How Long Does Cannabis / THC Stay in Your System?
When most people start using cannabis, they wonder how long it will stay in their system. However, the answer to this question is not as simple as you might think. In order to understand how long cannabis remains in your system, you must first understand how the body metabolizes it.
Let’s go over some of the basics.
Cannabis and Your Body
Cannabis is absorbed into the body through the lungs when smoked or through the digestive system when ingested. Once in the body, it is metabolized by the liver and excreted through urine and feces.
The length of time that cannabis is in your system depends on many factors.
- Fat content
- Body chemistry
- Frequency of usage
- Amount consumed
When you consume THC or cannabis, your fat cells absorb it. The THC is then stored in your fat cells and released into your bloodstream over time. So the more you consume, the longer it stays in your system.
How Long Does Cannabis Stay in Your System?
When determining how long cannabis stays in your system, THC is what’s most important. THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that causes the “high” feeling.
If you have only consumed cannabis once, it should only stay in your system for a few days. But remember, the more you use it, the longer it will remain in your system.
On average, THC will stay in your system for about one month. However, people who use cannabis daily may have it in their system for several months after their last use.
The type of cannabis you consume also affects how long it stays in your system. Certain strains of cannabis are higher in THC than others and can stay in your system for a more extended period.
How Long the Effects of THC Last
Although THC stays in your system for long periods, the effects only last a few hours. The peak effects of THC usually occur within the first 30 minutes to two hours after smoking or vaping.
The “high” feeling usually wears off after four to six hours. However, THC’s effects can last up to 24 hours if you consume a large amount.
Edibles often take much longer to kick in, and the peak effects usually occur after two to four hours. However, some edibles can last for up to 12 hours or longer.
Drug Testing for Cannabis
Although there are many different cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis, THC is the only one that is regularly tested for in drug tests. This is because it is the only cannabinoid that produces intoxicating effects.
THC and its metabolites are stored in your fat cells and slowly released into your bloodstream over time. This means that even if you haven’t consumed cannabis for weeks or months, it can still be detected in a drug test.
CBD and other cannabinoid products can also have trace amounts of THC. Therefore, if you use CBD products, you may still test positive for THC on a drug test.