How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Your System?

The duration of time marijuana stays in your system will vary depending on the dose, the method of use, and several other factors.

The duration of time marijuana stays in your system will vary depending on the dose, the method of use, and several other factors. 

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a mind-altering psychoactive drug that is derived from the cannabis sativa plant. It’s also commonly referred to as weed and pot and it’s the most commonly abused illegal drug in the United States (although recreational use of marijuana is now legal in some states).1

People who use marijuana do so in a variety of different ways, including:

  • Smoking it in joints, bongs, pipes, or blunts
  • Dabbing (smoking THC-rich resins such as hash oil, wax, budder, or shatter)
  • Adding it to foods
  • Brewing it as tea

What Are the Effects of Marijuana On Your Body?

When you smoke marijuana, the primary mind-altering ingredient in it, called THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), enters the bloodstream and is carried to the brain and other organs.

Some of the most common side effects of marijuana use include:

  • Relaxation
  • Reduced inhibition
  • Increased appetite
  • Sedation
  • Increased sociability
  • Inhibited memory and learning
  • Difficulty thinking and problem solving
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired judgment and coordination
  • Distorted perception
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Drowsiness
  • Respiratory problems

If you smoke marijuana, you’ll feel its effects right away and the effects can last 1 to 3 hours. If you consume marijuana, you’ll likely feel its effects after 30 minutes to an hour and you’ll continue to experience side effects for several hours.2

Marijuana use also has long-term side effects, with the drug affecting brain development among people who begin using it as teens. Researchers are still studying the long-term effects of marijuana to determine whether they are permanent, but they do know that teens who use marijuana experience impaired thinking, memory, and learning because marijuana affects the way the brain builds connections that are vital for those functions.

How Long Is Marijuana Detectible Via Drug Testing?

Marijuana use can be detected with drug tests and is determined by testing bodily fluids and hair. So if you use marijuana—even just once—you should know that its by-products (called metabolites) will remain in your body long after the marijuana’s effects have worn off.

Here’s why:

  • When you use marijuana, the THC is absorbed into organs and body tissues or metabolized by the liver into metabolites, which are excreted in the urine. 
  • For those who use marijuana heavily, the THC builds up in bodily tissues very quickly and cannot be eliminated fast enough. 
  • As a result, heavy users are very likely to test positive for marijuana use many days after they have stopped using it.

Depending on the type of drug test used, weed can be detected for varying amounts of time. Urine testing is the most common type of drug testing for marijuana use.

Weed is detectible in urine for the following amounts of time:3

  • 3 days for occasional users (people who use weed up to three times a week)
  • 5 to 7 days for moderate users (people who use weed four times a week)
  • 10 to 15 days for chronic users (people who use weed daily)
  • More than 30 days for chronic heavy users (people who use weed several times a day)

Weed is detectible in blood for 1 to 2 days. It may be detectable via blood testing for much longer among people who use marijuana several times a day.4

Weed is detectible in saliva for the following amounts of time:5

  • 1 to 3 days for occasional users
  • 1 to 29 days for chronic users

Weed is detectible in hair follicles for about 90 days after the last use.6

What Factors Affect How Long Marijuana Stays In Your System?

Several different factors can affect how long marijuana stays in your system after you use it. These include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Body mass index
  • Marijuana dosage
  • Frequency of marijuana use
  • Potency of marijuana
  • Method of marijuana use (smoked vs. consumed)
  • Hydration levels

How to Detox From Weed

Many marijuana detox kits and remedies sold online promise to help you metabolize weed faster. Whether your intention is to pass a drug test or something else, you should know that these remedies and weed detox kits are not reliable. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much you can do to increase the amount of time it takes for weed to leave your system.

Although healthy lifestyle habits like eating a well-balanced diet, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly may help a little bit, it likely won’t be enough to make a difference. In addition, trying to cheat a drug test isn’t worth the effort, as it’s unlikely to work.

Many people believe marijuana isn’t addictive but scientific research says otherwise. Those who develop an addiction can be diagnosed with marijuana use disorder or cannabis use disorder. Both disorders are characterized by an inability to control marijuana or cannabis use. In these cases, medical detox is often the safest way to detox from marijuana.

If you can’t pass a drug test or you heavily rely on marijuana detox kits, your cannabis use may be more of a problem than you’re willing to admit. At Briarwood Detox Center, we provide safe and effective medical detox to help you stop using weed. Our staff is made up of experienced doctors, nurses, and licensed counselors who provide medical treatment for withdrawal symptoms and therapeutic care to help clients deal with the psychological symptoms of marijuana withdrawal.

Briarwood medical detox clients can also attend group therapy sessions to work through psychological issues related to withdrawal and getting sober. These group sessions help individuals address their current emotional state, gain understanding, and receive support from staff and peers.

Our detox clients are also encouraged to attend H&I meetings, which introduce them to the 12-Step Program in a low-pressure environment. People share recovery stories and clients in detox have an opportunity to learn about the 12-Step Program and connect with potential sponsors and mentors who are in long-term recovery.

At Briarwood Detox Center, our team wants to give every client the best opportunity for long-lasting sobriety and recovery. Because of this, we provide individualized recommendations for ongoing addiction treatment after detox. This often takes place in residential and/or outpatient rehab. Scientific research and evidence show the longer a person stays in treatment, the more likely they are to achieve sustained sobriety and a lasting lifestyle of recovery.

Risks of Detoxing From Weed On Your Own

The primary risk of detoxing from marijuana on your own is relapse. Although marijuana withdrawal symptoms are not deadly, they can be very uncomfortable and many people relapse because they don’t have the support they need to get through it.

Common marijuana withdrawal symptoms include:7

  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping

Currently, the FDA has not approved any medications to specifically treat marijuana withdrawal. However, completing a medical detox program and following it up with a comprehensive addiction treatment program can make the process of quitting marijuana more comfortable and effective.

Get Support for Marijuana Detox

If you’re struggling with marijuana dependence and you need to detox, the caring professionals at Briarwood Detox Center are here for you. We can help you overcome your marijuana addiction and start living a sober life with a clear mind.

If you’re ready to make a change, call (888) 857-0557 today to learn more about our medical detox programs.

References:

  1. https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/marijuana 
  2. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana 
  3. https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(16)30825-4/fulltext 
  4. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Detection-Times-of-Drugs-of-Abuse-in-Blood%2C-Urine%2C-Verstraete/157fce13e153e873b50b8644e34be07610800ffc?p2df 
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4532432/ 
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4080811/ 
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5414724/

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