If you’ve ever asked “how long does cannabis stay in your body?” you’re not the first person to do so, and you won’t be the last. Unfortunately, explaining how long cannabis stays in your body isn’t as straightforward and easy as it would seem because so many factors play a part in controlling how quickly our bodies process marijuana.
When we consume cannabis, cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and others enter our bloodstream, and we can detect them anywhere between a few hours and a few days before they oxidize. The remaining non-psychoactive byproducts are known as metabolites, and these compounds accumulate in our bodies’ fat reserves and slowly release into our bloodstream over time. It is these metabolites that most drug tests checking for marijuana aim to detect.
We know that these metabolites stay in our bodies for varying lengths of time, ranging from a few days to more than three months. Urine tests can generally detect metabolites up to 30 days after you stop using cannabis, while hair tests can detect metabolites up to three months later. Here we talk about the many factors that influence how long evidence of cannabis use stays in your body after you stop consuming marijuana.
1. Potent strains of marijuana (meaning those that have high levels of THC) generally stay in the body longer than weak, low-THC strains.
2. People who consume cannabis more frequently and over longer periods of time will find that marijuana stays in their system longer than people who only use cannabis occasionally.
3. Your unique metabolic process plays a big role in how long cannabis stays in your body, as people with a quick metabolism can process marijuana faster than people with a slow metabolism. Also, your diet, exercise routine, and sleep patterns can affect your natural ability to fully process cannabis metabolites.
4. Prescription drugs and dietary supplements can affect how long cannabis stays in your body.
5. How you consume cannabis plays a role in how long compounds from the herb stay in your body. Ingesting cannabis generally results in metabolites staying in your body longer than metabolites from smoking marijuana.