Before we explore how long marijuana stays in your system, let us first talk about the time it takes for you to start experiencing the effects of marijuana.
How long does it take to feel the effects of marijuana?
If you are not a smoker and you want to start diving into the act, you may first want to know why people use weed, right? The answer would be that they like its effects.
However, the duration within which you start feeling the effects of weed varies from one user to another. It also depends on the mode of ingestion-when weed is smoked, it takes a short time for it to be absorbed into the blood system. On the other hand, weed taken orally takes a bit longer for it to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Another thing that affects the duration is the strain of the marijuana you take. As we stated earlier, it is the THC that is responsible for the effects of marijuana. Different marijuana strains contain different THC levels. If you are smoking a weed type that has a high THC level, you are most likely to experience the effects earlier, and potentially for longer, than when you consume a low THC level weed.
The effects of marijuana
Whenever you smoke marijuana, you will experience both long and short-term effects. To discover more, see the chart below:
Short-term effects of marijuana
- Physical Effects: Stimulation, Relaxation, Swollen Eyelids, Red Eyes, Potentially Pleasurable Body Sensations, Dry Mouth.
- Mental Effects: Distorted Perception, Mental Relaxation, Creative Stimulation, Mild to Stronger Hallucinations*, Potential Anxiety or Fear*, Delusions*, Mood Swings*
- *: Many factors can lead to certain conditions developing with marijuana use. These include: How much you have used in one session, how experienced a user you are, your body mass (Body mass affects how much THC you can handle), etc. These factors can determine whether or not you have a good experience or a bad experience. Never use more than you can handle.
On the other hand, long-term effects can range from slight to severe effects. These effects include less mental ability, breathing problems, and increased heartbeat, among others.
How does marijuana interact with your body?
To be in a better position in understanding how long marijuana stays in your body after one use, it is important to examine how cannabis travels throughout your body system.
When you smoke weed, THC enters the bloodstream through the lungs, where it goes directly into the heart and is circulated throughout the body by the blood. As the blood circulates, it keeps passing through the liver where the THC is continuously broken down into molecules called metabolites.
The inactive THC- those stored in the fat- is eventually eliminated through urine and stool in a short time.
For weed taken orally, the THC and other cannabinoids are absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach and intestines walls. They are then taken through the liver where they are metabolized, and others are eliminated through urine.
Factors that determine how long marijuana stays in your system
Again, our biggest concern is how long marijuana stays in your system. Several factors determine how long marijuana stays in your system. These factors include:
Smoking frequency: Marijuana tends to stay longer in the bodies of frequent smokers than it would in the bodies of those people that smoke occasionally.
Dosage: The amount of marijuana taken determines the duration in which the THC will remain in the body. Suppose you smoke weed in larger quantities, the duration it takes for THC to clear in your body system becomes longer than when you consume smaller amounts.
Fat: THC metabolite is fat-soluble, therefore having large deposits of fat in your body can cause the THC to stay longer in your body before they are broken down.
Weed potency: Cannabis with a high concentration of THC stays long in the body compared to strains with a low THC concentration.
Metabolism rate: If you have a high metabolic rate, marijuana can take a shorter time to clear from your system.
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System After One Use?
You could be worried about a drug test to be run in your workplace, or perhaps you are new in the game, and you want to know how long marijuana stays in your system after one use.
One can’t state accurately the exact duration that weed can remain in one's body. There are diverse factors that act to influence this period.
In other words, no universal standard that shows exactly how long weed stays in your system; however, the existing research can help you get a rough estimate of the duration.
There are detectors used to test for the presence of THC metabolite in the body. The metabolite can be detected in the following substances: Blood, Urine, Saliva, and Hair. See our chart below to determine how long THC is detectable in each of these.
How long is THC detectable in your system?
How long does marijuana stay in your blood?
The moment you inhale weed, it takes just seconds, and the THC can be detected in the plasma component of blood for many hours. This depends on the frequency and the amount you consume. The plasma concentration of THC peaks in just 3-8 minutes after inhalation. It then steadily decreases over one to two days. The THC is detectable in the blood for a few hours, but its metabolites can be detected for a couple of weeks.
How long does marijuana stay in your urine?
As we mentioned earlier, the THC metabolites are fat-soluble meaning they dissolve in fats or oils and not water. Therefore, they dissolve into the fat cells and remain until the cells are burnt. After burning, the cells then shed the metabolites back into the blood. As the blood moves throughout the body, the THC metabolites are eliminated in the liver and passed through urine.
The duration within which the THC can be detected in urine depends majorly on the following factors:
- Body fat content - the more fat content in your body, the longer the time it takes for the THC metabolites to clear.
- Metabolic rate - the metabolic rate is the speed at which your body chemically processes everything. If your metabolic rate is low, the THC metabolites will be detectable in your urine for longer.
- Weed consumption frequency - for frequent stoners or those that consume higher doses, their urine will present the THC metabolites for longer.
How long does marijuana stay in your Saliva?
For both heavy and occasional smokers THC and its metabolites can be detected in their saliva the way it is detected in blood and urine. The presence of these substances in the saliva depends on the intake frequency and the dose that you inhale. However, if you are a chronic or frequent smoker, THC and its metabolites can stay in your saliva for 29 days while for an occasional smoker, the substance stays for between one and three days.
How long does marijuana stay in your system hair?
The hair test is not as accurate when it comes to testing for marijuana. THC and the presence of its metabolites in your system. THC can potentially be transferred to the hair follicles of non-smokers through hand or sweat contact. Whenever you get close to a person smoking, the smoke can get attached to your head or body hair. Once in the body, THC and its metabolites can be detected for a longer time: up to 90 days.
How do you get rid of THC in your system chart?
You may need to get a drug test for your job. You may be afraid the results might be positive for marijuana, but the best thing you can do is total abstinence for some time. But there are a few things you can also do to speed up the process by which traces of THC leave your body.
Eat the right food
As we said earlier, THC metabolites are soluble in fats and oils. You, therefore, avoid fatty food for a couple of days or weeks before the test. You should eat food that is rich in fiber and antioxidants.
Fruits, vegetables, and grains are good options for this matter. Lemonade and other citrus fruits are full of detoxifying factors; you should take them to their highest levels within the waiting period. Tea will also help you flush the weed out of your system, so ensure you take more of it.
Drink plenty of water
Taking plenty of water increases the frequency of your visit to the restroom. In this process, the THC and its metabolites can be flushed out easily from your chart. Therefore, stay hydrated for the days in wait for the test.
Fat is the life of the THC metabolites; therefore, whenever you exercise, the body burns more fats, releasing them into the blood for elimination by the liver. Whenever you sweat, the toxins exit your body through sweat. Therefore, ensure to do many exercises that will make you sweat.
So, do you still ask how long marijuana stays in your system? As we have seen, there is no accurate time that the weed is known to stay in your system as it depends on several factors; therefore, it is different from person to person. The only sure way to ensure the weed is not in your body is total abstinence from the flower. The time it takes in the body is longer if you are a chronic stoner and the case differs if you take weed occasionally.
Disclaimer: This content is meant for educational purposes only. It has been compiled with research from external sources. it is not meant to substitute any medical or legal advice. Please see your local laws for the legality of cannabis use.