Most cannabis users have, at one point or another found themselves wondering how long evidence of a THC remains detectable in their body. No matter what the reason, it’s not only an interesting question but one that has many answers.
In this article, we run through a wide variety of different circumstances. We will answer questions like how long does marijuana and THC stay in your blood, in your hair, in your urine, and more.
We will also weigh in on how the quantity of your intake can affect the results of a drug test, and provide some useful tips on how to cleanse your body of THC.
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in the Body
It’s generally understood that the presence of THC can show up on a standard drug test anywhere from one week to a month after the point of consumption. Obviously, that leaves a lot of wiggle room for variables such as how much cannabis you consumed, and what sort of test is being conducted.
Depending on your body type, lifestyle habits, and the frequency of your interactions with THC, that number can change radically.
Below we explore some factors that will impact the presence of THC in your system.
|Type of Marijuana Test||Marijuana Detection Time|
|Blood||3 to 4 Hours|
|Saliva||Up to 3 Days|
|Urine||14 to 90 Days|
|Hair||Up to 90 Days|
Blood tests actually have one of the shortest windows of detection. Typically, THC will only be present in your blood for about 3 to 4 hours.
Saliva tests are among the least sensitive only registering THC up to three days after consumption.
How long does THC stay in urine is a very common concern amongst smokers, as this is the means through which cannabis is typically detected. Urine tests have been shown to detect THC anywhere from 3-30 days, dependent largely on the quantity and regularity of use.
Hair tests are typically the hardest to pass. THC will stay present in hair for up to three months. However, these tests also suffer from accuracy problems. Because they test the oil present on hair follicles, the tests may yield a false positive if you have been in a room that is heavy with cannabis smoke.
Factors That Determine Marijuana’s Length of Stay in the Body
The numbers listed above are only ballparks. Lifestyle factors way heavily in determining how long does it take to pass a drug test.
Body fat does impact how long cannabis will stay in your system because THC finds its way into your fat and stays there for a long time. Your BMI can be indicative of how long THC will remain in your body, but there is more to it than just that.
BMI is a very imperfect indicator of how long THC stays with you because it does not account for lifestyle factors, nor muscle (which can misleadingly increase a person’s BMI).
People with a high metabolism will process THC much quicker than people with a slow metabolism. As your body metabolizes fats, THC also burns up, which can help you pass a drug test.
Length of Use
This is one of the most important factors in determining how long it will take to cleanse your body of THC. For example, if you have only smoked cannabis once, your body may dispose of the evidence within a few days. For a daily user, it could take a month or more.
Blood, saliva and hair test will all have relatively the same detection time no matter the use, however, urine test are extremely variable. Use the chart below to help you determine which category you are in: one time use, frequent use or heavy use.
|Urine Test||Marijuana Detection Time|
|One Time Use||Up to 13 days|
|Frequent Use||Up to 45 Days|
|Heavy Use||Up to 90 Days|
Similar to the last consideration, the potency of your cannabis can play a major role in how long the THC will remain present. For example, a dab could have a THC content of 70% while your average flower might clock in at closer to 16%. The more THC your body has to process, the longer it will take.
Amount of Exercise
Exercise increases your metabolism and helps your body burn fat quickly. Consequently, it will help you to process and rid yourself of THC. However, the extent to which is the case is highly subject to variables. For example, how often you exercise and what type of exercise you do will weigh heavily on the impact.
However, in a surprise twist, it is actually recommended that you abstain from exercise in the days leading up to a drug test. When your body burns fat, THC may be released back into your bloodstream, where it can remain for several days.
Gender and Genetics
THC tends to remain in the body of women for slightly longer than the bodies of men. However, metabolism, activity levels, and BMI will ultimately be much more indicative of how quickly your body will process THC.
Typical Questions Asked
How long will THC stay in the system for athletes?
If you live a very active lifestyle you may wonder how long does weed stay in the system of an athlete? While there is no direct answer to this question, athletes may reasonably assume that their bodies will process THC quicker than people with a sedentary lifestyle.
Not only do athletes typically have a lower BMI than average, but they also tend to eat healthily, hydrate well, and remain active—all factors that can heavily influence the results of a drug test.
How long will THC stay in the system for someone who is skinny?
Skinny people are likely to process THC much quicker because less of it will be stored in their fat reserves.
How long will THC stay in the system for someone overweight?
Unfortunately, the opposite is true for the overweight. The more fat you have in your body, the easier it will be for THC to find a long term home.
What if I only take one hit of a joint or bowl?
The quantity of cannabis you consume does weigh very heavily on how long it will stay in your system. If you have only taken a hit from a joint or bowl, you can reasonably expect the evidence to pass through your system in a matter of days rather than weeks.
How long do edibles stay in my system compared to marijuana?
When it comes to drug test edibles vs. smoking, things can get a little confusing. Your body processes edibles much differently than smoked cannabis. Because THC from edibles is released into your body slower than it is for smoked cannabis it tends to remain in your body for longer.
However, other factors (weight, genetics, gender, etc.) will still ultimately impact the outcomes of your drug test.
Ways to Detox and Clean Out Your System
There are ways to speed up the amount of time it takes to flush THC out of your system. Below, we provide a timeline that will help you better understand how to rid your body of residual THC quickly.
Marijuana Detoxification Timeline
When people consider the time it takes to rid themselves of THC, most are thinking about the typical 30-day timeline. If you do nothing at all, you will most likely be able to pass an average drug test after about a month.
However, there is a range of behaviors that can help chip away at that time frame.
Detoxification may not be easy, but below we feature some tips that will help make the process go quicker, regardless of the time frame you are looking at.
The more time you have to detox yourself, the better the results will be. Nothing is more effective than a completely natural detox. The first and most important step is to immediately begin to abstain from cannabis.
Many people ask will I pass a drug test after 2 weeks of not smoking. While this timeline is a little shorter than your body typically requires, a quick detox involving fluids, exercise, and a healthy diet may help to get the job done.
Detox and Cleanse in 24 Hours and Faster
People that find themselves needing a rapid THC flush will likely wonder about ways to get weed out of your system faster. If you’re looking for ways to clean out your system in 24 hours, you may be somewhat out of luck in terms of natural options.
Your best luck is to use a synthetic urine, find a friend with clean pee or try a cannabis detox drink and urine detoxifier.
Cleansing in 14 to 21 Days
Two to three weeks is a reasonable time frame for active people with a low BMI and a relatively moderate history of THC consumption. At this time frame, it may be reasonable to pass a drug test with the help of lots of fluid (up to twelve glasses of water a day), a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise.
Flushing Marijuana THC Out of Your System
Urine Detoxifiers and Cannabis Detox Drinks
Urine detoxifiers and cannabis detox kits vary pretty significantly in what they offer. A really robust kit may feature shampoos, mouthwashes, drinks and more that are all designed to target every aspect of a potential THC screening.
However, more often than not cannabis detox drinks function by acting as a diuretic. In other words, they make you pee a lot, hopefully flushing out THC in the process.
Cannabis detox drinks have certainly had their share of success, but there are issues as well. For one thing, they may not be enough to get the job done for a heavy THC user in the 24-hour time frame that they require.
Even if the detoxes do successfully cloud the results though, it still may not get you out of hot water. High-grade urine tests usually can register that you have used a detox drink because they increase the density of your urine while also altering its natural creatine levels. In other words, they can do more harm than good in some cases.
A few of the best detoxifiers you can try are the following:
People have reported that lemon juice can flush THC metabolites from the body. Try taking one lemon and cutting it in half. Squeeze half of the lemon in a glass and fill the rest with water. Drink the lemon water over the course of an hour and try doing this over 5 to 6 times over the course of a few days before your drug test.
Cranberry juice has a life long myth when trying to detoxify before a drug screening. However, many people have successfully passed their test using this method. Reports show that cranberry can flush out the kidneys and intestines from toxins, but THC will still be present in fat. So the theory is that you’ll be able to dilute your urine enough before the test.
Coffee is a well known natural diuretic, which means it helps you go pee and get water out of the body. So drink up and flush out!
Drinks like Detoxify xxtraclean are considered a dietary supplement but many users have proclaimed they are able to pass test within 48 hours of drinking this detox drink. It is important to note, that these drinks do not taste great, so be prepared for that.
Here are a few reviews on how these detox drinks work.
Ashley said: “I am a fairly heavy Cannabis user with a high level of body fat. I drank this at 8 am followed directions by drinking a 20oz. bottle of water every 2 hours up to testing and I passed the drug test showing a high acidic level, possibly due to water consumption.”
Bo said: “I have used Xxtra Clean many, many times. From pre-employment to court mandated drug screenings. IT WORKS. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. Wait one hour. Your good to go for up to 5 hours with best results approx 2-3hrs after drinking.”
Best Ways to Pass a Marijuana Drug Test for THC
Even though there is no fail-safe way to pass a drug test, there are still some things you can do to give yourself a fighting chance. Below, we look at five different methods that should increase your chances.
Find a Replacement
Harvesting clean urine from your friends may ultimately register as a low point in your life, but in certain circumstances, it can help you beat a drug test. There are potential roadblocks though. Some drug tests will be able to detect if the urine is not fresh.
There are also the unpleasant logistical realities of obtaining urine and discreetly transporting it to the location of your test.
Dilute Your Urine
Diluting your urine by drinking an abundance of water and other liquid is a natural though an imperfect way of beating the odds. This approach has the benefit of not requiring you to physically tamper with the test.
Compromise the Test
You may have also heard of people effectively ruining tests with the addition of bleach or vinegar. This is an imperfect method to be sure, but it has yielded false negatives before. Adopters of this approach will, however, need to weigh the risk involved with getting caught tampering with their test.
Home Tonics & Detox Drinks
Home tonics like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar have been associated with false negatives. However, the efficacy of these treatments is very debatable. Use one of the detox drink suggestions above if you want to go this route.
Even if the detox works, evidence of its effects on your body typically shows up on the test itself. Who knows though? There is always the chance that you might get lucky.