How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System: Complete Guide
How long does marijuana stay in your system if you’re a regular? How much time does it take for you to get clean before you take the drug test? What is the best detox method? We’re going to answer these and a lot of other key questions regarding marijuana use and passing the drug test.
Is marijuana really a drug? At this time and age, when cannabis has been more and more praised for its health-related properties, it seems rather odd to define it as such. Nevertheless, cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug in most states, so taking a saliva drug test will prove positive if you’ve rolled a blunt recently.
It’s not all about smoking marijuana, though. CBD infused products have become the new wellness trend, so it doesn’t seem fair you should fail the test just because you were taking your “vitamins.” Not to mention that sometimes even pure CBD can trigger a false positive.
How long does weed stay in your system if you only use it from time to time? “It depends” is the answer you don’t want to hear, but it is so. It depends on your body, as well as what kind of test you’re taking—some will say you’re clear of marijuana, while others will clearly label you as a pot-smoking office worker.
Let’s cut to the chase now, especially if you’re one of those people who needs a marijuana detox ASAP. Here’s what you should know about cannabis drug testing if you are to pass it with flying colors!
Which Employers Can Test You?
In case you’re working in an industry that is closely related to the federal government, you can expect random screens. Of course, drug testing is a part of their selection process. However, apart from them, other employers can ask for drug testing as well. The employer’s demand for a marijuana drug test is completely legal, though in practice it’s not as common as it is the case with government-regulated industries.
Basically, every employer has the right to secure a work environment that is clear of drugs and alcohol (according to statistics, alcohol is a drug, too). Still, the company’s policies about drugs have to be clearly stated, especially since some companies make drug testing a part of the job interview, and even directly address cannabis consumption in their policy.
What Is Being Tested?
In short, what they are looking for in all tests pretty much depends on determining what is the THC level in your body, and by that, we mean carboxy THC. 11-nor-9-carboxy-δ-9-THC is one of the THC metabolites that is taken as an indicator of marijuana presence. They are stored in body fat after cannabis consumption and are released slowly afterward. Therefore, if you have consumed THC products, your body is bound to produce these metabolites.
Factors Contributing to Positive Testing
Before we delve into greater detail about marijuana testing, there are certain matters to take into account because they will make or break your results. Here is what to pay attention to regardless of the chosen method of how to pass a drug test for weed:
- The dosage – This is one of the essentials. If you are a frequent user of cannabis or its products, and you tend to consume high concentrations, such as hashish, you can expect your detoxification process will be a lot longer.
- The type of consumption – Whether you’re smoking or ingesting marijuana also adds to the THC concentration. For instance, smoking marijuana makes it travel through your body quicker than if you were to eat some edibles.
- Your metabolism – How long does marijuana stay in your system if you’re processing food slowly? Well, longer than it is the case with people who are in luck to burn their calories faster.
- Your weight – THC binds to the fat in your body. To this end, the more fat you have, the longer it will take for THC to dissolve.
- Dehydration – The less water you have in your body, the higher the THC concentration.
- Your sex – Bad news for all the ladies. Women naturally have a higher percentage of fat than men, so they need a bit more time to process THC.
- Exercise – Including exercise into your weed detox strategy could seriously backfire if you do it right before the test, according to research.
- Second-hand smoking – In a very small number of cases, it is possible to come up positive on a drug test if you were exposed to second-hand marijuana smoking. However, that means that you have extremely high sensitivity to marijuana.
- Prescription drugs – Some drugs can increase the level of THC in your body, thus making you test positive even though you did everything in your power and enough time has passed. How long does pot stay in your system when using certain medication? Long enough to test positive, so stay away from these if you can, along with alcohol:
In contrast, some other drugs may lower the THC level (e.g., rifampin). On the other hand, it can make you positive for some other opiates. You may be off the hook for THC, but don’t forget that you should always report what kind of medicines you are taking, if any, before the drug testing. These too could trigger a false positive:
- analgesics (including ibuprofen)
How to Pass a Urine Test
Firstly, let’s see what we are dealing with here. Depending on how often you consume weed, this is for how long its traces can be detected in your urine:
- Consuming marijuana up to 3 times per week: 3 days
- Up to 4 times per week: 5 to 7 days
- Daily consumers: 10 to 15 days
- Heavy consumers (several times per day): over 30 days (up to 2 months)
How long does THC stay in your urine? Some suggest even a 60 days period for heavy smokers, but that would probably be relying on the fact humans don’t come in standard shapes and sizes, and bodies react differently (we have already mentioned the second-hand smoking case).
Now, let’s see how you can pass that drug urine test. Here’s what you can do:
- Drink plenty of water – It couldn’t be more obvious, but it’s true. Try to stay super hydrated in the days before the big marijuana urine test. According to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, herbal teas are even more effective.
- Don’t make it your first – Your first morning pee has the highest concentration of everything, including THC.
- Buy some time – If you think you need a bit of time to get clean, you could try producing a diluted sample. There shouldn’t be any penalties for this. The lab should simply confirm your urine is not valid and ask you for another testing. This should allow some time for real marijuana withdrawal. Which brings us back to step 1—hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Excessively, though.
- Exercise – Sweating should help speed your metabolism, but don’t do it right before the test.
- Fake pee – According to a reputable lab’s experience, it is possible to cheat on a urine drug test by smuggling an artificial sample that has all the right ingredients and it is of the right temperature.
- Eat healthily – Avoid fatty foods because they help to store THC.
- Smuggling – How to pass a urine drug test in 24 hours? Well, it is possible to smuggle in your friend’s urine and hand it in as your own, but… Even if you succeed in filling the cup via a fake penis (yes, it’s made for the purpose), the temperature of the liquid is the main issue here. The labs are first testing samples for temperature, which mustn’t be under 90 Fahrenheit. In short, your body heat won’t suffice, so you would have to think of alternative ways for keeping it hidden and warm enough.
Do bear in mind that if you’re tampering with marijuana in urine, you could be facing a fine or some jail time, depending on the state you’re in.
Another “don’t” would be adding any substances to your urine sample. Boosting levels of creatine to mask the THC level simply doesn’t work, and neither does adding bleach, hydrogen peroxide, acid, vinegar, etc.
If you’re willing to try out a THC detox kit, you should know some of them can contain potentially dangerous ingredients, a combination of which even led to psychosis in one case. Hence, you’d better avoid such products as they are not properly regulated, and at best will only contain some mild diuretics and vitamins.
How to Pass a Marijuana Blood Test
Drug blood tests are considered to be quite an invasive method, and, obviously, there’s no way to fake it. Not too many employers or institutions demand them because they are more complicated to take and not very reliable.
How long does weed stay in your blood? Good news: the general rule of thumb says THC can be detected for a mere 3–4 hours.
How is this possible? As we have mentioned, blood tests are not to be 100% trusted for the very nature of THC. The cannabinoid does not remain in the blood for long, unlike alcohol, for example. Instead, it goes to fat rapidly.
It so happens that THC level in blood plummets by 90% even in the first hour after smoking marijuana, but don’t observe this as some kind of natural THC detox. It’s still in your body, and it is getting you high despite the fact that a blood drug test can show you are clean of any marijuana. Autopsy results show THC is very much present in the brain despite not being found in the blood.
For these reasons, blood tests aren’t reliable indicators of THC impairment, so it is fairly easy to pass them. Refrain from using marijuana for one day and you should be fine.
How long does marijuana stay in your system if you’re an extremely diligent user? A study from 2009 showed that frequent, long-term marijuana consumption can make some people positive after a week of not taking any. Once again, that individuality issue is causing problems, which is another reason why there isn’t a set THC limit defining driving impairment, for instance. Also, be careful about edibles since they release THC later than vaping or smoking.
To sum up, try not to take any cannabis products for one day, and your endeavor should pay off.
A Tough One: Hair Follicle Test
If the test you should take implies taking strands of your hair, you’ll have to be clean off cannabis for some 90 days or so for it to turn out negative.
A hair drug test cannot tell when exactly you were smoking pot, but it will definitely confirm you were using it. The chemicals which are released when THC enters your bloodstream take part in forming the hair follicle, so there is no way that can be avoided. Using a replacement is impossible for obvious reasons. The 1.5-inch strand of hair (as wide as a pencil) is collected from an area of your head.
How to pass a hair drug test then? Perhaps like this:
- Shaving your head may be an option for some, in which case the sample would be collected from other hairy parts, such as underarms, chest, beard, or legs, which opens a small window. Namely, their hair growth rate is different, it’s slower, so even if you have smoked a lot of pot just before the test, it may not show on the test.
- It takes 5 to 7 days for THC to appear in hair cells, which is the reason why this drug testing is not applicable in case of recent incidents. If this was your first time taking marijuana in the last 90 days, you should be OK.
- And finally, you can abstain for over 90 days.
The cannabis hair drug test simply does not offer any other options but the ones we have named. Admittedly, you are going to run into advertisements that show how to pass a hair follicle test by using a hair detox shampoo, guaranteeing miraculous results. However, if that were true, then the labs we have collected the data from would certainly name it as one of the reasons for a false negative. Also, no gels, hair sprays and the like make any difference either.
How to Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test
This one falls into the category of easy marijuana tests. According to reliable studies on cannabis in saliva, this is how long THC stays in your saliva:
- 1 to 3 days for occasional users
- 1 to 29 days for chronic heavy users
Quite a difference between 1 and 29 days, isn’t it? You should be positive for what you have smoked or ingested, even if it’s second-hand smoking.
How to get THC out of your system, or in this case, saliva should not be problematic for occasional users. Apart from abstinence, here’s what can be done:
- Using mouthwash, breath sprays or any similar liquid containing alcohol can seriously affect the results if they’re used half an hour before the test itself.
- Brushing your teeth and cleaning your gums and tongue with greater attention a couple of days before the test is recommendable, too.
- Eating a fatty meal would be ideal if you can do it before the marijuana saliva test because THC will be drawn from your mouth to the fat cells, at least briefly.
- Manipulate the swab. If all else fails, and you find yourself in a situation when you have to take the test out of the blue, at least you could try to disrupt the cotton swab. THC metabolites are most concentrated under the tongue and around the gum line, so you don’t want it to go there. Say that you have a very strong gag reflex or that your jaw hurts and it’s hard to open your mouth properly before marijuana saliva testing starts. When you open your mouth, try to twist a bit so that the swab touches the inside of your cheek.
Generally, a mouth swab test is done when the results are needed as soon as possible. Some countries such as Australia are using this type of marijuana drug test to check drivers for DUI, but this has resulted in a high percentage of invalid tests and false positives. Therefore, you can argue about the test not being valid, but beware—they might ask you to use some other kind of test.
A Newbie: Perspiration Testing
This is not as common as the others, but it’s still used by some employers, and mostly in child custody cases or monitoring people on a probation period. Marijuana perspiration testing implies wearing a kind of a sweat patch for up to 14 days. Here are some basic facts you should know:
- It detects the drug used 24–48 hours before the sweat patch was placed.
- Perspiration testing detects any drug used while wearing the patch.
- Tampering the patch is easily noticeable, so avoid doing that. Even using a needle to alter its content will be detected in the lab.
- The patch is worn for a minimum of 24h.
So, what are you to do? It appears that abstinence is the only solution here, especially since perspiration testing is more accurate than a marijuana urine test. The latter reacts to metabolites of processed drugs, while sweat patches identify the parent drug. Also, according to one report, urine tests can make over 20% of false positives.
You’ll be glad to know that some states such as New York are thinking about banning the mandatory marijuana drug test. With medical marijuana gaining momentum, taking such a test is completely unnecessary as no one can demand from you not to take your medicine except for your physician. Bearing this in mind, be careful even if you’re using drugs with synthetic THC, such as Marinol. These too can lead to a positive test.
How long does marijuana stay in your system and how much time do you need to get it out? It depends on a variety of factors. We’ve provided you with general and specific guidelines for each of the tests, but it appears that the essential one is the hardest: if you have to take a test soon, stop using it ASAP.
Does CBD show up on a drug test?
Drug tests do not test you for the presence of CBD. However, even hemp-derived CBD products can make you positive for THC! As the compound has the ability to build up in your body over time, you could fail your drug test, as it has already happened on a number of occasions. Moreover, CBD products aren’t regulated enough, to put it mildly, so it is perfectly possible for “pure” CBD oil to contain traces of THC.
How long does THC stay in your system?
Well, how much did you take into your system? It remains long enough to be tracked even 90 days after your last usage in case you used to enjoy products rich in THC.
How long do edibles last?
Food or drink containing marijuana is metabolized quite differently. Digesting a brownie takes more than processing a hard candy or tea, which are metabolized rapidly. Depending on your organism and how much you’ve eaten/drunk, the effects of edibles last from 3 to 10 hours, but 80% to 90% of THC leaves your system only after 5 days. Unless you’re a heavy regular, you should be fine after a week. Be careful about the dosage! The delayed effect tricks many people into consuming more than recommendable.
How long does marijuana stay in your urine?
Long story short, between 2 and 60 days (see above).
How long does weed stay in your hair?
It stays for 90 days!
How long does THC stay in your blood?
It is detectable for the shortest when compared to the other types of tests: only 3 to 4 hours. What’s its purpose if the window is so small? It’s used to check for THC content if there is doubt someone consumed it just before an accident happened, for example, to see if they were under the influence.
How long does marijuana stay in your saliva?
It remains between 1 and 29 days, but the test results are easily altered.
Does a THC calculator work?
THC calculators aren’t 100% reliable for all the reasons we have stated at the beginning of this article. Home drug tests are useful, but let’s face it—if they were that accurate, your company wouldn’t bother to hire a lab to test you for drugs.
What are weed withdrawal symptoms?
After the continual use of marijuana, it is possible to experience some withdrawal symptoms. The body gets so used to having extra cannabinoids from marijuana that it takes it some time to adjust to the previous state.
Depending on how long and how often you were consuming it, you may experience these symptoms to a smaller or bigger extent: insomnia, low appetite, irritability, nausea or vomiting, cravings for marijuana, extreme sweating, abdominal pain, tiredness, or restlessness. Some even report having very vivid dreams during this period.
How long does a high last?
This one also has a lot of “ifs.” Mostly it depends on whether you are vaping, smoking, or ingesting marijuana. Of course, the first will set you off faster and the effect will last from 1 to 4 hours. When eating or drinking, the desired reaction is felt later, but it can last up to 8 hours even.
Will I pass a drug test if I smoked 1 week ago?
Regarding the research above, and supposing you aren’t a heavy consumer who has a lot of THC built up in the system, there are high chances to pass the following: a urine test, blood test, perspiration test, and mouth swab test.
Does marijuana lower blood pressure?
According to Harvard studies, the situation is quite the opposite. Cannabinoids make the heart work harder, increase the heart rate, and dilate blood vessels. Does that mean you’re going to have a heart attack if you smoke pot? Well, if you’ve got a history of heart disease, you’d better consult your doctor about it. If you’re healthy, then you should have nothing to worry about regarding your precious organ.