Cannabis is usually detectable in your urine and other body fluids from 1 to 30 days after the last use.  However, it depends on how much THC you vape, smoke, or ingests. How long does THC stay in your system? This question 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 kinds of tests and many countries and companies have their own policies about drug tests.

THC effects fade quickly. Usually, in 3-4 hours we are back to our “normal state” after using cannabis. The effects of THC typically 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 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 impaired 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, if cannabis derivatives are ingested, the detection time seems to be longer.

Why Body Fat is so Important

How long THC stays in your system depends significantly on your body fat. The reason is that THC is a lipid-soluble chemical. It accumulates in fat tissue and progressively diffuses into the bloodstream. 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 others, which means that it’s impossible to determine how long a 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? The answer depends mainly on how much THC you smoke, ingest, or vape. THC breaks 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

Other factors play a role in how long THC stays in your system. For instance, some people are fast metabolizers, and hence they will excrete THC quicker than slow metabolizers.

Other following 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 regular users).

Moreover, THC concentration and tolerance to it can also have a significant impact. In other words, not everybody has the same THC tolerance, and thus, some people experience more substantial 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 others. 

THC and Urine Test

According to Mayo Clinic, marijuana detection times in urine are as follows:

Marijuana Urine Test Detection Time
Marijuana Urine Test Detection Time

A urine test results vary depending on the time of the day when it’s taken. For instance, results have the 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 for urine tests. According to a study on drug testing results, hair testing “has an extended detection window of approximately one 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 is urine tests. For an occasional THC user, THC retention can last for 5 to 7 days.