Article updated: 2024 Feb 13 / Author Leslie Griver, Robert Henry

Is Goldenseal Effective for Detoxing for a Drug Test?

Goldenseal can be an effective solution for detoxing before a drug test. However, You should use it with other herbs to be effective.

We’ll tell how you can use Goldenseal to pass a drug test and exactly what amount of it is required to detox your system from weed successfully.

But before getting into that, you need to understand the basic principle behind passing a drug test.

Marijuana Metabolism and Drug Testing

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical behind most of marijuana’s psychological effects – basically, the compound that makes you ‘high’ after taking weed.

When you consume marijuana, THC enters the bloodstream.

THC is highly fat-soluble and eventually deposits in the fat cells until it is gradually re-circulated into the bloodstream when our body breaks down fat for energy.

With the blood, THC goes to your liver. The liver breaks THC down into metabolites (like THC-COOH).

Then our body excretes these metabolites through the urine and feces.

About 60% of THC metabolites go to the intestines for removal with feces.

From the intestines, these metabolites enter the “enterohepatic recirculation” cycle. This is when part of the metabolites are reabsorbed back into the blood from the intestines.

Marijuana metabolism scheme

To pass a drug test, you can go two ways:


For this method, you need to get marijuana metabolites from your system completely. To do this, you need to do the following:

Doing this will release the THC stored in your body and excrete it completely.


Flushing is the method when you temporarily flush THC out of your bladder by frequent urination. After that, the concentration of detectable marijuana metabolites in your urine goes below the detectable level.

To flush THC, you need to do the following:

Doing this will temporarily prevent new THC from getting into the urine, so you’ll be able to pee clean and pass the test.

As you see, detoxing and flushing are opposite to each other.

Can Goldenseal help us with any of this? Sure!

How Does Goldenseal Help Detox THC

The main active ingredients of Goldenseal are known as ‘isoquinoline alkaloids.’ These include berberine, canadine, and hydrastine.

In a 12-week study in obese individuals, 500 mg taken three times per day caused about 5 pounds of weight loss, on average. The participants also lost 3.6% of their body fat.

Another more impressive study was conducted on 37 men and women with metabolic syndrome. This study went on for 3 months, and the participants took 300 mg, 3 times per day.

The participants dropped their body mass index (BMI) levels from 31.5 to 27.4, or from obese to overweight in only 3 months. They also lost belly fat and improved many health markers.

These two studies have shown that berberine can cause significant weight loss while improving all sorts of other health markers simultaneously.

So Goldenseal helps to lose body fat and release THC for excretion and detox faster.

But there’s a catch!

The Problem With Goldenseal and THC Detox

Goldenseal is known to slow down(inhibit) the CYP450 family of enzymes: CYP2D6, CYP3A4, and others.

These enzymes are responsible for processing THC in the liver. They convert it to minor metabolites that can be excreted with the urine and feces.

So this will happen with THC in your body after consuming Goldenseal:

As a result – THC will still stay in your system.

To overcome this, you need to take supplements that will restore the activity of the CYP450 enzymes. So THC will be processed and removed from the body.

You can do that by taking St. John’s Wort – it is the most known herb for increasing the activity of these enzymes. You can find it in grocery stores or Amazon.

How to Use Goldenseal for THC Detox and Pass a Drug Test: Instructions

If you want to get THC out of your system permanently, follow the 7 day THC detox protocol that we explained here:

Consume 300mg of Goldenseal supplement(pills) 3 times per day along with the 7-day detox protocol.

It will not have a significant effect itself, but along with other steps explained, it will benefit your detox.

Consult a healthcare professional before use!

If you are flushing THC before a drug test, follow the instructions explained here: and use Goldenseal instead of Milk Thistle. That’s all!

Dangers of Taking Goldenseal

Well, research based on Goldenseal’s safety is quite limited; its short-term use hasn’t been established, and little is defined about its safety for long-term use or use at high dosages [4].

So that means that there can be certain side-effects of taking Goldenseal. Common ones include:

Also, be warned: since Goldenseal is quite costly, products claiming to contain it might not have it or have relatively little amounts. So, such supplements and products could have side-effects and interactions different from those generally seen with Goldenseal.

And much hasn’t been investigated about its interactions with other drugs as well.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Goldenseal slows down the activity of certain liver enzymes. This means that the excretion of some medications, such as antidepressants, and other substances that could be toxic to our body, slows down.

This means these substances stay in the body for longer than required and could reach a toxic level, which isn’t good at all.

Goldenseal also isn’t safe to take during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.