How long does weed (Cannabis) stay in your system and body?

Jan 21, 2020

The THC Drug Test and medical Cannabis consumption. Whether for work or some other reasons, many consumers will face THC drug tests. Also users of medical Cannabis may have to submit to a drug test at some point in their lives. The question often asked by users of medical Cannabis or Hemp is: How long will THC stay in my body?

In this article we discuss the basics of THC drug testing. Furthermore, what you can do if you have an unexpected drug test coming up.

How long does Marijuana and THC stay in your system?

Drug Test for THC or how long does weed stay in your system

The main chemical in Marijuana that shows up in drug tests is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Its effects wear off within a few hours of consumption. However, traces of THC can remain in the body for weeks, even months. They can obviously be detected by a THC drug test.

This is because THC is a lipid-soluble chemical that binds to fat in the body. The fact that THC binds to fat, increases the time it takes for the THC to be eliminated by the body. THC Drug tests can detect its metabolites for weeks, sometimes even months, after use. 

The length of time this chemical stays in the body or continues to show up in a drug test depends on many factors. These include:

  • The amount of body fat a person has?
  • Rate of Cannabis consumption?
  • How much someone smokes?
  • The type and sensitivity of the drug test.

What are the tests and how do they find it with a THC drug test?

The non-THC components of Cannabis and Hemp are not tested for. This is why Hemp and high CBD Cannabis strains will not cause you to fail a drug test for Marijuana. However, drug tests do look for THC and it metabolites. 

Blood test

Blood tests have a narrow window of time to detect THC metabolites, and can only detect THC for 3-4 hours.

THC drug test with your urine 

THC urine tests are one of the most common methods for determining Marijuana use. It can detect THC in the urine for approximately 3–30 days after use.

Saliva test

Similar to blood test, saliva tests can only detect THC for approximately 24 to 72 hours after consumption.

THC Drug tests using your hair

THC hair tests are the most sensitive of all the tests and can detect THC for up to 90 days after use. 

How long does it take to eliminate THC (metabolize)?

Analyzing hair samples, researchers estimate that the average detection window for a single Cannabis joint is about 3 days. However, it is essential, to emphasize that detection windows vary greatly. They are depended on how often a person smokes. Some examples:

  • For someone smoking Cannabis for the first time, tests may detect it for about 3 days.
  • In case of Someone who smokes Cannabis three or four times per week, the detection window is  5–7 days.
  • For someone who smokes Cannabis daily, drug tests may detect it in their system for 30 days or longer.

Can you accelerate THC metabolization?

The often asked question. “How long does Weed or Cannabis stay in your system?” Is not easy to answer. Contrary to popular belief, there are only two proven strategies that work for accelerating THC metabolization: 

  1. Decreasing the concentration of THC in your body. The simplest and most natural way to do this is to simply stop using Cannabis. But, you can also accelerate the process by flushing your system with water. Doing so, 3-4 hours before the test, will force your body to metabolize THC faster. But do not overdo it, since a very large volume of water within a short time, is dangerous.
  2. Accelerating your metabolism: There is no reliable way to do this. However, exercise may help the body metabolize more THC. Beware though, exercising too near to a test may actually cause a positive result! This is because THC binds to your fat-cells and when exercising, your body burns those cells, releasing the THC back into your system.

Conclusion for the THC drug test

THC, the component of Marijuana, as well as Weed, Cannabis, or whatever else you may call it, that causes the “high” will be evident during drug testing for a number of days after your last use.

Learn more about THC – read on