The compound found in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can remain detectable in a person’s body from a few days to several months depending on how much is consumed and what type of test is used. If you consume cannabis regularly and have an upcoming drug test you may be looking at ways to get weed out of your system as soon as possible. Lets take a look at the different types of drug test and the length of time they are able to detect THC. And more importantly if there is anything that you can do to help flush marijuana out of your system fast.
- How is marijuana absorbed in the body?
- How long does weed stay in your system?
- How long do edibles stay in your system?
- How to get weed out of your system fast
How is marijuana absorbed in the body?
When you smoke weed, THC is inhaled into the lungs where it is rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream. It then travels through our bloodstream and is transferred into various organs and tissues throughout your body and brain. THC and the other compounds found within cannabis then interact with the many receptors that make up your endocannabinoid system (ECS) causing you to feel high. You will feel the effects almost instantly and they can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 5 hours.
When you smoke cannabis the effects normally last for a few hours and eventually fade as the drug is metabolized and is eliminated from the body. The duration and intensity of the effects of can vary based on several factors, including the potency of the marijuana, the individual's tolerance, and the method of smoking. The same process happens when you consume THC via edibles, but instead of the THC passing into the blood stream through the lungs, it will do so through the stomach.
THC is very lipophilic, meaning it is quickly and easily absorbed into adipose tissue (body fat), it is also distributed to the liver, lungs, spleen and vascularised tissues, including the users brain and muscles. This means that although any effects from consuming cannabis may have worn off, THC may still be detectable through drug tests for some time afterwards.
How long does weed stay in your system?
The length of time that THC remains detectable in your system depends on several factors:
- The amount of body fat you have.
- How regularly you consume weed.
- The amount of weed that you consume and its potency.
- Your diet and how much water/detox foods and drinks you consume.
- The type of drug test that you take.
Since THC binds to fat within the body and is stored there, people with higher concentrations of body fat usually metabolise the THC at a slower rate compared to those with less body fat to store it.. If a person consumes weed regularly, or if they have consumed a larger amount, they will have higher levels of THC in their system and therefore it will take longer to reach levels low enough to pass a drug test. Genetics, gender, age and health issues can also play a part in the length of time cannabis will be present in a person’s system.
How long do edibles stay in your system?
The THC absorbed from edibles is no different to when you smoke cannabis, however, it is absorbed slower and therefore its effects are slightly delayed. After consuming edibles, the high can take 30 minutes to a couple of hours to take effect, this is because they must be metabolized by the liver before any THC enters the bloodstream. Because of the delay to entering your bloodstream, THC will usually be detectable for a few hours longer than if you were to smoke. However, the differences between detection through any test method; blood, urine, saliva or hair will be negligible.
Types of Drug Test
The window of detection after consuming marijuana differs greatly between the different types of drug testing. The more frequently a person consumes cannabis, the greater the window of detection will be. For example, a saliva test window can reach up to 29 days in a heavy consumer, a blood test, 25 days and a urine test, 30 days. Urine testing is the most common method of testing for THC.
How long does weed stay in your urine
THC can remain detectable in urine for 2 to 30 days after use, but for heavy users, it will remain for longer periods. Bear in mind that drug testing can vary in accuracy and sensitivity, and some tests may detect THC for longer than others.
How long does weed stay in your blood?
THC can be detected in blood for several hours after consumption, with peak levels occurring within the first hour. However, the exact window of detection varies from person to person. The detection window will be wider for frequent or heavy users.
Blood tests are less commonly used than urine tests, because they are more invasive and less practical. Also, blood tests are not as sensitive as urine tests, so they may not detect THC as accurately or for as long as urine tests.
How long does THC stay in your saliva?
Saliva tests are normally taken by swabbing the inside cheeks of your mouth. THC is detectable using saliva tests for 12 to 24 hours after use, although the detection window may be shorter or longer depending on how much was consumed.
Saliva tests for THC are becoming more common, because they are less invasive and easier to administer than blood or urine tests. However, saliva tests are still not as widely used or accepted as urine tests, and they may not be as accurate or reliable either.
How long does THC stay in your hair?
Hair follicle drug tests are performed by collecting a small sample of hair, usually about the diameter of a pencil and 1.5 inches long, from close to the scalp. The laboratory will then use a special technique to extract the drugs from the hair and perform a chemical analysis to detect any substances. Hair follicle tests are able to detect THC for the longest period of time and depending on the frequency and volume of THC consumed they can detect it for up to 90 days.
If you are reading this feeling worried about an upcoming drug test, hair follicle tests are the least common because they are more expensive and time-consuming. Hair follicle tests are only normally carried out for highly important roles such as pilots, politicians, military and police.
Ways to flush marijuana out of your system
If you're facing a drug test and need to remove traces of THC from your system, there are several steps you can take. These include increasing fluid intake, exercising, using detoxification products, and temporarily avoiding marijuana use. However, it's important to keep in mind that these methods may not guarantee a negative drug test result and that the length of time THC remains in the body can vary depending on individual factors.
Don’t smoke more weed
Although it should be obvious, the most important factor is not to increase your THC levels any further by consuming more weed until the drug testing has been completed.
Maintain a Lower body fat percentage
As a longer-term solution, since THC attaches to body fat and a higher metabolism will flush THC out more speedily, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can go a long way in speeding up the flushing process. Be careful not to participate in rigorous exercise too soon before a drug test though, as stored THC can be released from fat cells into the bloodstream, making it much more likely to be detectable in bodily fluids for the test.
Natural THC Detox drinks
If you are not in a rush to pass a drug test the best way to rid your body of THC is to do a natural detox by adopting a healthy diet, exercise, and plenty of water. Lots of cannabis users also claim that some of these natural detox drinks will rid your system of THC faster. Cranberry juice: Cranberry juice is high in antioxidants and is believed to help flush toxins from the body.
Green tea: Green tea is high in antioxidants and is believed to help support the liver's natural detoxification processes.
Lemon water: Lemon water is high in vitamin C and is believed to help support the liver's ability to detox from THC.
Herbal teas: Certain herbal teas, such as dandelion root tea or milk thistle tea, are believed to help support the liver's ability to detox from THC.
Taking zinc supplements to falsely pass a urine drug test by adulterating the sample is another option to use for a drug test. A 2011 study supports the belief that zinc helps in masking the presence of THC found in urine.
Some herbal supplements that will help with the detoxification process include; milk thistle, cayenne and psyllium seeds. Green teas and herbal teas have antioxidants and can assist with detoxification too, however, as good as these supplements may be for your body, they will most likely not speed up the flushing process alone.
Sauna - sweat it out
Although spending time in a sauna is not likely to have a big impact in lowering your THC levels, sweat can have traces of THC present for up to a week after consuming marijuana if a person is a heavy consumer. It can be a beneficial addition to a person’s detox plan, as long as they remain hydrated.
How to get weed out of your system fast
Detox drinks are another method of flushing cannabis out of your system. They are marketed as a way to flush THC out of your system fast. These drinks typically contain a combination of vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients that are intended to help remove toxins and impurities from the body. However, it's important to keep in mind that the effectiveness of detox drinks can vary and that despite the big claims that some brands make, they most likely won't result in a negative drug test if you have consumed large amounts of cannabis recently.
Drink plenty of water and cranberry juice
Drinking a lot of water on the day of the test may help to dilute urine for a drug test, but this could be suspicious due to the lack of colour a person will produce in their sample. To prevent suspicion, taking vitamins to create a more normal yellow colour will make their urine appear less diluted. Consider taking vitamins B2 and B12 to produce a yellow hue, along with a creatine supplement. The naturally occurring creatine substance will help to make the urine sample appear undiluted also.
Most importantly, being dehydrated will increase the level of THC detected in a person’s body, so even if they are not drinking for the purpose to dilute, drink water to prevent being dehydrated
Cranberry Juice is packed full of antioxidants and is often used to flush toxins out of the body. Drinking plenty of cranberry juice in the days leading up to the drug test may help to speed up the detox process.
Activated charcoal is a porous form of carbon that attracts fatty compounds within bile once inside the intestinal tract. Bile is a digestive liquid created in the liver and stored and released by the gallbladder, it aids the body in breaking down fat. Since a large amount of the THC metabolites that are excreted by the body are done so via bile, activated charcoal could be helpful in flushing THC due to being able to attract bile.
Green Tea and Beet Juice
Green tea and beet juice are two natural drinks that are often used as ways to flush THC out of the system. Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins that may help to increase the metabolism which helps to remove toxins from the body. Drinking several cups of green tea daily along with water and exercise could help to speed up the detox process.
Beet juice contains high levels of nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide can help to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow, potentially helping to eliminate THC from the system. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of these drinks for THC detoxification.
The thought of having a drug test can be daunting, especially since there is no perfect equation that will be able to predict the amount of time that THC will be undetectable after consuming marijuana. By taking steps to be in the best position possible both before and after consumption is the best way to get THC out of your system as quickly as possible to pass a marijuana drug test.