How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Body

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Written by Casandra Jones on 12/11/2022.
Data Last Updated: 05/31/2024.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Aaron Lee Wiegmann Author avatar Medically reviewed by Dr. Aaron Lee Wiegmann Dr. Wiegmann is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Chicago. Although he specializes in aesthetic surgery and reconstruction of the face, breast, and body, his medical knowledge is vast. He is passionate about medical research on the health benefits of any naturally occurring substance,...

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Chromometer 6 min

All marijuana enthusiasts must understand how long it takes for certain marijuana chemicals to break down completely and leave no trace. While some trace elements can stay in your system for months (depending on the amount), most cannabinoids are metabolized within 1–3 days. You may wonder: “How long will I get rid of the marijuana in my system?” It depends on several elements, such as your physiology, activity level, and eating habits.

Infrequent use is typically not a big deal. After 24 hours, saliva tests cannot detect most cannabinoids. However, traces of substances that can be detected stay in your urine for at least three days. If this is your first or second time smoking marijuana, waiting just 1–3 days should usually be sufficient to remove any unwelcome microelements that may be found.

Cannabis detection methods

Cannabis detection methods

Cannabis detection methods

To identify cannabis metabolites and byproducts, there are three basic detection methods. 

The three most frequently used tests are: 

  • Urine
  • Blood
  • Saliva. 

With the latter being a common method of drug detection in the workplace. Note that if you are tested within a few hours after smoking, all three tests will show that you used marijuana, even after just one hit.

Urine testing

Urine testing

This technique is frequently used to identify regular marijuana users. Urine can include trace levels that can be used to establish whether you smoked in the last 30 days. Your smoking habits affect how long cannabis byproducts typically linger in the urinary system.

Smokers that use marijuana occasionally and moderately, 3–4 times per week, will retain trace cannabinoids for 3–7 days.

Daily and frequent smokers will have trace quantities of cannabinoids in their systems for 10–30 days.

Since the majority of cannabis metabolites are soluble in fats and bind to any nearby fat molecules, obese people may still have some after one month. Cannabis metabolites will be slowly released into the urine as fats are consumed for energy. This process could, in some circumstances, take a while. 

Urine testing is the most frequently used approach for detecting cannabis. It is used by law enforcement and various corporations as well as educational institutions.

Blood testing

Blood testing

Blood testing is unquestionably the most reliable and precise method of cannabis detection. As was previously discussed, cannabinoids and their metabolites bind to fat molecules and gradually release marijuana byproducts into your bloodstream. Certain amounts of marijuana byproducts can be seen in the blood for 1—2 days. Regular smokers may have cannabinoids in their blood for a month. Heavy users may have some persistent by-products of marijuana for up to 90 days.

Blood tests can identify cannabinoids within seconds of your first hit because most of them enter your bloodstream immediately. Although tissues quickly absorb microelements, some byproducts can persist in the blood for days or weeks. Blood testing is more accurate than a urine test because of its higher detection rate. The technique is widely used to detect recent cannabis usage or for research objectives. The approach is less useful and calls for specialist tools.

Saliva testing

Saliva testing

Although saliva testing for drug use is less reliable, it can be utilized successfully in a corporate setting. Over the past few years, some portable breathalyzers and saliva testing kits have been created. These kits enable business-to-business testing, so there is no need to hire outside contractors or buy pricey laboratory equipment.

Some experts are concerned that saliva analyzers might not provide accurate results and occasionally produce false signals. Nevertheless, the method is still frequently used for various objectives. According to recommendations, saliva testing should be performed to detect recent marijuana use in both light and heavy smokers.

People who smoke only occasionally, on average once or twice a week, will have detectable marijuana byproducts in their saliva for at least 1 to 3 days. Cannabis byproducts will be detectable in saliva for at least 29 days in chronic smokers who smoke cannabis frequently or regularly.

Hair testing

Hair testing

This approach is rather new. While some people might think that marijuana components enter the hair through the skin when they smoke it, metabolites typically enter the hair through microscopic blood capillaries feeding the follicles. These side products may remain in your hair for as long as you don’t have a haircut since they don’t have an easy route back to the bloodstream.

Single marijuana usage can be recognized even months later. The technique is rarely employed outside of forensic study since it is unreliable.

Factors affecting cannabis metabolism

Factors affecting cannabis metabolism

The precise amount of time cannabis metabolites stay in your body depends on several variables, including:

  1. Physiological factors such as age, gender, body mass index, and age;
  2. Frequency of use;
  3. The quantity of marijuana lately consumed;
  4. The biochemical composition of cannabis (THC remains for longer periods).

The psychoactive cannabinoid THC is capable of being stored in a variety of tissues. It eventually decomposes into simple metabolites in the liver. The process takes longer if you consume other substances, prescription medication, alcohol, or fatty foods. Byproducts and metabolites are expelled with the urine or feces following metabolization.

All of the above factors indicate that cannabis byproducts will be stored for a longer period by bodies with slower metabolisms, a heavier load of extra pollution, and complex diets. THC is also broken down much more slowly in people with a lot of visceral fat.

The main lesson

There are various ways to test for drugs. Some are more accurate than others. Since most of these testing kits are designed to find THC metabolites, users of medical cannabis, which typically contains very little THC, can safely submit to testing 1–3 days after usage.


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  • Cloud MInded Blog 11/09/2020 11:04:25
    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

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