Sunday, November 5, 2017

How long does THC stay in your system?

Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is a chemical compound of marijuana. It is the one responsible for the psychological effect of marijuana. It functions the same way as the cannabinoid chemicals produced naturally in the body.

What THC does is it stimulates the brain to release dopamine creating a euphoria effect. A high amount of THC can cause hallucinations, delusions, and changed in thinking. The effects will kick within 10 to 30 minutes after ingestion and will last for about two hours. (1, 2)

(The image shows a marijuana, a highly addicting substance containing THC.)

(A patch applied to the skin, a non-invasive way of checking THC level.)

A drug test for marijuana measures the level of THC and the presence of metabolites. How long does THC stay in your blood system? Well, it varies from one person to another. Some factors need to be considered such as:
  • The level of tolerance
  • History of marijuana use
  • Type of ingested marijuana
  • Metabolism rate
  • Fitness level (3)
  • Diet
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender (3)

THC metabolism

THC, being a fat-soluble substance embeds itself into the fat tissues. If you have a lot of fat tissues, THC and its metabolites will remain in your body. The average timeframe to clear THC from the body is 4.9 days. For chronic marijuana users, it would take up to 18 days to completely eliminate THC from the urine. (4, 5)

How long does THC stay in your system?

  • Urine test - 1-3 days (occasional users)/ 10 days (frequent users)
  • Blood test - A few minutes after use
  • Hair follicle test - 90 days from last use
  • Saliva test - Within 24 hours of use
  • Sweat test - Depends on the amount of sweat

Drug testing

  • Urine test

 How to pass a urine test? For first time users, they will test positive for one to three days after the last use. Those who use marijuana frequently can test positive for up to 10 days after their last use.

  • Blood test

It measures active THC and metabolite level in the blood. The level of THC in the blood is at its peak after smoking marijuana but will drop rapidly after the first hour. The blood test will turn positive 3 to 12 hours after using marijuana. For chronic marijuana users, THC can be detected for up to seven days following marijuana use. (5)

  • Hair test

 It is more accurate than other drug tests. It has the longest window of detection, which covers up to three months following marijuana use. A small sample of hair is enough to detect a pattern of single or repeated marijuana use. (6)

  • Saliva test

 It is more convenient and less expensive than other testing methods. It produces a positive result within 24 hours of marijuana use.

  • Sweat test

It is the non-invasive way of checking THC in the body. A patch is applied to the skin for 14 days. It is commonly used in drug treatment. (6, 7)

How to remove THC out of your system?

How to pass a urine drug test naturally? For you to get a negative result, you should abstain from using marijuana prior to a drug test. If you have used marijuana a few days ago, then you need to increase your intake of water.

That way, you are helping your body clear out excess THC metabolite. Drinking a large amount of water prior to urine drug test can help lower the level of THC-COOH in the urine, which leads to negative results.

To help speed up the detoxification process, you should perform vigorous exercise. It will burn body fat including the stored THC in the fat cells. Fasting can also help burn fats and facilitates in flushing out toxins from the body.

As you increase your intake of water, you should also take vitamin B to increase the creatinine level and improve the color of urine. (3, 6, 7, and 8)

How long does THC stay in your system - Infographic

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