Are you wondering how long does marijuana stay in your system? Most cannabis users who are going to undergo drug testing may be asking for the same thing. Usually, drug tests for marijuana only detect THC. Drug tests are often urine tests, but in some cases, blood tests, hair tests, or oral tests may be done.
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?
According to experts, how long does marijuana stay in your system depends on many factors, but the most important factor to consider is a person’s frequency of use. Let’s take urine testing.
- Occasional cannabis users may take 3 days before weed is completely absorbed. Occasional users are those who take cannabis three times in a week.
- Moderate or average users may take 5 to 7 days before marijuana is absorbed by the body. Moderate users are those that use weed up to 4 times a week.
- Chronic users may take 10 to 15 days for weed to completely wear off. Chronic users are people who take cannabis daily.
- Chronic heavy cannabis users may take more than a month or 30 days before cannabinoids are completely removed by the body. Chronic heavy users are those that consume cannabis several times a day.
How the Body Handles Marijuana
THC enters the body, and this is absorbed t the bloodstream. This is temporarily kept in the organs as well as the fatty tissues. Inside the kidneys, the cannabinoid is reabsorbed to the bloodstream. In the liver, THC is processed and broken down to 80 metabolites. Two of the most significant metabolites are 11-OH-THC and T HCCOOH. Traditional drug tests are used to identify these metabolites in the body. These metabolites may stay longer compared to THC. And as time goes by, THC, as well as its metabolites, exit the body through the urine and stool.
Factors That Affect the Length of Time Marijuana Stays in Your System
There are several factors that can affect the length of time weed remains in your system. Consider these before you undergo any drug test for marijuana.
Some people are larger than others, with more fat stores. Because THC and other metabolites remain in the body’s fatty tissues, people who are overweight or obese may find it hard to absorb THC; hence, the cannabinoid and its metabolites may remain in the body longer.
Also, consider people with faster or higher metabolic rates than others; THC can be easily reabsorbed in the body and excreted quicker as well.
A person who has never smoked weed may experience severe effects as well as side effects. However, THC may be absorbed and excreted in the urine and feces quicker compared to a person who regularly smokes weed. This may be due to the body’s still efficient system in removing the compound. Over time, as the person continues to use weed, the different compounds and metabolites may take time to exit the body. There many strains of marijuana that have different effects on the body you can Identify it here at seed bank.
A person who can tolerate a higher dose may take time for THC to finally exit his system. He may even develop withdrawal symptoms if he is unable to consume cannabis after some time. People who are chronic heavy users may have high levels of THC in their system. It takes several weeks for this to exit the system.
The Strain’s Potency
Potent strains can take time to exit the body as well. But still, it may depend on how it was consumed and the person’s physical make-up.
Mode of Intake
How you consume cannabis also affects the length of time it remains in your system. Smoking and vaping allow you to consume cannabis quicker, and you can feel the effects of the weed faster as well. These methods are also the fastest ways for your body to metabolize THC and CBD and for these compounds and their metabolites to exit the system.
Meanwhile, tinctures also offer a faster way to consume cannabis and to experience its effects. Tinctures are placed under the tongue where large blood vessels can be found. And as you experience the effects of weed faster through tinctures, these effects won’t last.
Finally, taking cannabis edibles is fast-becoming more common. Edibles like chocolates, candies, baked goodies, and pastries are made from potent THC or CBD oil and are properly portioned to allow users to correctly dose up on weed. When you eat an edible, the food will take time to be absorbed in the stomach and small intestines. You may need to wait at least 30 to 45 minutes before one dose is absorbed and for you to experience the effects. And because it takes this long, the effects usually last longer too.
Dose and Frequency
A higher dose can take time to be absorbed by the body and to be excreted from the body as well. And if you regularly use cannabis or smoke several times a day, it will take weeks before you’re completely off the weed.
About Drug Tests
At present, there are four types of drug tests to identify THC in the body: urine, blood, saliva, and hair. Traditional drug tests use urine as sample specimens because this is the most convenient and efficient. Drug tests are required by most companies to incoming new employees and as random checks. Employees are randomly picked to subject themselves to often unannounced or surprise drug tests. There are also high schools that conduct drug testing for students, faculty, and employees.
Drug tests are standard ways to keep an establishment or company drug –free. It’s a must for everyone in the company or business to prepare for such tests and to know what to do in the case of a random or surprise drug test.
Urine Drug Tests
Urine drug tests are the most common tests for drugs, including marijuana. In this test, you will be asked to pee in a small container. The technician uses a test strip or uses chemicals to determine the presence of drugs and THC in urine. The temperature of the urine is also taken to ensure that the urine is fresh.
Because of the simplicity of a urine drug test, people who use weed easily find ways to trick this method. Some use fake urine, synthetic urine, or the urine of a non-user in an effort to pass the test. But despite these, remember that the only way to pass a urine test is to completely avoid cannabis for a week. But if you’re subjected to random urine drug testing, you may not have a chance.
Blood Drug Tests
THC may be detected in blood up to 2 days for occasional users, but heavy users may still have THC in their blood for up to 25 days. When you inhale weed, THC can be detected in the bloodstream in mere seconds. THC is distributed to the different organs and tissues by the blood. Some of the THC is reabsorbed in the blood until these are broken down. The metabolites may remain in the bloodstream for many days.
To perform a blood test, a small amount (a small syringe is used) of blood is collected as a specimen. This is taken to the lab and tested for the presence of THC and other cannabinoids. This test is very complex and is difficult to cheat. As with a urine test for THC, the only way to pass a blood test is to prepare for it. If you are subjected to a random blood test for drugs, and you’ve recently had weed, then you won’t be able to pass this test.
Oral/saliva Drug Tests
Marijuana or THC and other cannabinoids are detected in the saliva and oral cavity up to 3 days for occasional users and up to 29 days for extreme users. To perform this test, a sample of your saliva collected from the inner cheeks of your mouth is collected.
Using a cotton tip applicator or a tongue depressor, saliva is collected and placed in a slide or a receptacle. Results are available readily and are very accurate.
Many try to cheat on a saliva/oral drug test by chewing on different products, eating sour, pungent, bitter, or salty food to try to mask the THC in their saliva. But this test is very accurate, and there’s no way to get around it but to abstain from weed many days or weeks before a test. If this is a random test, then you won’t stand a chance, especially if you are a heavy user.
Hair Drug Tests
The least common test for THC is the hair test. The hair follicles can store information about chemical use, especially weed use. The test can tell when your last dose was and how long have you abstained from weed. The test can also determine how long you have been on weed, and thus, it can confirm a drug use interview or checklist you may have filled out.
It is also impossible for you to cheat as even if you shave all your head hair, the technician will get the hair from other areas of the body! And besides, why would you shave your head bald just to pass a test?
How to Prepare for a Drug Test
You may have heard this again and again: the only way to prepare for a drug test is to avoid weed for days or a week. If you still have weeks until the test (urine, blood, or saliva), consider the following:
- Abstain from weed right away. This includes smoked, vaped, orally consumed, applied on the skin, and applied under the tongue.
- Exercise daily to burn fat and remove THC from the body’s fatty tissues. Engage in cardio workouts to help you eliminate THC quickly.
- Drink enough water daily and keep hydrated always.
- Eat fatty foods to help remove THC from your system.
- Take enough rest and sleep and avoid stress.
- If you’re using cannabis because of its medicinal qualities, consult your doctor before you wean yourself from weed.
But if you only have a few hours to a day to prepare to consider the following:
- Do not use cannabis.
- Drink more water to dilute your urine.
- Do not exercise or perform any tiring activities since these can only synthesize THC in the fatty tissues and will allow your body to excrete more THC through the urine.
- Use detox products like detox drinks that can help cleanse your system.
- Take supplements like creatine or vitamin B12 to mask your diluted urine.
If you don’t have time to prepare because it’s a random urine test, do all you can to avoid it. You may excuse yourself from the test; make alibis to avoid performing the test. Or you may simply admit to using weed and promise that you’ll be more responsible with your cannabis use.
What Happens if You Get Caught Cheating on a Drug Test?
Drug testing centers are very keen on people cheating on their tests. Some may go to the extent of having an assistant accompany you as you pee in a specimen cup! Some may only stay inside the bathroom, wait for you to fill up the bottle, and then check the temperature of your urine specimen. Don’t be alarmed since these are just a part of the center’s policy.
But if you get caught cheating on a urine test or any drug test, you may be reported to your supervisor or manager. If this is for employment, you may get reprimanded or worse. Still, there are some companies that give their employees a chance. If this happens, don’t blow it!
And if you’re taking medical cannabis, inform your boss or manager before you take an exam. You may be asked to present your medical cannabis ID and prescription.
We hope you found the answers to how long does marijuana stay in your system. Remember, only abstinence can help you pass a drug test. And always be mindful of tests and random checks in your company and prepare for these ahead of time.