The chemical that makes you feel this effect gets commonly referred to as tetrahydrocannabinol or in short form – THC. It quickly enters the bloodstream after smoking.
When you ingest marijuana orally instead of smoking, it takes time to be absorbed into the bloodstream. The time can last between twenty minutes to one hour depending on physiological factors.
Factors necessitating this
Some of the factors include the rate of metabolism, absorption and excretion. These factors influence the amount of cannabis concentration in blood circulation.
Marijuana stays in the body between 3 to 30 days. Nonetheless, this depends on how often a person smokes. According to research, tests can detect marijuana 3 days later if you have smoked it for the first time. For a person who smokes marijuana 3 times a week, the detection period is seven days. While for individuals who smoke it once a day, it may be detected in the body after 30 days.
It is also important to note that detection varies depending on the kind of test the person chooses and depending on the regularity of a THC cleanse:
· A urine test can detect marijuana 3 to 30 days after use.
· A saliva test can detect cannabis 24 to 72 hours after use.
· Hair tests are known to be the most sensitive. They can detect THC 90 days after use. This is because the tests seek to analyze the amount of oil in the skin that has been transferred in the hair. In some cases, the results may be false positive especially if you are in contact with a THC user.
· Blood tests only detect THC, 3 or 4 hours after consumption.
When Should We Conduct Marijuana Drug Tests
Every day, marijuana tests are conducted for several reasons. The testing may be a requirement or maybe voluntary. In some cases, you may be notified about the test or it can be conducted randomly. The drug tests are conducted in the following circumstances:
· Conducted by a doctor if he suspects the patient is using marijuana.
· Conducted by an employer when he suspects employees or as part of the routine.
· Conducted by the court as part of the sentencing requirement.
· Conducted at an alcohol or drug treatment centre.
· Conducted to a person who is working in the military.
· Conducted on a pregnant mother or immediately a child is born.
· Conducted in a marijuana farm to prevent the employees from stealing the herb.
· Conducted at home, when a guardian wants to monitor a child or a teenager.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that a test only identifies the person that is using the drug during the detection period. The tests don’t show if the person is currently abusing the drug. All the same, a positive test result should be a course of concern and should be used to assist the person in getting help for marijuana addiction or use.
How Long Does Cannabis Stay In The Urine?
Compared to other cannabis tests, a urine test is different. Additionally, the urine test is the most popular drug test, especially in a work setting.
So how long does cannabis take to leave your body for a urine test?
Before tetrahydrocannabinol is excreted from the body through urine, it is broken down into different metabolites. A urine test can easily detect THC-COOH, which is a metabolite of THC for 30 days. Below is a breakdown of the time cannabis lasts in the body.
· For occasional users who consume cannabis 3 times a week- 3 days.
· For moderate users who consume cannabis 4 times a week- 5 to 7 days.
· For chronic or daily users – 10 to 15 days.
· For chronic heavy users, those who consume it multiple times in one day- more than 30 days.
Why You Can Detect Marijuana In The Body
THC, the chemical that is responsible for making people high can stay in the body for many weeks. Nonetheless, the length of time the chemical remains in the body depends on:
· The amount of body fat in a consumer’s body.
· The amount of time you consume the drug.
· The amount you smoke.
· The sensitivity of the drug test.
Other drugs such as alcohol completely disappear in the body as compared to weed which stays longer. This is because of the way THC metabolizes. THC is lipid-soluble hence it binds to the body fat, leading to an increase in the amount of time one takes to eliminate it from the body.
Most drug tests can detect little amounts of THC in the body, though the amount of THC in a cigarette varies. Nonetheless, little research has been conducted to examine the amount of marijuana one must smoke to fail a test.
According to medical studies, frequent users of weed are likely to fail a test as compared to infrequent users. A study was conducted in 2012 by the journal clinical chemistry to examine marijuana users who were smoking a 6.8% THC cigarette.
The urine test had the highest amount of THC 0.6 to 7.4 hours after they had concluded smoking. By using a sensitive urine test, the researchers detected 100% THC among frequent users and 60-100% among infrequent users.
A hair test was also conducted on 136 users reporting light, heavy or no use of marijuana. To conduct the study, 1 cm of the hair was cut for testing. Seventy-seven percent of the heavy users tested positive. 39% of light users also tested positive. For the non-users, the results tested negative. This suggests that false results in hair tests are rare.
Factors That Influence Marijuana Detection
Below, we have highlighted numerous factors that influence marijuana detection. The factors include;
Some sensitive tests can easily detect low doses of marijuana. The tests include the urine test.
Contrary to popular opinion, Marijuana drug tests detect THC in the blood and not marijuana. Therefore the amount of THC that is consumed by a person is a significant factor.
The effects of THC depend on the amount that is consumed. This means that a person who smokes large quantities over a long time consumes high THC levels as compared to a person who smokes once. They are very likely to test positive.
The strength of the THC also plays a major role. Nonetheless, you require sensitive equipment to determine the strength of marijuana. Feeling “high” is not a reliable method of measure, this is because other factors other than THC can increase or weaken the feeling.
As we earlier stated, fat stores marijuana. Therefore, people with high body fat concentration can metabolize slowly as compared to persons with low body fat.
BMI can be used as one way to judge the amount of body fat. However, since BMI increases muscle mass, it should not be used to measure body fat.
Naturally, females have more fat as compared to males. This means that they metabolize marijuana more slowly.
Dehydration increases the amount of THC In the body. Drinking a lot of water does not affect a drug test. However, dehydration can affect the results.
Exercising does not change the rate of metabolizing THC. However, exercising before a test is conducted can change the results of a drug test.
Exercising before a test can increase the level of THC concentration, leading to a positive result. According to scientific research, exercise stimulates fat cells to release THC.
To test negative in a drug test, the body must get rid of all the THC in the system and all metabolic chemicals that are linked to THC. That’s why people with faster metabolism easily eliminate THC as compared to those with a slower metabolism.
Vaping Vs Edibles
The method of consuming weed also impacts how weed is detected in the body. If you smoke weed, the THC levels reduce faster than when you ingest it. This is because edibles take a long period to break down and leave the body.
Frequency Of Use
There is existing evidence that the amount of time marijuana stays in the body is determined by how often the person uses the drug, how they use it and the time they have been using it.
Marijuana regular users often report positive results after 45 days, however, heavy users have reported positive results after 90 days of quitting the drug.
In 2017, a study was conducted on one hundred and thirty six people. The urine results indicated the presence of 5 cannabinoids, cannabinol, cannabidiol, THC, THC-OH and THC-COOH in 77% of the heavy users and 39% of the light users.
Getting Marijuana Out Of The Body
Most organizations have a workplace drug policy that encourages routine testing for new employees and random testing for current employees.
If your employer asks you to take a urine test within short notice, you might fail the test. This is especially true if you are a heavy or light marijuana smoker. You might be fired for failing the test even though the stare has legalized the use of marijuana. The most reliable way of passing random tests is to stop ingesting cannabis products.
Nonetheless, we will give some tips on how you can beat the tests. Some of the techniques include:
1. Washing Out Your System
This entails drinking a lot of liquids or water and urinating many times before the test is conducted. You can also take some vitamin B-12 to add black colour to the urine. Though taking water can lower the amount of THC in the urine, it cannot totally eliminate the metabolites. Some people may also try to incorporate exercise before the test, however, it can backfire depending on the type of test. This is because exercise can release THC from the fat to the urine, leading to easy detection.
2. Using Drug Screening Agents
Some organizations sell herbal teas and substances that are alleged to clean off the traces of marijuana from the body. There is some evidence that they work. The only thing you need to do is use them for a long period until the body naturally eliminates the THC.
Nonetheless, you need to be careful with the detox kits, some contain ingredients that can easily harm your body. In a study conducted in 2011, a man developed psychotic symptoms after using screening agents. After the case was reviewed, it was discovered that the ingredients may have caused liver dysfunction. Even though the product didn’t specify the doses on the label, the contents were very toxic.
Moreover, the agent contained creatine, an ingredient that causes acute psychosis and other diseases. Though the origin of the psychosis condition was not fully explained, the medical practitioners saw a link between the use of the detox agents and the man’s psychotic condition.
3. Tampering With The Test
Tampering with the test involves adding some contamination to the urine. Some people add bleach, detergent, salt or Visine to the urine. The only disadvantage is that the contaminants can easily be detected in the laboratory. We have several products that are sold as test adulterants, but none of these products is 100% legit. Most of them can be easily detected in a lab if a separate test is conducted.
Do We Have False Positive Testing Cases?
Yes, but on very few occasions. Workplace testing entails several screening stages. To start, the employers conduct an immunoassay test that is commonly referred to as EMIT or RIA. If the test is positive, the sample is tested again with a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GCMS). This test is more accurate and rarely records false positives.
So far, no known substance can cause a marijuana test to turn false positive. In the past, ibuprofen (commonly sold over the counter as Motrin, Nuprin and Advil) could influence a test to turn false positive. However, today’s tests are well adjusted to address the problem.
In areas where marijuana is legal, roadside tests may be conducted. In some few cases, the tests may show some false positives among people who were legally consuming marijuana but were not intoxicated during the test. To address the challenge, medical practitioners encourage oral testing at the roadside to address the false positives.
Urine Vs Saliva Test
We know you are wondering, is saliva drug test or urine drug test more accurate? Well, both of them have the same levels of accuracy. Saliva tests produce results that are 99% accurate while urine produces results with the same level of accuracy. The same applies to the level of ranges that can be detected by both substances. Urine tests can detect a wide range of substances when saliva can also detect an array of substances.
However, depending on the test setting and requirement, one test may prove to be better than the other test. If you are looking for convenience, then we recommend you settle for the saliva test. This is because it requires a minimal sample and uses simple devices. However, if range and speed are important to you, we recommend the urine test.
Hair Test Vs Urine Drug Test
The only difference between a hair drug test and a urine test in the detection period.
The urine drug test can only be used to detect marijuana used in the last three days while the hair drug test can detect drugs used 90 days prior! This detection is possible because marijuana in the bloodstream eventually becomes part of the hair cells. The sebum and sweat on your scalp also play a huge role in detecting the drug in your hair.
The exciting part about a hair test is that the drugs can only be detected in the hair 7 days after using the drug. Therefore most employers don’t recommend this kind of test.
Regrettably, we are yet to settle on a definitive answer of the period cannabis takes to leave your body including your urine. The time depends on several factors that are unique to the user.
If you are a heavy consumer, cannabis is likely to stay in your urine for a long period as compared to when you are an intermittent or an on and off the consumer.
The only thing that medical practitioners have proven is that there is a specific period that the drug test will be positive.
If you are consuming cannabis for medicinal purposes, then you need to be careful since having THC in your body is illegal. We, therefore, recommend that you adopt CBD products instead.
Nonetheless, if you will need a drug test soon or in the future, it is important to understand how the tests work and exactly what they are looking for.
If you have a cannabis prescription, learn about your employer’s drug policies and talk to them in advance. This will enable you to protect your employment. We hope our article was helpful, we wish you all the best as you prepare for that urine test!