How long does weed stay in your system? Every smoker probably wondered about that at one point or another. Some people are naturally curious and want to know the answer, others have been forced into research by their employers who require them to do marijuana drug tests. Whatever your reason is for reading this article, know that this write-up will reveal it all.
We’ll look at how long weed stays in urine, blood, saliva, and hair so that you’re ready to face any test out there!
Let’s not forget that we’ll also look at what factors influence the length of weed staying in your system as well as methods of speeding up detox.
How Long Does Weed Stay In Your Urine
Urine is one of your biggest enemies when it comes to drug tests. Employers know that and that is why this method is one of the most popular ones out there. The tests employed use various colors to indicate the presence of THC metabolites in your body and they specifically search for 11-COOH-THC which is made by the liver once weed is smoked. The sensitivity of most of these tests is set at 50 nanograms per milliliter, that being the cutoff point.
If you’re an occasional user, this test will detect THC in your urine for up to three days.
If you’re a regular smoker, the test will have the ability to detect it for up to a week.
If you smoke weed every day, it will be detectable for up to two weeks.
The most notorious of them have a cutoff point at just 20 nanograms per milliliter, meaning that they are a lot more likely to detect it You should be careful with this test if you’re a heavy smoker, as it can detect THC metabolites in your urine even after a month has passed.
This finding was confirmed by a 2017 study that showed that chronic users were the most likely ones to fail a urine drug test after thirty days.
Although not used as frequently as urine tests, it’s still a method you should be acquainted with. One might think that a blood test is a futile attempt to test for weed as THC quickly leaves the bloodstream after smoking cessation. That would be true if these tests searched for THC, but they are looking for the aforementioned THC metabolite which lingers for much longer in your blood.
Studies indicate that in chronic users, it can be detected even after 25 days have passed, up to a month.
If you’re just a regular smoker, it will only be detectable for up to a week after use and in casual users, the number drops down to just one to two days.
How Long Does Weed Stay In Your Saliva
You will usually not encounter this test while at your job, but police might use it while you’re on the road. Studies so far show that if you’re just an occasional user, the THC metabolites in your saliva are going to be gone after three days.
However, if you’re a chronic smoker, it can be detectable for up to a month, so you should be careful.
How Long Does Weed Stay In Your Hair
The problem with hair tests is that people who are non-users often fail them if they are in proximity of people that smoke as THC binds to the hair follicles via air. Hair has the longest detection ratio out of all the other methods, with studies showing that THC metabolites have been found even after three months have passed.
Frequency of use has a large effect on how long marijuana will be detectable in the hair, with a study showcasing that 77% of chronic users and only 39% of regular smokers failed a hair drug test. This means that if you have a marijuana drug test coming up, it’s best to drastically lower your intake as that has proven to lower detection times.
We have already posted articles about how to pass a urine, blood, hair, and saliva drug test so we’re not going to be concerning ourselves with that topic again.
To conclude, the answer to the question ‘how long does weed stay in your system’ is complicated and depends on a lot of factors.
Factors Influencing The Length of Time Weed Stays In Your System
There are numerous factors that influence the length of time weed stays in your system. We’re going to aim to name them all for your convenience. Keep in mind that just altering a few of these by changing your habits will drastically affect the detection time of your next marijuana drug test!
- Sex: Women naturally have more fat in their body and therefore, they maintain higher THC levels than men. This means that women will have to be especially careful with the other factors if they don’t want to fail a marijuana drug test.
- Amount of Marijuana Smoked: We’ve seen this as a common theme back in the previous section, where chronic users oftentimes got the shorter end of the stick. All the studies we’ve mentioned so far indicate that the more you smoke in a session, the more likely weed will linger longer in your body.
- Frequency of Marijuana Usage: Frequency is another very important factor, if you’re smoking multiple times a day, you can expect your urine, saliva, hair, and blood to carry THC metabolites even after a month after you’ve stopped smoking, so tread carefully.
- Genetics: As weird as it may sound, genetics do have an influence on how long weed stays in your system. It all has to do with the enzymes that break down THC, the more you have them, the shorter the time window of detection. Since this is luck based, you can’t do much to influence this factor.
- Your Metabolic Rate: If you have a high metabolism, count yourself lucky as you’re breaking down THC way faster than others with a slower metabolism. Those with a lower metabolic rate shouldn’t despair, as things such as physical exercise can speed things up.
- Age: Age is also an influencing factor, as those that are older have a harder time metabolizing THC. You are in luck if you’re a younger guy or gal!
- Exercise: Exercise in itself will not influence your drug test that much, this means that if you regularly exercise, it won’t have that much of an effect. There is a huge but to this and that this exercising right before a drug test. Studies have shown that if you exercise before a drug test, you’re actually INCREASING the chances of THC being detected by the test. This happens as the fat cells in your body break down, releasing THC in your blood as they do so. Sometimes, it’s just better to be a lazy couch potato and this is one of those occasions.
- Amount of Water You Consume: While you’re not going to pass a drug test solely by chugging a lot of water before taking it, being dehydrated is not recommended as it increases the amount of THC in the body.
- Amount of Fat You Have: We’ve already told you that women have a harder time getting rid of THC as they have more fat in their bodies. This also affects those that have a higher than usual BMI. If you want to pass your next drug test, you better ignore those munchies and start exercising (but not before a drug test)!
- Method of Marijuana Ingestion: There’s a hell of a difference between smoking it and ingesting it via cookies or brownies. If you’re smoking it, expect your THC levels to drop way faster in comparison to ingesting it.
- The potency of The Weed You Smoke: The THC levels in your weed matter so make sure to know the potency of the stuff you’re smoking before you start a session. The higher the THC levels, the longer it will take that stuff to get out of your body.
- The sensitivity of the Test: We’ve already mentioned the sneaky urine drug test that has a cutoff point at only 20 nanograms per milliliter. This test will detect THC metabolites for a far longer time in comparison to the other test, so make sure to snoop around and find out what kind of tests are being used in your company or district.
How To Speed Up Detox
There are several ways to go about this, but the best ‘method’, if you can even call it that, is to lower your weed intake if you suspect a test coming up. This is the most reliable way of passing a marijuana drug test.
With that being said, here are some of the proven ways you can try to speed up your detox.
- Drinks Lots of Water and Use The Vitamin B12: You will generally have at least a day to prepare for your drug test, so use that day to drink as much water as you can, visit the toilet as many times as you can and make sure to take a vitamin B12 tablet before going to the drug test. This will give color to your urine and will hide the fact of what you just did. This method lowers the number of THC metabolites in your urine, but it doesn’t completely remove them, so be aware of that before convincing yourself that this is a foolproof method.
- Get Yourself Some Zinc: As shown by this study, zinc successfully reduced the detection of THC in your urine. Take the zinc at least two hours before a test and you should do just fine. Please note that if you have smoked just before a test, no amount of zinc or any other type of detox is going to help. You have to mentally prepare yourself that you’re going to fail that marijuana drug test if this is your case.
- Try Activated Charcoal: Activated charcoal works by preventing reabsorption of the THC metabolites present in our body, meaning that you drastically reduce the chances of it being detected by a marijuana drug test.A professional study showed that activated charcoal can halve the number of THC metabolites in your body over a ten-hour period when taken multiple times. These are the three methods that work, others are simply hogwash that does absolutely nothing to help you pass a marijuana drug test.
Now that we have answered the question of how long does weed stay in your system and show you all the tips and tricks surrounding the topic, you can go ahead and pass a marijuana drug test in no time!