THC is the compound found in cannabis that is responsible for the resulting psychoactive effects potentially felt after consumption. These effects tend to wear off within minutes or hours depending on the amount of product consumed. However, even if you feel completely sober the following day after consumption, this does not necessarily mean that your body is 100% free from cannabis.
The range in which cannabis remains in your system after consuming your favorite products can be anywhere between a few days to over a month, depending on several factors. This is a massive reason why athletes are not allowed to consume cannabis if they have an upcoming regulated competition, as the compounds of this substance may still be detected in their bodies, leading to their elimination from the sporting event.
In general, cannabis is detectable in your blood and saliva for a few days. However, urine samples may have the potential to detect the compounds for as few as 3 days in the case of one-time use. However, for a very heavy cannabis user, that time frame can stretch even further past 30 days
Most drug tests look for the THC compound in your body since it is found in abundance in recreational cannabis. This compound breaks into metabolites, which affect the endocannabinoid system of your body. THC alone can produce around eighty different types of metabolites in your body.
One of the main reasons why THC is detectable for a long period after consumption is that the metabolites it produces are stored within your body as fat. It takes time for them to pass through urine or feces and allow your body to completely rid itself of traces of cannabis.
In cases of moderate consumption, your body may get rid of the traces of cannabis within six half-lives – the time it takes for half of the compounds to eliminate from your body. However, the manner in which the patient is tested for the substance can also be an essential determinant of whether or not cannabis will be detected in your system.
Did you know that your hair strands may contain evidence of THC consumption from a few days ago? Although it is not always detectable, a thorough hair test may be able to determine the presence of metabolites created by THC in your body. Hair follicle tests assess substance use for up to 90 days.
However, since testing hair doesn’t tell you much about the dosage consumed or the frequency of use, experts tend not to rely on hair testing to find traces of cannabis. It is usually among the least preferred options when it comes to detecting cannabis in your body.
Have you ever wondered why most drug tests, including those for cannabis, are done from urine samples instead of blood samples? That is because cannabis exits the bloodstream in just a few days. Though cannabis is detectable in the bloodstream within seconds of inhalation, it is typically only detectable by a blood test for 1 to 2 days. However, there have been reported accounts of detection after 25 days in heavy chronic users. It may still be in your body, but a blood test may likely come back negative since metabolites from the THC compound are later stored in fat.
One of the most common forms of tests for drugs is urine tests. Cannabis metabolites are present in the body long after consumption. So, the purpose of urine tests for cannabis detection in the body is to determine if the user has consumed it in the recent past.
Research indicates that urine testing may detect traces of THC for the following amounts of time after last use:
- Occasional users (up to three times a week): 3 days
- Moderate users (four times a week): 5 to 7 days
- Chronic users (daily): 10 to 15 days
- Chronic heavy users (multiple times a day): more than 30 days
Traces of cannabis consumption may appear in a urine sample for weeks or even months later. A common misconception is that having these metabolites in your body means you are feeling psychoactive effects from it. In reality, the buzz from THC only lasts a few hours at max and subsides after that, despite the presence of THC metabolites in your body.
Detection Time Varies
Cannabis stays in the body for a while; the time varies from person to person and depends upon various different factors. The following are a few of the factors that have the potential to impact the amount of time cannabis can be detected in the body.
Your metabolism is responsible for helping your body flush out cannabis. People who have a faster metabolism may be able to do this faster than those with a slower metabolism. Furthermore, the speed of your metabolism highly depends upon numerous additional factors, including age, sex, psychical condition of the body, general health, and a lot more.
Your weight also has a significant impact on your metabolism. People who land higher on a BMI index often have a slower metabolism (unless they have highly muscular bodies), which will translate into a slower exit of cannabis from your body.
The more cannabis you consume, the more time it will take for it to exit your body completely. For instance, an avid user who consumes cannabis routinely may even have to wait forty to fifty days to have the metabolites processed within the body. It is because the metabolites take time to accumulate.
Method of consumption
The way you consume cannabis also determines how long the metabolites might remain in your body. For example, edibles often last a shorter time in the system as compared to smoked cannabis. This is because edibles take a longer time to digest, but once fully digested they will leave the system.
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