How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?

Testimonials

  • Verified Buyer
    ...I just wanted to say thank you! I passed my test and I'm able to provide for my family with the best job I've ever been given the opportunity to work! It worked perfect! I actually was sent to a second testing facility which added two hours to my 'hold time' and had no temp changes! Thanks again!...
  • Verified Buyer
    ...I really wish I would have found your products before I used synthetic urine and failed. =( There are so many success stories on forums and the internet from people who have succeeded by using synthetic, but I guess those days are long gone. I knew better, but didn't listen to my better judgment. My test results came back "inconclusive" when I used synthetic...
  • See More...

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System? [2019]

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?

It’s the million-dollar question: how long does marijuana stay in your system? The answer spells the difference—you pass or fail a drug test. You land a new job, keep your current one, or not get any job at all.

Some news agencies, like Bloomberg, report the decline of employment drug testing in response to the tightened job market and legalization of marijuana, as applicable. However, as of 2018, 56 percent of US employers continue to require drug tests as part of preemployment.

The same report from The Business Journals notes that seven out of 10 employees have used drugs in the workplace. They used opiates, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, and cocaine, in that order. Marijuana was excluded because of its complicated legal status.

Nonetheless, the prospect of marijuana, particularly its psychoactive component, THC, and metabolites, showing up in urine, saliva, sweat, blood, or hair drug tests, is hardly encouraging with far-reaching consequences in some cases. You must do something as your future is on the line.

In this guide, you will learn about marijuana, the body’s way of processing it, and the myriad factors that make it stay and detectable in drug tests. Of course, we’ll also show you to pass your marijuana drug test.

Table of Contents

 
 

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana comes from the cannabis plant, whose three species are Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. While the plant is also known as hemp, the latter term is reserved for cannabis that is cultivated for nondrug use.

What Is Marijuana?

Ancient people used cannabis for medicinal and entheogenic purposes. For example, nomadic Scythians honored the dead by inhaling burnt hemp seeds. In the 19th century, scientists discovered cannabis extracts as a cure for stomach ailments. The relief was attributed to THC, with its properties to promote hunger and relieve nausea.

Meanwhile, Americans’ use of marijuana as a recreational drug became prevalent in the 20th century—the influence is attributed to refugees of the Mexican Revolution. This Mexican connection somehow ties in with the adoption of marijuana, a Mexican term, when referring to cannabis in the US.

According to a survey from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), in 2014 and 2015, the substance ranked first on the list of illicit drugs that persons aged 18 years old and above have used in their lifetime.

People dry the leaves, seeds, roots, flowers, or stems of the plant; shred; and mix them. The result is a green, brown, or gray mixture consumed in numerous ways:

  • Joints, or hand-rolled cigarettes
  • Bongs, water pipes, or similar implements
  • Blunts or marijuana in cigar wraps
  • Edibles, mixed into food like brownies and cookies
  • Vaporizers for vaping marijuana
  • Extracts

Fun fact: aside from marijuana, the drug has approximately 1,200 other names, according to Time.

The US Drug Enforcement Agency’s Drugs of Abuse 2017 Edition published the following street names of marijuana:

  • → Aunt Mary
  • → BC Bud
  • → Blunts
  • → Boom
  • → Chronic
  • → Dope
  • → Gangster
  • → Ganja
  • → Grass
  • → Hash
  • → Herb
  • → Hydro
  • → Indo
  • → Joint
  • → Kif
  • → Mary Jane
  • → Mota
  • → Pot
  • → Reefer
  • → Sinsemilla
  • → Skunk
  • → Smoke
  • → Weed
  • → Yerba

Fun fact: contrary to previous claims, 420 is not a code for marijuana

It refers to the time when the Waldos of San Rafael High School would hang out by a wall outside the school to smoke pot. The number 420 has now evolved into a date, April 20, to celebrate Weed Day.

Related: A High Holiday: The History Behind 4/20

THC vs. CBD

Marijuana contains hundreds of compounds, numbering 400 to 500, which can have opposite effects. The stark contrast is most evident with THC and CBD.

THC or Delta-9-THC is short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

This is responsible for the mind-altering effects of marijuana, which are discussed in more detail below. The high and other psychological effects often overpower THC’s supposed health benefits. The use can lead to addiction and dependence.

THC vs. CBD

On the other hand, CBD stands for cannabidiol and constitutes almost 40 percent of the plant’s extract. It is the antithesis of THC and more widely known in the field of medical marijuana. The cannabinoid is used to treat or provide relief from epilepsy, pain, inflammation, and anxiety.

 

What Happens to Your Body When You Smoke Pot?

What Happens to Your Body When You Smoke Pot?

Smoking provides the fastest way to experience the high from marijuana.

When you smoke cannabis, THC passes through your lungs and enters your bloodstream. The compound then gets carried to your heart, brain, liver, and other organs.

One significant interaction is that of THC and the endocannabinoid system (ECS). ECS is responsible for maintaining several physiological functions to achieve homeostasis. The system was discovered because of THC as scientists want to understand the latter’s effect on the body.

The body produces its cannabis-like molecules called endocannabinoids. These molecules bind themselves to cannabinoid receptors, which have two types. A 2018 research found the following:

  • CB1R, predominantly found in the brain, has a role in sleep, learning, motor control, anxiety and depression, appetite, and reward and addiction.
  • CB2R, primarily found in the spleen and immune cells, has a role in drug addiction, neuroinflammation, and nociception.

THC, a cannabinoid, binds to the receptors in the same way that endocannabinoids do. This event essentially sends mixed messages and signals to the body, making you experience physical and psychological effects.

For example, you feel more relaxed. You also get a general sense of well-being that you become chattier than usual. In your altered state, you see sharper colors and perceive time to be moving slowly. Here are some other positive effects of smoking weed:

positive effects of smoking weed

Smoking marijuana can also produce these other effects on you:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Fidgetiness or restlessness
  • Impaired motor coordination, memory, and focus
  • Sleepiness
  • Lack of focus
  • Increased appetite
  • Paranoia

There may be more effects depending on the person, the potency of the THC content, and the frequency of usage. The high can wear off after an hour or so, but the other effects on memory and sleep can linger for days.

 

How Does Your Body Metabolize Marijuana?

Smoking/vaping and ingesting marijuana take on different paths to metabolism.

When you smoke, the lungs quickly absorb THC through the alveoli. These tiny air sacs act as the gateway for THC to enter the bloodstream and into the heart where it is pumped throughout the body.

It then binds to cannabinoid type 1 receptors (in the brain and central nervous system) and cannabinoid type 2 receptors (in the immune system). As blood circulates in the body, THC is passed through and metabolized in the liver.

On the other hand, when you consume edibles, marijuana enters your stomach, where it sticks around for an hour to three hours until it reaches the bloodstream. It then travels to the liver where THC is either eliminated or metabolized.

THC

According to this 2012 study, 90 percent of THC is circulated in plasma; the rest, in red blood cells. After the first puff, THC becomes detectable in plasma in seconds, and the peak concentration is attained within 3 to 10 minutes.

The blood carries THC throughout the body, where it gets absorbed into body tissues or metabolizes in the liver. The organ breaks the cannabinoid into water-soluble metabolites, 11-hydroxytetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC) and 11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH).

The body excretes cannabis through the following:

  • Feces: more than 65 percent
  • Urine: 20 percent

The metabolite THC-COOH goes into the urine, while 11-OH-THC predominates the feces.

CBD

Marijuana’s nonpsychoactive cannabinoid has 30 metabolites identified in urine. Research confirms that THC and CBD undergo similar processes of metabolism with oxidation. However, a large portion of CBD is excreted unchanged in the feces.

The First-Pass Effect

Cannabis experiences a first-pass effect. The first-pass metabolism occurs when the concentration of a drug is greatly reduced by the metabolism in the liver.

The bioavailability or potency of the drug is also diminished. Users want a more bioavailable dose because it cuts back the quantity to experience the high. As far as bioavailability is concerned, THC can average 30 percent.

It is known that cannabis increases in potency when THC is metabolized to 11-OH-THC. The metabolite is still psychoactive and able to pass through the blood-brain barrier quickly. Sapien Soup demonstrates the first-pass effect on the ratio of THC and 11-OH-THC:

  • When marijuana is inhaled, the blood shows a 10:1 ratio.
  • When marijuana is ingested, the blood shows a 1:1 ratio.
A Marijuana’s Half-Life

A Marijuana’s Half-Life

Half-life refers to the length of time it takes for the body to break down and remove half of a drug through biological processes. Cannabis has a long half-life of 67 days.

THC exits the body through urine and feces; however, residual levels of the compound can still be found as they attach themselves to fat tissues. This 2012 research reveals the residual THC levels for the type of user:

  • Infrequent user = half-life of 1.3 days
  • Frequent users = half-life 5 to 13 days

It takes longer for frequent users to eliminate THC than for those who occasionally or rarely take the drug. In the case of chronic users, a positive result is difficult to place as coming from recent use or residues of past usage.

 
Symptoms of Marijuana Overdose

Symptoms of Marijuana Overdose

The use of marijuana is multifaceted. People gravitate to the substance for its health benefits, such as alleviating pain and symptoms; others simply want to get a piece of heaven on earth.

To be fair, there’s evidence to prove that marijuana is harmless vis-à-vis alcohol and other drugs. Scientists found that cannabis or THC has a high margin of exposure (MOE) so that it poses a lower risk to humans. Even if marijuana is safe compared to other substances, it’s not completely benign.

So yes, it is possible to overdose from marijuana, although it may not be fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The symptoms of a marijuana overdose, the CDC notes, take on the usual effects, only that they’re severe or extreme this time:

  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Panic
  • Fast heart rate
  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Severe nausea or vomiting

There is also the paradox of the edibles, which are perceived as safer than their inhaled counterparts. Consuming edibles entails slower absorption than inhalation; some may ingest more to get the effect they are looking for. This may result in too much marijuana and severe reaction.

A hospital in Colorado recorded that, between January 2012 and 2016, 9.3 percent of emergency department visits were from adults who experienced acute psychiatric symptoms because of edible cannabis. As we speak, the market for cannabis edibles is projected to expand, reaching $4.1 billion in 2022, according to ArcView.

 

Key Factors That Affect How Long Marijuana Stays in Your System

This section goes at length to describe the factors that affect, control, or enable marijuana to stay in the body since the last use.

Key Factors That Affect How Long Marijuana Stays in Your System

Dose of THC

THC content varies by strain and product. Notably, cannabis taken raw is not that potent as when it’s burned, cooked, or vaped. Through decarboxylation, which occurs through heating, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is converted to THC. This process shows that marijuana does not contain a high amount of THC per se.

Habitual marijuana users can develop tolerance to THC. What a beginner perceives as strong may be mild to an experienced user; people new to THC should go easy on the potency level.

To give you an idea about THC dose, whether by product or by route of administration, use this calculator.

Route of Administration

It refers to how THC enters your body, dictating how quick the high kicks in and how long it sticks around even after the euphoria is gone.

  1. Smoking represents the most conventional way to use marijuana and offers the fastest entry to the body too. Although novel methods, as noted below, have risen in popularity among today’s cannabis connoisseurs, the art of rolling remains in style in three distinct fashions:
    • Joints are cannabis’ version of cigarettes, but they’re easier on the lungs. To make a joint, roll marijuana in light or translucent paper, and insert a paper filter or crutch.
    • How much weed is in a joint? Research shows that the average joint contains 0.32 grams of marijuana.

    • Blunts are like joints but rolled in tobacco paper. You split the cigar, take out its contents, and replace it with cannabis. They got their name from American-made cigars named Phillies, which have blunts and cigarillo for sizes.
    • Spliffs take after joints but with a bit of tobacco. They are not as common in the US as they are in Europe, especially Italy, which ranked no. 1 in a survey among countries that add nicotine to marijuana.
    • Among the three, blunts hit the heaviest because of the tobacco from the paper and cannabis.

  2. Vaping is a new alternative to smoking marijuana. Vaporizers heat pot (flowers, buds, or compounds in oil) enough for users to inhale the active ingredients without the smoke. Vaping marijuana has also been linked to a better high and stronger effects than when you’re smoking it.

    The latter has been confirmed by a Johns Hopkins Medicine study that involved participants smoking or vaping marijuana of the same dosage. The group that vaped marijuana reported a higher score on anxiety and paranoia, dry mouth and eyes, and impairment on everyday tasks.
  3. Dabbing takes its name from dab, a solidified hash oil or resin that contains highly concentrated THC. The implements are a blow torch, a dab rig that looks like a bong or pipe but works differently, and a nail.

    According to experts, dabs can contain from 60 or 70 percent THC to 90 percent and higher. Smoking dabs can get you high in a snap, so discretion is recommended to avoid overwhelming the body. Aside from the risk of overdose, extraction can lead to an explosion, so you really ought to know what you are doing.
    marijuana edibles
  4. Edibles is a general term for food infused with cannabis. Drinks are often included in the tag, but they are specifically referred to as liquid edible. Edibles trace their roots to ancient India, with its tradition of people preparing cannabis-infused food for religious and medicinal purposes.

    In the 1950s, Alice B. Toklas published a cookbook whose most famous recipe is hashish fudge. This pretty much launched the career of marijuana brownies.

    Aside from baked goods, “eatable” marijuana products exist in the forms of candies, snacks, cooking oil, and tinctures. Edibles can be prone to marijuana overdose even if they don’t have a high THC content. (It’s hard to measure the level of THC in edibles as it is.) The body can take one to three hours to absorb THC in edibles, and this “lack of effect” compels others to consume edibles in larger amounts.
  5. Sprays represent a sublingual application of marijuana that appeals to people who want the smoke-free and discrete experience. You spray a liquid infused with CBD or THC under the tongue. Spraying marijuana provides a faster entry into the bloodstream with a controlled dose.
  6. Tinctures are widely used in the context of medical marijuana and medicine in general. Cannabis-based tinctures involve dissolving an extract with alcohol, water, or both. You can consume marijuana tincture sublingually, like sprays. To some extent, you can take marijuana orally and as an infusion to a food or drink.

    Tinctures have a faster effect than edibles do but tend to go slower than inhalation. The effects that tinctures carry depend on whether they’re of THC or CBD. Otherwise, tinctures are known to be potent and fast acting in providing relief.
  7. Topicals are a wide range of oils, balms, salves, lotions, and creams that you apply to the skin. They are cannabis based or infused with marijuana for muscle-pain relief and treatment of skin diseases like eczema. These measures are subject to further medical studies, of course.

    The topical use of marijuana doesn’t have mental effects vis-à-vis other methods. It has to do with the body’s slow absorption of the substance that no high is produced.

Frequency of Use

Studies on the long-term impact of marijuana on the body have to be made or developing as we speak. It is safe to deduce that how frequently you use the substance affects the body even if the impact is not particularly big.

Still, exposure or use of marijuana can prolong the stay of THC and metabolites in the body. As the drug intake becomes more habitual, it becomes harder to remove the traces.

Take these benchmarks from a toxicology lab:

  • A person who smokes fewer than twice a week can have urine samples test positive in one to three days using immunoassays with 50 ng/mL cutoff.
  • A person who smokes several times a week can test positive in urine for seven to 21 days.
  • A person who smokes daily can test positive for 30 days or longer.
  • A person who has orally ingested marijuana can retain its traces in one to five days.
Frequency of Use

Metabolism Rate

Coupled with how often, consider the level of THC that is in the weed you consume every time. Your body has to deal with the substance, after all.

Under ideal circumstances, you want a faster metabolic rate to get rid of traces of marijuana quickly. Your metabolic rate, however, is affected by age, gender, genetics, and body size.

  • Age, Gender, and Genetics
    • As you get older, your metabolism goes slower. It has to do with a higher percentage of fat versus lower muscle mass.
    • Men’s metabolism works faster than that of women because they have heavier bones, less body fat, and more muscle mass, according to NHS UK. However, women do experience a higher metabolic rate during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle.
    • Genetics plays a role in metabolism, especially in a person’s weight. A Cambridge University study in 2013 talked about KSR2, a gene whose mutations can contribute to obesity.
  • Body Max Index (BMI)
    • The World Health Organization uses BMI to measure an adult’s nutritional status. Adults with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 are considered normal weight. The BMI ranges and their corresponding meanings take into account excess body fat and their effect on disease and death.
    • How long does marijuana stay in your system if you are overweight? THC gets stored in fat tissues, and if you have higher body fat, your body tends to be slower in metabolizing the compound. Thus, more body fat means THC sticks around longer.
    • The amount of lean mass, which takes out the body fat, is tied to a person’s ability to burn calories. That is, the higher the lean mass, the more calories that will be burned.

Hydration

Hydration

People detoxing from drugs drink plenty of water. The aim is to stimulate urination and dilute the concentration of the substances. As noted in the myths below, you may have to refrain from excessive hydration. Plus, THC can still show up in urine for days or weeks.

Staying hydrated is, however, better than risking dehydration and increasing the chances of THC concentration.

Presence of Other Drugs

Presence of Other Drugs

The presence of other drugs can affect the high you can get from marijuana or its metabolism and excretion. This 2018 research cites the nature of the compounds and the patient’s conditions among factors that influence drug-drug interaction.

Another study notes the lack of cross-tolerance between LSD and THC. For now, the interaction between marijuana and other substances requires further research.

 

What Are the Specific Drug-Testing Methods for Marijuana?

What Are the Specific Drug-Testing Methods for Marijuana?

Marijuana is popular, to say the least. People spent $52 billion on the substance, according to RAND Corporation’s report on America’s drug spending from 2006 to 2016. The same report, which was published in 2019, also reveals that marijuana has a market that combines that of cocaine and methamphetamine.

Owing to its popularity and varying legal status, marijuana continues to be the subject of drug testing in the US for many reasons:

  • To confirm use, whether recent or regular
  • To detect impairment in the context of accidents and traffic stops
  • To monitor drug use as part of a rehabilitation program
  • To monitor compliance with prescribed medications

Private and public employers conduct drug tests law enforcement as it happens and before and during employment. The test itself does not pose any risks to the person concerned, but it can have implications on their job and standing before the law, as applicable.

Related: Definitive List of Companies that Do Drug Testing

Here are common ways to test for and detect marijuana in the body:

  • Urine drug testing
  • Blood drug testing
  • Hair follicle drug testing
  • Saliva drug testing
  • Sweat-patch drug testing

Urine Drug Testing Urine Drug Testing

Urine is the standard in screening marijuana and other substances. Federally regulated workplaces and their programs primarily collect urine samples for drug testing.

The urinalysis will check for THC-COOH.

A positive result reveals the use of marijuana within one to three days or more than 30 days for heavy users.

It’s possible, however, to test positive because of residual marijuana or prescription drugs.

To avoid a false-positive scenario, the Department of Health and Human Services has established cutoff levels for workplace-drug-testing purposes. For marijuana metabolites, the initial drug test cutoff concentration through immunoassay is 50 ng/mL. For a confirmatory drug test level using GC-MS, it is 15 ng/mL.

Blood Drug Testing Blood Drug Testing

THC can stay in the bloodstream for two to seven days if you are a heavy user. But you can expect it to be detectable in a matter of minutes or hours.

This short detection window makes blood testing for marijuana ideal for situations that warrant immediate action, like DUIs, accidents, and injuries. What blood tests detect is THC.

Hair Follicle Drug Testing Hair Follicle Drug Testing

This type of test provides a long and wide detection period that can span months. It collects half an inch to 1.5 inches of hair to detect THC in the body. The hair sample can come from various parts of the body, such as the armpits and the chest area.

Hair is an effective diagnostic tool because metabolism or excretion won’t remove drugs once deposited. It is used to detect patterned use, unlike urine, which covers more recent usage.

Related: How to Pass a Hair Drug Test

Saliva Drug Testing Saliva Drug Testing

Also known as mouth swab test, saliva drug testing detects THC. The test has a very narrow window, detecting traces of marijuana in a matter of hours to two days.

With a very brief window to operate, mouth-swab drug testing screens for very recent use of the substance. It is also a test that is convenient to administer, noninvasive, and resistant to tampering.

Related: How to Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test

Sweat-Patch Drug Testing Sweat-Patch Drug Testing

This type of drug test is used for continuous monitoring of drug use, including marijuana, opiates, amphetamine, PCP, and cocaine. A person wears a patch that collects the sweat for a given period, usually seven days.

Traces of drugs are delivered to the skin’s surface through sweat or sebum. The patch tends to collect lower levels of THC in the sweat, requiring more sensitive methodologies.

Sweat-patch drug testing is convenient and noninvasive, although some find it embarrassing to be seen wearing the patch.

 

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in the Body?

As you can glean in the discussion so far, many variables dictate the stay of marijuana in your system and affect your goal to test clean and clear.

To recall, THC has a long half-life of elimination. You can reasonably expect that the combination of frequent use and higher dosage result in the body retaining detectable traces of marijuana.

One factor to consider is the type of drug test. Each test checks for THC or its metabolites, operates differing detection windows, and confirms routine or recent use.

You can refer to this general guide on detection times by drug test:

  • Marijuana is detectable in urine from 1 day to 30 days or longer.
  • Marijuana is detectable in saliva from 24 hours or seven days.
  • Marijuana is detectable in hair up to 90 days.
  • Marijuana is detectable in sweat from seven days to 14 days.

Owing to its short detection window, blood is used for emergencies or within 24 hours of suspected marijuana use. THC or its metabolites can show up in sweat and saliva in a matter of minutes or hours. Urine offers a more extended period of detection than the ones above do, while hair drug testing takes back to 90 days as a standard among employers and legal forums.

Marijuana Drug Detection Times Chart

Marijuana Drug Detection Times Chart

Note: drug test detection times vary. The above drug detection times chart is only a baseline or an approximation. The best way to pass a drug test remains not using drugs or relying on effective detoxification methods.

How Long Do Edibles Stay in the System?

As noted earlier, edibles take time to be absorbed by the body. They can stay in your system for seven to 30 days or three to 14 days, based on this study in which subjects ingested marijuana-laced brownies.

Again, the figures are a rule of thumb; you have to take into account your body weight, metabolism, and drug-test type.

 
Historical Data for Marijuana Detection Times

The question “How long does marijuana stay in your system?” has fascinated scientists through the years.

Thirty (30) days seems to be the generally accepted length of time for marijuana to be detectable.

To that end, the National Drug Court Institute’s 2006 fact sheet put together historical data of maximum detection times of marijuana. These numbers were determined based on studies.

maximum detection times

The list below contains the number of days and a short background on the corresponding study.

  • Thirty-six days: the figure is based on a 1982 retrospective study on a single patient. The study did not provide testing data and cannabinoid cutoff.
  • Thirty-seven days: in 1983, a study of 27 subjects was made with no testing data and cannabinoid cutoff provided.
  • Forty days: ten subjects participated in a 1984 research. The subjects were self-reported chronic users and housed in an unrestricted drug-treatment ward.
  • Sixty-seven days: eighty-six self-reported chronic users were subjected to urine testing in 1985.
  • Twenty-five days: three separate studies yielded this number based on the following circumstances:
    • In 1985, 11 subjects were studied for cannabinoid-elimination patterns, whereby one subject remained positive for 25 days. The mean elimination for self-reported heavy users was 13 days.
    • Under a 1989 study, 13 self-reported chronic users were allowed to smoke marijuana before and on the day of the test itself. Only one subject tested positive beyond 14 days.
    • A 1994 study got the result using methods with 5 ng/mL cutoff concentration.
  • Thirty-two days: in 1999, researchers studied 19 subjects, half of whom withdrew. The researchers did not ask participants to report new drug use, but they did suspect drug use during the study.

In more recent times, a 2009 research found one participant had THC metabolites in their urine 24 days after cessation of cannabis use. Other subjects have THC detectable in their urine three to 12 days since their last use of the substance.

Then another study in 2014 noted that THC and THC-COOH may be detectable in blood for up to one month. Among heavy users, THC-COOH may be detected in urine for up to three months.

 
How Much Do You Have to Smoke to Fail a Drug Test

How Much Do You Have to Smoke to Fail a Drug Test?

When did you last smoke a joint, and how many grams was it? Have you gone on a marijuana binge fairly recently?

The answer is contingent on how much you consume. If you look at the previous studies, THC or its metabolites can still be detectable despite days or weeks of not using the substance.

You can look into online calculators to give you an estimate of the level of THC you just consumed. Moreover, your best option is to find measures to expedite the elimination of THC prior to your test.

 

Can Secondhand Marijuana Smoke Cause You to Fail a Drug Test?

According to Drugabuse.gov, it’s unlikely to fail a drug test by secondhand marijuana smoke, but it is possible.

The federal-research arm did warn about the effects of such smoke:

  • Getting high when in an enclosed space with people smoking higher doses of THC
  • Affecting the heart and blood vessels (based on an animal study)

Interestingly, small concentrations of THC and their metabolites were detected in urine and blood samples of eight people who were exposed to cannabis smoke in a Maastricht, Netherlands, café. This study was conducted in 2010.

Also, a 2004 research concluded that the risk of testing positive for an oral fluid test because of passive-cannabis-smoke exposure is limited to 30 minutes after the exposure.

 
Does Using CBD Result in a Positive Drug Result?

Does Using CBD Result in a Positive Drug Result?

It has been established that CBD is nonpsychoactive. However, CBD oil and infused products are largely unregulated. Some CBD products can have one-tenth of THC concentration found in marijuana. And if you consume such products in large quantities, that may result in a high level of THC in your system.

So the answer is that it is possible.

If the quantity of THC in your body exceeds the cutoff level required for, say, urine drug testing, you get a positive result.

 
How to Beat a Drug Test

How to Beat a Drug Test

You are on a roll discovering the inner workings of THC and the key factors that play an active role in its metabolism, excretion, and detection.

The most exciting part is, undoubtedly, elimination. You can’t let a fail scenario ruin you or your opportunities before the eyes of the law or your employer, current or future, for that matter.

But before we get to the ways to pass a drug test, it’s critical to bust commonly held beliefs and misconceptions. This is critical to when these methods are hailed to work miracles and therefore consumed in excess.

The Myths of “Naturally” Cheating a Drug Test

There is talk about the trustworthiness and potency of certain substances and DIY remedies to deliver pristine results (i.e., negative in drug tests). But before you take out your money and bet on them, examine their merits first.

Drinking Lots of Fluids

  • Water: as noted above, it’s better to stay hydrated than not; you also urinate more. Drinking water excessively, however, won’t help that much in flushing THC out of the body. The cannabinoid is stored in body fat.
  • Diuretics/cranberry juice: these are substances that let you urinate frequently. One of the most popular examples is cranberry juice.

    A glass or two of cranberry juice a day may help lower concentrations of THC, but going beyond that can alter the pH of your urine. Needless to say, not all drug tests are urine-based, so your effort to concentrate solely on drinking cranberry juice will be for naught.

  • Goldenseal: this diuretic is at the center of a long-held myth that has been debunked. The herb, which is often taken in powdered form, has not been proven to mask the use of drugs in urine.
  • Energy drinks: they have not been proven to eliminate THC. Instead, excessive consumption of such drinks can lead to caffeine overdose and even death. If you were to believe this story, know that an ingredient of an energy drink has caused a false-positive result.

If you drink too many liquids, your urine will appear diluted. Toxicology laboratories check on urinary creatinine concentrations to ensure that the samples are reliable. The labs can detect if a person has excessively consumed liquids in a short time to get a negative result. Thus, instead of helping you, this action can raise red flags and cause for another test to be made.

Rigorous Exercise

Rigorous Exercise

Regularly exercising helps you burn calories and fats, the storage places of THC. It can help eliminate the compound through sweat, coupled with water to stay hydrated.

Some have argued for vigorous exercising a day before the test. Meanwhile, others have advised against it because the action will release THC into the bloodstream and make it detectable.

Pending further studies on the effect of exercise on THC and metabolites, it’s best to be prudent about working out 24 hours before the test.

Concoctions

  • Vinegar and pickle: using these two will lead to many things that won’t beat the drug test. Vinegar can alter your urine’s pH and cause diarrhea. Pickle juice contains vinegar, whose effects are stated above. It also contains salt, which can make you thirsty and thus consume more water.
  • Pectin: the practice is to pour fruit pectin into a sports drink and drink it a few hours before the drug test. Pectin has a prebiotic effect, in which it undergoes fermentation in the colon with the formation of short-chain fatty acids. The result is that THC metabolites may go straight to the bowel instead of urine. Its potency may increase with water, but that will dilute your urine.

OTC Decongestants

Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is used in cough and cold medications. There is no proof to support claims that it can beat a urine test for THC, but PPA has been known to cause false positives for amphetamine.

The Food and Drug Administration also issued a warning in 2000 about phenylpropanolamine due to the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, based on the conditions of how it is used.

How to Pass a Cannabis Drug Test

The best way to pass a marijuana drug test is to equip yourself with the knowledge to test clear. It’s impossible to flush out THC and its metabolites from the body at once, as aggravated by chronic use. So your goal is to keep them below the required cutoff levels of the drug test.

Accordingly, you need to know how to detox marijuana from your system faster. The body has natural detoxification processes that you can enhance and aid with appropriate solutions.

Whether you have a day, a week, or a month to prepare, you can improve your chances to pass a drug test with these solutions.

Related: How to Pass a Marijuana Drug Test

Get Into the Right Detox Program

Three-Part Detox Programs

There are three-part detox programs that consist of dietary fiber, prerid tablets, and liquid detox. Taken as a whole, they are akin to nutritional supplements that rid the body of toxins within a given period.

The length of time to detox is critical to your success. Depending on the factors below, you may have to undergo a longer cleansing program:

  • Level of toxin exposure: there is an appropriate program for light, moderate, and extreme levels. If it’s light, then you can try a same-day detox program; if it’s on the extreme side, a 10-day cleansing is warranted.
  • Frequency of use: how often do you consume marijuana? The answer to this question gives you an idea of your toxin exposure. To have a more accurate picture of your marijuana exposure, test yourself at home with simple and reliable drug-testing kits.
  • Concentration: what products are you consuming? Edibles, vapes, joints, or tinctures? The higher the level of THC content in these products, the longer it can stay in the body.
  • Metabolism: as discussed earlier, your age and weight play a role in the metabolism of THC in your body. Height is often overlooked, but it also affects metabolism—a tall person tends to lose more heat than a short person does because of the surface area. It’s because metabolism produces heat to burn calories.
  • Lifestyle: how active are you? If you’ve been regularly exercising, then you are burning fats and building lean muscles needed for metabolism. There are, however, metabolic consequences of physical inactivity.

Follow the instructions carefully on the water intake, the type of food to eat (usually high-fiber and lean protein), and other dos accompanying the pills, detox liquid, and dietary fiber reserved for the actual test day.

This method is best for urine, blood, and saliva drug tests.

Cleansing Drinks

As a sidebar to the detox programs above, cleansing drinks are available for those with a higher toxin exposure or a larger body mass. This drink and another can bring down your toxin level in an hour.

  • For the drinks to work, you have to stay away from toxins at least 48 hours prior to the test.
  • These cleansing drinks are made for directly supervised tests.
  • You can incorporate either drink in a cleansing program.

This method is best for urine drug tests.

Powdered Urine

Laboratories have set parameters to detect synthetic urine such that going that route is risky. Still, if you believe that you’ll test positive, there’s a solution.

Unlike fake pee, powdered urine is closer to real urine, if not the actual one, based on its smell, appearance, and composition. The kit comes with the product, as well as a vial, temperature strip, and heaters to carry out a urine simulation.

If there’s anything you have to look out for, it’s the temperature. The urine should be in the correct temperature range of 90°F to 100°F. Follow the instructions to the letter for the desired results.

This method is best for urine drug tests.

Gargle and Rinse

Gargle and Rinse

Your saliva is mostly recycled; still, you have to ensure your mouth contains no traces of marijuana come swabbing time.

A mouthwash product such as this is made specifically for this purpose. And it’s easy to use: drink, hold, and spit. Repeat this process two more times, and then finish off with breath mints.

This method is best for saliva drug tests.

Give It a Good Wash

With a longer detection window and limited ways to beat it, a hair test is one of the toughest to crack.

What comes to mind is a specially formulated clarifying shampoo to deep-clean the scalp, where oil, sweat, and toxins are found. Use the shampoo at least three to 10 days before the test.

If time is not on your side, you can take multiple showers within the day. Also, wash any pillow, beanie, headband, or thing that has come in contact with your hair previously.

On the day of the test, you can use this cleaning shampoo and conditioner. It works in tandem with the clarifying shampoo above, teaming up to wash away impurities, chemicals, and toxins.

This method is best for hair-follicle drug tests.

The Takeaway

The Takeaway

While it’s easy to cast a stone on the stoned, it’s difficult to judge someone for using marijuana for reasons only known to them. Things, however, get more complicated when the prospect of a job enters the picture.

You will have known by now that how long marijuana stays in your system does not have a straightforward answer. It depends on how the substance metabolizes and gets excreted.

But all hope is not lost—you can look into the methods of detecting and testing for THC and metabolites as jump-off points. You also have detection windows provided here to set reasonable expectations and set off preparations.

More importantly, you have all these options to prepare for and pass your marijuana drug test.


Sources:

https://www.zamnesia.com/blog-10-myths-passing-urine-drug-test-n1624

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5958190/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015.pdf

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/420-meaning-the-true-stor_n_543854

https://greatist.com/health/your-brain-on-marijuana#your-brain

https://www.history.com/topics/crime/history-of-marijuana

https://journals.openedition.org/echogeo/17650#tocto1n2

https://medium.com/randy-s-club/7-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-the-endocannabinoid-system-35e264c802bc

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570572/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576600/

https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/faqs/overdose-bad-reaction.html

https://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/2729208/acute-illness-associated-cannabis-use-route-exposure-observational-study

https://sapiensoup.com/human-metabolism-thc#fnref:metabolism

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0376871616301508?via%3Dihub

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181204131115.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3898740/

http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/nutrition/a-healthy-lifestyle/body-mass-index-bmi

https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)61120-8/fulltext

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330962/

https://cannabisbusinesssummit.com/0201/10/23/marijuana-health-benefits-infographic/