How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System?

September 6, 2021

Have you ever wondered how long weed stays in your system? If so, you’re definitely not alone.

There are a variety of factors that can affect how long weed stays in your system — and what’s more is that the different types of tests that are conducted can give you either a longer or shorter window for a negative test.

The window for cannabis detection greatly depends on how much you ingest as well as how often. In general, higher doses and more frequent use are associated with longer detection times. For daily users, cannabis may be detectable for several months after the last use. The longest-reported detection times are more than 90 days.

Read on to learn more about the different factors that affect how long cannabis stays in your system as well as the different types of tests that are typically used.

What Factors Affect How Long Weed Stays In Your System?

There are a variety of factors that can affect how long weed stays in your system. One of the main factors is how your body processes and metabolizes cannabis (or the active ingredient, THC more specifically). This includes your age, gender, weight, and overall health.

For individuals who regularly exercise and who are in their 20s or 30s, cannabis will metabolize relatively quickly, especially if you eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. For obese individuals or those who have a higher body mass index (BMI), your body’s rate of metabolization will be slower and cause the THC to be metabolized more slowly.

Strains of weed that are higher in THC content may also stay in your system for longer. Weed that’s ingested (edibles) may also remain in your system slightly longer than weed that’s smoked.

How Long Does Weed Take To Metabolize?

The active ingredient in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. THC is absorbed into the bloodstream after you ingest it by your favorite method and is then metabolized by the body and excreted.

THC is broken down in the liver. The amount of time it takes for this depends on the factors we listed above, and unfortunately to some, the amount of time this takes cannot really be altered by anything in the short term. If you are healthy in general, this process will be faster. Gatorade, drinking water, and eating vegetables for a few meals may help a little but not very much.

Types of Cannabis Drug Tests

Urine Testing

Urine testing for cannabis is probably the most well-known and commonly implemented cannabis drug test. Research shows that the amount of time it takes depends on how much and how often you consume cannabis. If you only consume cannabis occasionally, it likely will only be in your system for a few days. However, if you use it multiple times every day, then it can possibly stay in your system for 30 days or more.

Blood Testing

Blood testing is not quite as sensitive due to the fact that THC does not remain in the blood as long. For most people, cannabis is only detectable in blood tests for a couple of days. For heavier users, it can be detected for two weeks or longer.

Saliva Testing

Weed enters the saliva through direct exposure to the THC-clad smoke. Some states have laws in place that allow saliva testing for roadside testing, although they are in the minority.

The same length of time as the above two are similar to saliva testing, with THC only being detected for a couple of days for occasional users.

Does Exercise Help Improve The Time It Takes For THC To Leave Your System?

Exercise will not significantly change the rate at which the body metabolizes THC. Exercising before a drug test, however, may give you a better chance at coming up positive.

A small study involving 14 regular marijuana users tested to see if 35 minutes of exercise the day before had any effect on test results. The results concluded that THC concentrations increased by a statistically significant amount, suggesting that exercise right before a drug test may increase the likelihood of a positive test result.

Interestingly, the researchers believe that exercise may cause fat cells to release THC. Overall, the amount of time weed stays in your system depends on how often and how much you smoke — no matter what type of test you take.

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