If you’ve ever wondered, “how long does it take for THC to leave the body?” or “how long does marijuana stay in your system?”, read on to learn more about:
- The effects of using marijuana and how long these effects can last
- How long marijuana is detectable via drug tests (e.g., blood tests, hair tests, saliva tests, and urine tests)
- The factors that impact how long the substance stays in your system
Marijuana: The Basics
As you may know, marijuana is decriminalized and is legal in many cities and states throughout the country. This natural substance, which is rich with THC, is also known as cannabis and weed. Weed can either be smoked in various ways or ingested orally.
Effects of Using Marijuana
While the effects vary by individual, most users will experience some sort of “high.” Side effects of using marijuana may include:
- Feeling of well-being
- Distorted sense of time
- Giggling or chattiness
- Altered perception
- Inability to focus
- Increased appetite
- Coordination problems
- Rapid heart rate
- Dry mouth and eyes
- Anxiety or paranoia
- Feeling faint or sick
Using weed regularly may lead to memory issues, cognitive impairments, learning problems, mood disorders, hallucinations, bronchitis, lung infections, heart disease, or even stroke.
How Long Do the Effects of Marijuana Last?
The effects of smoking or ingesting weed begin between 15 and 30 minutes after using and typically last from one hour to three hours. Although rare, a high from smoking marijuana can last up to 10 hours. How quickly someone feels the effects depends on various factors, including the following methods of use.
- Smoking or vaping: You may begin to feel the effects of cannabis within two to ten minutes because it enters the bloodstream via the lungs within minutes of inhaling.
- Eating: The digestive system metabolizes marijuana when it’s consumed, which can take a while. Edibles typically kick in within 30 to 60 minutes but can sometimes take as long as two hours.
- Dabbing: Dabbing is when a highly concentrated form of marijuana is smoked using a special pipe. Dabs have a higher THC content than other forms of marijuana, so the high kicks in almost instantly.
How Long is Marijuana Detectable via Drug Testing?
So, how long does marijuana stay in your system and how long does it take for THC to leave the body? While the effects of weed typically dissipate quickly, THC stays in the body for much longer. THC is broken down into metabolites, which stay in the body longer than THC itself. These metabolites are detectable in bodily fluids for anywhere from one day to over 30 days. Metabolites can be found in the following bodily fluids:
- Blood: If you’re wondering, “how long does marijuana stay in blood?”, the answer is that it depends. If someone’s an occasional user, weed will likely not stay in their blood for longer than two days. If someone smokes multiple times a day, marijuana may be detectable via a blood test for up to 25 days.
- Urine: Urine tests are the most common types of tests that detect marijuana use. Marijuana is detectable via a urine test anywhere from just three days to longer than a month.
- Saliva: For occasional users, THC stays in saliva for one to three days. For chronic users, it could remain in the saliva for anywhere from one day to 30 days.
- Hair: Marijuana can be detected using a hair test on a strand of hair for up to a few months after use. The longest reported time of metabolites being detected in hair is 90 days.
What Factors Impact How Long Weed Stays in Your System?
How long weed stays in your system can depend on many factors including your age, sex, and body size. It can also vary depending on how much you smoke or ingest at a time and how frequently you use marijuana. Someone who uses marijuana once a week is considered an occasional user, whereas a person who smokes weed multiple times a day is considered a chronic heavy user.
Using Marijuana Responsibly
Although many people don’t consider marijuana to be the most dangerous recreational drug, it can still be problematic. Many begin using marijuana in social environments, as a method of dealing with environmental stressors, to lessen the symptoms of various mental health disorders, for pain relief, etc. If you use marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, it’s important to stay hydrated, maintain a healthy diet, and have a regular exercise routine.
If you increase your dosage and continue to use the drug for a long time, it’s possible for marijuana use to turn into an addiction. Over time, the individual using weed may realize that they need more of the drug to achieve the same effect. In other words, the person develops a higher tolerance to the substance. And although marijuana isn’t psychologically addicting, individuals using the drug can become physically dependent. If someone is physically dependent on marijuana and they try to stop using the drug, they’ll experience unpleasant side effects like changes in mood/sleep patterns, changes in appetite, physical discomfort, and irritability.
Marijuana Addiction Rehab at Steps to Recovery
If you need marijuana detox or marijuana addiction treatment, we’re here to help so you can end marijuana abuse once and for all. At our treatment centers, we provide individualized, person-centered care to help each client uncover the “why” behind their addiction and help them build foundational relationships that help answer the “how” in moving forward. Steps to Recovery’s therapy programs include:
- Addiction counseling
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Family counseling
- Group therapy
To learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment, contact the Steps to Recovery team today at 267.719.8528.