How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System?

Nikhil Goswami

Weed has a variety of street names, including ganja, pot, marijuana, hash, Mary Jane, and hemp. The hemp plant contains a wide range of compounds. However, the active compound that shows up on drug tests is known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). You can find how to pass a drug test for weed on the web. THC is extracted from the leaves and flowering part of the hemp plant.

Plus, it is the primary psychoactive compound that makes you high. The length of time THC stays in the body depends on several factors such as dosage, body fat, genetics, and body metabolism. Additionally, this chemical can be detected in the blood, urine, saliva, and even hair. Compared to alcohol, weed can stay in your system for days and even months after use.

For example, weed can still be detected in urine samples after three days of single use. Moreover, this compound can show up in the urine samples of regular cannabis users even after 10-15 days of use. How long does it last in the body? How can you flush weed from your system? Learn more in this article.

How Long Does Weed Stay In Your Body?

The detection window for cannabis varies depending on the drug testing method. Urine testing, blood testing, saliva testing, and hair testing are the four ways you can test for THC in the body. Let’s have a closer look at the different drug testing methods and their detection windows:

Types of Drug Testing Methods and Their Detection Windows

  • Urine Drug Tests 

One of the most common ways to check for THC content in the body is through urine drug tests. This testing method is popular because it is accurate, easy to carry out, and does not require a modern laboratory. However, the length of time THC stays in the urine largely depends on the dosage habit of the user.

THC can last 30 days or longer in the urine of chronic users. Furthermore, urine tests can detect THC in urine samples from regular users after seven to 21 days of use. On the other hand, THC only remains for one to three days in the urine of infrequent users. 

However, you can hasten this process using THC detox supplements. Although these supplements are effective, they need time to work. As a result, most people resort to other options like synthetic urine. Also, ensure never to give out your first urine in the morning while providing a urine sample for drug testing. Since drug metabolites accumulate as you sleep, your first urine sample in the morning can be high in THC.

  • Blood Drug Tests 

Smoking is one of the fastest ways to feel the effects of cannabis because the THC compound hits straight into the bloodstream. The blood quickly absorbs this psychoactive drug with the help of mucus membranes in the lungs. Once absorbed, the body metabolizes the THC compound, and the resulting product can stay in the bloodstream for some time.

When you smoke marijuana, your blood’s THC level often rises quickly for the first few minutes before significantly declining an hour later. Other forms of weed consumption, such as edible gummies, may peak your blood THC levels after three hours of consumption. Blood tests can only reliably detect marijuana usage 1–2 days after the last use, which is a relatively small time frame. However, studies suggest that THC may still be present in some regular cannabis users’ blood after seven days of abstinence.

  • Saliva Drug Tests

Another common way to test for THC in the body is through a saliva test. This drug testing method involves placing a swab between the gum and the lower cheek. Saliva tests have a shorter detection window than other drug testing methods. The detection window for regular and chronic users is 30 hours after use. Additionally, the detection window for infrequent users is only 24 hours after consumption.

  • Hair Drug Tests

Hair tests have the longest detection window overall. This testing method is the most accurate and can detect weed for up to 90 days after the last use. Hair tests are reliable because psychoactive drugs and other medicines leave tiny amounts in the hair follicles. You only need to provide a small (1 and a half inch) section of hair from the area just above the scalp to test for THC.

However, the downside of hair tests is the issue of false positives. False positives in drug testing occur when a test indicates a person has used cannabis even when they haven’t. Since hair tests also measure hair oil, false positives can happen when hair oil is contaminated. For example, you may test positive for cannabis if you have been around secondhand marijuana smoke. 

Additionally, you may test positive if a friend who handles weed touches your hair. So, although hair testing is a reliable way of detecting marijuana, it may also falsely represent a person’s cannabis use.

How Much Do You Have to Smoke to Fail a Drug Test?

Weed, also known as marijuana, is a medicinal plant that belongs to the cannabis family. Weed contains THC, which is the main psychoactive compound that produces intoxicating effects. Furthermore, the hemp plant’s seeds, leaves, stems, and roots all contain this psychoactive compound, mainly used for intoxication. 

Introducing even a tiny amount of THC into your body can make you fail a drug test. Only a handful of studies look into the amount of smoking necessary to fail a drug test. However, frequent weed usage increases your chances of failing a drug test compared to infrequent use.

In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Clinical Chemistry, weed users were given one cigarette containing 6.8% THC. According to the study, the THC levels in the participants’ urine peaked between 0.6 to 7.4 hours after smoking. Next, the researchers used a highly sensitive urine test to detect the THC levels of the participants.

The report indicated that THC was present in the urine of all frequent smokers (100%) and all infrequent users (60–100%). In another 2017 study, researchers tested the THC levels of 136 cannabis users using hair samples. The hair samples were obtained from light, heavy, and non-cannabis users.

To test for exposure up to a month earlier, the researchers divided the hair samples into 1-centimeter sections. The report indicated that 39% of light and 77% of heavy users had positive test results. Additionally, no THC compound was found in non-users, indicating that false-positive hair test results are rare.

Factors That Influence Weed Detection 

There are no general rules or standards on how long weed stays in the body because this depends on various factors. The factors that affect how long cannabis stays in the body include:

Dosage and Frequency of Use

Dosage is one of the main factors that affect how long weed can stay in the body. The more THC you introduce into your body, the longer it takes for the body to break it down. Also, since the effects of cannabis are cumulative, a regular cannabis user consumes more THC than an occasional user. Regular and chronic users tend to retain weed in their system longer than occasional and one-time users.

Furthermore, high-frequency and long-term weed users risk suffering cannabis withdrawal symptoms. Also, the potency of each dose plays an important role in how long marijuana stays in the body. Cannabis comes in different strengths, depending on the product. However, a user can’t accurately determine the strength of their cannabis without the help of sensitive laboratory equipment. There are stores from where you can buy weed online legally.

Body Fat and Metabolism

Body fat and metabolism also affect how long marijuana stays in the body. Weed contains THC-COOH metabolites, which are fat-soluble. Plus, this metabolite binds to the body’s fat cells and stays there for long periods. People with a healthy weight tend to get rid of THC faster than obese people. One metric to assess body fat is the body mass index (BMI).

However, since BMI and weight increase with muscle mass, this method isn’t a perfect way to evaluate body fat. Additionally, metabolism affects how quickly the body breaks down THC and clears it from the system. Regular marijuana users have an entirely different metabolic rate from non-users. People with higher metabolic rates can metabolize cannabis faster than others. Moreover, this rapid metabolization process shortens the time THC remains detectable in the body.


People who sleep well, maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly tend to break down THC faster than those with poor overall health. Exercise lowers body fat, which significantly impacts the body’s detectable THC metabolite levels.

When you burn off fat, the body releases inactive THC metabolites from fat cells into the blood and expels them in the form of feces or urine. However, note that exercising before a drug test may increase your likelihood of failing the test. This is because exercise raises the blood’s THC levels, which are detected during the test.

Sex and Genetics

Women typically have more fat tissues than men, meaning they metabolize weed more slowly than men. On the other hand, the length of time cannabis stays in your system also depends on your genetics. Examples include hereditary variants of the enzymes belonging to the cytochrome P450 superfamily, which alter the body’s THC levels and cause its removal through urination.

How to Get Weed Out of Your System 

The best way to pass a drug test is to avoid marijuana and other psychoactive substances. However, if you are asked to perform a drug test on short notice, there are several ways you can quickly flush THC metabolites from your system. Here are tips on how to flush weed out of your system:

Detox Kits and Detox Drinks

Want to get weed out of your system as soon as possible? Then a detox kit might be just what you need. Using a detox kit is one of the best ways to quickly lower THC levels in your urine before your examination. Detox kits are treatment programs that contain dietary fibers, beverages, and detoxifying medications. All of these factors help significantly speed up THC removal from our bodies. Detox kits are available in various lengths, ranging from five to ten days. A good detox kit should help you permanently remove THC traces from your body while maintaining other indicators.

Plus, a good detox kit can help speed up your detoxification process, allowing you to become clean in a week. However, note that this detoxification process may take a couple of weeks if you are a heavy weed user. The downside of using a detox kit is that most of them are expensive. You can expect to spend over $100 to get a good detox kit. Moreover, you can’t exercise while undergoing detoxification because this could reverse the program’s effects.

If you don’t want to get a complete detox kit, then consider using detox drinks alone. Detox drinks help quickly lower THC metabolites in your urine to a level below the 50ng/mL threshold. However, note that detox drinks don’t strip THC metabolites from your urine and bloodstream.

They only help trick the test by artificially adding more vitamins and proteins to your urine. Most detox drinks can help you pass your urine test, even if you are a chronic weed user. However, note that this option isn’t suitable for a hair, saliva, or blood test. Plus, they keep your urine clean only for a few hours.

Drink Plenty Water

Drinking plenty of water is also an effective way to lower your THC levels below the 50ng/mL threshold. Fill your bladder with as much fluid as possible an hour or two before your test. Drinking more water encourages urine flow and dilutes drug concentrations below the level needed for detection in urine samples.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence to support the use of vitamin C, goldenseal, niacin, or vinegar. Therefore, only water will work just fine. However, note that consuming too much water within a short period can cause water intoxication. It’s best to drink water daily in healthy amounts. The ideal amount for women is 91 fluid ounces and 125 fluid ounces for men.

Use Diuretics

Taking diuretics is another excellent way to boost your fluid output and urine stimulation. You can use weak diuretics like cranberry juice, coffee, and over-the-counter water retention medications to boost your fluid output. However, we recommend using more potent diuretics if you have to perform the test on short notice.

Stronger diuretics produce better results and are widely used to treat high blood pressure. Potent diuretics have the drawback of only being accessible with a doctor’s prescription in the U.S. However, you may be able to get potent diuretics like furosemide as over-the-counter drugs in other foreign countries. When using diuretics, ensure you drink plenty of water and urinate at least twice before your test.

A few days’ use should give you a good washout if you are an infrequent weed user. However, regular smokers may need a week or two to get a good washout. Furthermore, note that diuretics can be detected in your urine. However, they are rarely checked unless during athlete screening.

Also, it is important to note diuretics may trigger side effects in certain people, such as pregnant women and diabetic people. Plus, extended use of diuretics may cause several health complications, including muscle cramps, joint disorders, and impotence.

Consume Lots of Vitamin B

While filling your body with plenty of water, ensure you also take some vitamin B2 before your test. About 50 to 100 milligrams of vitamin B2 should be enough to help you flush out THC. Vitamin B2 changes the color of your urine to yellow. Normally, you are likely to produce watery and clear urine, which most lab personnel will find suspicious.

Also, some labs may even reject your urine sample if it is too watery. However, they may give you a second chance to correct the issue. You can get vitamin B2 in the form of B-complex multivitamins. It’s worth noting that exceeding the daily prescribed amount of vitamin B2 can damage your liver. The examples listed above are great ways to reduce THC metabolites in the body. Fasting and increasing fiber intake are also great ways to flush weed out of your system. Skipping meals helps reduce THC levels by forcing your body to release THC stored in fat cells.

Furthermore, consuming more fiber encourages bowel movements, which can be helpful because 65% of the cannabis you take leaves the body through feces. Lastly, sleeping well every night helps to promote a healthy metabolism.

The Effects of Weed on Our Bodies

The effects of weed are similar to those of other psychoactive substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and certain pain medicines. Cannabis produces various effects, depending on the strain, potency, method of consumption, and dosage. For example, your consumption method influences the kinds of effects you experience and how long they last.

Also, it takes more time for your blood to absorb the THC metabolites when you ingest weed orally rather than smoke it. This can take from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on your dosage and rate of metabolism. However, you’ll feel the effects of weed in as little as 15 minutes or less when smoked.

On the other hand, consuming weed as edibles might take up to two hours or longer to take effect. This is because the edibles need to pass through your digestive tract before they can be absorbed into the blood. When it comes to the effects of weed, people have different experiences since our body systems are different. One of the most common effects of cannabis is that it gives a euphoric feeling and a sense of relaxation.

Creativity and heightened senses are also effects of cannabis you may enjoy. For example, consuming cannabis may enhance your perception of sound and color. On a related note, you may experience hallucinations, while other users may feel paranoid and anxious. Plus, some people may lose interest in activities or struggle to grasp concepts.

Also, frequent users have reported fatigue, dizziness, and a feeling of hunger after consuming cannabis. Furthermore, taking cannabis in high doses may heighten your mood and increase your heart rate. Other effects of cannabis include dry mouth, bloodshot eyes, swollen eyelids, and impaired coordination.

How Long Do the Effects of Weed Last?

The effects of weed usually fade off after a few hours of use. However, some effects may last for up to 24 hours. Weed has momentary effects on memory, problem-solving, and learning that usually subside after one to two hours. Plus, studies show that weed can cause impaired coordination and performance, which can last for up to three hours.

However, the problem with sleeplessness could continue for a few days following use. Also, it is important to note that not all cannabis is created equal. Cannabis differs in strain, potency, dosage, THC content, and terpene profiles. The terpene profiles of cannabis influence the kinds of effects the drug produces.

For example, cannabis strains with a citrus terpene profile typically have more stimulating effects than others. Additionally, this stimulating effect could either produce the desired effects or make users more anxious. In connection with that, the variation in cannabis strains also affects the kind of effect it produces and how quickly you experience them.

The bottom line? We all have unique bodily systems; therefore, each person’s experience with marijuana and its effects will differ. Lastly, note that THC metabolites can interact with blood thinners, alcohol, and anti-anxiety medications. Therefore, it’s best to consult a professional physician concerning your marijuana use.

Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Drug abuse is prevalent among young adults in the United States. Marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, and opiates are some of the most abused substances in the world. With the recent changes in state laws, weed has become legal in most states in the U.S. However, whether you use cannabis legally or illicitly, it is still possible to abuse it and develop an addiction.

Long-term marijuana abuse can cause various health complications, including mental health disorder. Note that you abuse marijuana if you experience withdrawal symptoms after you stop using it. If you stop, you might experience increased appetite, irritability, anxiety, sleeplessness, and restlessness.

Marijuana abuse slowly turns into addiction when you can’t do without the drug despite the harm it causes. Almost 10% of regular weed users become marijuana addicts at some point. Thankfully, several treatment options exist for those willing to overcome marijuana addiction. Here are some tips on how to overcome weed addiction

Join A Detox Program

Although there currently isn’t a specific cure for marijuana addiction, it is possible to recover with the help of professional treatment. The best way to prevent marijuana addiction in the first place is to avoid using the substance.

However, if you’re already dependent on the substance, consider signing up for a medically assisted detox program. A detox facility offers a safe period of round-the-clock medical supervision to help you comfortably and safely transition from the withdrawal stage to the sobriety stage.

Enroll In A Rehab Program

Since you may continue to experience some withdrawal symptoms for a week after detox, joining a rehab program is essential in achieving lasting sobriety. Rehab facilities offer a convenient environment where you don’t have to compromise sobriety. Additionally, most American Addiction Centers offer education, relapse prevention strategies, and life skills required for lasting sobriety.

Find A Good Transitional Home

The next step towards achieving lasting sobriety is enrolling in a sober living program. During this program, clients must live in a supportive, safe, and transitional home where they are required to obey all community rules and actively engage in activities. These are a few ways you can overcome weed addiction and achieve lasting sobriety.

If you feel your environment may compromise your sobriety, you can enroll in an aftercare program. Aftercare programs provide further support for those in recovery who still wish to keep their sobriety in check. Most aftercare group meetings are held once a week. Plus, the group meetings are usually held in a clinical location where participants discuss personal issues and encourage each other.

Other ways you can beat weed addiction include cognitive behavioral therapy and movement enhancement therapy. Overall, overcoming weed addiction is possible, but it isn’t a day’s job. You need patience and commitment to achieve long-lasting sobriety.

Conclusion: How Long Does Weed Stay In Urine For?

Weed contains an active metabolite known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the main substance responsible for a variety of psychoactive effects. Some effects of weed include heightened sensory perception, euphoric high, increased hunger, hallucination, and others.

So, how long does weed stay in urine? There isn’t a definitive answer to this question because the time it takes for cannabis to leave the body depends on several factors. However, cannabis is likely to stay in your system longer if you are a regular user, obese, and have a low metabolic rate.

On a different note, THC metabolites can be detected in urine, blood, hair, and saliva samples. THC can stay in the urine of chronic and regular users for over 20 days after use. On the other hand, THC usually clears from the urine of occasional users after three days of use.

Share this Article