There are many reasons why marijuana remains in your system for so long. Some of these factors include things like the rate of cannabis consumption, your metabolism, your age, your sex, your body size, and even your overall health.
The problem is that compared to other drugs or even alcohol, marijuana stays in your body much longer — and can be detected for weeks (if not months) after you consume it.
In this article, we talk about why THC stays in your system for so long, and what you can do to ensure that you detox as quickly as possible.
What’s So Special About THC?
Most of us who are familiar with weed are familiar with THC; it is the active ingredient in marijuana that gives us the “high” effect. What most people don’t realize is that THC (and its metabolites) are fat-soluble, and can remain in the body’s fat cells for literally months at a time.
But why does it stay there for so long, you ask?
Well, fat cells usually aren’t something you burn quickly. How many of you workout? Or even drink enough water? Probably not many of us. If we are not burning the fat where THC metabolites are stored, then they’re going to stick around and stay there for as long as they can.
Furthermore, if you are a regular user, then the chances of getting THC out of your system within a couple of days’ time is very slim, even if you do workout.
Sure you can drink lots of water to try to flush it out of your system, but if you are smoking every day or even every other day, the chances are that your body’s fat cells already contain copious amounts of THC metabolites.
How to Detect THC?
There are many ways to test if THC is still in your system, but the most common way is urine testing. For employers, this is typically the simplest, cheapest, and fastest option.
The only problem with urine testing is that it doesn’t really test for THC, but rather a different chemical called THC-COOH, which is actually a metabolite of THC. THC-COOH is produced when the liver breaks down the THC, and while it may not be such a bad thing, THC-COOH can stay in your body for a much longer period of time than THC, and will thus appear on different drug tests for a longer period of time as well.
Quick Fact: Most employee drug tests actually test for the presence of THC-COOH (a metabolite of THC), rather than THC itself.
Also, did you know that according to the National Drug Court Institute, frequent users of marijuana can expect to test positive for 7-10 days following their last use?
Furthermore, if you smoke cannabis, then know this: Your mouth absorbs THC when you smoke, and it will remain in your saliva for nearly three days after consumption. Studies show THC can be detected in saliva for up to 24-34 hours after marijuana use, even among those who practice excellent oral hygiene.
The duration that THC stays in your system can also depend largely on the following:
- Cannabis Potency
- Frequency of consumption
- Amount consumed
- Testing Used
THC is an amazing substance; it makes us feel good, and recent research has shown promising signs that cannabis may be able to help treat cancerous diseases by altering our genes.
With that in mind, if you are required to take a drug test, make sure you cut back on smoking for a while as the THC-COOH could still be lingering around in your body — often times for much longer than you might expect.
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