How Long Weed stay in Your System: Urine, Saliva, Hair, and Blood

If you have been using marijuana and now have to encounter drug tests either for employment or custody, what might be your first concern? Definitely, how long does marijuana stays in your system? There is no specific answer because how long does THC last in your body and excrete out depends on various factors. The marijuana detection time chart is influenced by several parameters including the frequency and amount of use, age, health, and metabolism. If you want to get THC out of your system fast, then keep on reading to get more tips to flush the weed to pass your drug test.

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?

Weed also known as cannabis or marijuana is the most used recreational drug by Americans-a poll says that half of the US adults have tried marijuana. The major component of marijuana is THC-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is basically detected by the drug tests. The hair, urine, and blood tests can detect the THC for many days while the saliva test can detect the THC for a few hours from the last dose.

Factors Influencing the THC Detection Time?

A number of factors govern the time for which the THC stays in your system; including:

  • The frequency of use
  • The amount of use
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body’s metabolism
  • Gender
  • Hydration
  • Age

THC detection time Varies with Dose

Marijuana drug tests detect the concentration of THC in the tests. So, a person who is a chronic smoker and smokes several times a week has a high concentration of THC in the blood than those who smoke occasionally.

Immunoassay or home-based testing devices are used for the qualitative measurement of THC in the blood in the form of a positive or negative test. In the case of a positive test, a lab-based confirmation test is conducted for more detailed results.

A 2017 study reports the test results in the heavy, light, and non-smokers. The study was based on 136 marijuana users who were tested for hair follicle drug tests. The hairs were cut to 1 centimeter and tested. 77% of the heavy users and 39% of the light users produce positive results, while no non-smokers were not tested positive. Marijuana detection time chart in different drug tests can help you to better understand the effect of dosage and frequency on detection.

Another study on cannabis users was reported in 2012. The persons were smoking a single cigarette with 6.8% THC with 14 frequent and 10 occasional smokers. THC was detected in 100% of the frequent users and 60-100% of the occasional users with THC concentration high in the urine in 0.6 to 7.4 hours after smoking.

Body Fat

Body fat also contributes significantly in determining the fact that how long will marijuana stay in your system. The THC is stored in the fat, so for a person with high fat, it is difficult to remove THC.

Exercise

Exercise doesn’t affect the rate at which the THC is excreted from the body. The surprising fact is there is a great likelihood of positive tests if you exercise right before the test.

A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of exercise on cannabis users. 14 regular marijuana users were tested after 35 minutes of exercise on the stationary bike. The results show that there is an increased concentration of THC suggesting that the exercise causes the body to release the THC at a faster rate. The THC is stored in the fat cells, so the users with high BMI had more THC levels.

Apart from the above factors, the form of marijuana being used is also considerable. Weed that is ingested stays longer in the blood than the weed that is smoked. As THC is stored in the body fat, the faster the metabolism of your body easily the weed gets out of your pee. For the high dosage, it becomes difficult to eliminate the THC from the body.

How Long is Marijuana Detected by Various Drug Tests?

The drug test detects marijuana and its metabolites in the body. The metabolites of the weed stay in your blood system for a long time after the use even its effect has worn off. Here, is the summary of the detection time of the weed by various drug tests.

Urine Drug Testing

How long does it take the pot to leave the system for a urine drug test depends upon the frequency of use. For our convenience, cannabis users can be divided into the following categories.

Cannabis User THC stay in the urine
Infrequent User (less than two times a week) 1 to 3 days
Moderate User (four to five times a weak) Up to 7 days
Heavy User (daily use) 10 to 21 days
Chronic User (multiple times a day) Up to 30 days

Urine drug testing is the most commonly employed test to detect the THC in the system as it is easy and produces instant and accurate results. Relying on detox drinks and fake urine kits is not enough to beat a urine drug test. Quitting the marijuana intake, proper hydration, and some exercise can help you to excrete the THC from the urine and pass a drug test.

The best way to clean your system for a urine drug test is to drink enough water and pee out to let the body clean the metabolites because the cannabis is long detectable in urine.

The basic test used for urine testing is immunoassay because it is quick and effective. While if confirmation is required for the preliminary results, the GC-MS is employed in the laboratory.

Blood Drug Testing

The metabolites of marijuana stay in the bloodstream for a significant time depending on the usage. After inhalation, the weed is distributed in the blood and tissues and can be reabsorbed. Weed stays in your blood system for many days after use.

Frequent Use Up to 36 hours
Chronic Use Up to 7 days
Heavy Chronic use Can be detected up to 21 days

Blood tests are considered more effective than other tests because it provides detail about various kinds of drugs. From alcohol to opiates, and barbiturates, several drugs are tested by a blood test.

Saliva Drug Testing

Saliva drug test detection time is small as compared to other drug tests. Weed enters the saliva after the ingestion or exposure to secondhand smoke. Saliva can be detected for the following time after the use:

Infrequent User Up to 24 hours
Frequent User Up to 2 days
Chronic User Up to 29 days

Oral fluid strips are used for roadside testing to detect the drugs in the system. Various detox mouthwash has been advertised and employed by the users to beat the saliva drug test.

A saliva drug test is one of the easiest tests that provide immediate results. Just a collection stick with cotton or absorbent is used to collect the saliva from the cheeks and then the sample is analyzed. Saliva is a fluid that is collected from specific saliva glands for the purpose of drug detection.

Hair Drug Testing

Hair follicle drug test is one of the most authentic drug tests to detect the metabolites of the drug in the body. The marijuana and its metabolites are detectable in your hair follicles drug test for about 90 days. The drugs reach the hair follicles via the blood vessels and can be detected for a long time.

The study present that the hair follicle drug test is best suited for heavy or daily users.

A hair follicle drug test is performed on the hairs ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 inches in length. If a person is bald, then the hairs can be taken from the face or hands. As with other methods, first, the Immunoassay test is performed and then confirmation is done by the GC-MS in the lab. Weed is easily detectable in hair follicle drug tests and the result can be received with a few days.

Various detox methods from the Jerry G to Macujo are used to pass the hair drug test. But the weed will show up in the hair follicle drug test again after you perspire or oil returns to the hairs. So, a careful method is necessary to remove the toxins from the hair follicles.

Summary Marijuana Detection Time Chart:

Marijuana User Urine Drug Test Blood Test Saliva Test Hair Follicle Test
Infrequent 1 to 3 days Up to 24 hours Up to 24 hours For 90 days
Moderate Up to 7 days Up to 36 hours Up to 2 days For 90 days
Heavy 10 to 21 days Up to 7 days Up to 29 days For 90 days
Chronic Up to 30 days Up to 21 days Up to 29 days For 90 days

How is THC Metabolized?

As soon as you ingest cannabis, it is rapidly broken down into metabolites and modified to other forms. The THC makes its way to the liver via the bloodstream where it is metabolized. Generally, the THC metabolism produces up to 80 metabolites in the body that are detected by drug tests.

The major psychoactive component of the THC is delta9 THC which further metabolizes to Glucuronide. After one week, the THC and its metabolites still remain in the body and need three weeks for its removal from the body, if you don’t intake more drugs.

More than 55% of the THC is excreted by the feces from the system and about 20% is excreted by the urine.

Could You Fasten the THC Metabolism Process?

There is not a single tip to drastically get the THC out of your body because it is a natural process. Once the THC enters the body, it takes time to completely flush the toxins from the body. But following some measures can fasten the process: like hydration, exercise, and prohibition from intake of drugs.

If you are an occasional user and at the border of the positive or negative test, then drinking water and some exercise can easily excrete the THC out of your body.

As these natural processes are slow and require time, so most drug users opt for detox products and kits to pass the drug test. The success rate of these detox products is significant if we count for the online reviews. But there is no guarantee that you can pass the drug test with these fake urine kits and detox drinks. Alternatively, using detox pills or drinks can be harmful to the body. Be consistent while the detoxification process to naturally get the weed out of your pee.

Could Secondhand Marijuana cause Positive Drug Test Results?

It is not common that a person can get a positive result from secondhand marijuana but it can be possible in some cases. In research, both the smokers and nonsmokers were seated together in two rooms, ventilated and non-ventilated. In the ventilated room, the THC concentration in the non-smokers was not enough to meet the cutoff level. While in the non-ventilated room, the THC was detected in only one non-smoker urine after four to six hours of exposure.

In one study, the participants were seated for one hour with a high level of THC (11.3%). THC was detected in the one non-smoker urine but it was rare and in the immediate hours of exposure.

Conclusion

Marijuana is one of the most widely used recreational drugs by adults and teens. Either for employment or custody cases, the drug test is necessary and THC is the major concern for the user. How long does it take for the weed to get out of your system for the drug test depends on various factors from your metabolism to age and frequency of use. Among the drug tests, the weed will show up in the hair follicle drug test for 90 days. THC is stored in the fat tissues, the more frequently and heavily you use the marijuana, the longer it will take to get THC out of your system. A urine test can detect various compounds for a wide range of times up to thirty days. For the infrequent user, THC is less likely to test positive.

References:

Highly respected database from the National Institute of Health (PubMed Central) 2016: Comparison of cannabinoids in hair with self-reported cannabis consumption in heavy, light, and non-cannabis users https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5396143/

Oxford University Press (2014): Urinary cannabinoid disposition in occasional and frequent smokers: Is THC-Glucuronide in sequential urine samples a marker of recent use in frequent smokers https://academic.oup.com/clinchem/article/60/2/361/5621641

Highly respected database from the National Institute of Health (PubMed Central) 2013: Exercise increase plasma THC concentration in regular cannabis users
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24018317/

Highly respected informational database from the National Institute of Health (PubMed Central) 2014: Non-smoker exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke. Urine screening and confirmation results https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4342697/