How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System?

If you have smoked or ingested weed, you would naturally be quite nervous when you have to appear for a drug test. There are many questions running in your mind if your system (blood, urine, saliva or hair samples) would show traces of the cannabis or marijuana that you have smoked or ingested. There is no clear answer to the question of how long weed stays in your system. It depends on various factors, out of which the two most important factors are the following:

  • Your physical condition (age, gender, weight and body mass index)
  • Frequency and amount of weed smoked or ingested (how much and for how long)
  • Type of weed you consume; for example, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is very potent and it stays in your system for a longer time than other types of weed

Here we will tell you about the average time that the weed will stay in your system when different kinds of tests are carried out. Please note that this duration will vary according to the amount of weed you use and the frequency of your usage. More than the weed itself, its by-products, called metabolites are something that you have to be scared of. This is because these tend to remain in your system long after the effects of the weed have completed faded off!

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One of the most common tests that are conducted to check the effects of weed in your system is the urine test. The weed and its by-products are clearly visible in your urine sample. How do you know when to take the test to escape the presence of weed in your urine? Here you go:

  • If you smoke or ingest weed occasionally (about thrice in a week), weed takes around 3 days to completely leave your system. So you can do a urine test three days after you have last smoked/ingested weed to get a clean urine test.
  • If you are a moderate weed user (using it four times a week), you should wait for at least 5 to 7 days to get a urine test done. The effects of weed and its by-products can stay in your system for at least a week in this case.
  • If you are a chronic weed user (daily use), you have to wait for at least 15 days for the effects of weed to completely fade off from your urine sample.
  • If you are a chronic heavy user, that is, if you smoke or ingest weed many times in a single day, the effects of weed remain in your system for a minimum of 30 days. According to studies, the maximum time that weed stays in your system if you are a chronic user of cannabis or marijuana is 90 days.

Blood Test

If you have been asked to undergo a blood test to prove the presence of weed in your blood, here is what you should know about the same:

  • Your blood can show traces of weed just seconds after you inhale it.
  • For moderate users, weed stays in their blood for about 1 to 25 days.
  • However, for chronic weed users, traces of cannabis and marijuana can be detected in their blood even 25 days after using the same.

Saliva Test

If you have smoked or ingested weed, your saliva will show traces of weed or its metabolites for a certain amount of time that is dependent on the amount of weed you consume and the amount you consume. Here is how long weed will stay in your system if you take a saliva test:

  • Traces of weed can remain in an oral fluid test for up to 1 to 3 days after smoking or ingesting the same, if you use it occasionally.
  • If you are a chronic user of weed, the effect of weed will stay for a maximum of 29 days in your saliva.

Hair sample testing

Traces of weed can remain in your hair follicles for up to 90 days; this is because the weed gets into your hair through tiny blood vessels and the effects last for a long time. All you need to prove the trace of weed in your hair sample is a 1.5 inch hair strand. However, like all the other tests, the effects of weed can remain for a longer time if you smoke/ingest a lot of weed on a daily basis.

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Some points to note

There are quite of solutions available in the market which claim to get the effects of weed out of your system sooner than the expected time. These solutions can be in the form of herbal weed detox kits and other supplements. Please remember that these will not help to get rid of weed quickly from your blood, urine, saliva or hair samples. It is best to allow your body to take its natural time to come out of the effects of the weed that you have smoked/ingested.

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]