How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System?

People consume weed (aka cannabis or marijuana) for its various advantages. In addition to being used recreationally, weed has many medical benefits. 

Advantages aside, have you ever wondered how long cannabis stays in your system? Perhaps you’d like to donate blood or you’re simply intrigued about the biology of marijuana. This article will explore some of the varying time periods that weed can be detected in your body. 

How Does Weed Enter Your System? 

THC is the primary psychoactive chemical found in marijuana and is what makes you feel ‘high’. Even though the effects of THC fade quickly, it can stay in your system for up to several months. Marijuana drug tests aim to detect traces of THC in the body. 

When you smoke weed, THC and other natural chemicals found in the cannabis plant pass from the lungs into the bloodstream and then to the brain within minutes. 

When you ingest weed in the form of food or tea, it can take up to two hours for the effects to be felt. This is because the THC has to pass through the digestive tract before getting absorbed into the bloodstream. Eventually, THC and its metabolites are excreted from the body via sweat, urine, and stool. 

Two chocolate chip cookies next to two marijuana leaves on a yellow background.

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System?

This depends and varies according to how much and how often you use it. Whether you smoke or ingest weed can also impact how long it stays in your body. Different strains of weed have varying potencies.

Genetics, gender, body fat, hydration level, exercise, and metabolism are all additional factors that can affect how long weed stays in your system. 

The only way to tell if you still have traces of weed in your system is by taking a THC drug test. This will test specifically for marijuana in the body and can be done via blood, urine, saliva, or hair follicle tests. 

Image of hands rolling a joint.

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Blood?

If you consume weed once or you’re an infrequent user, weed can be detected in your blood for two to twelve hours after the last use. If you use weed religiously, meaning that you use it a lot, it can be detected up to 25 days after the last use. 

Blood drug tests can only trace weed that has been consumed recently. The window for detection is low, so blood tests aren’t a common or efficient way of testing for marijuana traces in the body.

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Urine?

For an infrequent user, weed can be present in urine for up to three days. For frequent weed users, it can show up for five to seven days. Weed can stay in urine for up to 30 days after last use for daily users. 

Urine drug tests typically have a window of 3–30 days and are probably the most common way to test for marijuana in the system, especially in the workplace.  

Image of gloved hand holding marijuana leaves.

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Saliva? 

For people who consume weed infrequently, it can stay in your saliva for up to 12 hours. For more frequent users, weed can stay for up to two days. Weed can be traced for up to 30 days since last use for dedicated users. 

Saliva tests in the form of mouth swabs have a very narrow window for testing for traces of THC. These tests are mainly used for roadside stops to determine if drivers are under the influence of marijuana.  

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Hair?

Weed can be detected in your hair follicles for up to 90 days after use. THC and cannabinoids travel from the bloodstream and get passed through the hair follicles. The hair strands continue growing, which means that THC can be detected at the lower half of the strand. 

In a hair follicle drug test, samples are normally taken 1.5 inches from the scalp. This is because, on average, hair grows 0.5 inches per month. Therefore, taking a sample 1.5 inches from the scalp gives a rough three-month window to test for THC.  

Image of hair in a messy top bun.

Wrapping Up: How Long Does Dagga Stay in the System?

Weed can stay in your system anywhere from a few hours up to several months, depending on how much you’re using and how frequently you’re using it. 

There are also other factors that may affect how long weed stays in your system. These include genetics, gender, body fat, metabolism, level of hydration, and the weed’s potency. 

On average, weed remains the longest in hair follicles — up to three months. It spends the shortest amount of time in saliva and blood — from a few hours to a few days.

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