For many marijuana users, that is the all-important question that can be a bit difficult to answer. Facing an impending drug test is a serious matter, and the fact that there is no quick and reliable way to get rid of all traces of the drug in the body is a harsh realization for cannabis users all over the world.

THC chemical structureIt is interesting to note that although the effects of marijuana do fade within a fairly short amount of time, its active ingredients can be detected in the body for a much longer period. All factors being equal, the question ‘how long does THC stay in your blood’ can only be answered by the frequency of marijuana used and the amount typically consumed.

THC enters bloodstream instantly

In order to answer the question ‘how long does THC stay in your blood’, it is helpful to know about how the drug is metabolized by the body. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC – which is the primary active ingredient of marijuana – enters the bloodstream almost immediately after smoking. In contrast, THC enters the system much laterĀ if marijuana (typically cooked in food) is eaten.

Interestingly enough, the presence of THC in the blood isn’t that much of an issue, considering that it is detectable only for a few hours at most. Once it has entered the bloodstream, THC is actually metabolized fairly quickly into molecules called metabolites. Scientists have so far identified more than 80 different metabolites formed from THC. These metabolites eventually make their way into the fat cells of the body, and are later eliminated via the normal excretory functions.

Blood tests are ineffective

thc testThe fact that THC stays in the bloodstream for only a relatively short period of time has a number of significant implications to those who wish to avoid detection. Blood tests aren’t usually administered in order to detect marijuana use because of this, and because such tests do not provide an accurate assessment of the degree of impairment in the user (or suspected user, as the case may be). It is also interesting to note that urine tests aren’t much more reliable in this regard, considering that they only detect the recent use of marijuana, and not the degree of impairment or intoxication.

For those concerned with the question ‘how long does THC stay in your blood?’, perhaps a much more relevant question to ask is ‘how long does THC stay in your urine?’. In companies with strict anti-drug policies, urine tests are the method of choice for detecting recent drug use.

Over the past few years, a number of products have been introduced that purportedly cleanse the system and help marijuana users beat drug tests. Unfortunately, practically all such products and cleansing methods do little more than dilute the urine or mask the presence of the drug. At present, the only truly reliable way to test negative for marijuana use is to abstain completely for several weeks – or even months – before a test is to take place.

Check out the useful chart below showing approximate detox time when trying to remove all traces of THC from your body.

THC-Detox-Times
Click to enlarge

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