As in the case of many drugs, the duration that marijuana remains in a person’s system varies depending on several factors. Frequency of use, level of THC in the marijuana, and metabolism can all have an impact on the results of a drug test and determine how long will the cannabis effect last in the body until it is eliminated. Smoking a joint, taking a cannabis medication, or eating an edible have all different effects.
How Long Stays Marijuana in our System?
Even though the effects wear off in a few hours, according to American Addiction Centers, THC can still be detected on a hair test for up to 90 days, between 3 days and a month in urine (depending on the frequency use), up to 48 hours in saliva, and up to 36 hours on a blood test.
When smoked, cannabis effects are felt right away and generally last for 1 or 3 hours. When eaten, a person may not feel the effects for 30 minutes to an hour, but the effects can last longer.
What Happens When We Smoke Marijuana?
When a person smokes marijuana, THC gets to the lungs and then makes its way into the bloodstream. After that, it is carried directly to the heart to be then pumped to all parts of the body. In this way, THC binds with CB1 receptors (located on the brain, certain organs, and the central nervous system), and CB2 receptors (found on the spleen and immune cells).
As blood runs through the body, THC makes it to the liver, where it is broken down into metabolites. This inactive THC metabolite, stored in body fat and gradually excreted in urine and faeces, stays in the body much longer than active THC.
What Happens with Cannabis Edibles?
When cannabis enters the system as an edible, a different process occurs. In this case, THC enters the bloodstream through the stomach walls and intestines. Then, it travels straight to the liver, where a large amount is eliminated or metabolised. Remaining THC and metabolites then make their way to the heart and are sent to the brain.
Now, most cannabis drug tests do not only look specifically for THC, but also metabolites, formed as cannabinoids rapidly degrade in the body.
As time goes by, that THC stored in body tissues finds its way into the bloodstream once again, and is eventually metabolised by the liver. In the case of regular users, THC builds up in fatty tissue faster than it can be eliminated, which means that heavy users could test positive for marijuana even after many days from quitting.
Which Are the Ways to Test for THC?
Many types of sampling are used to test for the presence of marijuana. These tests vary in the timeframe during which they can detect marijuana and its metabolites in a person’s system.
In a saliva test, a person can test positive for up to 34-48 hours after last use. Urine test is the most common test used and infrequent users (less than 2 times/week) can test positive for 1-3 days. Moderate users (several days a week) can test positive for 7-21 days after last use. A heavier user can test positive for a month or longer after last use. Taking edibles may result in a positive test for 1-5 days.
In the case of a hair test, marijuana can be detected for up to 90 days. However, studies have argued that a hair test is most reliable for daily or near-daily users and is not as likely to detect the presence of marijuana in light users. Finally, blood tests can determine the presence of marijuana and its metabolites for up to 36 hours.
How to Detox Faster from Weed
As THC is stored in fatty tissues, it is advisable not to eat fatty foods; these may not only slow down the process but also help cannabinoids begin a new cycle. Detox foods such as fruits, vegetables, and tea speed up the elimination process of remaining THC. Cardio exercises or, otherwise, visiting a sauna or a hammam spa are good alternatives for burning fat sweating, a fast way of eliminating cannabinoids. Staying hydrated and drinking liquid to achieve diuresis (urinating in increased volumes) is a good way of easing metabolite dilution.