How Long Does Marijuana Remain in the System?

Marijuana can still remain in your system and be detected in your urine or blood during test, long after the effects of smoking marijuana declined. The effects of using marijuana can fade off in no time, however, the drug can still be detected in the body for weeks after smoking. The duration of the active ingredients and breakdown products of weed in the body can range from a few hours to 90 days, depending on the frequency and quantity of marijuana that is being used.
READ ALSO: What Are the Health Risks of Inhaling Secondhand Marijuana Smoke?
Though medical marijuana hasn’t been approved yet by the FDA, it is often prescribed to treat multiple sclerosis, IBS, chronic pain, HIV, nausea, and glaucoma.
Most employers are still ordering their staff carry out a compulsory urine tests for marijuana. So, if you don’t wish to lose that job that you’ve worked so hard on for years without any compensation, you would really want to know how long marijuana can remain in your system after using it.
Marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol, also called delta-9-THC or simply THC, which is responsible for the “high” feeling after using it.
Urine tests are inexpensive, easy, and trustworthy standard for drug screening that have been in use for ages now. You may be required to carry out cannabis test if you are being interviewed for a new job, confirm parole or probation terms, keeping a job, appealing for child-custody, or making a compensation request at your job. If you have been using marijuana, then chances are you’ll fail the test and miss out on any opportunity. This is why so many people want to know how long weed can stay in urine.

How Urine Tests Work to Detect Marijuana

The earlier technique used for urine test is GC/MS, which is quite expensive and time-consuming. However, new urine tests can detect marijuana in your pee using color-change indicators. This new technique is inexpensive and not time-consuming.
The color changes depend on the precise test, but fundamentally if the urine contains THC metabolites, the color indicator shifts to a particular shade. The lab or clinic that carried out the tests then passes on the test results to the body that demanded it.
READ ALSO: All to Know About Marijuana Withdrawal
When testing for marijuana, urine tests usually don’t look for THC, but they look for a certain THC metabolite, 11-COOH-THC, which is formed in the liver after ingesting marijuana.
Apart from the 11-COOH-THC, the marijuana urine test also checks for the color, pH level, temperature, odor, pH level, creatine level, and salt contents to be certain you didn’t alter the urine sample.
Urine Tests May Not be perfect at Determining Marijuana Intoxication
Marijuana contains cannabinoids, which are fat-soluble molecules. This indicates that cannabinoids melt in fats and oils, but does not dissolve in water. So, THC and THC metabolites cannot quickly pass through the system when we ingest cannabis. The marijuana rather deposits into the fat cells and remain there until the fat cells are burned, shedding the THC metabolites back into our blood so they can finally be eliminated via urine.

What are the Factors That Affect Marijuana Detection Time?

How long before marijuana show up in your urine basically depends on some factors:
Body fat. The fat content of a person’s body can play a major role in determining how long THC will appear in urine. The fat content is measured through the body-mass index (BMI). The more body fat you have, the longer it will take before marijuana appears in your urine.
Metabolism. The metabolism of your body also determines how long before cannabis shows up in your urine. A slower metabolic rate will take longer for marijuana to show in urine.
Frequency and quantity of usage. The quantity and frequency of marijuana ingestion can also play a role in determining when weed shows up in their pee. People who use weed frequently and in higher dosage will have THC in their urine over extended duration.
Hydration. Dehydration causes you to have more THC concentrations in the body. So, don’t assume you would pass a marijuana urine test by drinking lots of water. This will only dilute it, and you may be called to provide another sample for a re-test.
Method of marijuana consumption. The user’s preferred method of cannabis consumption such as chews, emulsified powders, breath strips, THC tinctures, full-extract oils, and breath strips, leads to longer duration where marijuana will remain in urine. Note that drinkables and edibles are bound to remain in the system for long due to composition.
Gender. Since women have more body fat compared to men, they have a slower rate of digesting or metabolizing THC than men.
For marijuana users who consume occasionally, like once or twice in a year, then it can take a couple of weeks for cannabis to be completely eliminated from your system.
However, chronic marijuana users, who use it every day or 3-5 days in a week, THC can appear up to three or four months after the last time you use it.
You can use online calculator here to calculate how long weed will show up in your urine.

How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effects of Using Marijuana?

The effects of marijuana can differ from person to person. While some persons may feel ecstatic and tranquil, others may feel restless and paranoid. Other users report a loss of interest in activities or difficulty in understanding concepts.
So, how long does marijuana remain in the system after usage. After smoking marijuana, it immediately gains access into the bloodstream rapidly. On the other hand, if marijuana is consumed orally, it takes a longer time for it to be absorbed into the blood, usually from 20 -30 minutes.
Irrespective of the method of ingestion, the effects of using marijuana may include:
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Dry mouth
  • Distorted perception
  • Increased heart rate
  • Pleasurable body sensations
  • Increased appetite
  • Relaxation
  • Stimulation
  • Loss of coordination
  • Trouble with thinking, memory, and problem-solving
The immediate effects of marijuana on memory and coordination last for about one to two hours, with some effects persisting up to 24 hours. Marijuana can affect your driving performance for up to three hours after taking it.

Are There Ways You Can Eliminate Marijuana From Your System Before a Test?

There are some alleged methods you can use to get rid of marijuana from your system. However, none of these techniques is 100% guaranteed:
System flushing or washing
Washing out your system involves consuming plenty of water or liquids and passing out urine severally before taking the test. Most marijuana users believe drinking lots of water and taking vitamin B-12 will help get rid of THC and color their urine, hence making it hard to detect THC in the urine sample.
Doing this may only reduce the percentage of THC in urine, but will not completely get rid of THC metabolites.
This is a rather counter-productive technique at removing marijuana from your system. A study found that exercising or going for workout prior to a test will cause THC stored in fat to be released into the blood stream.
Using Drug Screening Agents
There are some herbal teas that purportedly contains substances capable of cleaning or getting rid of marijuana traces from the body. There is no scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of consuming these herbal teas to remove THC from the system.
Tampering with the Test
Some marijuana users who want to get a negative urine test will tamper with the urine sample by adding substances to contaminate the urine sample. Some persons use substances like detergent, bleach, Visine, or salt to pollute the urine sample. However, this isn’t a foolproof way of blurring the results because these added chemicals can still be identified and separated from your urine sample.

Wrapping Up

So, “how long does marijuana remain in your system after usage?” Smoking marijuana causes the substance to be released quickly into blood stream. However, the oral intake of marijuana takes a longer time for it to be absorbed into the blood. It usually takes about 20-30 minutes
After smoking marijuana, it immediately gains access into the bloodstream rapidly. On the other hand, if marijuana is consumed orally, it takes a longer time for it to be absorbed into the blood, usually from 20 -30 minutes
Employers are skeptical of employing or retaining marijuana users because they pose a serious problems for their various firms. There are various job policies which includes running random drug testing for current staffs and carrying out a routine testing for all job applicants.
So, it is best you quit using marijuana because if you are needed to take an impromptu marijuana test, you may likely fail the test, especially if you are a regular user.


Disclaimer: The content provided on is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.

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