Marijuana is a medicinal plant of the cannabis family. It contains a psychoactive compound known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC activates parts of the brain, which produce the primary psychoactive and intoxication effects. Learn about drug tests, detox methods, and treatment options. How long marijuana stays in your body depends on many different things. Learn more about these factors, marijuana drug testing and detoxing from weed. Cannabis is an amazing herb that not only helps you in a recreational manner but medicinally as well. We all enjoy blunts and joints, and everything seems awe
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?
Detectable amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may remain in the body for days or even weeks after use. Upon consumption of marijuana, THC is absorbed and stored by various body tissues and organs. The drug is primarily broken down by the liver. The by-products formed by the breakdown are immediately cleared via urine. However, THC stored in the body tissue gets continuously released back into the bloodstream over time, where it continues to be broken down by the liver and cleared in urine until all of it is depleted from the body. In a chronic user, the excretion rate of THC through urine is less, so it builds up in the liver.
What is marijuana (cannabis)?
Marijuana, also known as weed, pot, or ganja, is a medicinal plant of the cannabis family. It contains a psychoactive compound known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that has major intoxicating effects. The leaves, seeds, stems, or roots, are mainly used for intoxication purposes. Marijuana preparations are usually smoked in pipes, joints, or water pipes (bongs). Marijuana users also add it to food or brew it as tea. Marijuana is the most abused substance in the United States. Approximately, 11.8 million young adults used marijuana in 2018.
When will marijuana show up on a drug test?
Several tests are used to detect the presence of marijuana. They include:
- Saliva test: A person can test positive for marijuana for up to 34 to 48 hours after the last marijuana use.
- Urine test: Infrequent users test positive for one to three days, moderate users can test positive for 7 to 21 days and a heavy user can test positive for a month or longer after the last marijuana use.
- Hair test: Marijuana can be detected in a hair test for up to 90 days.
- Blood test: Marijuana will be visible in a blood test for up to 36 hours.
How to get marijuana out of my body fast
Abstention is the best way to rapidly remove marijuana from the body. It involves cutting off marijuana completely for a while so that the body can fully eliminate it from the system. This is also called detox, which can result in withdrawal symptoms such as
Detox can be performed using the following:
However, detox should be performed by a medical professional and never tried at your own risk. Detoxing at home without medical help can lead to relapse of symptoms, which may become difficult to address at home. At a medical facility, withdrawal symptoms may be addressed in a healing and constructive manner.
Apart from detox, there are natural ways to remove marijuana from the body, which include
- Follow a healthy diet by avoiding processed food, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and coloring agents
- Add more green vegetables and fruits to enhance the fiber content in your diet
- Drink more water to flush out toxins
- Take hot baths to soothe physical pain and for mental relaxation regularly to improve mood and physical health
- Eliminate caffeine until anxiety and irregular sleep patterns are gone
What happens when you smoke marijuana?
Marijuana, when inhaled, exhibits short- and long-term effects on the brain.
- After smoking marijuana, THC passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, and it is carried to the brain and other organs. The effect is generally felt after 30 minutes to one hour. THC activates parts of the brain, which produce the primary psychoactive and the intoxication effects. Other effects felt are:
- Altered senses
- Distorted sense of time
- Impaired memory
- Psychosis (disconnected from reality)
- Impaired coordination
- Difficulty in thinking clearly
Long-term effects result in some permanent changes to the brain, such as losing mental abilities and functioning.
Other physical changes are:
- Increased heart rate
- Problems with child development during and after pregnancy
- Intense nausea and vomiting
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What are the treatments options for marijuana abuse and addiction?
Currently, there aren’t any medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration that specifically treat marijuana addictions. Marijuana addiction is mostly treated in a rehabilitation center. A combination of behavioral therapies is effective in treating marijuana addiction, which includes
- Motivational enhancement therapy (MET): It motivates the individual to give up marijuana. It focuses on an individual’s motivation to change. Often, people with marijuana addiction may have little motivation to change their self-destructing behavior, which has a negative effect on health, family life, or social functioning. Hence, MET can be a blessing to people who wish to change their addiction but fail to due to a lack of motivation.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: It is a common type of talk therapy that teaches the user to stop using drugs and ways to avoid or manage other problems. It makes you aware of your inaccurate or negative thinking associated with marijuana disorder.
- Contingency management: It involves exchanging vouchers as a reward for not taking drugs. However, it is only recognized by a few psychiatrists. It is potentially beneficial for people with severe marijuana addiction.
Although medications may not be effective in treating addictions, some antidepressant medications help manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapses.
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Vaping: e-Cigarette and Marijuana Vape Risks
Vaping or e-cigarettes are smokable products that use refillable or replaceable cartridges or containers that contain a liquid composed of nicotine, chemical flavors, and other compounds. The cartridges used during vaping contains nicotine, therefore vaping is addictive.
In low doses vaping, can cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In higher doses, vaping can cause more serious side effects like popcorn lung, seizures, coma, cancer, and death.
The FDA regulates the manufacturing, import, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution of electronic delivery systems like e-cigarettes.
Get the latest marijuana statistics and information. Learn its side effects and how this drug, also known as pot, affects the brain. Also, learn about medical marijuana for cancer patients and its indications.
Medical Marijuana (Medical Cannabis)
Medical marijuana (medical cannabis) is a medicine that is plant based. There are two species of medical marijuana; 1) Cannabis sativa, and 2) Cannabis indica. Medical marijuana is used to treat pain, nausea, anxiety, MS, insomnia, seizures, and muscle spasms. Medical cannabis is legal in a variety of states in the US. A card or licence is required to purchase medical marijuana in states where it is legal; however, medical cannabis is against Federal law. Medical marijuana comes in a variety of products, for example, gummy bears and other candy, muffins, cookies, drinks, salves, ointments, creams, oils, and wax.
What Is Pot? Medical Marijuana Laws, Uses, Safety
What is medical marijuana? Learn about THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, learn about marijuana scheduling, state laws for medical marijuana, marijuana addiction, the use of medical marijuana in treatment of seizures in children, edibles, topicals, smoke, and vape, and more.
How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System?
Marijuana, sometimes referred to as weed, pot, dope, Mary Jane or cannabis, is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the United States, with an estimated 48.2 million people using it in 2019. Marijuana refers to the dried flowers, leaves, stems and seeds of the cannabis plant and contains hundreds of compounds (often called cannabinoids). These compounds contain both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is impairing or “mind-altering,” and cannabidiol (CBD), which is not impairing and does not cause a “high.”
Like many drugs, there are a variety of factors that can affect how long marijuana is detectable. How often a person uses marijuana, the THC content, body fat, genetics, how the drug test is measured (blood, urine, saliva, etc.) and many other factors can determine how long marijuana remains in a person’s system.
What Happens When You Consume Weed?
The effects of marijuana can vary from person to person — some feeling relaxed or euphoric, while others can feel anxious and paranoid. This can depend on a number of characteristics like genetics, body fat, THC content and how marijuana is ingested (smoking or eating). After smoking marijuana, THC rapidly enters the bloodstream, where it can make you feel “high.” If marijuana is ingested orally, usually as edibles, it takes longer to be absorbed into the blood and can range from about 20 minutes to an hour and a half.
Weed Side Effects
Short-term effects of consuming marijuana (memory, problem-solving, coordination and driving impairment) are more pronounced in the first hour or two but can last for up to 24 hours. Because there is so much variation between strains of marijuana, other effects can be varied.
Other effects can include:
- Dry mouth
- Swollen eyelids
- Increased appetite (“the munchies”)
- Distorted perception
- Loss of coordination
- Trouble with thinking, memory and problem solving
- Increased heart rate
How Is Weed Processed by the Body?
THC is a sticky, easily vaporized compound that readily dissolves into fats. Once in the body, it is deposited into fatty (adipose) tissue like the liver, lungs and spleen. THC is metabolized by the liver to 11-OH-THC and then further metabolized to an inactive compound (THCCOOH). There are two enzymes responsible for this metabolism, and there can be genetic variation in these — meaning some people may metabolize marijuana quickly and others will metabolize it slowly.
Factors Determining How Long Weed Stays in Your System
Many factors can affect the amount of time that marijuana remains in the body after consuming it. The effects of marijuana can be felt within minutes up to over an hour, depending on how it was consumed.
Other factors that can influence how long marijuana is detectable in the body include:
- Body fat percentage: Those with higher body fat percentages may have detectable levels of marijuana for a longer time.
- Genetics: Some people may be genetically predisposed to metabolizing marijuana more quickly or more slowly.
- Frequency of use: Infrequent users clear marijuana more quickly than frequent users.
- Other drugs or medications: The enzymes responsible for marijuana metabolism (CYP2C9 and CYP3A4) can be sped up or slowed down by other drugs or medications.
- Potency of marijuana
- Tolerance level
How Long Does It Take Weed to Leave Your System?
The half-life of a drug is the time it takes for the body to metabolize and eliminate half of the substance. While there are a variety of cannabinoids, THC is the one most drug tests look for. In the body, THC is broken down into metabolites, which are stored in body fat until finally being excreted through feces and urine.
Some marijuana metabolites have half-lives of 20 hours, but others can be as long as 10–13 days. It can ultimately take three to five half-lives for these metabolites to be completely eliminated. This means it can take between five and 65 days for marijuana to be completely eliminated, depending on factors like how often marijuana is consumed, body fat percentage, genetics and others.
How Long Does Weed Stay in Urine?
Urine tests can show recent marijuana use (not current intoxication) because of the delay between use and the body breaking THC down into metabolites. It can take an estimated one to four days for marijuana to be undetectable in urine, though some studies have shown detectable levels for up to 70 days with chronic use.
How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Blood?
Because marijuana stays in the bloodstream for a short time, blood tests are not usually used for this purpose, with the exception of automobile accidents and some roadside sobriety checkpoints. It can take an estimated 36 hours for marijuana to be undetectable in blood, though some reports suggest up to seven days with chronic use.
How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Hair?
Hair tests are not reliably able to detect marijuana use or to determine the amount consumed. Each centimeter of hair accounts for about a one-month period of time, so the detection period depends on hair length but is generally 90 days. First-time drug use in the last seven to 14 days cannot be detected due to the time that it takes for marijuana to reach the hair.
How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Saliva?
Like blood, marijuana is present in saliva for a short time. As a result, a saliva test could show current intoxication but would not indicate level of intoxication or impairment. Marijuana is detectable for an estimated 34 hours in saliva.
How Long Does Weed Stay in Breastmilk?
Breastmilk can contain THC for up to six days after use and can affect the newborn’s brain development, resulting in hyperactivity, poor cognitive function and other long-term consequences.
Will Weed Show Up on an Employment Drug Test?
Workplace testing often first entails an immunoassay test (EMRIT or RIA). If positive, it is then sent for gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GCMS), which is much more sensitive, so false positives are rare. At one time, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) would cause false positives for marijuana. However, today’s tests have eliminated that problem.
While marijuana is legal in some states, many employers have drug-free workplace policies. These workplaces often have random drug screening policies for current employees and routine testing for new employees to ensure their workplaces are drug-free. Your employment can be terminated for failing a drug test, even in states where marijuana has been legalized.
Detoxing From Weed
The only completely reliable way to pass a drug test is to stop using marijuana. While there are many tips and tricks for how to “beat” a drug test for marijuana, most have been shown to be urban legends.
Some of these questionable techniques include:
: This method entails drinking fluids and urinating several times prior to a drug test, then taking vitamin b-12 to add color to urine. This serves to dilute THC metabolites but does not eliminate them. : Exercising or spending time in the sauna prior to a drug test can actually backfire by releasing THC metabolites from fatty tissue into the blood. : Various companies sell substances or herbal teas claiming to “clean” the body’s traces of marijuana; however, there is little evidence to support this.
Marijuana Detox Facilities in Florida
Our treatment facilities offer medical and clinical treatments in a restorative setting where your successful recovery is our focus. In a medical detox program, your body slowly rids itself of the marijuana while under medical supervision. Doctors and nurses can quickly address any signs of withdrawal to make the process as safe and as comfortable as possible. Once patients have finished detox, they can transition directly into the full addiction treatment program.
Marijuana Addiction Treatment
The Recovery Village at Baptist Health offers a full continuum of care so that your recovery can be customized to your needs. After medical detox, marijuana addiction treatment might include either inpatient rehab where you live on-site, focused on recovery free of distractions, or outpatient rehab, where you live at home or in a sober living community and come to the facility regularly for appointments. Our partial hospitalization program (PHP) offers an intermediary step between inpatient treatment and outpatient rehab: more freedom during the day while keeping the benefit of medical supervision. Typically, outpatient rehab comes after successful inpatient rehab, where you have learned the skills necessary to live a marijuana-free life. We also provide mental health counseling for co-occurring disorders and aftercare for long-term recovery.
Depending on the level of care, we have a variety of indoor and outdoor amenities at our facility, including:
- Swimming pool
- Two fully equipped gyms
- Basketball courts
- Sand volleyball court
- Frisbee golf
- Horseshoe pits
- Multiple lounges with TVs
- Comfortable, hotel-style, semi-private rooms
Our licensed staff members are highly skilled in supporting our clients to find lasting recovery with compassionate care. As a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers and a Gold Seal Joint Commission facility, we are here to provide evidence-based, high-quality addiction treatment. Contact us today to start your journey toward a marijuana-free life.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Health Effects of Marijuana.” Reviewed June 2, 2021. Accessed February 8, 2022.
Drugs.com. “How long does Marijuana stay in your system?” Updated April 7, 2021. Accessed February 8, 2022.
U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Marijuana intoxication.” Medline Plus, Updated February 4, 2022. Accessed February 10, 2022.
Huestis, Marilyn A. “Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics.” Chemistry and Biodiversity, August 21, 2007. Accessed February 20, 2022.
Huestis, M. A.; Mitchell, J. M.; & Cone, E. J. “Detection times of marijuana metabolites in urine by immunoassay and GC-MS.” Journal of Analytical Toxicology, October 1995. Accessed February 10, 2022.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “What You Should Know About Using Cannabis, Including CBD, When Pregnant or Breastfeeding.” Updated October 16, 2019. Accessed February 8, 2022.
Dasgupta, Amitava. “How People Try to Beat Drug Testing.” American Association for Clinical Chemistry, February 1, 2015. Accessed February 10, 2022.
Exercise.com. “Will exercise help you to pass a drug test for cannabis?” Updated August 20, 2020. Accessed February 10, 2022.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
How long does THC last in your body?
Cannabis is an amazing herb that not only helps you in a recreational manner but medicinally as well. We all enjoy blunts and joints, and everything seems awesome. until you have to go to that dreaded drug test. Then, suddenly it all looks gloomy. Drug tests are common everywhere and although cannabis is legal in many areas, the very mention of a test makes some people panic.
If you want to enjoy cannabis without a worry in the world, you’ll naturally want to know “how long does THC last in your body?” It’s a question asked by many, but very few have answers. Firstly, the amount of time marijuana lasts in any individual’s body depends on the individual himself.
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For instance, you may get rid of it quickly compared to someone who smokes it every single day. Obviously, heavy usage matters and those that use it frequently will have a tougher time flushing THC out of their system.
Also, THC tends to build up more in your system as you continue to smoke or ingest marijuana. It accumulates and blends with fat stores as time goes by. Depending on your body’s metabolism, THC will exit sooner or later. Sure, there are many other factors involved, and that’s exactly what we will highlight in this article.
Types of tests to detect THC
If you’ve ever taken a drug test, you will know that there are several ways to figure out if there’s any THC in your system. Drug tests measure or detect THC not only by the main product but the by-products are also considered. Now, the biggest challenge is that these by-products tend to stay in the system even after marijuana’s effects are long gone.
Here are a few types of tests conducted to measure THC
There are many types of saliva tests done for detecting THC. Employers can choose among any of them. And now that technology is so advanced, saliva tests meant to particularly detect molecules of THC found especially in the mouth are really useful. However, the results will be positive only if you’ve smoked a joint a few hours ago.
Other types of saliva test detect THC in users that have indulged in marijuana even if it was a month ago. While occasional users don’t have to worry a lot, chronic users have something to worry about.
You have to remember that cannabis can enter salivary glands if you’re exposed to the smoke or of you smoke a joint yourself. As soon as the glands ingest cannabis, it will show up in tests. From cops to employers, saliva tests are pretty common now.
Urine tests – like saliva tests – also depend on how long you’ve been using marijuana. If you’re an occasional user, there isn’t much to worried about. For instance, if you have an interview or a drug test in a week, you can stop ingesting cannabis right away so that your urine doesn’t show any traces.
But, for chronic users, urine tests will detect THC even if they have smoked marijuana a month ago. By occasional users, we are talking about people that consume or smoke cannabis about once or twice a week. The THC will be out of your system in just 3-4 days.
Moderate users indulging in cannabis about 4-5 times a week will obviously have more THC in their urine. In such cases, it will take at least 7-10 days for the THC to exit your system. You’re considered a c_hronic user if you smoke every single day and it will take at least a fortnight for you to get rid of THC. And, if you’re ingesting cannabis multiple times in a day and abuse it every day, you may need more than a month for the THC to leave the bloodstream.
Urine tests are conducted in various ways. While some employers use strips that are dipped in urine to detect THC, others may collect your sample and send them to the lab. Depending on your weight and the amount of THC present in the bloodstream, the results may be positive or negative. Urine tests are most common compared to other types of tests.
Although blood tests aren’t as common as urine tests, some employers may rely on it. Again, the results may vary from one individual to another. The thing will blood tests, though, is that they are not as reliable as urine tests.
Blood tests are considered invasive and that’s also why you won’t see many employers using it. THC is unpredictable and can remain or exit the bloodstream depending on your lifestyle. Some metabolites of cannabis can remain in the bloodstream for more than a month at times.
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For occasional users, blood tests aren’t really a cause of concern since it only takes 3-4 days for the THC to exit the bloodstream. Compared to blood tests, urine tests are more reliable. Thus, you’ll see many institutions and employers insisting on urine tests rather than blood tests.
So, what happens when you smoke cannabis? Well, the THC enters the bloodstream in a matter of seconds. For heavy users, you’ll see traces of THC in the blood for more than 30 days. However, there may be no THC at all even if you use cannabis for 4-5 times a week. This is because the THC can dissolve in the fat tissues and be eliminated without a trace. Also, THC exits the system when you indulge in a workout or if you simply sweat. Thus, blood tests aren’t very reliable. Moreover, it is expensive compared to other tests, so it doesn’t make sense for employers to use blood tests.
Compared to saliva, blood and urine tests, hair tests detect THC even if you’ve smoked a joint 90 days ago! Hair follicle tests are used to detect many other medications and drugs. Employers rarely ask for hair tests, but in case they do insist on it, you’ll have to give them your hair samples and the results will be known in just a day.
For this test, a collector will remove at least 100 hairs from the crown of your head. If you’re bald or have shaved your head, they will take samples of your body hair instead. Once you smoke or ingest cannabis, THC can enter the hair follicles easily. It will remain in the follicles for at more than 90 days even as your hair grows longer.
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