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How long does weed or marijuana stay in your system?

How long does weed stay in your system

Published August 17, 2014


If you are wondering how long does weed stay in your system, then most likely you have been asked to take a drug test. Before we get to discuss how long does weed stay in your system lets first look at how does weed get into the human body and what it is.

Weed, or more commonly known as Marijuana or Cannabis is a psychoactive drug that is produced from the Cannabis sativa plant. Marijuana was First used in china as a medication for arthritis and pain. Second half of 19-th century you could buy it as an over the counter medication for rheumatism, labor pains or nausea.

Almost 4% of the world’s population use weed, even though it is illegal in most countries. Weed is ranked 3-rd from the top, in the list of recreational drug used in USA.

Weed is known by many names which include: weed, pot, dope, hash, skunk, joint and many others.

The main chemical component of weed is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is also the component that accounts for the “High”. THC affects both physical and psychological systems. The most common way of getting THC in your system is thru smoking, which is also the fastest way.

In the tests THC is immediately detectable as soon as the first inhale of weed, and reaches its peak concentration at around 9 min into smoking. It takes between 3-12 hours for THC to decrease at an undetectable level after the last inhale.

THC concentration in the blood falls quickly after u stop smoking, this because THC is fast absorbed and initially settles on organs with high blood circulation, brain, liver, lungs and heart. Fat tissues is where THC is mostly stored.

If weed is ingested, the absorption time into the blood takes longer, anywhere from 20 min to 1 and a half hours. Oral ingestion of marijuana shows a very different pattern of THC levels in the body. In this case the peak for the concentration in the blood occurs 1-5 hours after ingestion. For the ingested marijuana, retention time varies from 1-5 days.

But THC has a very short detection window in the blood, only a few hours, because it is metabolized by the system into metabolites, and from TCH are formed at least 80 different types. These metabolites are the ones who are stored into the body fats and which are the object of drug tests.

How long does weed stay in your system. The effects of weed fade quickly after consumption, but THC metabolites can remain and be detectable in the system for weeks or longer, which is dependent on how the body metabolizes the substance. Occasional smokers flush weed out of the system in just a few days, while heavy smokers will take from 2 weeks to a month to get to nil level. Chronic users that consume every day will have weed in their system for up to 2-3 months.

How long does weed stay in your system (hair)? It takes about 7-10 days to grow above the scalp for the

affected hair. With tests it can be detected up to 90 days after use. If tested on scalp hair the period of testing will vary based on how long are the hair. Usually the sample is about 1.5 inches measured from the scalp. The evaluation period will be much longer if done in body hair since these grow much slower.

How long does weed stay in your system (blood)? In the blood weed can be present for up to 2-3 days after use, however in cases of heavy and frequent use it can be detected after up to 2-3 weeks. This method of testing has short detection window and it is used less frequently. Blood tests only measure levels for active THC in the system, it can detect only recent use.

How long does weed stay in your system (saliva)? Saliva has a shorter detection period, only for up to 72 hours after drug use if the test is done in a laboratory, and up to 12 hours with an instant saliva drug test done onsite. This type of test detects the parent drug, not the active metabolite, thus having a very short window for detection.

How long does weed stay in your system (urine)? This method of testing measures levels of THC metabolites, not THC levels itself, like THC-COOH which stays in the system much longer then THC itself. This test is influenced in big part by the frequency of the user and the amount used. In infrequent users can be detected in the urine 2-5 days after use, heavy users 15 days and at least 30 days in chronic users and people with high body fat. This type of test is the most common one and the most reliable.

When addiction to marijuana is present, withdrawal symptoms are noticed in the user if he quits or decreases dose abruptly. The most heavy effects can be noticed in the regular daily users. Withdrawal symptoms last for up to 5-7 days, dependant on the amount and frequency of use, and include mild symptoms like headache, poor appetite, depression, nausea and trouble sleeping among other things. The withdrawal is most severe during the first days.

The different tests have different methods of detecting drug use, but there are these factors that influence the time weed will be detectable in your system:

  • • Frequency of use
  • • Amount used
  • • Weight
  • • Body fat
  • • Metabolism rate
  • • Route of administration
  • • Age
  • • Drug tolerance
  • • Other drugs or medications currently in use

Given that these factors are different for every person, it is impossible to give an exact time for how long does weed stay in your system. Also the time it takes for weed to completely leave your system is influenced by some other external factor. Drinking a lot of water will help the body to clean itself from remnants of weed. Also exercising and having high body activity increases circulation in the body and increases the speed in which weed is ejected from the body.

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