How Long Does Cannabis Stay in Your System

How Long Does Cannabis Stay in Your System? A Complete Guide

How Long Is Cannabis in Your Body?

One of the most frequent questions that we are asked at Zoom Testing is “How Long Does Cannabis Stay in Your System?”

Many users of cannabis are often concerned about how long marijuana or hashish will remain detectable in their bodies. Certainly, nobody wants to risk losing his or her driving license or testing positive as part of a workplace drug investigation.

While there is no definitive answer to this question, we can give some guidelines. However, the only certain way to know is by carrying out a test with a cannabis drug test kit.

How long does THC stay in your system?

The detection times for cannabis in the body vary greatly, depending on the type of drug testing carried out. The other important factor is how intensively the product was consumed prior to testing.

There are four types of drug testing for cannabis that are commonly used – blood, saliva, urine and hair testing.

There are also a number very important factors that will influence how long THC will be present in your urine. These include:

  • Weight
  • Body Fat
  • Amount Used
  • Frequency of Use

Since these factors can vary greatly for each individual, there are no definitive guidelines to tell you how long you can test positive for THC.

Detection times of Cannabis in Blood

THC is only detectable in blood for a few hours after last use. However, the degradation metabolite of cannabis, THC-COOH, can be detected for a longer period of time if the person being tested has taken the drug regularly. According to some studies, THC can still be detected in the blood of chronic heavy users for up to 25 days after last use.

A blood test for cannabis is normally only carried out by the police. This may happen after a road accident or traffic incident. Or it may be a follow-up test after a positive urine test for cannabis.

Detection times of Cannabis in Saliva

Detection of cannabis in saliva can be difficult as the drug is only detectable for a few hours. After this time, a saliva test for cannabis will come up negative. This is because a saliva drug test only checks for THC and not the degradation product/metabolite of cannabis, THC-COOH. Therefore, a saliva drug test for cannabis is best used when you suspect that the use of the drug has taken place only a few hours before the test.

Detection times of Cannabis in Urine

How long cannabis is detectable in urine will depend on a number of factors. The most important variable is how often the drug has been used by the person being tested.

If a person is being tested for cannabis, and they have only used the drug once, we can say with relative certainty that the detection time for the drug in urine will be 1-3 days after consumption.

The detection time for the drug becomes substantially greater if the person being tested has used cannabis more than once or heavily over a period of time.

Detecting the metabolite THC-COOH

A urine test for cannabis detects the metabolite THC-COOH. For regular users of cannabis, the metabolite will build up in the body faster than it can be eliminated in urine. This means that regular cannabis users will potentially be able to produce positive drugs tests for up to 2-3 months after last use of the drug.

  • A one-time user of cannabis may show positive for 1-6 days
  • A moderate user may show positive for 7-13 days
  • Frequent users can show positive for 15 or more days
  • Heavy users of cannabis can show positive for 30 or more days
  • In extreme cases, some heavy users have reported being positive 45-90 days after quitting

A urine drug test for cannabis is often used by employers for workplace drug screening. This type of test can also be used by the police for testing drivers of vehicles. A Zoom Testing Cannabis (THC) urine test allows you to test urine samples for traces of THC, in the same way that an employer or the police would do.

Detection times of Cannabis in Hair

Hair has a way of keeping a permanent record of substances consumed. This means that if you have long hair, then you have a greater chance of testing positive for cannabis if you have been using the drug.

Normally, hair grows at a rate of about 1cm per month. So, if your hair is 6cm long, then potentially that provides a 6-month record of drug consumption.

A Hair Follicle Test for THC can be ordered for home testing, with the hair sample being sent to a lab for testing and analysis. Such a test can be carried out for both private and legal reasons.

Is It Possible To Fool A Cannabis Test?

You might have come across ways to fool a cannabis drug test, but most of them are urban legends. Here are a few of the not recommended techniques:

  • Cleansing Your System: Some people try drinking large amounts of water or other liquid. They then pee numerous times prior to their test. This, whilst ingesting vitamin B-12 to give the urine back its natural colour. This might help to dilute the urine and eventually reduce the THC percentage found in it; however, the THC metabolites aren’t fully eliminated.
  • Taking Drug Masking Agents: There are herbal teas and a number of substances available for sale that claim they will clean any traces of cannabis from the body. This has not been scientifically proven. The drawback is that they need to be used for long periods, but the body will naturally get rid of the THC anyway.
  • Interfering With the Test: This is when a foreign substance is added to the urine to pollute the sample. Bleach, salt, Visine and detergents have been reported to be used, however, they are easily detected in the tests. There are urine test adulterants available for sale, but they are not foolproof. If the lab does a separate test for these substances, they are easily detectable.

Can Using Cannabis Oil Result in a Positive Drug Test?

With the recent rise in popular use of CBD products, we are often asked if it is possible to get a positive drug test after using cannabis oil. In theory, It should be impossible to get a false positive drug test from CBD oil. However this is not guaranteed. Our blog post, Can Using Cannabis Oil Result in a Positive Drug Test, explains it all in detail. Certainly some cannabis oils have been found to have dangerously high levels of THC, which could result in a positive drugs test.

Short Notice Drug Test? The Probability of Failure is High

For employers, workers who abuse drugs and alcohol present a serious risk. Most employees have a drug policy in the workplace that randomly test current employees and it is for all new employees.

If you recently smoked cannabis and have to take a urine test in a short time-frame for employment or other reasons, there is a high likelihood you will fail the test. The probability is even higher for regular cannabis smokers.

Even if your state has legalised the use of cannabis for recreational purposes, you could still be fired for failing that drug test.

The only way to guarantee that you will pass the test is to not smoke cannabis or ingest any products with cannabis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a popular drug that is often used for its psychoactive effects. However, many Zoom Testing customers will ask how long cannabis stays in their system after use. Here we cover some of the most commonly asked questions about how long cannabis stays in your system. Hopefully we can provide the info here to answer your questions!

1. So, for how long does cannabis stay in your system?

A good question and a tricky one to answer. The length of time cannabis stays in your system varies depending on a few different factors, such as how much you use and how often you use it. In basic, simple terms, weed can be detected in your pee for up to 30 days after use. It can also be detected in your blood for up to 2-3 days and in your saliva for up to 72 hours.

2. Can cannabis be detected in a drug test?

Of course. Cannabis can be screened for easily in a drug test. It’s probably the most commonly tested for drug of abuse. Most drug tests use urine samples to test for cannabis use. However, weed can also be detected in blood or saliva tests. If you are going to be drug tested, it’s important to be aware that cannabis can stay in your system for up to a month.

3. Does how you smoke/eat cannabis affect how long it stays in your system?

Yes, the method of consumption can affect how long cannabis stays in your system. For example, smoking or vaping cannabis can result in the drug being detected in your system for a shorter amount of time than if you were to consume an edible or topical product. This is because smoking and vaping allow the metabolite THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) to enter your bloodstream more quickly.

4. Can exercise or taking on water help flush cannabis out of your system?

Not really. While exercise and drinking liquids are important for overall health, they may not necessarily help flush cannabis out of your system. THC is stored in fat cells, so it can take longer to be eliminated from your system. Drinking water and staying hydrated can help dilute your urine, but it will not necessarily speed up the elimination of THC. Don’t believe stories on the internet that tell you otherwise!

In conclusion, cannabis can stay in your system for up to 30 days after use, depending on various factors. It can be detected in urine, blood, and saliva tests, and the method of consumption can affect how long it stays in your system. While exercise and hydration are important for overall health, they may not necessarily help flush cannabis out of your system. It’s important to be aware of these facts if you are going to be drug tested or if you are concerned about the effects of cannabis on your body.

5. How Long Do the Effects of Cannabis Last?

According to users, the effects of cannabis will kick in as little as 60-120 seconds after smoking it. For  cannabis edible, which are ingested, it can take as long as 45 minutes to feel the effects. Generally, the ‘high’ you get from weed will last between 40 minutes to an hour or more.

Photo Credit: “Spliff” by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Testing

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

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