How long does THC stay in the body

How long does THC stay in the body?

How long does THC stay in the body As cannabis laws relax, business and government drug testing remains a problem for many. Do not panic ! Find out how long THC stays in your system and how to get tested with this article.

Despite the fact that cannabis laws are becoming more lax in many countries, drug testing is paradoxically increasing. Previously mainly performed at the request of employers in the United States, large companies in Europe are also starting to test their employees to detect the consumption of drugs, including cannabis.

Even if the effects of smoked cannabis fade quickly, its metabolites can be detected in the body for several weeks and sometimes even longer. However, the period of time that  THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) stays in your system and during which it can be detected depends on several factors. Understanding these factors is key to a hands-on screening test.


Cannabis has hundreds of different compounds, but THC is the ingredient responsible for the hovering effect. THC quickly enters the bloodstream when smoking or vaping cannabis. With other methods of consumption, such as edible cannabis, it may take longer for THC to be absorbed and for its effects to be felt.

The effects of smoked cannabis, those overwhelming or overwhelming sensations , don’t last long. But there may be persistent effects after consumption for up to 24 hours. After smoking, THC in the blood is quickly broken down in the body, where it is modified to give what are called metabolites. These metabolites accumulate in the body until they are slowly eliminated.


You can’t just say how long THC could stay in your system. This can vary from person to person, depending on physical form, metabolic rate, diet and even gender and ethnicity. Another determining factor for detecting THC in the body: the type of cannabis used. Some cannabis strains can be much more potent and have much higher THC levels than others. The various screening tests also also vary in the period of time during which they can detect THC.

No one metabolizes THC at the same rate. As THC binds to the body’s fatty tissue, this means that people with more body fat store more THC and THC metabolites than thinner people. Once THC is linked to fatty tissue, it will be eliminated very slowly by the body. Depending on the amount of cannabis consumed, it can be stored for weeks or even months.

The period of time during which THC can be detected also depends on how often you use cannabis . Those who smoke frequently keep the metabolites much longer than those who smoke only occasionally.


A 2001 study in which researchers looked at 52 volunteers found that the average time to clear THC in an individual was 4.9 days, but some study volunteers needed up to 18 days. A previous study in 1992, which looked at occasional and frequent cannabis use, found that urine samples from occasional users tested positive for THC for up to three days after consumption. Frequent users of the study tested positive for much longer – up to 12 days.


These test results confirm that the frequency of consumption is the biggest factor for how long cannabis can be detected in the body. If a person rarely smokes cannabis, THC-COOH, which is the metabolite tested in urine tests, can usually no longer be detected after three days. Frequent consumers may have to wait a week or more after the last consumption to be tested negative. For chronic consumers, this period is much longer.


A screening test determines the amount of a substance in your system. This is done by analyzing biological samples such as urine, blood, saliva, hair or sweat. These days, common screening tests are primarily looking for the metabolite THC-COOH, rather than THC itself.

Each specific type of test has a different detection range for cannabis use. Hair tests have the longest detection range and can recognize metabolites up to 3 months after consumption. The detection range is the period during which a person can be tested positive after using cannabis. The threshold for a test is the measured amount of THC-COOH which determines whether a person is positive or negative.


Urine tests are the most common. For urine tests, which are commonly performed by employers, the threshold is normally 50 mg / ml. Any lower quantity results in a negative test. Keep in mind that the threshold may change depending on the employer or the organization. The threshold of 50 mg / ml is not unshakable.


Blood tests can detect active THC in the blood in addition to the metabolites of THC. They are often done to determine if a person has recently used cannabis, such as after an accident or as part of an autopsy. Blood tests can register a positive result for up to 12 hours after cannabis use. They can detect small amounts of THC, up to 1 ng / ml in regular consumers for up to 7 days.


Hair tests have the widest range of detection of all types of screening tests. This is due to the fact that the body deposits THC in the hair, where it remains while the hair grows. Hair screening tests are more expensive than other tests, but they are sometimes used when a company or organization wants to test consumption with a longer history. Hair tests generally have a threshold of 1 pg / ml.


Saliva tests have become popular because they are accurate, easy, and less expensive than other testing methods. Saliva tests are sometimes carried out during roadside checks by the police to determine possible intoxication. As with blood tests, saliva tests can indicate whether the person has recently used cannabis. They can detect THC for up to 24 hours after consumption, and metabolites of THC for several days. The threshold for salivary drug testing is normally 2 ng / ml.


Tests for cannabis in perspiration are carried out to monitor consumption over a certain period of time. This is normally done with a patch applied to the skin, the patch then remaining in place for a week or two. However, sweat tests have several limitations: THC levels can vary widely depending on a person’s activity, the temperature of the environment and other factors.

Plus, everyone sweats differently, which means that THC levels can vary from person to person. Tests for cannabis in perspiration using dermal patches are sometimes used in drug treatment programs. They can only detect fairly recent use of cannabis. Their threshold is generally 1 mg / patch.


Urine test
  • Single consumption: up to 8 days
  • Regular consumption: up to 30 days
  • Chronic consumption: up to 77 days
Saliva test
  • Single consumption: up to 24 hours
  • Regular consumption: up to 72 hours
  • Chronic consumption: up to 1 week
Blood test
  • Single consumption: up to 24 hours
  • Regular consumption: up to 3 days
  • Chronic consumption: 1 week or more
Hair test
  • Up to 3 months
Sweat test
  • A few hours before removing the patch


If you are going to be tested soon, there are ways to speed up the elimination of THC from your body. But be aware that there is no guaranteed way that your system will not contain THC (apart from abstinence) – contrary to what some anecdotal reports on the internet might claim. The best way to pass a screening test is to refrain from using cannabis before the test!

Some tips for taking a test, such as drinking lots of water or getting lots of exercise, could potentially help you get rid of THC in some ways. But they will not guarantee you success in the test. If you are unlucky, your test may even be rejected because it is too diluted. If you want to be safe, don’t use cannabis when a major drug test is on the horizon.


Almost all drug tests detect THC and THC-COOH. This metabolite has very few crosses with other cannabis like CBD and CBG. This means that CBD is not normally a problem for screening tests.

If you are consuming CBD supplements, make sure the product contains absolutely no THC and you should have no problem. Be aware that there may be a very low risk of false positive results if you consume excessive amounts of CBD. But if you’re sticking to the dose, there’s really no reason to worry.