How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Your System

Weed consumption is popular with many people from across the globe. In some countries, either people enjoy the legality of smoking marijuana for recreation or for medical purposes, while others consider the drug harmful and addictive thus people have no legality to take it at any time. It is not a life-threatening drug compared to other drugs such as cocaine or heroin and it is also one of the most easily accessible drugs but misuse of the same can lead to adverse effects. Getting addicted to weed is easier for some people than it is for others. Some take it for leisure while others use the same for health reasons.


One of the questions that many people that take weed ask is how long it stays in the system. Some ask the question out of desperation because while the effects of the drug are great, some worry what it would mean for them if they went for tests at a future date and the drug was still in the system. This is so especially in cases where you cannot get certain jobs until you pass a drug test or in some sporting activities where you cannot participate if you have any drugs in the system. Others may want to start taking weed but need to be sure what they are getting themselves into before they go down that journey. Whatever the reason, there is every need to know how long it takes the weed to fade out of the system whether you are new to the drug, or you are worried about random tests.

Before going into details of how long weed stays in the system, it is important to understand the main ingredient in marijuana first. Known for both its health benefits and its psychoactive effects, weed contains a compound known as Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which is responsible for the high that people get from using marijuana.

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What is THC?

What is THC

THC is a fat-soluble compound that embeds itself in the body’s fat tissue leaving the high effects that many people experience after taking marijuana. THC enters the body differently depending on how you take your weed. If you smoke your weed, the compound enters into the body system immediately but takes a while longer if you ingest the weed as an edible. Whether you choose to smoke the weed or take it as an edible, the body processes the compounds ensuring that you do not remain high for long periods.

This happens because the body breaks down the THC fast modifying it into metabolites. After that, the compound stays in the blood system for a few hours and within these hours, it would be easy to detect the weed after a blood test. While this may seem like great news for those wondering if after a day of taking weed they can come out as clean, it is not as simple as it looks. This is because even after a day or several days of going clean, your system could still have the  It gets more complicated because the liver breaks the THC into other metabolites, known as THC COOH that makes up for the primary screening of weed in the system.

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How long does it take THC to stay in the body system?

It is also important to note that the period THC stays in the system also varies from person to person. People that have more fat tissues tend to have a slower elimination of the compound than those with slimmer bodies. The variation also depends on how much weed you consume. Some users consume weed frequently while others take it occasionally. For the frequent consumers, the compound may linger in the system longer than for the occasional users. The length the drug stays in the system also differs from age to age. Younger people have stronger immune systems and body metabolisms than older people so the drug effects may take a lesser period to fade from the body.

While in four to five days on average, your system can rid itself of the THC COOH, it can remain in some of the body liquids for longer periods. For occasional users, studies showed that the compound stays in the body for 48 to 72 hours but frequent users had the same stay in their systems for even up to days. During drug testing for marijuana, the mostly used sample is the urine. Therefore when the question of how long can weed stay in the system is raised, it actually means how long does weed stay in the urine. Other samples that health facilities use to test the presence of the drug are saliva, hair and blood.

How long weed stays in urine

Urine is by far the most effective way of testing for weed and any other drugs in the system. It is also one of the cheapest methods in the market to test for the presence of marijuana. Besides being the best and the cheapest, it also carries a long detection period. As we said earlier, detecting the presence of the compound in urine depends on how long you have used the drug. For more frequent weed users, detection takes longer and vice versa for lesser time users. Below is a short breakdown of how long weed stays in the urine

  • For people that smoke weed only once in 30 days, the compound may stay in urine for eight days.
  • For those that consume the drug on a regular basis, which amounts to 5 to 6 times in a period of thirty days, the compound may take up to 15 days in the system.
  • Heavy consumers of the drug, which amounts to over twenty days in a period of thirty days, the compound may stay in the urine for anything between 45 and 80 days.

As the above shows, the rate at which you consume the weed will highly determine how long it shows in your urine sample. One of the ways to get rid of the presence of weed in urine is by detoxing for the sole purpose of cleaning up your urine of any drugs. Detoxing may include drinking lots of water or using detox pills and supplements.

How long weed stays in your blood

Though blood testing for the presence of weed is not as common as urine and saliva testing, it is still another sure way of detecting the presence of the compounds in the system. One of the reasons why blood testing is not as popular or as effective as the others is because the cannabinoids reside better in the fatty body parts than in the blood stream. Therefore, even if the compounds enter the blood stream, they do not stay there for long and find their way to other parts of the body.

After weed consumption, the compounds may show up in your blood for the first 24 hours. This is so especially for first time users while for frequent users it may show for up to three days after consumption. Regular users may not have the drug show up in their systems until after a week. This is a relief for people that use the drug and have to go for a blood test because they can know when to stay away and when to indulge.

How long weed stays in saliva

The other sample tested for the presence of weed and many other drugs is saliva. For most users, it is important to note that weed takes the least amount of time to show in saliva as compared to other body fluids and hair. saliva testing also one of the most common methods the traffic police use to test for the presence of drugs and alcohol in the system. After smoking weed, it only takes about one hour for the same to be detected in the saliva.

The same weed stays in saliva for another 24 hours even from just one single session of smoking marijuana especially for the one-time smokers or irregular smokers. For more established and regular smokers, the effects could stay on for 72 hours, which would show on the saliva. If you are a heavy marijuana smoker, it would be wise to wait for at least a week before undergoing a saliva test. The reason for this is that THC takes time to accumulate in the salivary glands.

How long weed stays in your hair

Hair may not be a very common means of testing for the presence of cannabis but it is apparently one of the most effective ways to determine if you have weed in your system or not. There is a belief that the longest detection period of weed is in the hair. The test mainly targets long time users of the drug rather than the infrequent users. Seven days after weed consumption, the same can be detected in your hair. The hair follicle testing method looks more for the presence of THC COOH than THC. For first time users and infrequent consumers, a test on their hair follicle may turn negative because only a heavy load of the substance shows up on the hair follicles.

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What factors affect how long weed stays in your system?

We have noted a few factors that determine how long weed stays in the system. Below is a look at the above-mentioned reasons and more.


Body’s metabolism

Every person has a different body metabolism from the next person. Metabolism, which is the chemical process in which the body breaks down chemical processes, allows for the body’s normal functioning capabilities. If your body’s metabolism is poor, then the effects of the drug will stay in your body for longer periods because it has a weaker ability of breaking down the compounds. Therefore, this means, you will take longer to have weed in your system.

Methods of consumption

How you consume your weed will also determine how long it will stay in the system. If you smoke marijuana, THC levels drop within a few hours after stoppage. This however does not mean that your system will be weed free the same can show up in your urine or blood sample even 45 days after the last smoke. On the other hand, if you ingest the weed, metabolism of the same is slow and it takes longer to detect.

Body weight and general body health

THC loves the fatty body tissue and therefore stays longer in people with more body fat than those that have less. Slimmer people tend to have their systems clear THC faster, therefore bringing down the detectable time of the same. Fatter people have longer detectable periods and can stay with the compound in their system for much longer periods. Healthier people also tend to have the drug get out of their systems faster than the unhealthy ones. It is therefore important to eat well, exercises and get enough sleep for the body to rid itself of weed faster. Poor overall health simply means that detoxing THC will be much harder.


Yes, age may also affect the length of time it takes for THC to leave the body. Younger people are healthier and they work out more while older people are more sluggish and exercise less. In addition, younger people have stronger body tissues and muscles that can help to break down the compounds better than older people’s systems. Therefore, if you are older and you indulge in the consumption of weed, chances are you might stay with the effects for a longer period than a younger person would.

Using other drugs and supplements

Taking other drugs alongside weed, may also affect the rate at which the compound stays in the body system. Some of the drugs you take may slow down the body’s metabolism, which makes it hard for breaking down THC. When using other drugs, it becomes almost impossible to determine the length of tome weed stays in the system. The only way to avoid this from happening is not mix weed with other drugs and supplements.

THC concentration levels

One of the things many people do not know is that THC potency in weed varies from one product to the next. Some of the marijuana has very high potency levels of THC while others have very little. The type with the high potency levels tends to have longer lasting detectable periods than the ones with less potency.

Frequently asked questions

What are the signs of marijuana addiction?

One of the major effects of taking weed is addiction. Frequent weed users become addicted to its effect and rarely function well without consuming it. Addiction takes place with more usage of the product. The first signs of weed addiction are changes in social activities, priorities and behaviour. The reason for this is that the high from THC makes a person feel good and low when not on the drug. Too much usage of weed causes the brain to change which if left unchecked could lead to changes in behaviour and abilities. Some people become overly active while others tend to slow down because of too much consumption. Below are the things to look out for if you think you are abusing marijuana

Struggling academically and in your employment

This is so especially in teenagers that indulge into the drug at an early age and start skipping classes and failing exams. At the work place, some addicts lose concentration and their work goes down. Too much use of the drug can also reduce a person’s IQ.

A change in your social life

This happens when addiction makes people lose interest in social activities and they start to stay away from friends and family and sometimes even start engaging in risky behaviours such as increased sexual activities that may lead to STDs and HIV.

A reduction in your physical abilities

Addiction may lead to lack of coordination, which may lead a person to struggle in performing regular exercises and other sporting activities. Too much THC in the body affects both a person’s judgement and physical abilities. Driving while high on marijuana is also not safe as too much THC affects the part of the brain that regulates coordination.

Some troubles with family, friends and even legal problems

Legal and financial troubles also go together with the abuse of marijuana and you might find yourself in trouble for using or selling weed without a doctor’s prescription or without the legal authorities to do. This is especially common in states where using and selling weed is illegal.

Is it easy to get weed completely out of the system?

Another frequently asked question for people addicted to weed is whether it is easy to stop and detoxify their body completely from the product. The answer is yes, it is easy to detoxify and get your system free from weed. It may take a while or the shortest time possible depending on how committed you are but there are products in the market that help to detoxify. Some of the best detoxification products especially if you want to pass a drug tests are herbal drinks, some detox pills and THC flushing kits. While some people seek these methods to pass drug tests, others seek them to find permanent solutions to break their weed tolerance.

Wrapping it up

While we have tried to explain the insights of how long weed stays in the system, it is still not very clear at the exact amounts of time weed can stay in the system. This is because of the variations and factors that make it hard to give the exact period. The type of test that you take to also determines the kind of results to expect. For example, a blood test will show a lesser period of the weed in the system than a urine test will show. Overall, we hope this article was of great help to you and you will know how to regulate your weed consumption.

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Bowden draws from over a decade of home growing experience as well as consulting for small-scale and hobbyist-level growers. He has written hundreds of articles, thought pieces, and tutorials about growing cannabis at home

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