The Basics: How Long Does Cannabis Stay in your System?

If you’re reading this, it probably means you’re a frequent visitor of Black Rabbit’s online dispensary. If that isn’t the case and you’re relatively new here or your experiences with pot marijuana don’t really go beyond being a recurring customer of our same day weed delivery or mail order services, then you’re about to learn some really helpful stuff.

Whether you’re a cannabis pro or novice it’s important to understand how long cannabis stays in your system and the various screening methods of detecting THC in the body – so read on, you know, just in case.

How does cannabis travel through the body?

How cannabis travels through the body is dependent on how it’s consumed. Screening tests look for THC not cannabis so really, it’s the amount of THC that is consumed is what’s important here.

When weed is inhaled, THC enters the bloodstream via the lungs. From there, through the bloodstream, THC makes its way to the heart, is pumped throughout the whole body and binds to receptors that are part of the endocannabinoid system.

A basic understanding of the endocannabinoid system isn’t necessary in order to enjoy weed but to truly understand its impact on the body and mind can only help enhance your relationship and experiences with weed. As a refresher, you can read all about the endocannabinoid system in our Cannabinoids 101 blog post.

As THC circulates the body through the bloodstream it’s passed through the liver and broken down into metabolites which are substances created when the body breaks down food, drugs or chemicals. Most drug screening methods look for the metabolites 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC or THC-COOH.

When cannabis is consumed through an edible, THC enters the body differently. Instead of entering the bloodstream through the lungs, THC penetrates the walls of the stomach and the intestines and then goes straight to the liver. Once the liver metabolizes the THC, the remaining metabolites are sent to the brain through the heart.

Cannabis Screening Methods

Cannabis screening tests measure THC presence by metabolites which can remain in your system long after the effects of weed have worn off. There are three main types of cannabis screening methods – urine, blood and hair tests.

Urine tests: According to Mayo Clinic Proceedings, how long THC is detectable in urine varies  based on how often you light up. 

  • Occasional users – you consume cannabis up to three times a week: THC can be detectable up to three days after consumption.
  • Moderate users – you smoke up to four times a week: THC is detectable even after five to seven days after consumption.
  • Chronic users – for those that consume cannabis daily or multiples times a day: THC can be detected in the urine anywhere from 15-30 days after initial consumption.

Hair tests: this method of screening can detect THC in the hair for up to 90 days after use. Hair tests assess the hair follicle since THC reaches the hair through small blood vessels.

Blood tests: the preferred screening method for when it is suspected a person is actively under the influence of cannabis. THC in the blood can be detected within minutes of consumption in comparison to urine, where it may take a couple of days to appear in a sample.

Factors that affect how long weed stays in your system

THC binds to fat in the body meaning the time it takes for someone to eliminate THC completely depends on a few factors. We noted above that frequency of consumption i.e. occasional, moderate or chronic can impact how long THC is detectable in the body but there are other factors at play when you consider how your body processes and metabolizes the drug. Take body fat for instance. Because fat stores marijuana, users with higher body fat can metabolize THC slower than someone with less body fat. Gender is also worth noting as women typically have more body fat than males so females may metabolize marijuana slower.

You might be wondering if there are ways to speed up the process of eliminating THC in the body and the answer is, not really. The body really just needs to go through the motions of  breaking down the THC which makes time from the last point of exposure the most important consideration when it comes to testing.

Same day delivery and weed delivery Canada wide

Now that you have the basic knowledge of how long weed stays in your system and how it can be detected through various screening methods, you can feel more confident in your smoking habits because we’ve prepared you! Live in the GTA? Black Rabbit does same day weed delivery in Toronto, Brampton and 14 others regions around the GTA with same day weed delivery coming soon to Barrie and Newmarket. Live outside of Ontario? No problem we got you covered with weed delivery Canada-wide. See you down the rabbit hole!

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