Tea time

illustration by Maria Ratinova

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@newsreview.com.

Hey Uncle Ngaio. I know people say green tea helps to remove THC (like during a tolerance break), but are any specific kinds of green tea or any tea in general that work better than others? Or even certain foods that help with the process?

—@beezyonthedrums (via Twitter)

Hello, nephew. (I will be 51 next month, so I am learning to embrace my status as an O.G. I’m going to start calling people “nephew” and “young blood” as often as possible.) Your statement is not quite correct. While teas and certain foods can ease the symptoms of a tolerance break, nothing removes THC from your body except time. (Most people don’t have any problems quitting weed cold turkey, but some folks experience loss of appetite, crankiness or even weird dreams when they stop using cannabis.) THC is stored in the fat cells, which is why you can test positive for THC even if you are no longer feeling the effects, or if you haven’t smoked in a week. If you have a drug test coming up, good luck. It takes about a week to test clean if you are a casual user, and a month or more if you are a chronic user. There are over-the-counter products you can order online that claim to be able to mask any THC in a urine test, but many labs have figured it out, and now they test for chemical masking agents as well as THC. And we all know that attempting to cover up a transgression can be worse than transgressing in the first place. Be careful.

Oh, and many hippies and herbalists say that vacha, also known as calamus root, is an excellent tea for dealing with the symptoms associated with a tolerance break. Good luck.

Hey Ngaio. I have a quick question for you, the ganja guru. How often do you take tolerance breaks, and during those breaks do you do anything to clean your system?

—@franktamasi (via Twitter)

Good question! First: I am not the ganja guru. Ed Rosenthal is The Ganja Guru. I am the Dank Diplomat. From the Dankonia Nation. Someone called me “The Weed Whisperer” the other day, and I kinda liked it. Maybe I will add the new title to my Instagram bio.

I usually take about a two-week break right after the Emerald Cup. It’s right after harvest season, and I am usually one of the flower judges for the cup, so by that time, I have been smoking between 15 to 20 different kinds of weed per day for about two weeks, and I am low-key sick of having to smoke weed all day. Tolerance breaks can last anywhere between a week and a month. Just do what’s right for you. I don’t really change any other habits. I just stop smoking weed for a bit. But it’s always a good idea to eat right and exercise, whether you are on a tolerance break or not.