- Mitch Pfeifer
How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System?
If you’re Googling “how long does weed stay in your system,” then you are probably worried about an upcoming drug test. Unfortunately, while the effects of cannabis might fade quickly, with the bulk of effects potentially lasting only up to a few hours in most cases, cannabinoids like THC can stay detectable in the body for much longer. So, how long does weed stay in your system after you’ve consumed it? The truth is that the length of time that weed, or any cannabis products, can be detectable in the body is determined by many factors including:
Amount of Cannabis Consumed
Frequency of Consumption
Potency of Products Consumed
Other Genetic Factors
These contributing factors mean that the answer to “how long does weed stay in your system” can honestly be different for everyone. Whether you’re a curious newbie or a seasoned stoner who is looking to pass a drug test, this guide will give you a rough estimate of how long THC may linger in your body.
How Weed Is Processed Through Your System
Logically, the more cannabis you consume, the longer it will take for it to leave your system. The factors mentioned above play a part in how quickly your body is able to metabolize weed, or more specifically THC. After consuming Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, processed metabolites are stored in fat tissue throughout your body. Because of this, users with higher BMI (body mass index) have the potential to store THC molecules longer than those with a lower mass.
When you smoke weed (or consume edibles), THC enters your system almost immediately - allowing you to feel the psychoactive effects. Once consumed, your body quickly metabolizes the psychoactive compounds that make you high. This is why you only feel high for a few hours, rather than the entire time the weed stays in your body. Most drug tests that are used to detect weed in your system look for the presence of THC-COOH. THC-COOH is a metabolite, or substance, that forms as active THC compounds are broken down after consumption. When this metabolite is present, it means that a person has recently consumed weed.
How Long Does Weed Stay In Your Urine?
If you are trying to figure out “how long weed stays in your system”, you’re most likely trying to figure out your chances of passing a drug test. Urinalysis is by far the most common type of test used when looking for residual weed in the body because it has one of the longest detection periods. Weed, or rather THC-COOH, can be detectable in your urine for up to 3+ months depending on how much weed you consume, how often you consume it, and how hydrated you are.
As a general rule, those who have smoked weed once in the last month can expect to test positive up to 8+ days after consumption. Infrequent users, or people who smoke (or eat edibles) 4-7 times a month, can expect to pop positive for up to 15+ days from their point of last consumption. For regular users, or those who consume 10-15 times a month, there may be up to 30+ days of detectable THC in the urine; and lastly, chronic users (who smoke daily) may test positive for 40-90+ days after their last hit.
How Long Does Weed Stay In Your Hair?
Whereas the urinalysis was developed to detect all levels of consumption, the hair drug test was developed to specifically find chronic, or long-term, use. Like a urinalysis, hair analysis drug tests for THC-COOH, the byproduct of THC. In general, weed can stay in the hair of serious stoners for up to 90+ days.
Interestingly, with this method, first-time users and infrequent consumers are less likely to pop positive for residual weed. This is because it takes a solid amount of weed to allow the THC-COOH metabolites to reach your hair follicles.
How Long Does Weed Stay In Your Saliva?
A drug test that is performed by analyzing saliva serves the opposite purpose of a hair test. Saliva tests are often used to determine immediate use - or to confirm use slightly after consumption. Remnants of THC are often gone from the mouth within 72 hours, so this test is not used to confirm chronic or consistent use.
Generally, weed remnants can be detected in saliva for about 1-24 hours after smoking. This is true even if you only take one toke. Because cannabinoids can accumulate in your glands over time, serious stoners could find THC present in their saliva for closer to 72+ hours and are ultimately advised to wait a week before taking a saliva test.
The immediate results of this test may be why it is gaining popularity with law enforcement. Saliva tests are often used during roadside checkpoints and traffic stops to rule out driving under the influence of weed
How Long Does Weed Stay In Your Blood?
Finally, the last method used for testing for weed in your system is the blood test. Although the use of blood tests is rare, they are not entirely uncommon. For first-time users, all remnants of THC should be removed from the bloodstream after about 24 hours. Regular, or more frequent users may find THC in their bloodstream for up to 3+ days, and chronic users can test positive for up to a week or longer using this method.
Just as the effects of consumption vary from person to person, the length of time that weed stays in the system differs as well. Your body’s ability to purge leftover THC is reliant on many factors including frequency of use, product potency, and overall health. For the most part, weed will stay in your system for between 10 days - 3+ months depending on your habits. Unfortunately, It is not uncommon for serious smokers to pop positive after abstaining from smoking for 90+ days.
If you have questions, feel free to head into one of our Washington dispensaries, or give us a call to chat with one of our knowledgeable budtenders.