Addiction Recovery

How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Your System?

June 21, 2024

Know how long does marijuana stays in your system. Learn the different factors that influence detection time and the methods being used to detect cannabis.

Marijuana or cannabis use is prevalent in the US, with about 50% of Americans — or 78 million people — reporting that they have used the said substance at some point in their lives. Whether you’ve used marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, understanding how long does marijuana stay in your system is crucial for legal, professional, and personal reasons.

There’s no definite answer as to how long marijuana remains detectable in your system, as it can vary based on several factors. In this blog, we’ll explore these factors, learn common detection methods, and offer practical tips if you’re concerned about testing positive.

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Source: Another Chance Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center

Factors Influencing Detection Time

Cannabis, dope, pot, grass, weed, mary jane, and bus. These are just some of the names that also refer to marijuana. If you’ve used it, this is one question you might have asked yourself: How long does marijuana stay in your system?

Several factors influence detection time, including the following:

Frequency of Use

How often you use marijuana significantly impacts how long it stays in your system. 

If you're an occasional user, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the primary psychoactive constituent of marijuana — may be detectable in your urine for a few days after use. However, if you're a regular or heavy user, THC can accumulate in your body and be detectable for several weeks or even a month or more. In hair, THC can be detected up to 90 days after the last use, regardless of the frequency, due to the slow rate of hair growth.

Body Fat and Metabolism

THC binds to fat cells in the body. If you have a higher body fat percentage, you may retain THC for longer periods. Conversely, you eliminate THC more quickly if you have a lower body fat percentage. 

Additionally, a person’s metabolic rate plays a crucial role. Faster metabolism can speed up the breakdown and elimination of THC. Factors like age, physical activity, and overall health also influence metabolism.

Dosage and Potency

The quantity of marijuana consumed and its potency directly affect how long THC stays in your system. 

Higher doses and stronger strains with higher THC content result in more THC being absorbed into the body, prolonging detection times. For instance, consuming a high-potency marijuana product can lead to longer retention and slower elimination compared to using a lower-potency product.

marijuana use
Source: Pexels

Detection Methods and Average Timeframes

Typically, THC is detectable for up to 90 days in hair, anywhere between 1 day to a month or longer in urine (depending on how often the individual uses it), up to 24 hours in saliva, and up to 12 hours in blood. 

Here’s a closer look at these detection methods and their average timeframes.

Urine Tests

Urine tests are the most common method for detecting cannabis use. For occasional users, this test can detect THC for up to 3 days after use. For moderate users (a few times a week), it can be detectable for 5-7 days. Chronic users may test positive for THC in their urine for 10 to 15 days, while heavy users could have THC detectable for up to 30 days or longer.

Several things influence the detection window, including frequency of use, body fat percentage, metabolic rate, and hydration levels. Since THC is stored in fat cells, individuals with higher body fat may retain THC longer. 

Blood Tests

Blood tests for marijuana have a much shorter detection window compared to urine tests. THC is typically detectable in the bloodstream for up to 12 hours after use. However, in chronic heavy users, it can be detectable for up to 7 days.

Blood tests are often used in situations where recent use needs to be determined, such as in cases of driving under the influence (DUI) or workplace accidents. They measure the active presence of THC, which correlates more directly with impairment.

Saliva Tests

Saliva tests can detect THC for up to 24 hours after use in occasional users. For chronic users, it can be detectable for up to 72 hours.

Saliva tests are frequently used for roadside testing by law enforcement and in workplace drug testing programs. They are non-invasive and can provide quick results, making them suitable for detecting recent cannabis use.

Hair Tests

Hair tests have the longest detection period of all testing methods. THC metabolites can be detected in hair up to 90 days after use. This method analyzes the presence of THC in the hair shaft, which grows approximately half an inch per month.

A small hair sample, usually from the scalp, is collected and analyzed for THC metabolites. This test is less common but is often used in situations where long-term substance use history needs to be assessed, such as in substance abuse counseling or legal cases.

Source: Another Chance Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center

Can Edibles Be Detected in the Drug Test?

Now that you've learned about how long does marijuana stays in your system, you might ask next: Can drug tests detect edibles?

Yes, edibles can be detected in drug tests just like other forms of marijuana. When you consume edibles, THC is processed through the digestive system and liver, which can lead to a longer detection window. 

Effects of Marijuana on Your Body

Healthcare providers and rehab centers facilitate drug testing during rehabilitation or IOP drug treatment to determine compliance with the treatment regimen. This fosters accountability and a stronger sense of responsibility.

But keep in mind that adhering to your treatment plan is primarily a form of self-love. After all, continued marijuana use brings forth many ill effects to your body.

Short-Term Effects

  • Altered senses (e.g., seeing brighter colors)
  • Changes in mood
  • Impaired body movement
  • Difficulty with thinking and problem-solving

Long-Term Effects

  • Respiratory problems
  • Mental health issues (e.g., anxiety, depression)
  • Memory problems
  • Cognitive impairments
Source: Pexels

How to Get Marijuana Out of Your System Fast

Thinking about enrolling in a partial hospitalization program or getting an intensive outpatient or IOP drug treatment? First off — congratulations on such a big step. Now, if you’re looking to clear marijuana from your system quickly, these methods can help accelerate the detox process.

However, note that results can vary depending on individual factors like metabolism, body fat, and frequency of use.

  1. Hydrate. Drinking plenty of water can help flush out toxins from your body. Staying hydrated may aid in reducing the concentration of THC metabolites in your urine.
  2. Exercise. Regular physical activity can help burn fat, where THC is stored, and speed up your metabolism, which can assist in eliminating THC from your body.
  3. Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can support your body’s natural detoxification processes. Foods high in fiber can also help cleanse your system.
  4. Avoid further use. Ceasing all marijuana use is essential to prevent additional THC from entering your system and to allow your body to focus on eliminating the existing THC.
  5. Consult a professional. While these methods can help, there is no guaranteed way to expedite the detox process completely. Consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and support.


In this blog, we answered a frequently asked question about drug addiction: How long does marijuana stay in your system? As stated, the detection window can vary significantly depending on factors such as frequency of use, body composition, metabolism, and the amount and potency of marijuana consumed. Detection methods, including urine, blood, saliva, and hair tests, have specific timeframes and applications.

At Another Chance, we understand the challenges of ceasing marijuana use. This is why we offer comprehensive support tailored to your needs.

Seeking the best intensive outpatient program Oregon has to offer? Are you in need of substance abuse counseling? Our team is here to help you get another chance in life. Contact us today, and let us help you win your fight against marijuana.