Marijuana Detection FAQs – How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?
People use marijuana for a lot of reasons. Some use it for recreational purposes, and they just want to simply enjoy the high. Some use it for medicinal purposes, and the relief they get from medical cannabis is far more powerful than conventional drugs. But whatever their reasons may be, there are common things they worry about.
Below are some of the frequently asked questions regarding marijuana detection.
How does marijuana affect your system?
Marijuana contains different types of cannabinoids, the most abundant and most psychoactive of which is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is the cannabinoid that gets you high. It is also the cannabinoid that shows up in a drug test.
Once you smoke marijuana, THC will go directly into your bloodstream and activate the endocannabinoid systems (ECS) found in your cells. Now, stimulating the ECS’ cannabinoid type 1 receptor or CB1 receptor results in the psychedelic and psychoactive effects marijuana is known for.
However, while THC produces these effects, its activation of the whole ECS also prompts this important biological system to produce its therapeutic and beneficial effects like pain and inflammation control.
Of note though; cannabis edibles that contain THC take some time before you can feel its effects. This is because the stomach and the liver still have to metabolize the cannabis edible before the cannabinoids are absorbed by the blood. This process can take anywhere from half an hour to an hour and a half.
How do doctors detect marijuana in your system?
There are a number of ways that doctors can detect marijuana in your system. It can be done through a urine, blood, saliva, and hair drug test.
Of the four methods, urine drug test is the most commonly used since marijuana is eliminated through urination. Blood and saliva drug tests are typically used in road accidents as well as sobriety checkpoints. Hair drug test, on the other hand, is the most accurate since the metabolites of the cannabinoids also accumulate in the hair strands.
How long does marijuana stay in your system?
The length of time THC and other cannabinoids stay in the system depends upon a lot of factors.
- • The longer you’re taking marijuana, the longer THC stays in your system. Once metabolized by the body, THC will be stored in your body fat before they’re eliminated through defecation and urination.
- • The more you consume marijuana, the more they accumulate in your body fat and the harder your body has to work to process and metabolize them. It will take longer, too, for your body to eliminate them.
- • The faster the metabolism, the quicker marijuana is eliminated from your system.
How long can marijuana be detected in your urine?
If you used marijuana for the first time, it can take about eight days before the metabolites are totally gone from your system. However, if you’re a frequent user, the length of time it stays in your system is longer. Traces of its metabolites can still be present in your urine up to 15 days.
From regular users, the metabolites can still be detected in your urine up to about a month, while it can take anywhere from 45 to 77 days if you’re a heavy user.
How long can marijuana be detected in your blood?
The window of time to detect marijuana in your bloodstream is shorter compared to detecting marijuana in your urine. This is because THC, once absorbed in the blood, is rapidly broken down into its metabolite form by enzymes.
Now, THC and its metabolites (and other cannabinoids, for that matter) are fat-soluble; meaning, they dissolve in fat. Since blood has a low fat content, the cannabinoids will then go directly to the fatty tissues where they will be stored.
For marijuana to be detected in the blood, the test should be done immediately. If you used marijuana just once, you can test positive up to 24 hours. Frequent users can test positive up to about three days, while regular users can test positive up to about a week.
How long does marijuana stay in the hair?
THC and its metabolites as well as other cannabinoids stay in your hair strands the longest. This is because the cannabinoids also bind to the fatty cells and tissues that surround your hair roots. In time, especially with heavy and chronic use, your hair follicles and hair strands will absorb the cannabinoids, and you will test positive for marijuana. Marijuana can be detected in your hair strands approximately 90 days or three months after past use.
Forget about shaving your entire head to pass a drug test though. They’ll just take hair from other parts of your body like your chest and armpit. The only way to pass a hair drug test is to remain marijuana-free for 90 days or more.
How long can marijuana be detected in your saliva?
Saliva drug test or swab test screens for activated THC, not its metabolites. Simply put, this is THC found in your mouth. After smoking or inhaling marijuana, it will coat all the surfaces in your mouth – your inner cheeks, tongue, teeth, and saliva. It typically stays there for about one to two days.
Is it possible to fool a drug test?
You should know that there’s no foolproof way to beat a marijuana drug test. All you can do is to reduce your chances of hitting a positive.
- • Drink plenty of fluids. The more you drink water, the more you will urinate and the faster your body gets rid of marijuana. However, while drinking plenty of water can reduce the THC level in your system, it won’t eliminate all of the metabolites though. Moreover, it will only dilute your urine with lower creatinine level, pH level, and specific gravity. All of these point to urine dilution, a clear sign of trying to cheat the drug test.
- • Exercise. The more you exercise, the faster you burn fat and the quicker they release THC back into your bloodstream for elimination. While this can speed up the elimination process of marijuana though, it will also cause your plasma THC concentration to spike. This method won’t benefit you if you have an upcoming drug test to worry about.
- • Eat fiber-rich food. Defecation is another process of removing marijuana from your system. So if you want to speed up the process of eliminating marijuana before a drug test, you need to eat plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
- • Synthetic urine. Some people can get away with using synthetic urine. However, getting caught using this method can land you in more legal problems. It can also get you fired from your work.
- • Using detox pills and drinks. These products claim to eliminate or at least significantly reduce THC levels in your system by speeding up your metabolism. Of note, there are no detox products that can completely rid your system of marijuana in just one day.
While these methods can help fool a drug test, they are not 100% perfect. The only way that you can pass a drug test is to do it the hard way – by stopping your marijuana use and letting your body eliminate them the natural way. If you have no drug test to worry about, exercise, right diet, and plenty of water can speed up the process.