How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System? How Long It Takes To Clear THC From Your Body
Cannabis has been legal in Canada for almost four years now. While drug tests are not common at the workplace (unless your role is considered “safety-sensitive”), you may be interested in knowing how much time your body takes to clear all the THC. So, how long does weed stay in your system?
Cannabis affects everyone differently. From how long it takes to kick in, the effects and benefits you experience, and the time your body takes to break down the cannabinoids. In this article, we tell you about how long weed stays in your system and how to get it out faster.
There is no definite answer to how long weed takes to get out of your system because of the many factors at play. Weed can be detectable in your system after 30 days if you are a regular smoker who uses weed every day. If you are not a frequent consumer, your body may get rid of THC within one or two days
To better understand how the body gets rid of THC and how long it takes, we have to look at how THC works in the body and how it is metabolized.
How Weed Works In The Body
There are several ways to consume marijuana, each with a different onset time and mechanism of delivering THC to the brain. That’s why the consumption method may impact how long your body takes to get rid of marijuana.
When smoking, vaping or dabbing weed, the cannabinoids – THC and CBD are vaporized by the heat/flame, and when you inhale the smoke or vapour, they are transported into the lungs. THC, which is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid, gets into the bloodstream via the alveoli in the lungs.
This method is very effective, and the effects kick in within minutes. Despite having the fastest onset, Inhalation techniques don’t have long-lasting effects.
Another consumption method is the sublingual application. You hold a cannabis concentrate – oil, under the tongue, and it’s absorbed into the bloodstream via the dense network of capillaries under the tongue. This method also delivers effects fast, but like inhalation, they don’t last for very long.
Weed edibles, on the other hand, don’t deliver cannabinoids directly into the bloodstream like the other two techniques. The food items and infused THC have to go through the digestion process, which takes time, depending on whether you took the weed on an empty stomach or not. When taking weed-infused foods, it may take between 30 and 120 minutes for you to start feeling the effects.
When they kick in, it may take another two to four hours for them to peak, and they may last for anywhere between four to 12 hours.
For the weed to leave your body, it has to be metabolized or broken down into metabolites which are then excreted via urine and stool. THC is broken into about 80 metabolites in the liver. The most significant metabolites are THCCOOH and 11-OH-THC. These are the compounds that most tests – saliva, blood and urine, detect as THC is not excreted in its original form.
How long your body takes to eliminate THC from your system depends on your metabolism speed. People with faster metabolisms can get rid of the compounds faster than people with slower metabolisms, which means THC may stay detectable longer in your system than in another person with a faster metabolism than you.
But what are the other factors that affect how long weed stays in your system?
1. THC Dose
Tests look for THC and its metabolites and note weed. Therefore, the amount of THC you take is a significant factor in determining how long weed will be detectable in your system. Another factor at play is the strength of the product used. Potent products have more THC concentration which translates into more metabolites the body has to eliminate.
2. Body Fat
THC is fat-soluble and is usually stored in body fat and organs in the body. People with more body fat may also metabolize cannabis more slowly than people with less body fat.
While exercising may not increase your metabolism speed, exercising before a test may influence the results. As mentioned above, THC is stored in body fats. Exercising may help burn fats which may free up some THC for excretion. Researchers believe exercising may release THC from fat cells, increasing the chance of a positive result.
Dehydration may affect THC concentrations in your body. While drinking lots of water may not significantly drop THC levels, dehydration may significantly increase them, leading to positive results.
Typically, females have more body fat; since THC is stored in fats, they may take longer to metabolize it.
Research shows that THC from inhaled cannabis may reach peak blood concentration within three to ten minutes after the first hit. THC can be detected in your blood in the first few seconds due to the rapid absorption.
THC from edibles may take 1 to 2 hours, and even longer in some situations, to reach peak concentration in the bloodstream. How long the THC stays in the bloodstream depends on the frequency and metabolism speed. Most blood tests only detect THC for about three to four hours. However, research shows for frequent consumers, THC may still be detectable for up to 6 days after smoking.
But how long does pot stay in urine? According to a review by Mayo Clinic Proceedings, THC metabolites in urine can be detected for up to 3 days in occasional users, up to 7 days for moderate users, 10 to 15 days for chronic daily users and more than 30 days for people who smoke multiple times a day.
Urine testing is the most common cannabis testing method. Saliva testing can detect pot use up to 3 days for occasional smokers and up to a month in chronic users. Hairs follicle tests, on the other hand, can detect THC use for up to 90 days.
Can you test positive from second-hand weed smoke? A 2015 study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology found that second-hand smoke is unlikely to trigger a positive drug test in non-smokers.
In the study, 12 participants – six experienced smokers and six non-smokers, sat in an unventilated room as the six participants casually smoked for an hour. At the end of the session, only one non-smoker had enough THC in urine to trigger a positive drug test.
When the same test was repeated in a ventilated room, none of the non-smokers had enough THC to trigger a positive drug test.
How Long Will THC Stay In Your System? Bottom Line
Weed may be detectable in your system anywhere between a day to 90 days depending on your frequency of use, the type of drug test used and other individual factors such as body fat, sex, metabolism, among others.
However, this shouldn’t be the cause of worry as cannabis consumption is legal in Canada, and drug tests are not common at the workplace unless your role is safety-sensitive.
Looking for high-quality weed in Canada? Buy weed online from West Coast Cannabis, Canada’s top mail order marijuana dispensary. We have a wide range of hybrid, sativa and indica strains and products such as vapes, flower, and cannabis concentrates. Order weed online from us today and enjoy the best prices and Canada-wide shipping.