The Length of Time Weed Stays In Your Body

This article will briefly explain how marijuana affects your system, how long it stays in your body, and what you can do to clear it out.

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System?

The physical effects from smoking weed might disappear after a few hours. However, the fact that you consumed marijuana can be detected by drug tests weeks after you last used marijuana.

The length of time that weed stays in your system just depends on a few factors. Some of which include the frequency that you use marijuana and what method you used to consume it (smoking, vaping or ingesting).

Here's What Happens When Weed Gets In Your System

First, the active ingredient in weed is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the compound that makes you high and gives all the effects typically associated with marijuana use. THC will enter your bloodstream almost immediately after smoking it. Ingested marijuana, such as edible brownies, will usually take longer to enter the bloodstream. You can expect it to take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

The effects of marijuana, the drug high, will typically last anywhere from two to five hours. The length of the high mostly depends on the amount you have consumed. You still might have effects that can last for over 24 hours, but these will be greatly diminished effects compared to the first few hours.

THC actually does not stay in the bloodstream for a particularly long amount of time. Only a few hours usually. The body breaks down the THC into metabolites, which are just molecules. Your body stores these metabolites in your fat. They are eventually purged from the body through urine and feces.

How Long Can Weed Be Detected By a Drug Test?

The length of time that weed can be detected by a drug test really depends on a few varied factors. Some THC that you consume will have an elimination half-life of 24 hours for THC stored in the bloodstream. Other strains might last shorter than that, but it is impossible to know, so most researchers just say 24 hours to simplify things. However, once it gets stored in body fat, the elimination half-life will climb up to approximately two weeks.

Now, if the marijuana use is just one-time use, then that changes things. Scientists tend to agree that smoking marijuana one time is only detectable for around eight days. The flip side of this is also true based on anecdotal evidence. Regular, and long-term, marijuana users have reported testing positive for marijuana up to three months after quitting marijuana.

Further complicating matters is the fact that if you have a large amount of body fat, then marijuana will stay in your system longer because the metabolites have more fat they can be absorbed into. A person with a low amount of body fat will quickly pass the metabolites out through their urine because they do not have enough body fat to store the metabolites.

The highly variable nature of marijuana in the human body can cause some anxiety for anyone that has to take a drug test. You might have forgotten the last time you even consumed marijuana, but it could still show up on a drug test.

Trace Amounts of Marijuana Can Stay in Your System

You can still test positive for marijuana use even if you never smoked it. You might wonder how this is even possible. Is it a false positive?

It is certainly possible and not likely a false positive. False positives on drug tests do happen, but they are fairly uncommon. However, if you are present in a room where marijuana is being smoked, then you may still test positive for marijuana.

Fortunately, the amount of THC in your bloodstream will be relatively low, which results in a shorter detection period. It is still something to keep in mind if you are frequently around people smoking marijuana though. In that case, you might have some significant amount of THC building up in your body fat. In fact, many people do not know that and think they will easily pass a marijuana test but end up failing it.

Don’t let secondhand marijuana smoke catch you off guard. Our Synergy Detox products can reduce some of that anxiety about taking a drug test if you have been exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke.

Limited Drug Testing Options

As mentioned previously, marijuana does not remain in the bloodstream for a prolonged period of time, and this eliminates blood testing as a viable testing option. It’s only really used after fatal automobile accidents. The fact that marijuana remains in the bloodstream for such a short period of time makes a blood test an effective tool to determine impairment. It can also determine the specific level of impairment.

A saliva sample may also be used to determine whether someone is impaired or not. It cannot determine the degree of impairment though.

Urine tests work a little differently. They can only determine 30 days out for moderate marijuana use. This is because it takes the body some time to break down THC and then eliminates it via urine. A hair follicle drug test can look back around 90 days with a 1.5-inch hair strand sample.

Final Thoughts

The somewhat limited testing options, combined with the highly variable nature of marijuana, can make knowing the exact amount of time marijuana stays in your system a difficult task. The best course of action is that if you have used marijuana within the past month, then you have the possibility of failing a test. Prolonged exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke may also cause the THC to enter your system.

If either of those scenarios applies to you, then you should purchase a full body detox from Synergy Detox. It will reduce the amount of THC metabolite your urine, blood, saliva, and hair enough to pass a drug test. Remember, it does not take much THC in your system to trigger a positive result on a drug test. That positive result can have disastrous consequences for your career. More info about all of our products are on our home page.