With over a month of recreational marijuana use under Arizona’s belt, it might just be possible some of you have started to try it out. Nice! One of the first questions people have about it is ‘How long does marijuana stay in your system?’ It’s totally understandable, while recreational use may be legal, plenty of jobs or playing in sports, etc. still have the older laws in mind and may subject folks to drug testing. For people looking for new jobs, this especially maybe a pressing concern. So, let’s give you an answer!
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System
There may be a couple of different interpretations of this, depending on what you mean. You may be asking how long marijuana will stay active in your system, how long will you remain ‘high’ if you’ve eaten an edible with THC in it or used a THC vape. The other, most common understanding of it is how long will marijuana or THC specifically show up on a ‘drug’ screening. We’re going to answer both of those possibilities, just to be sure you’re getting the answers you are searching for!
Before we do it’s important to note this crucial piece: it varies!
Bodies are different and they way they process things vary case to case. That means that these numbers we’re about to provide are a potential range that may be longer (or shorter) for each person individually. Okay, with that disclaimer out of the way…
How Long Does the High Last
The high will vary depending on a few factors including dose, potency, how you ingest it, and, of course, your own body. The stronger the potency and/or the more you take and both have an impact on the high sticking around. How you ingest it is possibly the biggest factor but that determines how your body actually gets the THC into the bloodstream, whether it passes through the lung tissues (fastest way) or is digested and absorbed through the stomach lining (slowest).
Here is a rough breakdown – again it’s not exact and should be looked at as more of a guideline.
- Vaping (or smoking) – The high will peak around 10 minutes after use, and then last between one to three hours. It is not unheard of for the effects to linger up to 8 hours.
- Edible – Edibles can vary even more wildly, especially because of the differences in potency and dose. Typically the effects of an edible will peak around 2 hours after eating and can last for several hours. Most commonly reported is a high that lasts around 6-8 hours. But again, that can vary from person to person.
Cannabis hits different, and everyone should go low and slow when they are first starting out to find a potency, a dose, and a way of enjoying it that they are comfortable with.
How Long Will Marijuana Show in Your System
Now, how long will marijuana show up on tests as in your systems is a whole other question. Depending on the type of tests, the frequency of use, and potency of the marijuana in question, it could show up on tests from anywhere between a day to 90 days! Here’s what you need to know about some of the more frequent testing methods!
Urine testing is by far the most commonly used method of testing. How long marijuana is detectable in urine is largely reliant on how frequently it is used. The Mayo Clinic breaks it down like this.
- For Occasional Users (those may use up to three times in a single week): 3 days
- For Moderate Users (four times a week): 5 to 7 days
- For Chronic Users (daily): 10 to 15 days
- For Chronic Heavy Users (multiple times a day): more than 30 days
As you see, the more frequent the use, the more likely it is to stay in your system for some time.
Typically detecting marijuana in blood is effective for just the first few days after use. However, much like urine testing, heavy use will give it a more lasting staying power and blood testing could pick up either the marijuana or its metabolites (compounds necessary for the breaking down of marijuana) up to 25 days!
Saliva testing has a similar breakdown to blood testing. Occasional users can expect it to show up on a saliva test for 1-3 days, chronic users meanwhile anywhere from a single day to a month!
Hair testing is the most sensitive way to detect marijuana use. It is detectible in the hair follicles close to the scalp for up to 90 days!
So there you have it! When it comes to understanding how long marijuana will last in your system there’s no simple, singular answer. You need to understand the different factors at play to get a true idea of how long the remnants of the marijuana will stay in your system.