Many of us have different ideas regarding how long cannabis stays in our system. Most of the time, it’s just based on how long the high lasts or, for those taking medical cannabis for chronic pain, how long until the pain comes back. But this is not really the case.
While the high you experience only lasts for a few hours, cannabis actually stays in your body for a much longer period of time. It lingers in your system for days after consumption.
As to exactly how many days cannabis stays in the body depends on the dose or on how much you smoke or ingest. It also depends on how often you use it. Generally, the higher the dose and the more frequent the use, the longer the detection times.
The drug can usually be detected in your body fluids — e.g. urine, saliva, blood — for one to 30 days after your last use. Meanwhile, it is detectable in your hair for several months.
For those who use it daily, cannabis may be detectable for several months — even more than three months — after the last use.
Drug tests measure cannabis and its by-products called metabolites, which remain in your body long after the effects of the drug have worn off. Metabolites are fat-soluble, so they bind to the fat molecules found in your system. As a result, metabolites can take some time to leave your body. Metabolites can also remain your bloodstream for days.
While cannabis can stay in blood, urine, and saliva for a number of days, they stay in the hair for a much longer amount of time. Metabolites reach the hair follicles through small blood vessels and trace amounts can stay in the hair. And because hair grows only about half an inch each month, a 1.5-inch hair segment close to the scalp can give a window of cannabis use for the past three months.
How long cannabinoids take to break down
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is a psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis, is absorbed into your bloodstream when it enters your body. Some THC gets temporarily stored in your fatty tissues and in your organs. In your kidneys, THC can be reabsorbed into your bloodstream.
THC only gets broken down in your liver. THC has more than 80 metabolites and they stay in your system longer than THC itself — which eventually leaves your body through your stool and urine. The metabolites from THC is what drug tests look for.
So, since higher doses and higher potency of cannabis means higher THC content, the drug stays longer in your body.
Other factors that affect how long cannabis stays in your body
Aside from dose and frequency, there are a number of other factors that affect how long cannabis remains in your body. These factors include gender, age, and body mass index. This is because these factors can dictate how your body processes and metabolizes cannabis.
The method of consumption may also matter. Cannabis that has been ingested may remain in your system longer than when you smoked it.
How to aid faster metabolism?
There really isn’t anything much you can do to make cannabis leave your body faster. The moment it has entered your system, your body will need time to break it down.
Eating healthy, hydrating or drinking lots of water, and exercising may help, but only for a bit. You can try weed detox kits you can get online — and these kits would also require you to dilute your urine by drinking lots of water, then taking herbal supplements rich in vitamin B-12 and creatinine to mask the dilution — but these kits are not really reliable.