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How Long Does Marijuana Stay in your System?

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in your System?

Marijuana, a Cannabis sativa that contains high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), creates a series of chemical reactions in your body that has several side effects. Whether you smoke or ingest marijuana, cannabinoids, or its byproducts, the psychoactive component THC stays in your system for a detectable period long after the desired effects expire. 

This leaves many wondering, “how long does marijuana stay in my system?”

Several factors need to be taken into account when determining how long pot stays in your system. We will explain how marijuana processes through your body and how long weed in your system is detectable.

How Your Body Processes Marijuana

When there is weed in your system, the THC is metabolized in your liver, creating byproducts known at metabolites. The metabolites, 11-hydroxy-THC and carboxy-THC, are expelled through your urine. While the majority of THC is quickly broken down by the liver, some of it is absorbed by your body’s cells, especially fat and brain cells. 

THC will remain in your body’s tissue until it’s eventual excretion back into your bloodstream to be processed by the liver. Fat cells are extremely susceptible to absorbing THC and release it back into your blood at a slower rate than other tissue. This slow-release means that if you’re a chronic user, even if you’ve quit, it will take a longer period before weed in urine is no longer detectable by drug tests.

Factors That Affect How Long It Will Stay in Your System

Numerous factors affect how long marijuana stays in your blood


Your metabolic rate is the main factor in determining how long weed stays in your blood. THC and its byproducts are broken down faster if you have a high metabolic rate. Your rate is affected by your age, gender, weight, level of physical activity, and genetics all play vital roles in how fast your body metabolizes substances. 


As described above, the quantity of fat cells a body has is critical when figuring out how long weed stays in your urine. When the liver metabolizes THC, it creates a metabolite called THC-COOH, which is fat-soluble. Its fat-solubility allows it to bind to and be stored in fat.

Exercising can help to remove the stored THC-COOH. The burned fat releases the metabolite to be excreted from the body.   

Frequency and dosage of THC use

Chronic use or a large amount of marijuana consumed will both show up in a drug screening longer after the final use when compared to an infrequent user or a smaller dose. Chronic users also run a higher risk of suffering from cannabis withdrawal symptoms if they choose to quit.

When Will Marijuana Show Up on a Drug Test

Many people wonder how long marijuana stays in your system because they might be tested for usage. Drug screening tests are designed to detect THC or its metabolites through bodily fluids or hair follicles. 

Urine Test

The frequency of marijuana use has the most significant impact when calculating how long does marijuana stay in your urine

A urine test would come back positive if the last consumption were between 3-7 days before testing for an infrequent to a moderate user. These are users who smoke or ingest marijuana three to four times per week.

For habitual or chronic users, those who use daily, a urine test can detect THC between 10-30 days from last use.

Saliva Test

Through a saliva test, weed can be found orally up to three days after last use by an infrequent user. If the examinee is a chronic user, saliva can produce a positive result up to 30 days from last oral use.

Blood Test

Marijuana can be found in the bloodstream almost immediately after use. Weed stays in your blood for up to two days. The metabolites, however, can linger, being detectable up to 25 days after last use.

Hair Test

Hair follicle tests provide the longest window of all marijuana drug tests. By examining a piece of hair close to the scalp, THC can be detected up to three months from use. 

Marijuana Detoxification

Marijuana does have an addictive component to its makeup. After a medical examination to survey symptoms, a chronic user may be diagnosed with cannabis use disorder. As with any addiction, this can negatively affect multiple areas of the user’s life. If the addiction has been going on for an extended period, and the user tries to quit, they may experience marijuana withdrawal symptoms. 

Major symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea 
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Medical professionals can help tend to some pains associated with withdrawal.

Marijuana Testing

If you require a marijuana test, Countrywide Testing offers self-administered tests that produce results with the accuracy of professional medical equipment. We offer dip cards and quick screen cups to give you the peace of mind that you have an accurate result. Shop now or contact us if you have any questions!