Got a drug test coming up? Because cannabis can sometimes stay in your system for such a long time, you can sometimes fail a drug test even if you haven’t smoked in weeks or longer.
‘How long does marijuana stay in your blood?’ is a question we hear all the time at our Georgetown, MA dispensary. While our Georgetown dispensary staff aren’t drug test experts, we do know a thing or two about cannabis and how long it may stay in your system that may help.
Knowing how long cannabis stays in your system can help you to plan around and pass any drug tests that you may have coming up. How long does marijuana stay in your blood? It can depend on several different factors. Here’s what you need to know.
How Drug Tests Work
The question isn’t really, “How long is marijuana in your blood?” but rather how long it stays in your body in general. That’s because while marijuana may not remain in your blood for very long, it can remain hidden in your urine or hair for much longer. Although the effects of cannabis typically wear off in about 3 hours, traces of it can actually remain inside your body for several months.
The most common kind of marijuana test is a urine test, but other types of tests can also look for marijuana in blood, in hair, or in saliva. What these tests actually check for is the presence of THC metabolites, by-products of the THC metabolization process that takes place when you ingest marijuana.
Regardless of which one of these tests you take, whether or not you test positive will depend on how many THC metabolites are still in your blood at the time of testing. The window of detection tends to vary for each type of test. Here’s what you need to know about each one.
This test is performed by taking a blood sample and analyzing it for the presence of marijuana in blood. How long is marijuana in your blood? Not very long. Usually, blood tests can only detect cannabis use within the last 36 hours, however for heavy chronic users marijuana in blood can be detected for several days after last use.
A saliva test is a swab test that analyzes the saliva in your mouth for the presence of cannabis metabolites. Most saliva tests can only determine if someone has used cannabis within the past 12–24 hours.
Hair Follicle Test
Hair follicle tests are performed by taking a small amount of hair and testing the oil in it that is usually transferred from the skin. A hair follicle test can detect cannabis use as long as 90 days after the last use.
Urine tests are the gold standard for cannabis drug testing. These tests take a urine sample and analyze it for the presence of marijuana metabolites. In occasional users, a urine test can detect if cannabis was used up to 3 days prior. For chronic users, this bumps up to 15 days. Heavy chronic users can still test positive for 30 days, and sometimes up to several months later. Even if you have been abstaining from direct cannabis use, false positives are not unheard of with urine testing.
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your Blood?
People can still have THC metabolites in their system anywhere from several weeks to several months after they last used cannabis. Exactly how long the cannabis stays in your system is next to impossible to predict due to each person’s individual biologic factors, but if you know what affects the length of metabolite retention, you can get a general idea.
How long THC metabolites remain in your blood depends primarily on 3 factors.
How Often You Use Cannabis
The most important factor to consider is how often you use cannabis. If you are a heavy chronic user, you will tend to test positive for much longer than an occasional cannabis user.
Cannabis Product Strength
The second element to consider is the strength of the cannabis products you use. More THC in your cannabis product or flower means more THC is entering your system and, typically, that means it’ll take for the body to clear out any THC and result in a negative drug test.
How Much Fatty Tissue is in Your Body
THC is known to bind to fat cells in the body. The more fatty tissue that you are carrying, the harder it will be to rid your body of metabolites, which means you’ll tend to test positive for a longer period of time.
Our Georgetown Dispensary
If you don’t have a drug test coming up, then make sure to swing by our Georgetown dispensary to shop an outstanding selection of cannabis products. From flower buds to edibles and vapes, our Georgetown dispensary is stocked with some of the best cannabis products in the state.