How long does weed stay in your system?
Traces of cannabis remain in your body longer compared to other narcotics like cocaine and methamphetamines.
Even if you live in a state with legal access to medical or recreational weed, it doesn’t always mean your employer is going to be gung-ho about you smoking it on the job.
This article details what to expect from drug tests for cannabis and what you can do to avoid getting caught by your (potential employer).
When answering the question “how long does marijuana last in your system?” it’s essential to know more about the different testing methods.
Each type of drug analysis is different, including the molecules they test for.
Before you can pass a drug test, you need to understand in detail how they work.
What Do You Need To Know About How Long Is Weed In Your System?
Although the physical effect of smoking cannabis fades rapidly, it’s still possible to detect traces in your body for several days or even weeks after consumption.
Several elements influence how long weed is testable in your System. These elements include the amount of cannabis used by the individual, their diet, physical fitness level, and even their medical history.
It’s complicated, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for determining how long THC stays in your system
How Does Marijuana Affect The Body?
Marijuana’s active ingredient is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
This cannabinoid rapidly enters the bloodstream if it is vaped or smoked.
However, if you’ve eaten an edible, it will take longer to enter the bloodstream. Cannabis has a short-term effect on learning, memory, coordination, and problem-solving. These effects are relatively short-lived, usually only lasting around 1-2 hours.
But the evidence lasts for much longer than the high itself. Employers, rightfully or not, want to know if you are high at work.
Unfortunately, many of the current tests also test whether you were high over the last few days and weeks.
Which Test Are Used To Detect Cannabis In The Body?
The most relevant factor to bear in mind when asking how long weed stays in your system is the type of drug test. There are several ways of testing, although some are more common than others.
Employers typically want cheap, fast, and easy tests, which means they almost always subjugate their employees to oral swabs and urine tests.
Blood tests are usually reserved for medical situations or if you are getting tested for legal reasons. Hair testing is quite challenging to get right and is one of the least accurate methods. You will likely never encounter a hair test for weed.
How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Your Blood?
If you take a blood test, you will probably ask how long weed stays in your blood? When blood testing is carried out for cannabis use, it is testing for the active component THC.
The good news is that THC can only be detected in your blood for a short period. Maybe a day or two if it’s the first time you have consumed cannabis and up to a week if you are a heavy user.
The THC is broken down rapidly and turned into metabolites. The human body makes around 80 metabolites from THC stored in the body’s fat cells, gradually eliminated over time through waste.
If you haven’t used marijuana in the last day or two, you should easily pass a blood test. However, because it’s well known that this test comes with time limitations, it is rarely used except in the event of an automobile accident or a roadside sobriety checkpoint.
Blood tests also indicate just how impaired or intoxicated you are due to your weed consumption.
How Long Does Weed Stay In Your Urine?
Since blood tests only reveal very recent marijuana use, it is no surprise that a more popular test for the presence of cannabis detects longer-term use.
Urine tests are very popular, especially with employers. They look for the various metabolites produced in the body through cannabis use. This type of testing does not show the level of current impairment or intoxication, only that you’ve used the drug recently.
A urine test is typically when chronic smokers get into trouble. Even if they haven’t smoked for days or weeks, these troublesome metabolites keep triggering a positive result.
So, precisely how long does marijuana stay in your urine? Well, you have to consider several factors.
When asking how long does THC stays in your urine, it’s essential to be aware that although some of the THC metabolites leave the body within 20 hours, many end up stored in the body’s fat cells.
For most people, even daily users, it may take up to two weeks for the THC metabolites to dissipate.
Heavy regular users, especially those with high body fat levels, can expect over a month in some cases.
On the positive side, if you are only an occasional user, it’s likely that the THC metabolites are long gone after five days.
Are Cannabis Urine Tests Accurate?
If you are asking how long does weed stays in urine, you are probably wondering how accurate the tests are.
It’s known that when it comes to testing for several other substances, false positives are relatively common. You may have even heard the rumors that some over-the-counter medications can trigger a positive result or that poppy seeds can trigger a positive test for heroin.
However, when it comes to detecting THC in urine, there are now highly sophisticated tests that mean that a false positive is very unlikely. The urine testing process involves screening the urine sample with the RIA or EMIT test. Further screening is required once a positive result has been returned using a GCMS for a more accurate result.
Saliva Testing for Marijuana
Another popular test among employers is the oral swab, also known as a saliva test. Many prefer the saliva test because it’s less intrusive to perform and the process more efficient. Oral swabs are similar to a pregnancy test, where the results are displayed almost immediately. You can even buy your own oral swabs to have handy at work or at home.
Oral swabs only test for recent activity within the last six hours. If you smoked a doobie before work, then you’ll test positive at lunchtime. If you packed a bowl last week, the test should return a negative result.
How Does Saliva Cannabis Testing Work?
If you wonder how long marijuana is in your system before passing a saliva drug test, you need to know how this type of testing works.
A saliva cannabis test uses a swab that is similar in shape to a toothbrush. It collects a sample from the mouth (in the area between the cheek and lower gum). This swab is inserted into a container with a chemical that tests for the presence of marijuana compounds.
Since this type of drug test cannot detect marijuana use for more than 72 hours in the past (at the very most). Most people will test free and clear within a day. Even if you are a chronic smoker, so long as you pause for a day or so, you’ll still have negative results from an oral swab.
One thing to be aware of with oral swabs is their tendency to be used randomly. Urine tests are typically scheduled and routine. Saliva tests tend to come when you least expect them.
If you are looking for some advice on passing a mouth swab test, check out this article!
What About Hair Testing?
Marijuana metabolites stay in your bloodstream, your fat cells, and eventually your hair. Just as your body disposes of THC metabolites through urine and excrement, it also gets rid of it by way of your hair follicles. It’s a rarely used test because of the difficulty of determining the timeframe of past use.
However, it’s good to know about the mechanisms behind how a hair test works in case you ever are subjected to one.
If you smoked marijuana within the last 5-10 days, there is a good chance that a hair test will show up negative. It takes a while for hair to accumulate evidence of cannabis use. It must first metabolize in the liver, travel through the body, enter the hair follicle and make its way through to the scalp’s surface.
If you used marijuana in the last month, or even just once within the past 90 days, you have a higher likelihood of failing a hair test. A hair test for cannabis involves cutting a section of hair measuring around 1.5″ and including up to 120 strands. The sample is tested for the presence of drugs. As hair usually grows only at around 0.5″ per month, it’s easy to see why this test detects drug use over such an extended period. Hair tests are unpopular because they are expensive, difficult to perform accurately, and imprecise.
Which Variables Impact the Length of Time Cannabis Remains in Your Body?
As you already know by now, several variables determine the length of time that cannabis sticks around in the human body. These include:
- BMI – Yes, unfortunately, if you have a higher percentage of body fat, you tend to pack in the THC-COOH metabolite for much longer than someone who is physically fit.
- Hydration – While THC-COOH isn’t water-soluble, THC is. Drink up and wash out the toxins!
- Your Genetic Makeup – This includes the natural speed of your metabolism, your liver function, and more.
- Physical Fitness– people who exercise regularly discharge THC more quickly than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
- Casual or Chronic – infrequent users will clear the THC more rapidly than a regular users. Regular users tend to see a build-up, which can linger for months.
- Overall Health – several medical conditions impact the length of time that your body stores marijuana.
- Other Medications and Drugs – Other drugs may interact with the CYP3A4 and CYP2CP enzymes responsible for processing marijuana. If you are taking other drugs, even pharmaceuticals, it could reduce the function of these enzymes.
- THC Potency – If you are smoking low THC – high CBD cannabis strains, you will have a much easier time than if you are smoking 90 percent THC isolates.
Is It Possible To Cheat The Test?
It’s sometimes possible to cheat cannabis drug testing, although it’s never guaranteed. Whether it will work for you depends on the type of analysis you are subject to, how much notice is given before the examination, and fate.
Although many people rely on artificial urine products at the local smoke shop, drug tests are increasingly sophisticated enough to detect false urine. The price for synthetic urine typically ranges from$20 to $50. We know people who have used fake urine to pass a drug test, but it’s challenging to pull off and comes with dire consequences if they catch you.
We suggest the following options for anyone who needs to beat a cannabis drug test:
- Full SystemCleanse – this method involves drinking lots of liquids then urinating as much as possible before taking the test. Drinking a lot dilutes the urine to reduce the THC content.
- Drug Screening Agents – some companies sell herbal teas and substances that may flush toxins, like marijuana, from the body. These have unreliable results and may need to be used over an extended period to prove useful.
- Exercise and Eat Right – The cleaner you eat, and the more you exercise on an everyday basis, the cleaner your SSystemis overall.