• Post last modified:December 19, 2021
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Drug tests examine an individual’s biological matter (urine, sweat, saliva, hair, and blood). The tests identify opiates, amphetamines, marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine, alcohol, nicotine, and methadone. In marijuana, the test turns positive when the psychoactive and intoxicating compound THC is detected. So, how long does weed stay in your system to cause a positive drug test result? 

Depending on the frequency of consumption and amount ingested, drug tests will detect weed in one’s urine, blood, or saliva within 1 day to 30 days after the last toke, vape, dab, or edible consumption. Hair follicles can have traces of THC up to 90 days after last consumption. The varying detection duration is dependent on a consumer’s consumption rate and the amount taken. Chronic daily consumers may have weed in their system well after the 90-day standard. 

What do cannabis-centered drug tests look for?

Cannabis has over 400 compounds. THC and its metabolites are the only elements detected in a drug test. When a consumer takes cannabis, some of the THC is stored in the fatty tissues and organs like the kidneys (here, a good amount of it is absorbed back in the bloodstream). The rest of the THC goes to the liver, where it is metabolized into 80 or more metabolites. 

Principal metabolites include THCCOOH (11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and 11-OH-THC (11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). While THC may be excreted from the body within hours or days after consumption, these metabolites tend to last for longer, that is, until they are excreted via the stool or urine. Which makes answering the question ‘how long does weed stay in your system’ a little more complicated because it varies depending on the individual and how often it is consumed.

How long do edibles stay in your system?

Weed edibles refer to cannabis-infused foods and treats, such as brownies, cakes, and cookies. Since the edibles have to go through digestion first before THC is present in the bloodstream, the effects are delayed by 30 minutes to two hours. Once the effects present, a consumer can expect to experience a high (cerebral, body-centered, or both depending on the strain of choice) for 6-8 hours. For potent strains, the effects may last up to 12 hours.

The liver further metabolizes the THC to produce several metabolites that can be detected in the body 3 to 12 days after consumption. For chronic heavy consumers, traces of THC may be detected in their system for up to a month or more. 

Different drug tests and their THC detection window

If you want to know how long does weed stay in your system, there isn’t one simple answer unfortunately. Depending on the type of drug test that you take, marijuana can be detected anywhere from 1 day up to 90 days. Here are the main types of drug tests used and their detection windows:

Urine test

The test is quite popular and looks for THC and its metabolites in a subject’s urine. It is a simple procedure, which detects cannabis use up to a month since the last time a person ate, smoked, or vaped the plant. 

Occasional consumers are likely to pass the test four or five days after consumption since they will most likely have excreted the THC from their system. On the other hand, a chronic heavy consumer may have to wait more than 30 days before achieving a negative result.

How long does weed stay in urine?

Classification of consumersNumber of days per week Maximum detection period 
Occasional/casual 1-3 days3 days 
Moderate 4-5 days5-7 days
Chronic 7 daysUp to 15 days
Serial chronic consumers/ chronic heavy consumers7 days, multiple times a day Up to 30 days or more

Blood test

When an individual consumes weed, it goes directly into the bloodstream before it is metabolized and reabsorbed in the blood again. This makes it easy to detect the presence of THC and its metabolites within minutes of consumption. 

However, blood tests are not very common as they are utilized in sobriety tests along the roads or when an accident occurs. In the case of chronic heavy consumers, a blood test may detect the drug up to 25 days after their last consumption.

How long does weed stay in your blood?

Classification of consumers Number of days per weekMaximum detection period
Casual and moderate consumers1-4 days1-3 days
Chronic and chronic heavy consumers7 days a week once or several times a dayUp to 25 days

Saliva tests

Like a blood test, a saliva test identifies current cannabis consumption. It can also detect THC metabolites up to 29 days in chronic heavy consumers. Did you know that one can also produce a positive saliva test from exposure to weed? However, only through consumption can the plant’s metabolites be detected in the saliva. 

How long does weed stay in saliva?

Classification of consumers Number of days per weekMaximum detection period
Casual and moderate consumers1-4 daysUp to 3 days (72 hours)
Chronic and chronic heavy consumers7 days a week once or several times a dayUp to 29 days

Hair follicle test

Hair follicle drug tests may detect cannabis use for up to 90 days. Each time a person consumes cannabis, THC and its metabolites are absorbed into the bloodstream. Blood vessels around the hair follicles bring traces of the drug around the hair and remain there as it grows. 

Human hair grows at an average length of 0.5 inches per month. The test requires 1.5 inches of hair acquired near the scalp. The results indicate an individual’s cannabis consumption over a period of three months. 

This is the second most common drug test and is preferred since an individual cannot alter the results by shortly abstaining from consuming cannabis. It is also non-invasive and produces accurate results. The downside is that it’s pretty expensive, takes time, and cannot be used to determine current cannabis use. 

How long does weed stay in hair?

Classification of consumers Number of days per weekMaximum detection period
All UsersAny amountUp to 90 days

Is there a way to increase the body’s metabolic rate?

The process of breaking down compounds in the body (metabolism) is unique to each individual. Some people have a fast metabolic rate while others have a slow one depending on various factors such as age, gender, genetics, hormones, physical activity, and body mass. Individuals with a fast metabolic rate tend to get rid of THC much quicker than those with lagging rates. 

Consequently, finding a way to increase the rate at which the body breaks down the THC may be the key to how to get weed out of your system quicker. Exercise, drinking plenty of fluids (especially water), and healthy eating are some of the top recommended hacks. Other options include natural detox remedies like cranberry juice, apple cider vinegar, and a mixture of lemon juice, mint, and water. 

How to detox from weed

If you are a casual or regular cannabis consumer and expect to undergo a drug test soon, there are ways to help detox from cannabis. The methods listed below are adequate but not guaranteed to help you pass the test. The first step is to cease consumption days or weeks prior to the test, then try out any of these three homemade natural detox remedies. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apart from being incorporated in marinades, salad dressings, and numerous weight loss programs, apple cider vinegar may be your detox solution. The fermented apple juice has potent detox properties that help clean out THC and other compounds (toxins) from the body. 

How to detox from weed using cider vinegar

Add one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. You can drink it as it is or add a sweetener like honey or stevia to mask the sour taste. As a bonus, the drink will aid in seamless digestion, lower blood sugar, and boost the immunity of the consumer. 

how to detox from weed with cider vinegar
how to get weed out of your system using cranberry juice

Cranberry juice

Cranberry juice is an ancient remedy for numerous conditions such as liver issues, Urinary infections, and an upset stomach. Additionally, this sharp and sour-tasting fruit is one of the most recommended detoxifying agents. Cranberries induce urination, which fastens the removal of toxins from the body. The results are more impressive when the juice is combined with an electrolyte drink like coconut juice, sports drinks, and smoothies. 

How to detox from weed using cranberry juice

To make this wonder drink, take a glass and fill it halfway with ice cubes. Add some water, apple cider vinegar, and cranberry juice. Voila! Your detox drink is ready. To add some twist in flavor, you can add juice from freshly cut oranges, grapefruits, lemon, or lemon. 

Water, lemon juice, and mint

This is probably the most used method to flush THC and other drugs from a person’s system. This powerful drink is loaded with energy and antioxidant agents. Most people add some grated ginger to the mix, giving it the ability to promote gut health, better digestion, and boost a faster metabolic rate. 

How to detox from weed using lemon and mint juice

Simply take two cups of water (500ml) and add some mint, lemon, and ginger (optional). Take several sips throughout the day. Repeat the procedure several times (7-8 times or more) within the days before the actual day of the drug test. 

how to detox from weed using lemon and mint juice

Pro’s and Cons of these detox drinks

Pro’s

Apple cider vinegarCranberry juice Water, lemon juice, and mint 
Boosts immunityDelicious Antibacterial properties
Improves digestion Facilitates frequent urination naturally, getting rid of toxins at a faster ratePotent antioxidant 
Offer relief for acid reflux and digestion problemsPotent antioxidantBoosts metabolic rate
Regulates blood sugar levelsIt contains essential compounds like cooper and vitamins that promote heart health.Powerful detox agent 
Improves the consumer’s immunity 

Cons 

Apple cider vinegar Cranberry juice Water, lemon juice, and mint
The acid may interfere with throat and stomach healthNot 100% effective Can cause heartburn to anyone with citric acid sensitivity
The corrosive vinegar may cause damage to the tooth enamelCitric acid may dissolve the tooth enamel
Not 100% effective Not 100% effective 

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