If you have been using marijuana for any length of time, this question has probably occurred to you more than once. You may have a drug test scheduled soon or you may simply want to be clear of the drug for personal reasons. In any case, learning how long does weed stay in your system is essential for your piece of mind.
One thing that you will have to come to terms with is that THC will stay in your body for several days. However, there are a number of other factors to consider when determining how long weed does stay in your system. Your body weight, rate of metabolism, frequency of use, and the amount consumed all have a bearing on how long marijuana remains detectable in your body.
In addition to these factors, you will also have to consider the testing procedure by which the presence of marijuana is detected in the system. Marijuana’s primary active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, is commonly detected by way of a urine test or urinalysis. In such tests, marijuana use is determined by the presence of THC-COOH, which is a metabolite of THC.
THC-COOH is excreted by the liver as a result of the process of breaking down THC. With most drug testing procedures, a person is considered to be positive for marijuana use if the level of THC-COOH in the urine is 50 ng/mL or higher. In some cases, even a THC-COOH level of 20 ng/mL is enough to warrant a positive result. In others, a THC-COOH level of 100 ng/mL is necessary in order to test positive for the drug.
As to how long does weed stay in your system, the answer really depends on various factors. Everyone metabolizes THC at different rates, with heavy and frequent users typically retaining THC-COOH for much longer periods than infrequent or light users. This is probably the most crucial factor in determining how long the substance remains detectable in the body.
Occasional users – For most occasional users of marijuana, THC-COOH will be detectable in the urine from one to three days after the drug was last used. After 4 days, the THC-COOH level in such users will have dipped to 50 ng/mL or less. By then, most such users will test negative in a drug test.
Frequent users – More frequent users will test positive for marijuana for a week or up to 10 days after the last use of the drug. After that period, the THC-COOH level in the urine will have gone down to less than 50 ng/mL.
Heavy users – Frequent heavy users of marijuana can expect to test positive for THC-COOH for much longer periods. In particularly heavy users, THC-COOH can be detected in the urine for several weeks or even up to a few months after the last incident of marijuana use. One particularly heavy user who has used marijuana heavily for the previous 10 years was even found to have traces of THC-COOH up to 67 days after the last use of the drug.
A general guide for how long it takes for weed to leave your system is shown below.
If you are concerned that you might not have had time to let all of the THC leave your system, you might well want to check at home first. Fortunately, there are reliable and affordable THC drug tests which provide you results in a matter of minutes.
Get a drug test today to give yourself some peace of mind.