How Long Does Thc Stay In Your System?

THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the most potent and active ingredients in weed. When you smoke or ingest THC, it instantly enters into your bloodstream. The time for which it stays in your system can depend on various factors; therefore, it is impossible to give one, specific answer to this question. Some of the factors that impact how long THC stays in your system are:
  1. 1
    Type of THC that you consume
  2. 2
    Frequency of your THC use
  3. 3
    Amount of THC you use every single time
  4. 4
    Your physical attributes (age, gender, weight, body mass index, etc.)
  5. 5
    Type of sample taken (urine, blood, saliva, hair follicle, fingernail, breath and sweat)

All you have to know is that the more THC you consume, it takes a longer time to leave your system, regardless of the type of drug test you undergo. Like all other types of weed, it is the metabolites of THC that take a longer time to wear off from your system than the THC itself. Metabolites are the by-products of THC.

There are over 80 metabolites of THC. Out of these, the two varieties that take the longest time to leave your system are the 11-OH-THC (11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and the THCCOOH (11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).

A significant issue with using THC is that it has the potential of being reabsorbed back into your kidneys. Therefore, the effects of THC and its metabolites last for a longer time in your body than other types of weed.

On average, THC can take anywhere between 1 and 30 days to leave your system. However, according to researches, the longest time that the effects of THC can stay in your system and show in the drug tests is 90 days.

Many types of tests are conducted to check the presence of THC in your system. However, some of them like urine tests or hair follicle tests do not show the direct level of THC in your system.

Instead, they show the traces of the THC metabolites (COOH) that are in your system. Also, the threshold above which a drug test is deemed positive varies in different types of tests, countries and laboratories.

In a urine test, the threshold for THC presence is 50ng per millilitre. In other tests, this threshold can vary, thereby giving you different results when you undergo a drug test. The average threshold that is usually considered allowable by most of the tests lies in the range between 15ng/ml to 100ng/ml.

How long THC stays in your system and what are the factors that affect it

As soon as you consume THC, it enters your bloodstream and gets stored in the fatty tissues, before it is broken down in the liver. Therefore, studies have proved that people who work out a lot and a healthy lifestyle are less prone to show traces of THC in their system in the 30-day window than people who lead sedentary lifestyles. Exercises and a healthy diet will not help you to get rid of THC entirely from your system, but it can play a vital role in the levels to fall within the threshold limit.

Urine Test

Urine Test
  • For occasional THC users (maximum of thrice a week) – drug test can be positive when tested within 3 days of THC usage
  • For moderate users (maximum of four times a week) – THC can remain in your system for 5 t0 7 days
  • For daily THC users (chronic users) – THC remains in your system for a maximum of 15 days
  • For people who use THC multiple times in one day – Effects will stay for over 30 days

Blood Test

Blood Test
  • For occasional users – THC remains in your system for a maximum of 2 days
  • For all other users (chronic users and heavy users) – THC stays in your system for about 25 to 30 days

Saliva Test

Saliva Test

When you smoke or ingest THC, an oral fluid test will show the presence of the drug in your system.

  • If you use THC occasionally – drug remains in your system for a maximum of 3 days
  • Chronic and heavy chronic users – THC stays in your system for a maximum of 29 days

Hair Follicle Test

Hair Follicle Test

Any drug (THC, cannabis, marijuana, weed, pot, etc.) shows the most extended effect in your system when a hair folic test is taken. A 1.5 inch of hair segment can show traces of THC in your system even when the test is taken 90 days after using the drug.

How to take out all traces of THC from your system

Drinking a lot of water can dilute your urine and can dissolve the traces of THC or its metabolites in it. However, hydration, hitting the gym and diet control should be done in the right way. When you do it wrongly, it can unnecessarily spike the drug levels in your system. The only way to get THC out of your system in a natural way is abstinence.

Mark Lamplugh Jr. is a fourth generation firefighter and former captain with the Lower Chichester (PA) Fire Company. He is now the Vice President of Business Development with Solid Landings Behavioral Health. He is nationally recognized in Crisis Stress Intervention through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Mark has placed and referred hundreds of firefighters, police officers, EMS personal and civilians nationwide. He can be reached for comment at [email protected]