Cannabis is usually detectable in your urine and other body fluids from 1 to 30 days after last use. However, it depends on how much THC you vape, smoke or ingest. How long does THC stay in your system? This is a question that worries many people, especially those who need to take a drug test for a new job. It’s quite common in Sweden to request these kind of tests and many countries and companies have their own policies about drug tests.
The THC effects fade quickly. Usually, in 3-4 hours we are back to our “normal state” after using cannabis. The effects of THC usually take between 10 to 30 minutes to appear depending on the person and the assimilation.
Nonetheless, THC stays in your system for more time! And we’re going to explain here what you need to know about THC and drug tests.
THC as a Cannabinoid: intake methods
The intake method affects how we assimilate THC and how fast we experience its effects. Usually, there are two intake methods: ingesting it or inhaling it (smoking or vaping).
For instance, smoking or vaping is a faster intake method because THC immediately enters the bloodstream. On the other hand, ingesting cannabis (THC) is not assimilated that fast, but its effects last longer.
THC Use and Risks
Marijuana is widely popular, and it’s used worldwide by thousands of users. Some people take it for a recreational use and some other users for its therapeutic properties (pain-reliever, to treat anxiety, etc.).
Nonetheless, THC has some side effects in the form of impairment motor skills. Therefore, it could be dangerous to drive after smoking, vaping or ingesting cannabis. It’s recommended to wait about 3-4 hours to drive or similar tasks after cannabis consumption.
Some strains of cannabis have very low THC. When the concentrations are below 0.5% then marijuana is classified as hemp. The risks associated with impairment of motor skills depend on the cannabis strain and product type as well. For instance, marijuana usually has THC concentrations in the range of 1 to 5%. On the other hand, hashish has higher THC concentrations (average 20%).
How Long is THC Detectable Via Drug Test?
Firstly, let’s start by saying that THC can stay in the body for several weeks. However, it varies depending on your body fat and how often you consume THC. Furthermore, apparently if cannabis derivatives are ingested the detection time seem to be longer.
Why Body Fat is so Important
How long THC stays in your system depends greatly on your body fat. This is because THC is a lipid-soluble chemical. It accumulates in fat tissue and progressively diffuses into the blood stream. In other words, the more body fat you have the longer you will retain THC.
Moreover, we have enzymes in our body to metabolize THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the most psychoactive compound present in cannabis sativa. Tetrahydrocannabinol readily dissolves into fat and lipids. Once it is in our system, it accumulates in fat and lipids, spleen, lungs and liver. Additionally, some people metabolize THC faster than other which means that it’s actually impossible to determine for how long time THC will stay in your system. However, there are reports of cannabis compounds detected after 95 days.
THC and How Frequently You Use it
How long does THC stay in your system? This depends mainly on how much THC you smoke, ingest or vape. THC is broken down into more than 80 metabolites and these metabolites are the ones that stay in our system for a longer period than THC. THC is excreted in urine and stools.
Other Variables that Impact on THC detection
There are other factors that play a role in how long THC stays in your system. For instance, some people are fast metabolizers and hence they will excrete THC faster than slow metabolizers.
Other factors are how frequently you engage in physical activities or if you are a frequent cannabis user or an infrequent user (infrequent users eliminate it faster than frequent users).
Moreover, THC concentration and your tolerance can also have a big impact. In other words, not everybody has the same THC tolerance and thus, some people experience stronger effects than others.
How Long Does THC Stay in Your System? Detection Methods
There are other factors that influence in THC detection. For instance, some detection methods are more sensitive than other.
THC and Urine Test
According to Mayo Clinic, marijuana detection times in urine are as follows:
A urine test results vary depending on the time of the day when it’s taken. For instance, results have highest concentrations in the early morning.
The urine tests are the most common tests for cannabis detection.
THC and Saliva Testing
The estimated detection period in saliva or oral fluid is up to 72 hours after smoking on inhaling.
THC and Blood Tests
According to a study carried out in Lübeck with 52 volunteers, showed that THCCOOH (the main secondary metabolite of THC) remained detectable in serum on average for 23.8 hours, and 49 hours to the maximum. To sum up, 1 to 2 days.
Blood tests aren’t as common as urine tests. Moreover, urine tests seem to be more efficient than blood tests.
Hair Testing and THC
It has been studied as an alternative method to urine tests. According to a study on drug testing results, hair testing “has an extended detection window of approximately 1 month per half inch of hair. Thus, a 1.5-inch section of hair captures a 90-day window of drug use”.
Conclusion: How Long Does THC Stay in Your System?
We cannot speed up or predict how long THC will stay in our system. For instance, it depends on factors such as or body mass index or how fast our system can break it down and metabolize it. In addition, some people can metabolize it faster than others.
Moreover, some tests are a bit more accurate than others. The most widely used THC detection test are urine tests. For an occasional THC user, THC is detected for 5 to 7 days.