Marijuana has long since been used as a recreational drug by people looking to relax and have a good time. More recently, however, the plant is becoming steadily more popular for it’s use in treating actual medical conditions. The United States has finally begun the slow process of completely legalizing the use of marijuana/cannabis. But while we wait, new users are reaching out for answers about marijuana that will help them use the drug safely and hopefully without consequence. One of the most frequent questions asked is, “How long does marijuana stay in your system?”. While it may seem like a simple question that should have a quick answer, the truth of the matter can be quite more complex.
The effects of marijuana on the body and mind usually tend to fade within a few hours of your last consumption, but it doesn’t vacate your body just because you stop feeling it. Trace amounts of Cannabis can be found in your body for weeks after your last time using the plant. How long the drug can be detected in your system can depend on multiple different circumstances, some of which being how frequently you smoke, your BMI or Body Mass Index, etc.
Maybe you’ve got a drug screening coming up at work, or maybe you are just curious, regardless of your situation, we are here to help! Below we will be explaining everything from how long weed can stay in your urine to your blood to even your hair. Our goal is to educate, inform, and hopefully even give you a little peace of mind. Marijuana is a long time misunderstood drug that we aim to bring a more enlightened and positive light to. Research has suggested that the CBD found in marijuana can be used to help treat anything from depression, anxiety to possibly even Epileptic Seizures. Marijuana is the future and it’s time to give it some room to grow!
How Long Does THC Stay In Your System
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or better known as THC, is the active chemical found in Marijuana that creates the infamous psychoactive “high” effect. We can’t understand how long THC lingers in the system for without first acknowledging how long it’s metabolites stay active in our bodies. When marijuana is inhaled or smoked, the effects of the THC are almost immediately felt by it’s user. In contrast, when THC is ingested orally, through “edibles”, the psychoactive effects can take much longer to begin. Anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour after having eaten the edible, (depending on your BMI, tolerance, and other stomach contents) you will begin to feel it’s effects. Regardless of how you decide to ingest the marijuana, the outcome typically results in the same reaction. Our bodies metabolize the psychoactive chemicals which ultimately results in a few hours of high instead of a few weeks.
THC is detectable in our blood for the shortest amount of time because our bodies quickly break it down into metabolite molecules. If you are soon to take a blood screening drug test, this is right up your alley. The liver is responsible for breaking down THC and when it does it forms up to 80 separate metabolites. THC-COOH is among these and is the specific metabolite that drug screens are searching for. Trying to determine, without a doubt, how long THC stays in your system is a complicated question with numerous amounts of factors that need to be considered. It is not a question that can easily be answered with just one sentence.
There are hundreds of different strains of marijuana and they all contain different levels of THC Contamination. This, along with your BMI and personal relationship with marijuana all play their parts in deciding how quickly the drug will fully exit your body. THC is a lipid-soluble chemical, which means that it attaches itself to the fat tissue in your body. Ahhh, yes, that’s exactly what we’re saying: The more fat you have in your body, the longer it will take to clean your system out. This is where your BMI comes into play. How long the THC stays present also depends on how much has been consumed. (Like we said, it gets complicated).
How Long Does Weed Stay in your Urine?
The most commonly given drug screening done for the average work force would be a urine analysis. So if you’re inquiring about how long marijuana stays in your “system”, than you are more often than not asking, “How long does weed stay in your urine?”. In this case, you are effectively asking how to clean your urine so that no more THC metabolites can be found during testing. Urine analysis testing is the cheapest way to effectively test someone for traces of THC. This is why it is the most popular, not only among employers, but also people searching the web for answers on how to pass these tests.
Most jobs will require you to take a urine analysis test before they agree to hire you to ensure there is no use of any drugs that may interfere with your ability to handle the job. And maybe you decided to lay off the weed for the same reasons. But your last smoke was a couple of weeks ago and your drug screen is tomorrow… Are you gonna come back clear? Hopefully we can help answer this for you.
Like stated above, the amount of time THC stays in your urine is dependent upon a few different things. Some being, how long ago you smoked or consumed marijuana, how much marijuana was smoked or consumed, how much water you’ve been drinking since that period of time, and even exercise can play a part in determining how quickly your urine sample will show clean. Below, we will discuss what steps you can take to ensure you clean your system out quicker.
If you are a frequent smoker, however, marijuana can stay in your urine anywhere from 30 to 45 days after your very last intake. While it is highly unlikely, that is pretty significant. If you want to pass this test with 100% certainty, it is suggested that you refrain from using marijuana for at LEAST 30 days prior to your urine test. Although, 2 months is ideal. If say, you smoked marijuana one time with a buddy, a test could likely only pick it up within 3 days of the intake. Again, these results depend on different individual factors that vary from person to person.
How Long Does THC Stay in your Saliva?
For the most part, your saliva SHOULD be the least amount of your worries. Unless you head to your drug screening almost immediately after smoking, of course. Police Officers will usually use a mouth swab to determine whether or not marijuana is detectable when the subject has been driving (Don’t drive under the influence people!).
Saliva typically holds onto traces of THC for the shortest period of time. This can be anywhere from 1 hour to 24 hours. This amount of time can change depending how much you smoke during your session. If you are a heavy smoker, as opposed to someone who just tried out a friends strain that one time, the amount of time can be closer to around 72 hours.
THC can actually attach to your salivary glands for short periods of time so it is highly recommended that more professional smokers wait at LEAST 7 days before taking a saliva drug screening test.
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your Blood?
Companies who test people for the existence of drugs or alcohol do not typically use the subject’s blood to do so. Hospitals are more likely to test blood than anywhere else. While it is much less likely that you will need to worry about your blood, you never know when the info will come in handy!
Companies tend to avoid testing the blood because marijuana is a lipid-soluble compound and likes to attach to the fatter parts of the body instead. The metabolites that are derived from THC do not hang around in the bloodstream for very long because of this.
With blood analysis testing, marijuana typically only hangs around in the bloodstream anywhere from 1 to 3 days for non-frequent users of the drug. This is another reason why blood is rarely used to test for marijuana consumption. It just isn’t very reliable. However, if you are an active smoker who smokes once a day or more,the amount of time it stays in your blood can be much longer.
The amount you smoke plays a huge factor in how long it takes for your system to fully clean itself out. If you know that you will be applying for a new job soon, it is always best to quit cold-turkey to ensure a negative test result. Some tests conducted on chronic smokers of marijuana reported the THC metabolites still detectable in the blood stream 25 DAYS after the last intake. While blood test for marijuana use remain an uncommon occurrence, it is much better to be safe than sorry… and jobless.
How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Hair?
You know a company takes drug testing seriously when they require the dreaded hair follicle analysis. Our hair grows 0.5 inches every month. The area closest to your scalp, approximately 1.5 inches of hair, can assess up to 90 days of past marijuana use. Some people opt to shave their heads (and the entirety of their bodies), but we don’t suggest this method. After the use of marijuana, THC enters the hair follicles through tiny blood vessels and trace amounts can be found in the hair for a period of time.
When answering the question, “how long does marijuana stay in your system”, understanding that hair follicles hold onto THC longer than the rest of your body is a good place to start. Marijuana, if smoked, immediately enters the bloodstream. From there it travels into your hair follicles and binds itself to the cells and tissues surrounding the roots of your hairs, eventually making its way through the strand.
While less frequent smokers have a better chance of passing this test, same as any of the others, it’s not an exact science to say how long is long enough. It does not take very much THC to trigger a hair follicle test. If you find yourself having to take a hair follicle test, it is ultimately going to depend on how much you smoked and how long ago. Obviously, we suggest waiting the full 3 months before attempting to pass this test. Any time after 3 months and the test loses its accuracy.
How to Get Marijuana out of Your System
The actual act of clearing your system out of marijuana will, again, depend on multiple different factors. How often you use marijuana is pretty important. Everyday or frequent user is going to have a much more difficult time ridding their body of every ounce of THC. Your BMI, or Body Mass Index, also plays a huge role, because as stated above, THC is drawn to and attaches itself to fatty cells. So the more fat in your body, the longer the wait. Women typically have a more difficult time clearing out their systems because statistically, they have higher BMIs than men.
Complete abstinence from the drug is probably the best tip you’re going to receive. The moment you become aware of an impending drug test, cut off all use of marijuana and avoid situations in which you may be exposed to it. This may seem extreme for our heavy smokers, but it is by far the most obvious solution.
Drink lots and LOTS of water. A majority of tests will be urine analysis tests and a plethora of water will flush out your system much quicker. Vinegar consumption, though not in GREAT quantities, has also been known to aid in flushing out THC quicker as well.
A less popular and less known solution would be exercising. It is a fast and healthy way to get your body clean quicker. As stated above, THC loves fat, so a good way to combat it would be to sweat it out through exercise! Always remember to stay hydrated so that you may sweat more.
While we really hope this has given you a bit more insight into marijuana and how long it stays in your system, again, this is not an exact science. The same way that marijuana won’t effect everyone the same way, it won’t flush out of your system the same way either. It all depends on you and your personal consumption. This is just a basic guideline to try and give you a better understanding of what you’re up against.
If you are not a frequent user, chances are, you’re just being a little paranoid. Follow the instructions above and you will be ready for that test in no time! Same goes for heavier users though. Be cautious and cut weed out if you have an impending test to attend.