In countries like the United States, employees often get a surprise news that they will be undergoing a drug test after a week or ten days or so. And all the weed you smoke or inhaled at a recent weekend party starts haunting you. Losing your precious job due to a single drug test is the worst that could happen. In such circumstances, people certainly want to know that how long does weed stay in your system?

Even after the legalization of marijuana in the USA, many employers are testing their employees for drugs. So, today you will get to know that for how long does weed stay in your system and how can you get it out of your system fast?

THC in the body:


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The first and foremost thing is to know that what are the drug testing companies actually looking for? It is actually the THC in your system which the drug tests are looking for. THC which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary chemical compound that is found in weed and this is what gives you the euphoric effect. THC after the breakdown by liver gives many metabolites out of which THC-COOH is the main metabolite and it stays in the system for the much longer time period.

THC is hydrophobic and that is why it is fat-soluble and is stored in the fat cells. This is the real problem because if it had been water soluble than it would have been eliminated quite easily and quickly.

THC-COOH Concentrations For Positive Results:

Different drug testing companies have different cutoff levels to show you positive for weed. For example, some companies will show you positive for weed at 20 ng/mL (nano gram per milliliter) whereas others might show you negative even at 80-90 ng/mL. But most commonly the levels of THC or THC-COOH above 50 ng/mL are tested positive for weed whereas those below 50 ng/mL are tested negative.

How long does weed stay in your system?

Some factors greatly influence the time period for which weed stays in your system:

Factors influencing the detection period:

The detection period for weed varies in every individual. This include:

  1. Percentage of body fat.
  2. Metabolic rate.
  3. Frequency of use.
  4. Method being used for testing.

1. Percentage of body fat:

As THC-COOH binds to the fat cells and is stored there so, THC can be detected for a long time in people having more body fat as compared to skinny people. Like, if a skinny person having less percentage of body fat has used weed for the first time then it will show up in urine for up to 4 to 5 days but the same amount of weed taken by an obese person having the high percentage of body fat will show up for up to 10 to 14 days.

2. Metabolic rate:

Weed is metabolized by the liver to THC and the body’s excretion of carboxy-THC is also influenced by the metabolic rate. A person having high metabolic rate will show up THC for less time as compared to the person having a slow metabolic rate. For example, a frequent cannabis user having fast metabolism could test negative whereas, an occasional user having slower metabolism could test positive. Moreover, the metabolic rate might be influenced by exercise, diet and stress levels.

3. Frequency of use:


Photo credit: Smoking Pagoda

The time period for how long does weed stay in your system greatly depends on the frequency of use. The estimated detection period for weed is given below as:

  • A person who has used weed for the first time will test positive for 4 days in urine.
  • A person who uses weed frequently will test positive for up to 15 days.
  • A person who uses weed too much often can test positive for up to 30 days.
  • A person who is kind of addicted or uses large amounts of marijuana daily will test positive for 2 to 3 months or even more.

But if a heavy cannabis smoker stops the use of the drug then it is possible that that person might test negative after a month or two.

4. Method being used for testing:

Now the question arises that how long does weed stay in your system? When we talk about the system then it is the amount of time THC will remain in the blood, saliva, hair follicle and urine. Mostly the drug test for detecting THC is carried by testing urine. 

  • THC in saliva: THC will remain for the shortest time in saliva. This is not frequently used because THC shows up in saliva about one hour after using weed and remains there only for 12 hours. This test is only used by traffic police to detect if the driver is under the influence of pot or not.
  • THC in hair follicle: THC binds to the hair follicle and it remains longest in the hair follicle. This is an expensive test but is still used in workplaces due to its accuracy. A single piece of hair can show you positive for about 7 days to 90 days even if you have used weed for the first time.
  • THC in blood: This too is an expensive drug testing method. But, it is not used commonly as the THC metabolite does not bind to the blood cells for a long period of time. A single use of weed, when tested by blood, can show you positive for only about 6 to 24 hours. However, if you are a frequent user then the blood test will show you positive for about 7 days.
  • THC in urine: This is the most commonly used drug test by the employers. It greatly depends on how frequently the drug is used by the user. So, if a person has used weed only once then he might be tested positive from 2-5 hours to about 6 days. Whereas a moderate user will test positive for about 7-13 days and a frequent user might test positive for 15 days or more. Moreover, a heavy cannabis smoker can be tested positive for about a month or more and in some cases some heavy smokers were reported positive for up to 90 days even after quitting the use of weed.

5.How to pass a drug test?:

Now, any one having the fear of losing his or her job will be searching for ways to pass the drug test for weed. As the most common method used by employers these days to test for marijuana is the urine analysis so, we will be telling you ways to pass a drug test. No doubt there are a number of products available in the market labeled as ‘urine cleansers’ but everyone knows that these are useless and relying on these drugs is a total risk. So, here are a few ways that can increase your chances of passing your drug test:

5 ways to pass a urine test:

  • The first and foremost way are to stop the use of weed at once. Otherwise, it will be impossible for you to test negative and save your job.
  • Drink more and more of fluids because drinking more fluids will naturally dilute your urine even diluting the substances present in your urine. Excessive urination will then eliminate the drug present in your system thus, slowly clearing or washing away your system. Many people report that excessive use of cranberry juice is very beneficial in flushing the drug out of your system.
  • As we know that the duration for how long does weed stay in your system might be determined by a person’s metabolic system. Hence, one should hit the gym at once as exercise will result in a high metabolic rate which will metabolize the drug fast and hence, the drug will be removed from your system fast. Not only this but exercise will also help you sweat out all the toxins and weed out of your system.
  • Monitor your diet. Eat a very healthy diet having the greater quantity of vegetables and fruits as this will also help you metabolize the drug and remove the toxins. Do not eat any fatty foods. Moreover, there are a variety of teas which detoxify your system naturally one of them is the dandelion tea which proves quite beneficial.
  • Try some natural detox therapies and detox plans.


Hence, the answer to the question that how long does weed stay in your system? depends on the user’s height, weight, metabolism, frequency of use, tolerance etc. Due to this, the time duration of weed staying in your system greatly varies from one individual to another. In spite, of the legalization people are being tested at their workplaces for weed. Many people lose their good jobs or do not even get a job due to the drug testings. But still quitting the use of weed and trying some natural procedures for eliminating the remains of the drug out of your body can help you get a job.


Featured Image Source: News Week





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