Marijuana, which comes from the cannabis plant, is becoming decriminalized and legalized throughout the United States. But since the FDA still considers marijuana as a Schedule I substance, there are still many laws surrounding this substance. Many businesses may test to see if their employees or participants use illegal drugs, including marijuana.
Unlike alcohol, which only stays in your body for a few hours, marijuana can stick around for much longer. This means that even if you are not actively under the influence, the drug could still be in your system. So how long does marijuana actually take to leave the body?
What Marijuana Does to Your Body
THC, the main chemical in marijuana that causes a high, rapidly enters and exits the bloodstream. So even though the active ingredients and breakdown products in marijuana can stay in your system for a while, the effects of the substance don’t last long. The side effects of weed will kick in quickly, especially for someone who smokes it regularly, but they will usually subside after an hour or two. If someone consumes an edible marijuana product, they will likely start feeling the effects an hour or two after eating it and could experience these effects for anywhere up to 24 hours. Side effects of marijuana use may include dry mouth, bloodshot eyes, swollen eyelids, increased appetite, pleasurable body sensations, relaxation, stimulation, problems with memory, distorted perception, and more.
How Long Does Weed Stay in the System?
How long marijuana will remain in your body depends on factors like metabolism, age, and how often someone smokes. It could also vary depending on the type of marijuana you consume. For example, some strains of weed have a longer half-life than others. The half-life of a drug determines how long it will stay in the body. It takes six half-lives for a substance to completely be eliminated. A half-life for marijuana could range anywhere from 20 hours to 10 days.
Basically, marijuana can stay in the system for anywhere from several days to a few weeks. If someone only uses the substance once, it is usually not detectable after 5-8 days. But if a person smokes every day, marijuana could remain in their system for up to 30 days.
Marijuana Drug Testing Practices
There are four different types of drug tests that can detect marijuana use: blood tests, saliva tests, hair tests, and urine tests. Blood and urine tests can only detect marijuana for a few hours, whereas hair tests could find it up to 90 days after a person’s last use. Most drug tests for marijuana are urine tests; these tests can detect marijuana from 45 to 90 days after use.
Using Marijuana Responsibly
Marijuana, in most cases, is not a fatal drug. It can, however, cause overdose if someone consumes too much. This substance should not be combined with alcohol, blood thinners, and some anti-anxiety medications. If you plan to start using marijuana, talk to your doctor first to see if it would interfere with any of your current medications or medical conditions.