Can Marijuana Stay in Your System For A Long Time?
While the high you get from marijuana only lasts a few hours, marijuana can be detected in your system for much longer. With weed becoming more legal and more normalized this is not as big of a deal as it used to be, but still, some employers require a drug test and prohibit marijuana.
If you are someone who is applying to these types of jobs (often government-related) or are going to be applying to one of these jobs in the near future then it’s essential to understand how long you must have in between your last smoke session and the drug test for you to pass.
This guide will explain all you need to know about how different drug tests pick up marijuana and how long marijuana stays in your system.
Factors That Impact How Long Cannabis Stays In Your System
Everybody is different, and the length of time that marijuana can be detected in an individual may vary from person to person.
There are multiple reasons for this, specifically, there are five main factors in determining how long marijuana stays in someone's system: Body Fat Percentage, how often cannabis is used, how much cannabis is typically used, how much you exercise, and the type of drug test being administered.
Body Fat Percentage
When it comes to body fat, you might be thinking that the smaller someone is the longer marijuana will stay in their system. This makes sense as it’s true that if a larger person and a smaller one consume the same amount of cannabis, the smaller one will feel the effects more. It’s also true of alcohol, in that larger people are able to absorb more alcohol and have its effects wear off sooner. Also it depends on your method of consumption, if you are ripping a massive bowl from a massive bong ( instead of a normal sized spoon pipe ) then you might have to worry about it sticking around a little longer.
With all that said, however, when it comes to cannabis detection it is actually to your benefit to have a lower body fat percentage. While being bigger might make you feel the effects of THC less, body fat actually helps store THC in your system. THC is fat-soluble and so it can build up within your fat.
The more body fat you have the more THC you will have stored in your system. This means marijuana stays in a fatter person's system for longer than someone with a lower body fat percentage.
How Often You Consume Cannabis
This factor should be pretty obvious, the more often you smoke the longer marijuana will stay in your system. If two people are trying to pass a drug test and one of them smoked just once last week while the other person smoked every day of the previous week, the first person clearly has a better chance of passing.
Every time you smoke, a small number of THC metabolites will be stored in your body, so as you smoke more and more you are increasing the number of THC metabolites stored in your body. This in turn means that your body will take longer to rid itself of marijuana compared to someone who smokes less often than you.
How Much Cannabis You Consume
In the same way, that smoking more often allows your body to store more THC metabolites, smoking larger amounts of marijuana does the same.
The equation is simple, if you inhale more marijuana into your lungs, then there is going to be more marijuana that attaches itself to your body.
How Much You Exercise
Exercise may be the key to passing your drug test (as well as the key to many other life goals). Studies show that people who exercise consistently are able to pass drug tests better than people who do not exercise often. Part of the reasons why this is true may be due to exercise aiding in one of the other factors previously discussed, body fat percentage.
We know it is nice to have a rip of the one hitter before going into the gym, but if you are worried about passing a test. Now may not be the time.
People who exercise more are typically going to have a lower body fat percentage– which we just said was advantageous for passing drug tests. On top of that, exercise, in general, makes the body better at restoring itself to its normal state, which includes getting rid of foreign substances like THC metabolites.
It’s always a good idea to exercise but it’s especially a good idea if you have a drug test coming up.
Type and Sensitivity of Drug Test
There are many different types of drug tests, with some of them being much more sensitive than others.
Saliva Test: The saliva test only picks up very recent cannabis use. THC metabolites are not stored well in your saliva, and after 24 hours all traces of marijuana are typically out of one's system.
That said, chronic users may have traces of marijuana in their saliva for longer (about 72 hours). Lastly, note that smoking marijuana will allow THC to be detected for longer than edibles.
Hair Testing: Hair testing is the opposite of saliva testing in that marijuana can be detected for the longest in your hair. In general, marijuana usage can be detected about 90 days after your last use.
Blood Test: Blood tests are often given when someone is being tested for many different substances at once, including marijuana. If you are a casual smoker then marijuana will last just 24 hours in your bloodstream.
For regular marijuana users, THC can be detected in the bloodstream for about 72 hours. And for stoners marijuana can be detected in the bloodstream for up to six days.
Urine Test: Urine tests are the standard when it comes to drug testing, and while they are not as sensitive as hair tests they still detect marijuana for longer than all the other tests. For the casual smoker, THC can be found in a urine test about 72 hours after their last use.
For moderate smokers, THC can be found in a urine test about a week after their last use. For daily smokers, marijuana can be found in a urine test for about two weeks after their last use. And lastly, for stoners who smoke multiple times per day THC can be detected in a urine test for up to 30 days after their last toke.
How To Get Marijuana Out of Your System
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to get marijuana out of your system faster than normal, it has to run its course. Drinking plenty of water, getting a lot of exercise, and sleeping well may help you to rid THC of your system ever so slightly but there is no miracle way to drastically reduce the amount of time THC can be detected in your system.
There are kits designed to help you pass a drug test but these are unreliable and dangerous so it is recommended that you stay away from them.