How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System – Urine, Saliva, Hair, and Blood

So, how long does it take to get weed out of your system for a drug test?  If you’ve got a drug test coming up or you simply want to know how long a natural detox takes, this article will explain how long it’s gonna take to get THC out of your system.  Cannabis use from one-time users to those who smoke plenty and all the time can result in very different timeframes for weed and its residues to get out of our bodies.  Obviously, if you’ve got an upcoming test, you’ll want to know how long weed stays in the system as it will be a matter of urgency.  Marijuana tends to remain detectable for longer time periods than most other drugs.  Urine and saliva tests are relatively common and if you have a test, it’s more likely one of these two types.  However, hair and blood tests are still options.

The body naturally detoxes all pot and drug residues in the body with time.  However, using detox efforts or/and products can help speed up the process.  To get weed out of your pee, hair, blood, or saliva there are various detoxification home remedies or/and products that can help you to achieve this.  With the right research, you can find the best way to clean your system for a urine drug test or for any other test for that matter.  Below we have a marijuana detection time chart.  This will help you understand how long does it take the pot to leave the system for a urine drug test from another perspective.

THC Detection Window For a Range of Test Types

Drug Test Type One Time User Frequent User Heavy User
Urinalysis Detection Times 3 Days 10-15 Days 30+ Days
Blood Test Detection Times 3 Days 7-10 Days 10-21 Days
Saliva Drug Test Detection Times 1-3 Days 1-29 Days 1-29+ Days
Hair Follicle Test Detection Times 90+ Days 90+ Days 90+ Days


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How THC Is Metabolized


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Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient that testers will try to detect in a drug sample when it comes to spotting cannabis use.  They’ll also likely search for its metabolites. THC is metabolized or broken down when passing through the liver.  It contains more than 80 metabolites in total.  Some of these THC metabolites may be stored in organs and fatty tissues prior to being re-emitted into the individual’s blood.  The most important THC metabolites are 11-OH-THC and THC-COOH. 11-OH-THC is a psychoactive metabolite that turns into THC-COOH which is not psychoactive.  Non-psychoactive metabolites will leave your system through ways such as urination. These claims are backed scientifically and by recent research (Sharma, P., Murthy, P. Srinivas Bharath, M. M.).[3]  If cannabis is detectable in urine, it will be due to the presence of THC-COOH.

Factors in Marijuana’s Detection Time Frame

Various factors can influence how long you can expect weed to stay in your system.  Those factors include how often you smoke and in what quantities.  An infrequent user won’t have marijuana stay in their system for as long as those who consume regularly.  You can expect that one joint lasts in your system for about 1-3 days, if not less. Your body mass/weight can also be a factor. Since THC can attach itself to fatty tissue and store itself, the more bodyweight an individual has, the more THC will be stored, and thus the longer it will take for their body to naturally detox.  Other factors can include how well your body naturally detoxes, irrespective of body mass.  It’s also possible that THC lasts in your body for varying degrees depending on the type of marijuana consumed as some may have higher THC potency than others.

Test Process & Detection Method

There are various types of drug tests. Let’s take a look at the process & detection method of each.

Test Types:

  • Urine Test: EMIT & Confirmation Test
  • Hair Follicle Test: ELISA & GC/MS Test
  • Saliva Test: ELISA & LC/MS/MS
  • Blood Test: Immunoassay Test

Urine Test

Most urine drug tests come in the simple form of an EMIT or enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique.  A urine drug test or urinalysis is the most commonly used type of test.  Often, this test is done on the spot with no need for a secondary confirmation test.  An EMIT involves a urine sample being analyzed to see if there is a rise in enzyme activity when mixed with the urine sample.  If there is an increase in activity, this would suggest that there are drugs or their metabolites present.  A urine test should pick up on THC metabolites and therefore detect marijuana use.  If the EMIT turns up positive, the next phase is a confirmation test that is designed to verify the EMIT positive result, where found. There are more complex urinalysis methods available but in the case of the common EMIT test, it is cheaper and thus it is likely that the detection time window will be less than would be for a more complex test.  Urine tests are easily beat by using dilution to get weed out of your pee.

Hair Follicle Test:

While not a very common type of drug test, hair follicle tests are highly effective.  In general, they have the longest detection time period for detecting THC over any other type of test with marijuana detectable in your hair follicles around 3 months.  Hair tests involve cutting off a small sample of hair.  The sample will be taken from a point close to the individual’s scalp, 1.5 inches.  Next, it is sent to a lab for testing.  In the first stage of a hair follicle test, the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test or ELISA test is employed as a fast approach to picking up on any drug metabolites.  For this test, antibodies are placed with the sample on a layer of plastic.  If there are drug residues in the sample, they will interact in a specific manner with the antibodies.  Should the ELISA test show up positive, the next and confirmatory stage is in the form of a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry or GC-MS test.  This test picks up on drug metabolites by separating substances in a sample from each other.  Each substance is then analyzed individually to see if there are any drugs or their metabolites present.  A hair follicle test would involve analyzing up to as much as 1.5 inches of your hair.  Since roughly half an inch of your hair represents about a month of hair growth, this 1.5-inch sample should cover a period of roughly 90 days into the past. It’s, therefore, possible that weed will show up on hair follicle drug test if consumed in the last 3 months.

Saliva Test:

This type of test involves a sample of saliva being tested for drug toxins.  While the drug detection period with saliva tests is not particularly long, a mouth swab test is about the second most frequently used type of drug test after a urine drug test.  In some regions or sectors, it may be the most commonly used test type.  A swab of saliva is taken from your saliva glands and is tested for drug residues via an ELISA test.  The verification test comes in the form of the LC/MS/MS test. For this test, the first step, that being ‘liquid chromatography’ separates the elements of the sample to allow them to be tested by the mass spectrometer. This will try to detect any drug residues from the broken up substances of the sample.  It only tests for drugs used in 3 days and as little as a few hours for some drugs.

Blood Test:

As with hair follicle tests, blood tests are pretty rare.  Weed stays in your bloodstream for a shorter time than it stays in your urine.  THC stays in urine for a significantly longer period than it will likely stay in your blood because it continually leaches from fat cells into the blood then into the urine. If you do have a blood test, it will likely come in the form of an immunoassay test.  The sample will be analyzed to check how antibodies in the sample interact with an antigen.  This can in turn figure out whether you’ve had marijuana in the bloodstream.  The sample may be analyzed in the same facility as you had your blood withdrawn or it may be sent off to another location.

We’ve gotten through the information.  Good luck on your test.  Put simply, buy a detox drink like Mega Clean Detoxify for a urine test and follow the instructions by drinking it 2 hours before your test and you’re good.

References

[1] “How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System: Urine, Saliva ….” 9 Jul. 2017, https://www.fvkasa.org/health/marijuana-stay-bloodstream. Accessed 11 Jun. 2020.

[2] “How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System: Urine, Saliva ….” 9 Jul. 2017, https://www.fvkasa.org/health/marijuana-stay-bloodstream. Accessed 14 Jun. 2020.

[3] “Chemistry, Metabolism, and Toxicology of ….” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570572/. Accessed 17 Jun. 2020.