How long does Marijuana (Weed) remain in your system?
It varies depending on the dose.
Marijuana also referred to as cannabis or weed, is usually detectable for 1 to 30 days in body fluid after last use. On like other drugs, it can be detected for several months in the hair.
The detection windows for marijuana depend both on how much you smoke or ingest and how often. Higher doses and higher usage are usually associated with longer detection times.
Cannabis can be detected for daily users several months after last use. The longest detection times reported are more than 90 days.
How long can it be detected by a drug test?
Marijuana and its by-products or metabolites are measured by drug tests. These metabolites remain in your system long after the effects of weeds are lost.
Weed can be detected in urine for the following amount of time after the last use according to Mayo Clinic procedures:
- Irregular users (up to 3 times a week): 3 days
- Modest users (4 times a week): 5 to 7 days
- Continual users (every day): 10 to 15 days
- Constant huge users (multiple times a day): more than 30 days
Cannabis metabolites are fat – soluble, meaning that they bind to your body’s fat molecules. Consequently, it can take some time to leave your system.
Urine testing is the most common test method.
Weeds are usually detectable in the blood for 1 to 2 days, according to therapeutic drug monitoring. In some cases, however, it was detected after 25 days. Constant heavy usage increases the detectable length of time.
The weed can be detected within seconds of inhalation in the bloodstream. It’s spread to tissues. Some of it is reabsorbed and broken down in the blood. For days, its metabolites may remain in the bloodstream.
Blood tests can be used in laboratories or to show recent use of marijuana.
According to an oral fluid cannabinoid review in 2014, weed can be detected in saliva for the following amounts of time after last use:
- Irregular user: 1 to 3 days
- Constant users: 1 to 29 days
Marijuana can enter saliva by smoking and smoke exposure. The metabolites are however only present in saliva when weeds have been smoked or ingested.
Oral fluid can be used in roadside testing in jurisdictions where marijuana is legal.
Hair follicle tests measure the use of drugs up to 90 days. Marijuana reaches the hair follicle through small blood vessels after use. There may be trace amounts in the hair.
Since the hair grows about 0.5 inches per month, a 1.5-inch segment of the hair taken near the scalp can provide a window for the use of marijuana for the past three months.
How long does it take (metabolize) to break down?
The active ingredient in weed is a chemical of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol called THC. THC in the body is absorbed in the bloodstream.
Some THC is temporarily stored in fatty tissues and organs. THC can be reabsorbed into the bloodstream.
In the liver, THC is broken down. It has over 80 metabolites, but the most important metabolites are 11-OH-THC (11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and THCCOOH (11-nor-9-carboxy-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).
Drug testing looks for those metabolites that remain longer than THC in your body. THC and its metabolites are eventually excreted in urine and stool.
What influences how long it remains in your system?
There are a number of factors that influence how long weeds remain in your system. Some of these factors, such as your age, gender, and body mass index (BMI), are not connected with the drug itself, but with how your body processes and metabolizes the drug.
Other factors relate to weeds and how they are used. This includes how often (dose) you are taking and how often (frequency). Higher doses and higher frequency of use tend to increase the time needed to remove weed from your system.
More powerful weeds, which are higher in THC, can also remain longer in your system. Weeds that are ingested may also remain slightly longer in your system than weeds that are smoked.
Can you do anything to metabolize it faster?
You can’t do much to speed up the time it takes for weeds to leave your system.
Once your system is entered, your body needs time to break it down. Exercise, eat well and stay hydrated can help, but not dramatically.
There are a number of weed cures and kits on the Internet. Many people need to drink plenty of water in order to dilute their urine and then use herbal supplements such as creatinine or vitamin B-12 to mask it.
These kits are not reliable.
How long does the effect take?
The effects of weeds appear fast, normally within 15 to 30 minutes after smoking. It may take one or two hours to feel the effects of marijuana when it is ingested.
The active ingredients of weed produce a “high ” short-term effect. Common effects are:
- sense of well-being
- feeling of relaxation
- sense that slowing down time
- chatting or giggling
- sensory perception altered
Additional short-term effects include:
- dry mouth and eyes
- feeling faint or sick
- anxiety or paranoia
- ease of sleep
- incapacity to concentrate
- increased appetite
- problems of coordination
- fast heart rate
High weed doses can rarely lead to delusion and psychosis.
Regular smoking or ingestion of weeds can have further effects on your mind and body. You could be at higher risk of developing:
- cognitive impairments
- memory impairments
- hallucinations and psychosis
- mood disorders such as depression and anxiety
- cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke
- respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and lung infections
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