How Long Does Marijuana Stay in your System?
The short answer is it will vary depending on how it is tested (urine, blood, hair, etc) and how often you consume on a daily basis. We break these down below.Last updated: June 1, 2018
How Your Body Reacts to Weed
There are a few different compounds found inside marijuana, but the two most well-known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. THC is the active ingredient that causes the “high” users experience after ingesting weed. When smoking pot, the second that it hits your lungs it quickly goes into the bloodstream. From the blood, the chemicals of marijuana move to other organs and parts of the body.
When you ingest marijuana in its edible form, your body will take longer to absorb the chemicals, but it still has the same effects including changes in senses and mood, along with motor function impairment, and impaired decision making.
Now that you know how marijuana affects the body let’s talk about the duration that it will stay in your system.
How Long for Weed to Leave Your Blood?
This first one is the shortest duration of the other areas of the body. Whenever you consume marijuana (either by smoking, eating, or drinking), the active components enter your bloodstream first. Essentially, your bloodstream is where the party kicks off before the chemicals reach your organs and brain.
Your body will metabolize marijuana relatively quickly, and the active cannabinoids are broken down in the blood. For this reason, it doesn’t stay in the blood for very long. Regarding a timetable, THC will remain in your blood for around one to two days only after a single use. If you are a habitual user, however, THC will stay in your blood for a little longer, typically around a week.
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your Urine?
Testing urine is the most convenient and common way that employers will test for marijuana. While you might think they’re testing for weed, they’re actually only testing for THC. This is because the body rapidly metabolizes the other cannabinoids in marijuana. THC, on the other hand, is fat-soluble, meaning that it will bond with fatty tissue in your body and stick around for much longer.
The duration that THC will remain in your urine largely depends on the amount that you consume on a regular basis. There isn’t any magic number, but based on scientific studies, the numbers break down as the following:
- 5 to 8 days for one-time use
- 11 to 18 days for two to four times a week
- 33-48 days for five to six times a week
- 50-65 days for everyday usage
How Long Does It Take for Weed to Leave Your Saliva?
Saliva and blood have relatively similar durations regarding the amount of time THC is present. In fact, mouth swab and blood tests for THC are relatively the same because of the similar duration. So how does THC get into your saliva?
When you smoke marijuana, the THC will coat the inside of your mouth and is absorbed into your saliva glands. The same is true for edibles, but exposure to saliva is more limited. There are ways to speed up the process to wash your saliva of THC such as brushing your teeth, eating fatty foods, and drinking lots of water. Even so, studies show that THC will stay present in saliva for a day or two. If you smoke a lot or ingest more potent marijuana, it could stay in your saliva for up to a week after.
How Long is Marijuana Present in Your Hair?
The evidence that you consumed marijuana will stay the longest in your hair follicles. It might sound crazy, but you can detect cannabis use in hair for years depending on how fast your hair grows and how often you trim it.
Even so, in most common tests, the evidence shows for around 90 days. Some might think that tests only check the tips of the hair, but for the test to work optimally, a 1.5-inch sample of hair is needed.
The hair on your head grows at an average rate of half an inch per month, so 1.5 inches is equal to three months of history. Body hair doesn’t grow as fast, and will typically show cannabis usage back even further.
Keep in mind that hair tests are meant more to check for habitual use of marijuana, and if you only smoke once or on occasion, the test shouldn’t be able to detect any usage.
Can you flush it out of your system faster?
There are tons of “tips and tricks” floating around the Internet that claim to help users flush the presence of THC and marijuana out of their system faster. There are also products that you can buy in smoke shops that claim to beat the test.
Typical advice includes drinking cranberry juice, lots of water, increasing your exercise, taking particular vitamins, and more. The list goes on and on, and the truth is there isn’t one way that you can “flush” marijuana out of your system. The only thing that is proven to work time and time again to eliminate the traces of marijuana from the body is time.
It won’t stay in your system forever and depending on how frequently you consume marijuana your time duration may vary. With that in mind, if you smoke the night before a drug test, there isn’t anything you can do to get it out of your system faster.
For having physical effects that last a relatively short period, traces of marijuana will stay in your system for much longer than some other drugs.