural state. The increased terpene and cannabinoid contents are thought to lead to greater synergistic effects. Plus, many terpenes found in cannabis have been linked to their very own therapeutic effects. Though there are no studies yet to prove that this concentrate has any more medical value than other concentrates or cannabis products, it definitely yields some pretty significant psychoactive effects.

There are no arguments that live resin is a much fresher product, since comparing live resin to other BHO products is essentially like comparing flash frozen vegetables to canned. Many people comment on the tailored, detailed “high” they get from these products, too, which may be why it is sometimes considered the “cognac” of cannabis concentrates. 

How to Use Live Resin

what is live resin why you should try it

Though live resin is different from other types of concentrates in many ways, it’s consumed in a similar manner. The most popular way to consume it is with a dab rig (oil rig), and this is often considered the only way to reap the full potential of the concentrated cannabis product. However, dab rigs are not always convenient, since they require some extra tools and aren’t very discreet. The concentrate can also be added to some vaporizer models for reaping its benefits on the go. 

For users who have experience with concentrates, using live resin will feel like second nature. Anyone who hasn’t used cannabis concentrates before should use live resin with caution, starting with small doses until you know how concentrated cannabis will affect you. If you use other cannabis products with no issue, chances are you’ll have no problem with live resin, either. All in all, live resin is a high-quality, concentrated cannabis product that provides a flavorful, therapeutic smoking experience that all cannabis users can love. 

Takeaway

Live resin offers a unique experience compared to other concentrates. Its high content of terpenes, flavonoids, and other beneficial compounds make dabbing closer to smoking flower, but without the harshness often caused by combustion. If you enjoy a rich, flavorful concentrate experience, we recommend dabbing live resin — use lower temperatures to keep the flavor as vibrant as possible.

What is a Volcano Vaporizer and Why Should You Use One

Cannabis is everywhere, and people are eating it, drinking it, smoking it, rubbing it on their skin, and vaporizing it to reap the benefits of the wholesome plant. One consumption method that’s recently gained a lot of traction is vaping, which offers a new spin on traditional smoking methods. 

Whether you’re a new user looking for a high-quality way to start vaping cannabis, or a canna-connoisseur looking to upgrade your vape, the Volcano Vaporizer has a lot to offer. If you’ve been around the cannabis-market block once or twice, Volcano is a name you’ve likely heard before. But until you experience the vaporizer’s power for yourself, it’s almost an enigma—the type of vaping experience you assume you’d have at a high-end cannabis lounge.

Luckily, you can have the same high-quality vaping experience in your own home with one of Volcano’s many devices, assuming you’re just as impressed with the product’s specs as we are. We’ll discuss the Volcano vaporizer in detail — what we love about it, who it’s best for, and how to get the most out of it.

Volcano Vaporizer is an Industry Leading Vaping Device

what is a volcano vaporizer

The Volcano Vapor is made by Storz & Bickel, a vapor tech company that originated in Germany and hit the European and American markets in the late 90’s. The Volcano Vaporizer refers to their most iconic models, the Volcano table top vaporizer that hit the shelves in 2000. These devices are similar to other handheld devices in that they have a dry herb chamber and work to gently heat the cannabis to the point of vaporization. 

From there, the Volcano totally changes the game, passing the vaporized cannabis into a “balloon,” or attached bag that holds air. This balloon, made from food safe, flavorless, odorless materials, comes in two sizes, including “standard” and “XL.” The filling chamber on these vaporizers is generally larger than portable, single-use style vapes, and the vapor balloon holds quite a bit of active, THC-infused vapor. 

You can choose from a couple of options with their Easy Valve filling Chambers that allow you to vaporize both dry herb material and liquids. This innovative style of vaporizer was the first of its kind and provides several benefits where other vaping devices may falter. The Volcano Vaporizer is also suitable for vaping cannabis with larger groups, unlike some handheld devices that quickly overheat after consistent use. 

The balloon style mechanism also separates the vaping experience from the heating chamber. This is a huge plus when considering the dangers of handheld vapes, especially low-quality handhelds that have been known to malfunction or combust while in use. Plus, when the Volcano vaporizer first emerged, it offered a unique opportunity for caregivers to prepare a medical cannabis dose for ill patients. Now, the Volcano Vaporizer continues to lead the industry in quality and design, and their conical, metal vaporizers have become the icon for a high-quality vaping experience.

Why Does The Quality of Your Vaping Device Matter?

what is a volcano vaporizer why try one

When looking to buy a cannabis vaping device, you’ll find that there are many alternative options. However, the Volcano Vaporizer offers a level of quality unmatched by most vape brands. Those who are new to vaping or who do not understand the mechanics of vaporized cannabis may not understand the necessity of a high-quality vaping device.

The therapeutic and medicinal effects of cannabis are linked to one or more of hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes naturally found in the cannabis plant. These cannabis molecules are often incredibly sensitive, and many degrade quickly under inappropriate environmental conditions. Low-quality vaporizers often have a tendency to vaporize cannabis at too high of a temperature, which may burn away many of these beneficial compounds before inhalation.

Many poorly designed vaping devices are also inefficient and waste much of the plant material placed inside. Some vaporizers that utilize high temperatures may actually combust the plant material, which is no different than smoking cannabis. When using a Volcano Vaporizer, the vapor will contain most of the beneficial terpenes and Cannabinoids from the material you place inside. The leftover plant material, or Already-Vaped-Bud (AVB), will be of good quality, too, and perfect for using your AVB to make edibles later.

Benefits of Vaping vs Smoking Cannabis

what is a volcano vaporizer why try one

Many people are turning to vaping over smoking, which is why vaporizers like the Volcano are in high demand. There are several benefits to vaping cannabis over smoking. First, it’s important to note that the product of combustion, smoke, is harmful to the lungs. This is true for any kind of smoke, not just when smoking cannabis. Although research is limited, many speculate that vaping cannabis is easier on the lungs. 

Also, vaping cannabis gives users greater control over dosing, while providing the ability to easily use additives or flavored vape oils to further customize the vaping experience. Vaping usually provides less smell, too. Although you can still experience the pleasurable, floral aroma of fresh cannabis bud when adding it to the chamber, the smell of vapor fades more quickly than smoke and won’t stick to your clothes and hair the same way. 

The popularity of vaping has skyrocketed in recent years and is expected to continue to rise in popularity. For many, vaping provides a clean, discreet, and effective cannabis experience. For others, the Volcano Vaporizer is the best way to utilize the benefits of cannabis both during social and solo sessions. 

Takeaway

Volcano vaporizers are popular among cannabis connoisseurs, and for good reason. They are an effective and highly customizable way to consume flower, concentrates, and other cannabis and CBD products. The vapor they produce is gentler on the lungs than harsh smoke and makes an excellent alternative to combustion for people choosing to use cannabis or hemp medicinally as well as recreationally.

 

How to Get as High as Possible with THC

It stands to reason that most people who are enthusiasts of the green stuff are keen to increase their high. This article is not for novices, this article is for experienced consumers who are used to feeling a certain way after they smoke and are looking to take the effects to the next level. If you aren’t getting the experience that you’ve been hoping for, here are 5 top tips to get even more out of your cannabis.

1. Choose High THC Strains

Ok, it’s an obvious tip, but it’s definitely going to work. The average strain only has a THC content of between 12% and 18%, and while that might be adequate for some, it isn’t going to maximize your experience. Look for strains with a higher amount of THC—there are varieties out there with THC levels of over 30%, so shop wisely!

2. Use Terpenes to Your Advantage

It’s not all about THC percentages, terpene content is arguably just as important. Why? Because terpenes modulate the effects of THCand other cannabinoids in your system. In other words, terpenes interact with the endocannabinoid system to facilitate the onset of your high. Certain terpenes like myrcene will make you feel higher, while others like limonene will act as a mood enhancer. That’s why it’s important to select a strain based on terpene content in addition to overall cannabinoid potency. The terpenes will significantly impact the actual effects you feel with each strain. To better illustrate this point, consider a high-myrcene strain that only tests at 18% THC versus a high-limonene strain testing at 23%–which will get you higher? For most people, the high-myrcene strain will make them feel higher despite having a lower overall THC content—crazy right? You can also blend cannabinoid and terpene profiles by combining strains in a bowl, joint, or vaporizer—the diverse spectrum of psychoactive compounds will induce a more powerful high.

3. Try Edibles

When you smoke cannabis, the THC goes straight to the brain for an instant but short-lived high. On the other hand, if you consume edibles, you’ll find that you’ll have a longer and more intense high. Be warned, it takes longer for edibles to kick in because they have to be processed by your digestive system, but you’ll find the high to be exceptionally more powerful and long lasting. In fact, the psychoactive effects of cannabis are enhanced through the digestive process as THC is converted to the more psychoactive 11-hydroxy-THC by the liver. This compound has more profound psychoactive effects than the original THC. You can also make edibles at home, as strong as you like.

4. Physical Exercise

Exercise ramps up your blood flow and releases chemicals like dopamine and adrenaline that make you feel good. THC will enhance these feelings—exercise will also speed up the onset time of your high. A 2013 academic study demonstrated that exercise enhances plasma THC levels in regular cannabis users. Overall, these results suggest that exercise may elevate blood THC levels by releasing dormant THC from fat stores. Need some ideas for your next workout?

5. Upgrade Your Equipment

You may not be getting the high that you’ve been hoping for because you’re using a poor quality vaporizer. Sub-standard devices don’t fully vaporize your flower, so if you’re determined to take your cannabis experience to the next level, invest in a quality vape. The Mighty Vaporizer is a great choice. This unit is super easy to use, small enough to be portable, and equipped with a powerful convection & conduction heating system. You won’t be disappointed by its battery life, and you can rest assured that you’ll be getting the most out of your high with this tried and tested stalwart of the vaping scene. The Mighty vape is an essential addition to your stash (it comes from the same folks that make the legendary Volcano Vaporizer).

BONUS:

Last but not least, you could take a tolerance break. Although, we didn’t include this as an official tip in the list because it requires you take a break from consuming cannabis altogether—it certainly won’t help you make the most of your current stash. So, there you have it—the top 5 tips for getting as high as possible. Enjoy!

How to Use THC and CBD for Synergistic Effects

While THC, the component in cannabis responsible for the “high” feeling, gets most of the attention and press (after all, psychoactives tend to be flashy as chemical compounds go), scientists as well as the general public are becoming more aware of another component of cannabis with medical properties: CBD. CBD has gained traction in recent years, though its role in the cannabis experience is still not entirely clear. What is clear are its therapeutic benefits, with potential applications in everything from sleep disorders to chronic pain to post-traumatic stress disorder to inflammatory bowel diseases.

In addition to its own properties, there is some evidence to suggest that CBD may work in conjunction with THC and other cannabinoids, producing synergistic effects not produced by the individual components on their own. This theory is commonly known as the Entourage Effect and is widely accepted among cannabis consumer circles. There is some evidence to support a synergistic relationship in particular between THC and CBD, meaning the two compounds may be able to work in tandem to produce effects not present in either’s pure form.

Cannabis Composition

Cannabis is a complex plant, made of over 400 chemical components.  Of these, over 113 are classified as cannabinoids, meaning they bind with cannabinoid receptors all throughout the body. You also produce cannabinoids naturally (these are called endocannabinoidsand contribute to that feeling of calm and well-being often experienced after exercise, especially endurance activities), which is why you have receptors for them in your central nervous system. The cannabinoids produced by cannabis, known as phytocannabinoids, act in a similar manner to produce similar feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and pain relief.

However, not all cannabinoids are created equal, and each cannabinoid compound acts in a different way to produce different effects. THC is the most notorious of cannabinoids for its psychoactive, euphoria-inducing effects as well as its potential to cause unpleasant side effects such as anxiety and paranoia, especially at high doses. It does produce medicinal effects, particularly relating to pain and inflammation relief, but many people cannot or do not wish to take it at high doses because they do not wish to feel impaired by its psychoactive effects.

CBD is also a cannabinoid, but lacks THC’s psychoactive effects, meaning that no amount of CBD is going to get you high. However, like THC, it also provides medicinal benefits such as relief for chronic pain, anxiety, and nausea, as well as potential benefits for diseases ranging from cardiovascular illness to stroke to diabetes. In particular, CBD appears to be a promising treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy. While much more research is needed, preliminary results are positive and, since it doesn’t carry potential for abuse, CBD can be ordered online and shipped to all 50 states in the U.S.

In addition to THC and CBD, a third class of chemicals, called terpenoids, may be helping to boost the effects of other cannabinoids.  Terpenoids are naturally found in many fragrant plants and foods (you know the legend that mangoes help get you higher? Terpenoids are the chemical responsible both for the mango’s rich scent and its ability to level up your high), including cannabis. Terpenoids provide cannabis with more than just its skunky aroma, they may also help “prime” your cannabinoid receptors, allowing them to respond more readily to cannabinoids.

So, we know that CBD and THC can be used independently (in the form of isolated concentrates) to produce different effects, but what about using them together, as we do when we consume whole flower and whole-plant concentrates? If you’re a medical consumer in particular, there are benefits to consuming THC and CBD together, and there is evidence to suggest a synergistic relationship between the effects of THC and CBD in treating a variety of conditions.

Synergy Between THC and CBD

Some studies have hinted at a synergistic relationship between THC and CBD, particularly in medical applications. A 2008 study found that there was evidence to support a synergistic relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes, particularly when treating the following conditions: chronic inflammation, pain, anxiety, and depression; epilepsy; cancer; fungal and bacterial infections; and addiction. The exact mechanism of this synergy is not yet known. It could be that the terpenes helped compound the effects of THC and CBD, it could be that CBD and THC enhanced each other’s effects, or it could be a combination of the two (and possibly other as-yet-unexplored explanations).

Another study, conducted in 2010, provides results that are a bit more conclusive. The study compared treatment protocols for cancer patients for intractable pain. Patients were treated with either pure THC concentrate, pure CBD concentrate, a combination of the two, or a placebo. The study found that CBD effectively relieved the patients’ pain, where the THC concentrate did not deliver the same results. This finding suggests the ability of CBD to bolster the medicinal effects of THC.

This same study also found that the combination of THC and CBD was a suitable replacement for opioid pain relievers, meaning that the use of THC and CBD isolates alone was sufficient to replace opioids in patients’ care and treatment regimens. This study provides evidence that there is a direct synergistic relationship between THC and CBD when it comes to treating chronic pain.

Using THC and CBD: Getting the Most From Your Herb

The reality is that most of us already consume THC and CBD synergistically, either through consumption of whole flower or whole-flower concentrates. However, there are steps you can take to start using this relationship to your benefit in order to get the most out of your cannabis experience while minimizing any unpleasant side effects.

First, pay attention to the THC to CBD ratio in the strain (or strains) you choose. Unless you’re looking to get stratospherically high, you probably don’t need one of those super high-THC strains from the dispensary. Not only are those strains more likely to get you uncomfortably high, but they’re also more likely to result in side-effects like paranoia and anxiety. If you’re already someone who suffers from the jitters when you consume cannabis, avoid those heavy hitters in favor of a more balanced herb. If your only option is a high-THC strain, consider seeking out a CBD product to combine with your herb.

There is evidence to support the idea that CBD may serve to blunt some of the negative side effects from THC some consumers experience, particularly anxiety. It may also help to enhance its more desirable effects, such as pain relief and reduction of chronic inflammation. Furthermore, the terpenes contained within cannabis modulate the effects of both THC and CBD, making both compounds more effective.

Conclusion

The bottom line is this: the cannabis plant should be consumed in its entirety rather than isolating it into its various constituents. The most medically effective cannabis products are those that contain the full range of cannabinoids and terpenes—those that capitalize on the Entourage Effect.

What is a Trichome? The CBD, THC, and Terpene Factories of Cannabis

Have you heard of trichomes before? The leaves and the buds typically get all the fanfare when it comes to cannabis, but in reality, it’s the trichome that’s the star of the show. The tiny crystal-like stalks that cover the buds and make them sticky hold all the power to produce  and terpenes. That is to say, all the recreational and medicinal value that’s derived from the cannabis plant is completely dependent on the production and preservation of high quality trichomes.

These resin glands hold the THC and CBD compounds, all the delicious terpenes, and all the trace cannabinoids that make up a potent strain. This isn’t to say it’s the only place THC is found. Every part of the plant has some THC in it. Leaves have roughly 4% and you’ll often see trichomes grow not only on the buds but on surrounding leaves of some strains.

Originating from the Greek word “Tríchōma,” meaning “growth of hair,”, the definition of trichome is “fine outgrowths or appendages on plants, algae, lichens, and certain protists.”

They look like tiny translucent mushrooms, and they are found throughout the botanical world on various plants for various reasons. For example, they are often used as a trap to catch prey because of their stickiness. The cannabis plant actually uses them as a defense mechanism in the wild. In order to deter insects and animals from eating the buds, female cannabis plants’ trichomes produce terpenes, which often have bitter tastes or strong aromas that leave them unpalatable. Furthermore, they act as a shield against dust and dirt in strong winds, and work as an anti-fungal to ward off disease.

It’s important to realize that because trichomes are home to all these compounds, they are exactly what’s needed to create high quality, high potency extracts and concentrates. To put it in perspective, when you open the bottom of your grinder, the golden powder being collected is called kief. Also known as “dry sift”, it’s basically a collection of all the trichomes your grinder chopped off as you prepared your cannabis. When people make ice water hash, they are using water to chop those trichomes off the plant and collect them through sifting screens. Isolate is a process in which the extractor tries to capture a compound like CBD in its purest form. Products like CBD isolate are so important because they provide the most powerful dose of medicinal value available.

One of the reasons people have begun using more concentrates is it’s a far more effective way to preserve trichomes. Cured cannabis flower will inevitably experience some trichome degradation over time, while high quality extracts will preserve all the waxes and lipids that surround the cannabinoid and terpene molecules.

To preserve your cannabis, we highly recommend storing it in a cool, dark place away from any direct sunlight. If you need to store it for an extended period, definitely use mason jars or a vacuum sealer so you can maintain that high quality material for as long as possible.


The THC Dosage Guide: Flower, Edibles, Concentrates and More

We would venture to guess that nearly every cannabis user has felt uncomfortably high at some point or another. This feeling typically results from consuming too much THC, whether it’s smoked, vaporized, or ingested orally.

The good news is that this experience can generally be avoided. By following our cannabis dosage guide below, you can prevent that “never coming down” feeling from occurring. It is important to understand that the specific effects of cannabis are generally dependent on three factors:

Dosage – The amount and type of cannabinoids used

Self – Individual physiological differences in the brain and endocannabinoid system wiring between unique consumers

State – The mental and emotional state of the user immediately preceding and during use

Because the latter two factors are specific to each individual and therefore can’t be controlled effectively, we will focus on dosage, which you do have control over. You will notice that the recommended dosages typically vary with each consumption method.  This is because different modes of consumption impact the body in different ways — and at different rates!

A Few General Guidelines

Before we get started, please keep in mind that it is difficult to provide exact recommendations from a strain selection and dosage perspective simultaneously, as each person’s endocannabinoid system responds to cannabis slightly differently.

Furthermore, the same strain (bred from the same “parent” plants) may have different phenotypes (“children” that show different traits). Thus, the most recent batch of ‘Sour Diesel’ you purchased may have a significantly different cannabinoid composition than the last, despite having the same strain name.

Because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, the research and genetic testing needed to regulate cannabis as medicine have yet to be implemented. However, our dosage guide will help you establish a baseline for how much to use the first time you smoke a joint, eat an edible, use a patch, drop a tincture, or take a dab.

As a general rule, start slow.  You can always consume more, but it’s hard to bring yourself back down once you’ve flown too close to the proverbial sun. Dosage will become easier as you become familiar with your personal tolerance and you get familiar with all the essential smoking accessories you may need to use.

We also have a CBD Dosage Guide if you are looking for information on using CBD for pain relief. Be sure to check out our CBD Help Guide and learn more about CBD here.  In addition to the popular concentrates and vape products, the availability of raw organic hemp flower allows you to consume your dose of CBD in a way that’s fast-acting and more familiar to cannabis consumers.

Smoking

Because the effects of smoking cannabis can be felt almost instantly, dosage control is relatively easy compared to other consumption methods. For novice smokers, one or two inhalations from a joint, pipe, blunt, or bong are all it takes to feel THC’s powerful effects. Those with higher tolerances will likely require several more ‘hits’ to achieve the same effects.

When it comes to joints, sizes generally range from 0.25 to 1+ grams (as indicated in the image above). The quarter-gram joint is best suited for light smokers, while the 1-gram joint will suffice for heavy smokers and larger groups.

Bowl sizes (of both bongs and pipes) typically vary from 0.25 to 1+ grams as shown in the image above. Smaller one-hitters like the one below are best suited for personal use, while larger bowls are great for consuming in groups.

Looking for a high-quality pipe, bong or bubbler? We highly recommend Billowby for their outstanding selection and service.

Those with high tolerances can always load several small bowls. You should never feel pressured to finish a bowl or joint, you can always come back to it – it’s not going anywhere!

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a stronger effect, just keep inhaling. Learn how to pack your one-hitter or light a bowl without burning your fingers here.

Vaporization

Vaporization involves heating cannabis buds or concentrates to a specific temperature, causing the cannabinoids stored in the plant’s trichomes to evaporate into a gas without combusting any plant material. Similar to smoking, the effects of vaporization can be felt immediately.

As with smoking, we recommend starting with just a couple inhalations from a vaporizer for novice consumers. Once again, seasoned users will require a larger number of hits to achieve the same effect.

If you’re new to vaporizers, we have a guide to using loose-leaf vaporizers. For flower pens that simply use ground cannabis, explore our how to pack a dry herb vape pen guide.

The chamber capacity of any vape, whether for flowers or concentrates, varies from unit to unit. Therefore, it is difficult to quote a consistent “average size.” We suggest filling vaporizer chambers to 3/4 of their full capacity, regardless of make or model. This allows for steady airflow and reduces your risk of overfilling.

Cool side note: did you know it’s now legal to take your vape pen on a plane?

Edibles and Ingestible Oils

Edibles are cannabis infused varieties of food and drink. Because the cannabinoids in edibles are absorbed through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the onset time is delayed (30 to 90+ minutes, depending on your metabolism, what you’ve eaten that day and a number of other factors) relative to other consumption methods.

The delayed onset time makes dosage control slightly more difficult with edibles, as relief will not be felt immediately. Most anyone who’s had an edible has a story about getting “couch-locked” after thinking they weren’t working and taking too high a dose.  It’ll likely take some time and experimentation to find the ideal edible dose for you.

That said, the psychoactive effects of edibles last longer and tend to be much more intense than other consumption methods. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating with edibles:  you can always take more, but you can’t take THC out of your body once you’ve put it in.  Keep this in mind as you take your edibles.

The following dosage suggestions pertain to THC infused edibles (the most popular) as opposed to non-psychoactive varieties (like CBD infused gummies or tinctures, which we’ll discuss in more detail shortly). For new consumers first trying cannabis edibles, we recommend you start with 1-5mg of THC.

Everyone’s metabolism is different, and therefore everyone has a different reaction to edibles. The important part is to WAIT after you ingest, as onset can take up to two hours. When in doubt, wait it out! As you become more familiar with your edible tolerance, it will be easier to fine-tune your dosage.

For occasional cannabis consumers, we recommend 5-10 mg of THC. In the state of Colorado, 10 mg is considered a single serving size. Frequent consumers (those with high tolerances and/or medical needs), will likely need dosages in excess of 10+mg of THC. Start with a low dose and be patient – you can always eat more or supplement with another consumption method! Pro tip: Drink lots of water, it’s important to stay hydrated when ingesting edibles.

Tinctures

A tincture is a liquid cannabis concentrate that is typically administered sublingually with a dropper. A few (2-4) drops of the cannabinoid-rich liquid under the tongue is often a sufficient starting dose. The effects will be felt within roughly 15 minutes. Feel free to use more or stop as your situation indicates. Tinctures are very effective for medicinal use, especially non-psychoactive CBD tinctures.

Transdermal Patch

Transdermal cannabis patches are sold in varying strengths, typically ranging from 10 to 20mg of cannabinoids. Once the patch is applied, the bloodstream begins to absorb the cannabinoids and the effects can be felt within 15 to 60 minutes. We recommend starting with a lower strength patch and upping the dosage if needed. Pro tip: Apply the patch to a vascular part of the body (one where you can see the veins) for more efficient absorption into the bloodstream.

Topicals

Cannabis-infused topicals are applied directly to the skin for localized relief of pain and inflammation. Because they are non-psychoactive, you run essentially zero risks of overdoing it. We suggest starting with a few sprays or a thin layer of product, applying more as needed or desired.

Dabbing

Dabbing is a form of flash vaporization where a dose of cannabis concentrate (generally a wax or shatter, but potentially a pure isolate) is dropped onto a heated nail and the resulting vapor is inhaled. Cannabis concentrates are extremely potent and the effects of taking a dab, like with most inhaled forms of cannabis, can be felt almost instantly.

While concentrates are typically purchased in gram or half-gram increments, a single dose is often times much smaller, as indicated in the image above. We recommend trying it! Start with a small dab, roughly the size of a grain of rice, and taking more as needed. Did you know you can even dab CBD isolate?

If you enjoy dabbing but don’t like the blowtorch element, you might like the Loto Legend.  The high-end, all-electronic rig uses magnetic energy to heat the dab, so you’ll never need to use a propane torch or replace an atomizer again.  Perfect for concentrates and isolates alike, the Legend is a dab rig with the soul of a bong.

Do You Feel Like We’ve Only Scratched the Surface?

 

There is SO MUCH MORE to it than we could get into with just one blog article, so we’ve spent months digging through over 100 PUBLISHED MEDICAL STUDIES to distill all the diverse factors that influence how THC will affect you. We’ve broken them down into easy-to-understand terminology and even included a visual glossary of cannabis terminology for you. Our helpful guide will help ensure you never have an unpleasant cannabis experience again.
Discover More in our THC Dosage Guide eBook

How to Naturally Cleanse Your Body of THC

There are many reasons you would want to cleanse your body of all THC and related byproducts. For most people, it’s either to pass a drug test or to reap the benefits of a tolerance break.

However, beating a drug test is a drastically different objective than ridding your system of cannabis. Typically, the need to beat a drug test arises on such short notice that it’s impossible to clear the body of THC and its metabolites – so the objective becomes to simply hide, or mask, any evidence of its existence. What does this mean? Abstinence is the only surefire way to rid your body of THC.

How THC is Stored In the Body

Before we can proceed, you must understand how THC and other cannabinoids are stored in your tissues. Following the consumption of cannabis, THC levels in the blood rise and the cannabinoids (mostly THC, but also secondary players like CBD, CBN, and CBG) are metabolized to a variety of inactive chemicals, the primary being tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THC-COOH). THC-COOH is what’s referred to as a metabolite, or natural byproduct, of THC.

The THC itself is what gets you ‘high’, while its metabolites are simply what’s left behind after your body has processed it. Regular use causes an accumulation of both THC (psychoactive) and its metabolites (non-psychoactive) in your body’s fatty tissue. THC is stored in fat because it is a lipophilic molecule — it is soluble in fats rather than in water.

How much THC is in my body?

This is a difficult question to answer as everyone is different; however, we are all subject to the same factors that determine how much THC and its metabolites are in our system:

Frequency of usage: This is arguably the most important factor, as regular use (more than once a week) will cause both THC and its metabolites to build up in your fatty tissue. On the other hand, the occasional smoker will have very little buildup in their body.

Metabolism: Each person has a different rate of metabolism that varies based on genetics, height, weight, sex, and level of physical activity. This rate of metabolism determines how quickly the THC is broken down, converted to metabolites, and eventually released from your system.

Body Fat: THC and its metabolites are stored in fat cells. Meaning that the higher concentration of body fat you have, the larger your storage capacity for THC and its byproducts.

Exercise: The THC and metabolites stored in the fat cells slowly diffuse back into the blood over time. Studies suggest that exercise can elevate blood THC levels by releasing dormant THC from fat stores. This means that exercise has the potential to increase the rate at which your body releases stored THC and metabolites.

Strain: Consuming potent, high-THC strains will result in higher levels of THC and metabolites in the system. Alternatively, consuming low-grade ‘street weed’ or CBD-rich strains will result in significantly lower levels of THC.

How long does a THC detox take?

The answer to this question largely depends on how much is stored in your tissues. In addition to the personal factors listed above, the type of test used to check for THC in your system is a very important distinction. These are the most common forms of testing for cannabis use:

Urine test: Also known as a urinalysis, this type of testing is most common as it is cheap, non-invasive, and relatively accurate. Despite their popularity, urine tests do not actually detect THC in the body, but rather they search for the metabolite THC-COOH. This means that urine tests do not detect the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, and therefore in no way measure impairment. This metabolite has an unusually long half-life and can be detected in urine for months after use. A one-time user can test positive via urinalysis from 1 to 7+ days after use; however, most will be below the ‘positive’ threshold within a few days. Alternatively, a regular user (more than once a week) can test positive for the THC metabolite over 90 days after the last time they consumed.

Blood test: Unlike urinalysis, blood tests detect the active presence of THC in the bloodstream. After smoking cannabis, for instance, THC levels peak rapidly then begin to decline within an hour. Therefore, high THC levels in the blood are a good indication that you have smoked recently. It is worth noting, however, that low levels of THC can remain measurable in the blood for 8 hours or more without any measurable signs of impairment in one-time users. In the case of chronic users, the THC in the bloodstream can remain detectable for several days.

Hair follicle test: Hair follicle tests are expensive and typically reserved for highly sensitive jobs and those requiring special clearance. Hair follicle tests are arguably the most objectionable form of drug testing as they don’t measure current use but rather non-psychoactive residues that remain in the hair months after use. These residues are absorbed internally and cannot be washed out by shampoos. This type of testing is likely not sensitive to one-time cannabis users.

Saliva test: Saliva testing requires the use of a newer, less proven technology. Due to reliability problems, saliva tests for marijuana have yet to gain mainstream acceptance in the U.S., though they are sometimes used for their affordability, especially for high-turnover positions.

Thus, the question of how long cannabis stays in your system boils down to whether you are being tested for the presence of THC itself or its metabolites. The psychoactive THC compound is only present for 12 to 24 hours in one-time users, and 7-14 days in chronic users. On the other hand, THC metabolites are detectable for months after use in frequent users.

If You Can’t Get Legitimately Clean in Time—You Can Still Beat The Drug Test

Your ability to beat a drug test will depend on your personal usage history, how long you’ve abstained, and which type of test is being administered. If you’re like 95% of people, you were just notified of your random urine test and you’re freaking out that you won’t pass it. It’s not a great situation, but there are things you can do to pass your test.

Remember, if you’re looking for a quick fix, it’s too late to get clean – your only option is to attempt to ‘beat’ the test. Generally speaking, you have three options for a quick fix; dilution, adulteration, and substitution.

How to Get Weed Out of Your System

Dilution

No anecdotal ‘system flushing’ technique has been supported scientifically. Does flushing out your system work? Sometimes, but it’s dependent on all the personal factors we discussed above. There are some strategies you can use to help better your chances of passing this way.

The number one reason dilution doesn’t work? The testing facilities are aware of the flushing strategy and are trained to flag samples that have been diluted beyond normal levels. This means that to pass a drug test you must ensure the urine sample is diluted such that it tests below the ‘positive’ threshold for THC metabolites while not alerting the facility that you diluted the sample. Here are some ways to help you do that:

Abstain immediately: If you haven’t already, stop consuming cannabis as soon as you are notified of your drug test. This may sound obvious, but continuing to consume is not going to help you pass the test.

Time: To reiterate, the longer you abstain prior to testing, the higher the likelihood you have of passing. The aggregate level of THC metabolites in your system will continue to decrease over time.

Exercise: The key with exercise is that it only helps if you sufficient time before your drug test, as it increases the rate at which your body releases stored THC and metabolites – not a good option right before you pee into a cup. Avoid exercise in the days immediately preceding your test. If you have a few weeks before the test, exercise will help.

Diet: The key here is to keep your body healthy and appearing ‘normal’ despite your attempt to dilute the THC metabolites in your system for the test. This means eating healthy and drinking an above average amount of water in the days or weeks preceding the test. Anecdotal evidence suggests supplementing with use of natural diuretics (coffee, cranberry juice, etc.). About 24 hours before the exam you can take a vitamin B complex supplement which will help bring the yellow color back to your urine (making it appear less diluted). It is also suggested that you supplement with creatine, as the absence of creatine metabolites is another way testing facilities monitor against dilution.

Pee: Don’t let the test be your first pee of the day! Try to urinate several times prior to the actual test. When you step into the restroom, catch your sample mid-stream as it will have the lowest concentration of metabolites.

Red Flags for Testing Facility:

The upside to a flagged sample is that it buys you more time before you’re required to retake the drug test. However, some companies know that a heavily diluted and flagged sample indicates that the employee was likely attempting to beat the test. Your sample will be flagged if any of the following properties are out of the appropriate range:

– Temperature, specific gravity, pH, creatinine concentrations or appearance (color)

Adulteration

If you don’t have adequate time to implement the dilution strategy described above, there are substances that you can add to your urine to yield a false negative test result. The two primary urinary adulterants that have been scientifically proven to interfere with drug test results are zinc and papain.

Zinc: Zinc is available as in powder form (zinc sulfate) or as an oral supplement available at any health store. An August 2011 study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology concluded that the use of zinc, both as a urinary adulterant and an oral supplement, is effective at subverting routine drug testing. The addition of zinc to a urinary sample was shown to cause reproducible false-negative results on a drug test. It is important to note the zinc likely interferes with the testing mechanism, rather than interacting with the drugs themselves.

The study goes on to state, ‘consumption of zinc supplements taken orally after light marijuana use can interfere with the detection of THC in urine samples for a 12-18 hour period.’ The study also concluded that the use of zinc as an oral supplement was undetectable by standard means. The study dose is 200mg of zinc orally (it’s important to note the test subject was a one-time smoker). For the full text, click here.

Papain: Papain is a biologically active substance derived from the papaya plant and can be found in granule or powder form. An August 2005 study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology concluded that ‘papain exerted a dose-dependent significant effect [decrease] on the concentration THC-COOH in a dose-dependent manner…’ that led to false-negative test results (when added to a urine sample). For the full text, click here.

Substitution

If you’re running out of time, there are last resort options that don’t involve the use of detox drink. Fully synthetic urine options are available, as well as bags that allow you to collect and dispense another person’s clean urine. While this may sound extreme, so is the alternative – potentially losing your job over the consumption of a harmless plant.

We highly recommend the Powdered Urine Kit from TestClear as it utilizes real human urine as opposed to synthetic ingredients that have a higher chance of raising red flags in the testing process. Another reason we love this Powdered Urine Kit is that it includes two air-activated heaters and a temperature strip to ensure the urine sample temperature tests within the acceptable range.

Detox Products

There are literally hundreds of detox products available. While they are all slightly different, nearly all of them will use one or more of the strategies discussed above. Look at the ingredient list and understand what you’re potentially consuming. Do they work? Yes (with the one caveat that you must purchase from a reputable company). The implications of a failed drug test can be devastating, and that’s why the only detox products we recommend are those sold by TestClear.

The correct detox product for you will depend on the type of drug test your taking and how much time you have before the test. For hair follicle tests, we suggest you start with the Old Style Aloe Toxin Rid Shampoo during the days leading up to the test and then apply the Zydot Ultra Clean Shampoo on the day of the drug test.

For urine tests with very short notice (i.e. 24 hours), we recommend the Mega Clean Cleansing Drink. If you have more than 24 hours before your drug test, we advise you to use the Toxin Rid product line from TestClear, which is available in 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10-day detox programs. You can also use the Toxin Rid detox program to pass a blood drug test. All of the Toxin Rid products come with a Money Back Guarantee, meaning they really stand behind their products. The other reason we like ordering from TestClear is that products can be shipped overnight—perfect for passing that last minute drug test.

You can use coupon code: ‘TestClear10‘ to get 10% off of all TestClear detox products sitewide!

Save 10% when you use discount code: TESTCLEAR10 SHOP NOW

Test at Home

Running out of time and can’t calm your nerves? Grab an at-home marijuana drug test kit. For less than $10 you can have peace of mind before taking the real exam. It’s a great way to see if the dilution strategy or detox program worked.

The True Cleanse

As we stated at the beginning of the article, abstinence is the only way to truly cleanse your body of all active THC and associated byproducts. Depending on your specific usage habits, it will take between 7 and 14 days for the active THC molecule to exit the body for those that consume regularly. Two weeks without cannabis?! Many people take periodic tolerance breaks (also known as T-breaks). Believe it or not, it’s possible to hit the reset button on your cannabis tolerance – when you resume, it will be like smoking for the very first time…again. When you resume use, remember to start slow i.e. smaller dosages than before the break.

We would like to reiterate that while two weeks is a sufficient time for most to rid their system of active THC and reset their tolerance, it does not mean you will pass a drug test! Regular cannabis users will have non-psychoactive THC metabolites in their system for up to 90 days. Abstinence is also the only way to rid your body of all THC metabolites – so if you don’t want any evidence of THC in your system, you will likely need to abstain for a significantly longer period than two weeks. Remember, drinking fluids doesn’t increase the shedding of metabolites; it simply dilutes the test sample.

What About CBD?

This article addresses the presence of THC in the body, but what about CBD? In case you are unfamiliar, CBD is the second most prevalent compound in cannabis – it’s non-psychoactive and provides a wide range of therapeutic applications. The interesting thing about drug tests is that they were only designed to test for the presence of THC in the system – if you recall, the drug tests look for a byproduct of THC, not CBD. That means that patients using CBD products derived from hemp, which contains less than 0.3% THC, should not test positive on a drug test (there is a single, unconfirmed study that found that CBD could be converted to THC by the digestive tract, but these findings have not been replicated and further studies have contradicted the proposed phenomenon of CBD to THC conversion).

That said, there’s a bit of a caveat we need to address: some full-spectrum products could, theoretically, be concentrated such that the amount of THC exceeds that 0.3% figure. To illustrate how this could happen, we did some basic math to replicate the concentration of a 500 mg bottle of CBD tincture.

Assuming the sample of industrial hemp flower used to make the tincture weighed 2.78 g (or 2778 mg), and assuming it was composed of 18% CBD and 0.3% THC (pretty standard percentages for hemp), the concentration of hemp extract needed to yield 500 mg of CBD would contain about 8.33 mg of THC. This is about 1.6% THC, much higher than the theoretical 0.3% of the starting material.

In this example, a 25 mg dose of our theoretical CBD oil would contain about 0.42 mg of THC. This may not be enough by itself to trigger a false positive, but if you’re using your oral dose of CBD in conjunction with other forms, such as vaping or dabbing, those trace amounts of THC may add up to become detectable in your system, causing you to risk failing a drug test. For this reason, if you’re worried about passing a drug test, it’s best to look for options that are batch-tested by an independent laboratory and either display their (compliant) THC content clearly in the analysis or are shown to contain no THC whatsoever.

CBD vs. THC: The Difference & How to Choose

CBD and THC are two wildly popular natural extracts derived from different types of cannabis plants. They both are shown to cause relief for a wide range of debilitating ailments, including anxietydepressioncancers, and other chronic diseases.

So what are the main differences between CBD and THC? And how do you choose the right one (or combination) for you?

CBD and THC are incredibly powerful healing compounds derived from cannabis plants that are gaining massive amounts of attention as safer alternatives to dangerous pharmaceutical drugs.

Unfortunately, a lack of regulation has made it easy to find plenty of misinformation about their benefits and side effects. To combat this, we read over 100 different scientific studies about cannabis, CBD, and THC to sort out the facts from the myths.

Here is what we know! We hope it helps.

How are CBD and THC Different?

Cannabinoids are a diverse class of chemical compounds that act on the endocannabinoid system in the brain. Of the more than 113 known cannabinoids (the active ingredients in cannabis plants), CBD and THC are the two most prevalent and therefore have been most widely studied.

On a molecular level, these two compounds are very similar, but the small difference between them produces wildly different effects.

The main difference you will notice between the two will be either the presence or noticeable lack of a psychoactive effect. CBD is gaining rapid popularity for its ability to provide similar symptom relief to THC while also remaining free of THC’s mind-altering effects.

In other words, CBD doesn’t make you feel high.

What Is CBD?

The chemical structure of CBD.

CBD (short for cannabidiol) is the most prevalent non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. It is has been gaining rapid popularity over the past few years because of its wide scope of medical applications and very few side effects.

AnxietydepressionADHDpainsleep disordersmigraines, and epilepsy are just a few of the vast list of symptoms that can be helped by regular CBD usage (more on treatable conditions later).

Most commercial CBD products derive their CBD from industrial hemp. By definition, hemp is a cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC. This is far lower than your typical marijuana plant, which can have up to 30% THC.

It’s worth noting that hemp and cannabis are actually the same species of plant — the only distinction between the two is the amount of THC found in the plant.

Unfortunately, CBD is still widely misunderstood due to misconceptions, stigma and legal challenges surrounding cannabis plants in the United States.

What Is THC?

The chemical structure of THC.

THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most recognizable cannabinoid, as well as the primary chemical responsible for most of the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis.

THC provides a variety of physical health benefits, and it is often used to treat certain conditions, cancers, and diseases. ADD/ADHD, dementia, anorexia, asthma, cancer, and IBS are just some of the ailments THC may help relieve.

Unlike CBD, the psychoactive properties of THC can cause side effects (such as paranoia and mental haziness) that may be a turnoff for some consumers. While many people are not adversely affected by the side effects associated with THC, some people find them to be quite uncomfortable.

The Chemical Differences Between THC and CBD

Chemically, THC and CBD look very similar. In fact, they only have one small difference (shown below).

The difference between the structure of THC vs the structure of CBD.

However, that small molecular difference makes a big impact on how the compounds affect the brain. That little difference changes the way each one of the chemicals interacts with neurological cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2).

On a basic level, CB1 receptors deal primarily with mental and physical processes like memory, emotion, and motor skills. CB2 receptors affect the central and immune system. CBD and THC both work in tandem with these receptors and the result is a profound impact on symptoms such as painanxietydepression, and dementia.

The different chemical structures in THC vs CBD cause cannabinoid receptors to respond very differently when confronted with THC vs CBD. On a basic level, this is why THC elicits a psychoactive brain response and CBD does not.

Treatable Conditions and Side Effects

Of all the cannabinoids, CBD provides the widest array of medical benefits. We cover the major ones in the chart below.

CBD: Uses and Benefits

CBD is commonly consumed in the form of oil, taken sublingually (below the tongue).

Because of its medical benefits without the accompanying psychoactivity associated with THC, CBD is ideal for treating children, the elderly, and anyone who wants to remain clear-minded.

Several studies suggest that CBD actually counters the high caused by THC. CBD can help moderate some of the negative effects of THC (paranoia, accelerated heartbeat, and short-term memory loss) while bolstering its medical benefits.

Additionally, CBD’s antipsychotic properties are currently being studied as an alternative treatment for schizophrenia, psychosis, and anxiety.

Similar to THC, it is impossible to overdose on CBD. This isn’t a myth! No one has ever done it—ever. Studies have shown it to be safe to consume in much, much higher doses than are necessary to receive its medical benefits.

Studied conditions treatable with CBD include:

CBD is a powerful and amazing compound with many benefits — and it is so much safer than the vast majority of pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to treat the same conditions. Side effects are limited, but they do exist. While taking CBD, you may experience:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness

THC: Uses and Benefits

THC Uses and Benefits

A woman rolls a joint, one of the most common methods used for smoking marijuana.

THC has been clinically studied to provide relief for a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
  • Anorexia
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Concussions & Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Crohn’s, Colitis & Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Dependency and Withdrawal
  • Epilepsy/MS/Seizures
  • Energy levels
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • PTSD
  • Stroke
  • Tumors

THC is much safer than the vast majority of pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to treat the same conditions. However, due to the psychoactive properties of THC, it tends to have more obvious side effects than CBD, although they are still minimal in comparison to many pharmaceutical alternatives. While using THC you may experience:

  • Paranoia and anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dry, red eyes
  • Increased appetite
  • Grogginess and lethargy
  • Increased heart rate
  • Impaired memory

Like CBD, it is impossible to overdose on cannabis. Alternatively, over 100,000 people die each year as a result of taking pharmaceutical medications prescribed to them by their doctor. While it’s possible to feel uncomfortably high after consuming THC in large amounts, it’s important to acknowledge that there is no real risk of overdoing it to the point of jeopardizing your health.

Legal Challenges

Cannabis in all of its forms is gaining legality in many states, but each state still has its own laws regarding how, where, and why residents can access THC and CBD products. They can get quite specific (and quite complicated) depending on the state you’re looking at.

One thing that is easy to say is that hemp-derived CBD is currently legal in all 50 states, but some states (like Idaho, for example) have very specific laws about who can access it in-state. In Idaho, only people with very specific conditions can get a prescription for it.

*Note: Anyone can legally purchase CBD online and have it shipped to any state. Still, it helps to look into your specific state CBD and hemp laws to understand what this could mean for you.

CBD products also can be derived from marijuana plants, but those products are much more heavily regulated due to the legal status around marijuana itself.

Hemp (which contains no more than 0.3% THC content as opposed to the up to 30% found in marijuana) is federally legal. Some states have their own laws regarding CBD products derived from marijuana. If you want to know exactly which products are in the clear for you, look into your state laws.

Warning: they may be confusing.

If the products you want or need aren’t legal yet in your state, don’t lose hope. Hemp and marijuana laws are changing all the time. It is possible that federal legalization could happen even within the next decade. But in the meantime, do your best to understand where the laws stand in your state before you settle on a product.

A Quick Note About CBD & Drug Testing

If drug testing is a part of the conditions of your employment, you might be concerned about the potential of CBD to cause you to test positive for THC. This isn’t an unfounded concern — however, there isn’t exactly a cut-and-dry way to answer it.

Much of the data we have about CBD is anecdotal, and its potential impact on drug testing is no exception.  There are very few peer-reviewed studies on the subject, but there appears to be a small risk of a false positive for some users. Avoiding full-spectrum products containing traces of THC can reduce your risk of a false positive, but that may not eliminate the risk entirely.

If you are concerned about passing a drug test, you should consider this potential risk when deciding whether CBD is right for you. To learn more about the science of CBD and drug testing, check out our article for a more thorough discussion of how to minimize your risk of a false positive.

Which is Right For You?

CBD vs THC: How to choose which path to take.

The answer to this question is simple: it depends! You may even find you like both. If you are trying to decide between the two, here are some questions to ask yourself to help weight the pros and cons:

CBD:

  • Do you want a calming effect with fewer side effects and sensations?
  • Do you need to remain mentally clear?
  • Can you commit to taking a regular dose daily?
  • Do you want something that does little to alter your daily routine?
  • Have you ever used CBD before? How did it make you feel?
  • Do you understand the legal status of hemp and CBD-products in your state?

THC:

  • Do you want a stronger sensation with a wider-range of benefits and effects?
  • Will you be OK with feeling mentally hazy?
  • Are you worried about the possibility of THC-related paranoia?
  • Have you ever used THC before? How did you respond to it?
  • Do you understand the legal status of THC in your state?
  • Would you be willing to go to dispensaries to get it?
  • Would you be willing to get a medical prescription, if necessary?
  • Will you need to drive or operate machinery?
  • Are you worried about hunger or weight gain?

A Note About Quality

THC and CBD, along with over 112+ other cannabinoids, are found primarily in something called the trichomes of the cannabis plant.

The trichomes of a cannabis plant are what makes the flowers “sticky.”

Trichomes are the tiny crystal-like stalks that cover the flowers and make them sticky. They hold all of the power to produce cannabinoids and terpenes. All of the recreational and medicinal value that’s derived from the cannabis plant is almost entirely dependent on the production and preservation of high-quality trichomes.

This is why the THC or CBD product you choose is so important. Not all products are created equal, and the quality of the product can significantly affect the healing properties you experience (as well as the negative side effects) while using it.

Finding the Right CBD Product

CBD’s legal status is similar to that of a dietary supplement, meaning that it isn’t regulated by the FDA like other food and drugs. This can make the world of CBD products feel like the Wild West.

From a consumer standpoint, this means it’s essential you know everything about the products you buy before you trust a company with your health.

CBD Reviews Backed By Tests

Learn more about Key To Cannabis’ strict review process for CBD products. We are constantly working to provide consumers with the most thorough and accurate information about brands that advertise CBD products.

We only review and support products that provide public test results for their products related to safety, purity and CBD content.

CBD Brands We’ve Reviewed

Biofield

Cannabare

Canna Comforts Health & Wellness

CBDistillery

cbdMD

Comfort Leaf

Hemp Bombs

Joy Organics

Nature’s Script

Plus CBDOil

Pure Relief

Test Clear

Click these links to read more about our unbiased reviews of each of the products listed above. We hope they help you find the best product for your journey to natural health!

Key to Cannabis Mission

Key to Cannabis is dedicated to transparency and accountability in everything we do. We hope to provide you accurate, unbiased and trusted information on cannabis.

We hope our work helps inspire companies in the cannabis industry to make a similar commitment to accountability. Thank you for being a part of the movement!