How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System: Urine, Saliva, Hair & Blood
How long does marijuana stay in your system? Marijuana use from one-time usage to heavy, chronic smoking will lead to varied time spans that weed stays in the system. It is especially important to be knowledgeable of how long THC metabolites will remain present in your body if you have an upcoming drug test as weed tends to remain detectable for a longer duration than most drugs. In this article, we will look at how this applies to cannabis drug residues persisting in the urine, saliva, hair, and blood as these are the four primary methods of drug testing. Urinary and saliva tests it should be noted are more frequent types of drug tests while hair and blood tests are less common. How long does it take to get weed out of your system for a drug test? With the body left to its own devices, this is the same as answering how long THC lasts in your body, but with active detox efforts using products or/and home-made remedies, weed might be undetectable much sooner.
How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System?
Featured below is a marijuana detection time chart.
Of course, a heavy user of weed taking a saliva test, for example, may find that THC toxins are undetectable if the test takes place a week after they stopped smoking; however, it could remain present in the individual’s urine for 29 days or more. How long it will take to get THC out of your system for each of these four potential drug tests will depend on a range of factors including how your system processes drugs and your body fat levels. That is why it is important to take these estimates with a grain of salt. The National Drug Court Institute’s researchers are critical of the idea that marijuana can remain detectable in urine after 30 days. So, they consider any positive urine test to indicated drug use within the last month. Yet, theoretically, marijuana could be hiding out in the fat cells then come flooding out more than a month later in the context of intensive fat burning and weight reduction. In a scientific article published by the organization, it is stated in reference to a 1984 study from Johansson and Haldin that “despite the potential factors restricting interpretation (the study subjects) with exceptionally long cannabinoid detection times (30+ days) were just that—exceptional.” So, in practice, they found very few people for whom marijuana was detectable after 30 days.
Drug Test Type
|THC Detection Windows For Various Types of Tests*|
|One time/Infrequent user||Regular User||Heavy User|
|Urine||72 hours||10-15 days||30+ days^|
|Bloodstream||72 hours||7-10 days||10-21 days|
|Saliva||1-3 days||1-29 days||1-29+days|
|Hair||90+ days||90+ days||90+day|
*These are estimates taken from a variety of reliable sources and they apply to the average person. For any individual, it may be the case that THC stays in your urine slightly longer or shorter a period than noted. It’s possible that one joint lasts in your system for as little as a day or less if you are not a regular smoker.
As mentioned, this 30+ day estimate could be overestimated although it is a common reference in the marijuana literature.
THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana which is one of the substances that testers are looking for when trying to detect marijuana consumption in a drug test sample. They may also search for its psychoactive metabolites. THC is metabolized (broken down) in the liver. THC contains over 80 metabolites, some of which can be stored in fatty tissues and organs before being re-emitted into the user’s bloodstream. Of the metabolites that result from the breaking down of THC, TCCOOH and 11-OH-THC are the most important of the lot. Metabolites such as 11-OH-THC (which is still psychoactive even after it has been transformed from delta-9-THC or just THC, again in the liver) are inevitably turned into COOH-THC which is a non-psychoactive metabolite. Eventually, non-psychoactive metabolites will be excreted from your body through the urine. These observations are scientifically founded and backed up by recent research (Sharma, P., Murthy, P., Srinivas Bharath, M. M.).
Types of Drug Tests
As we already discussed, there is a wide range of drug tests including urinary, hair, saliva and blood tests. Each test uses an array of procedures to search for drug residues with some methods used in multiple test types, such as immunoassay-based testing.
Summary of Tests:
- Urinalysis: EMIT + confirmation test
- Hair Follicle Test: ELISA + GC/MS test
- Saliva Test: ELISA + LC/MS/MS
- Blood Test: Immunoassay test
A urinary drug test tends to come in the form of an enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique (EMIT). This is the most common type of drug test. It is sometimes done on the spot, without follow up confirmation tests. Such an approach involves taking a urine sample and testing for an increase of activity in enzymes that are mixed with the sample. An increase in enzyme activity will signify the presence of drugs or drug metabolites. This should pick up on THC metabolites when they are present and thus makes cannabis detectable in urine. A second procedure will be undertaken if the first part tests positive in order to confirm and establish a positive result if the test is important enough to require confirmation. More complex and costly forms of urine tests also exist but if you have a urine test, it’s more than likely going to be a regular EMIT test. How long does it take the pot to leave the system for a urine drug test that may also, therefore, depend on which specific type of urine test you are taking? The cheaper the test, the less time that is likely required for weed to get out of your pee. Cheaper tests may also fail to detect dilution. Most employers will use a regular on the spot urine test without back up the confirmation of negative results. Positive results may or may not be confirmed. If you test positive after a reasonable period of abstinence, you should ask for a confirmation test if one has not been done already.
Hair Follicle Test:
A hair follicle test is certainly not the most common form of drug testing but when it is used, it is one of the most effective forms of testing. They can generally detect THC in a person for a longer period than any other form of testing as weed will show up on hair follicle drug test even if consumed 3 months prior or earlier. Such screenings involve taking a tiny hair sample from close to an individual’s scalp. It is then sent to a lab for analysis. Hair tests, like urinalysis, involves two stages in order to achieve the highest degree of accuracy possible. First, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or ELISA test is undertaken, a rapid method to detect drug residues. An ELISA test involves antibodies being placed on a plastic layer. If there are drugs present, they will interact with the antibodies in particular ways. If the ELISA stage tests positive, then a GC-MS or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry test is used to confirm the initial results. A GC-MS test is used to detect drug toxins by separating substances from one another in a sample and then allowing for the nature of each substance to be analyzed in an effort to search for drugs or drug metabolites in the sample. It is generally not legal to practice to test more than 1.5 inches of hair such that marijuana is detectable in your hair follicles for a prolonged period greater than 90 days, but technically, you could test older hair and discover drug use as long as a year ago.
A saliva or mouth swab test involves analyzing a sample of saliva for drug residues. Saliva drug test detection times are not especially long but these tests are usually the second most common form of drug testing after urinary tests, if not the most common depending on the region and/or sector. First, a swab is taken from your saliva glands and this is then collected to be a sample for analysis by the testers. An ELISA test is usually initially used by testers to screen for drug use from a saliva sample. Then a test known as an LC/MS/MS test is used to verify any positive results that emerge from phase one of this drug screening approach. The first step of this phase ‘liquid chromatography’ will separate substances within the sample so that they can be analyzed by a mass spectrometer which will look for any drug toxins present in the various sample components. Cheaper, on the spot testers may not avail themselves of confirmatory tests, so if you are sure you have a false positive, you should quickly ask for confirmation tests.
Blood tests, like hair follicle tests, are quite rare when it comes to drug testing. Weed stays in your blood system for less time and at lower concentrations which makes it even less common considering that it is more invasive than a saliva test. When a blood screen does take place, it again tends to entail a form of immunoassay testing in an effort to search for drugs such as marijuana in the bloodstream. Before the analysis takes place, you will have blood removed as you would for a regular blood test prior to the sample being sent off for testing or indeed it may be tested at the same facility where your blood is taken.
Possible Ways to Detox:
Natural body detox/quitting weed for a period leading up your test
To be certain that your body is naturally detoxed, you need to abstain from smoking weed for about 30 days. For other drugs, it will take less time to get them out of your system.
3 days for LSD, to 30 days for cannabis. Amphetamines only hang around for about 3 days, so sometime authorities will demand random testing so that you don’t just abstain when you know a test is coming up.
Detox drinks will work by a method known as dilution. You will be asked to drink several ounces of water and given a drink containing b-vitamins, diuretics, creatine, and electrolytes. The b-vitamins will make your urine yellow despite it being dilute which would normally make it clear, a dead giveaway that one is trying to dilute the urine. Creatine will replace the creatinine which would otherwise come up as dilute. Electrolytes will prevent water intoxication from drinking too much water which can be dangerous. Any good detox drinks just have to contain the ingredients listed above and should contain no ingredients which can cause an overdose. Mega Clean and other detox drinks by Detoxify are solid detox drinks at reasonable prices.
To detox, the hair, the Macujo, and Jerry G Methods are used. The Jerry G Method is safer in our opinion and merely requires bleaching and dyeing the hair twice over a 10 day period. Most of us have used hair dye before so that’s no big deal. The hair dye should contain ammonia, and you should dye your hair your natural hair color because if the hair looks treated, they may go in for an armpit or groin hair.
To detox, the mouth for a saliva test, just brush real good, then use a peroxide mouth wash. Peroxide is an oxidizer and will oxidize those drug residues.
Detoxing the blood is harder to do safely but basically requires a dilution regimen. Luckily blood drug tests are rare and also unreliable.
Detox pills contain the same ingredients as detox drinks for the most part. The difference is it’s in pill form and you will be ordered to drink several bottles of water in order to carry out a dilution regiment. One exception is Toxin Rid, as it does not contain the typical ingredients and is used in an attempt to actually flush the system rather than to just produce dilute urine.
Home-made detoxification remedies
You can detox at home using b-vitamins, water, electrolytes (salt, baking soda), and creatine. Many people have these at home already, or you can buy them separately and it will run you cheaper than buying a detox drink. The warning you need to heed at home is that it is not safe to just drink gallons and gallons of water trying to detox yourself. You can get electrolyte imbalances and water intoxication. This will cause swelling of the brain and can result in death. This has happened to people who took water and milk drinking challenges. The body can only handle so much water. So, don’t drink an uncomfortable amount of water trying to detox yourself as this does not work. Weed hides out in the fat cells, not in the bloodstream and you can’t force it out quicker by drinking lots of water. You can only dilute it, or you can try burning fat so that it comes out quicker. If you try burning fat with exercise, you need to stop a few days before your test because if the cells are still leaking THC, much of it will end up in your urine. You have to burn the THC out, then stop the fat from burning just before your test, then you will get only a light trickle of THC into the blood, into the urine, and with a little dilution, you may test negative.
It’s your body and what you do on your own time is no one’s business so being sure you test negative for your drug test is a matter of protecting your body from unreasonable search and seizure as defined in the Constitution of the United States of America. The best way to clean your system for a urine drug test or any drug test for that matter is to simply stop taking drugs for a significant period of time leading up to the test. Detox products are available on the market however and many marijuana users turn to such products or home remedies in an effort to beat a drug test. If you consider this approach, ensure that it is legal to do so in your particular territory first. Defrauding the government of the United States is a federal crime so keep that in mind should you decide to use a detox method in an effort to pass a federally administered drug test.
“How Long Will THC Stay In Your System?” Quora, Quora, 2018,
“Drug Court Practitioner Fact Sheet” Paul L., Cary M.S., 2020,
“Human Metabolism of THC” Rupp, Marlene, Sapiensoup Blog, 2016,
“What Is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?” Medigrowth, Medigrowth, 2020,
- 1 Introduction:
- 2 Detection Windows
- 3 THC Metabolization
- 4 Types of Drug Tests
- 5 Possible Ways to Detox:
- 6 Conclusion
- 7 Bibliography