July 12, 2024

The flood of marijuana legalization continues to sweep over the United States and has even begun to spread to other regions. Unfortunately, individual state legislators and the fact that marijuana is still illegal at the federal level (at least in America) mean that your level of personal freedom is primarily determined by where you reside. 

Even if you reside in a progressive state where marijuana is not illegal, companies and potential employers can and frequently do conduct drug tests. Whether or if this is a heinous violation of civil freedoms is a question for another day. The practical question is, how long does THC remain detectable in urine? 

How Long Does THC Last in Your System? 

Many must submit to regular drug tests, whether for work or legal and financial reasons. 

The presence of anything like THC, which is still illegal at the federal level, can hinder someone from getting hired or being dismissed. That is why it is critical to understand how long something like tetrahydrocannabinol remains in your system to avoid positive tests. 

THC can stay in someone’s system for up to a month after their last use, depending on consumption, frequency of use, and duration before a drug test. Heavy users, on the other hand, may have measurable levels of THC in their bloodstream for longer. 

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How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Urine? 

THC that comes from a THC pen is a highly concentrated form of the compound, as opposed to smoking or vaping dry leaf cannabis. 

  • The THC content in dry herbs ranges from 5 to 20%. 
  • THC concentration levels are substantially more significant, with some containing up to 90% THC. 
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If used regularly, this THC might remain longer in a user’s system than conventional dry herb cannabis. 

THC can remain detectable in a person’s system at such high levels for much longer than 30 days, especially if they are a habitual user. The likelihood of THC lingering in a person’s system is also affected by the type of test used – urine, blood, or hair. 

THC levels in moderate, infrequent, or first-time users can drop after a few days, depending on the detection method and the interval between the last use and the day of the test. 

  • Saliva test for moderate users: 1 to 3 days/for frequent users: 30 — 90 days 
  • Hair test for moderate and heavy users: 1 — 3 months 
  • Blood test for moderate users: 1 — 3 days/for frequent users: 10 — 25 days 
  • Urine test for moderate users: 3 — 7 days/for frequent users: 15 — 30 days 

What Factors Influence the Duration of THC Detection in Urine? 

A drug test cannot tell you how much you smoke, when you last smoked, or even if you were high when you took the test. Urine drug testing can only reveal whether your body is still processing and removing THC. 

Significantly, there are a variety of factors that might influence how long it takes for a person to be THC-free after smoking cannabis. 

  1. Exercise 

Contrary to popular belief, exercising before a drug test can increase the concentration of THC metabolites detected in your urine. 

Researchers investigated the effect of 35 minutes of moderately strenuous exercise on the number of THC metabolites in urine, using 14 frequent cannabis users. The researchers showed that urine levels of THC metabolites increased significantly with activity, implying that exercising right before a test may not be the best choice if you want to pass. 

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Exercise can increase the number of THC metabolites in your blood plasma because of how your body stores THC. THC is a lipid-soluble chemical. This means that when you consume THC, it attaches to fat molecules in your body. When you exercise, your body breaks down part of these lipid molecules to use as stored energy, releasing the THC molecules into your blood. 

  1. Dosage 

According to one study, the bladder excretes roughly 15% to 20% of the THC ingested from cannabis consumption. The message is simple: the more pot you smoke and the stronger it is, the longer it will take your body to break down, metabolize, and excrete the byproducts that will cause you to fail a drug test. 

  1. Usage Habits

To state the obvious, the more cannabis you ingest, and the more frequently you consume it, the more THC will be in your body when your pee test sample is examined. 

According to a study published in 2017, the frequency with which a person consumes cannabis is the most critical factor in determining how long they would be able to pass a drug test after discontinuing use. 

If you have never used cannabis, your urine will be THC metabolite-free after 4 to 8 days. This increases to roughly two weeks if you smoke once or twice weekly. However, people who use cannabis regularly will take a month to a month and a half to clear all traces of THC from their system, whereas daily smokers will test positive for two months (and possibly longer) after their last use. 

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If you use cannabis in any way, whether smoked, vaped, or eaten, you must take some precautions to pass a urine test. Significantly, the more frequently you smoke or, the longer you’ve been smoking, the more challenging it would be for you to pass a urine test. A home detox kit is your best hope for removing all traces of THC from your body. Also, ensure you get your detox kit from a reputable provider and follow all the directions strictly. 

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