Marijuana is a drug that is undergoing a dynamic change in every area, from legislation to legalization; medical to recreational use, as well as an explosion in the ways and means that it can be ingested by those seeking a high.
Many workplaces in the United States require potential employees or existing employees to take mandatory drug tests as a pre-screening or to continue as an employee at a place of work. Because marijuana can create negative effects for the workplace, it is important to know how long marijuana stays in your system if you are a past user looking to detox or kick the habit before applying for a new position.
For anyone wondering how long marijuana stays in the system, or how long it takes to get marijuana out of your system after use, the information that follows describes the various factors involved in detection of marijuana through the means most frequently used.
How long does it take to get marijuana out of your system?
It is important to note that a test for “marijuana” in the system does not actually measure the amount of pot in anyone’s blood, saliva, hair or urine. The high from marijuana is produced by a compound known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. When the body metabolizes THC, the liver breaks it down into 80 different metabolites, one of which is THC-COOH. It is this metabolite that is screened for in urinalysis tests since it is broken down by the liver and then stored in fat cells.
Since marijuana use is still illegal at a federal level, many people who have used marijuana, or those seeking to verify if another person has used marijuana, have had to ask themselves, “How long does THC stay in the body?”
How long can THC stay in your body?
While THC itself only lingers in the body for a matter of hours, it is the THC-COOH metabolite that has a much longer period of detection, due to the fact that THC-COOH is stored in the body’s fat cells. The question of how long marijuana stays in the system is a very complex one, depending entirely on a multitude of factors that are highly personal to the individual.
Diet, nutrition, exercise levels, hydration, and metabolism all have a part in how long marijuana will stay in a person’s system. In addition to these factors, the amount of marijuana used, how often and for how long a person has been using, as well as the manner that marijuana is being ingested all contribute to the length of detection.
How long is marijuana in your system?
In general, for a majority of people, marijuana is detectable in the system for up to 30 days after use by urine testing. Extreme hydration can shorten this to two weeks. Depending on how chronic of a user the individual is, hair follicle testing can detect moderate to high amounts of THC in a user for up to 90 days after last use.
As stated above, it is difficult to pinpoint a specific number or timeframe marijuana stays in your system. If you are approaching the date of a drug test, there are simple tests you can order online to test your urine and make sure you are clean and ready to apply for a job, take a drug test or help a loved one who is struggling with addiction of any kind.
Seek help kicking the habit
If you or a loved one is dependant on marijuana use or having trouble getting a handle on using or abusing marijuana, please reach out to us at United Recovery Project or contact a physician or local rehabilitation facility to seek help, information, and ways to approach a friend, coworker or family member who is suffering from a dependency on marijuana or any other narcotic.