Even as marijuana use is now more accepted in the United States than it has ever been in the past 100 years, it remains illegal at the Federal level, and many employers are still quite conservative about its use. As a result, a common question of job hunters today is “how long does weed stay in your system“, which as we’ll find out does not have a straightforward answer.
What will increase the chance of detection?
The answer will depend on each person’s individual situation. It’s also important to note that “marijuana tests” do not detect marijuana per se. Rather, they detect specific chemical compounds found in marijuana or cannabis. The chemical compound most tests try to detect is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active compound of cannabis that is most responsible for the characteristic “high” and other psychoactive effects.
Each person’s genetics and bodily characteristics will play a role in how fast THC is broken down and expelled from the body. The amount and type of fat a person has, their biological gender, the efficiency of their liver and kidneys, and their hydration levels all play a role in speeding or slowing down the detectability of THC in their system.
The most important factor, however, is the frequency with which a person consumes products with THC. THC gets stored in the body’s fat cells, and while there is THC in the fat cells, chances are there is some amount that is detectable through standard tests.
How long does weed stay in your urine?
THC in urine can be detected over a month after the last use if you are an extremely heavy user. If you’re an occasional user, you may be able to show a negative finding in as few as three days.
However, it must be noted that some cannabis products today contain extremely high amounts of THC, which can easily make its way into your fat cells and stay there and create detectable levels in your urine for up to a week.
How long does weed stay in your blood?
This is one of the least used methods for testing, but it may be used occasionally if the tester needs your blood sample for some other purposes, such as for insurance or other medical tests.
In chronic heavy users, blood tests have detected THC for periods almost as long as a month. Typically, however, the detection window in blood is quite short, and you may expect a negative finding in just 2-3 days after last use if you are only an occasional user.
How long does weed stay in your hair?
THC can remain detectable in a hair strand for up to 90 days from last use, regardless of whether you are a chronic or occasional user. Once you use a product with THC, some of it makes its way into your hair follicles, where they remain for an extended period.
Shampooing, styling, or dying your hair will not affect the detectability of THC in the hair, making hair tests a popular screening method among law enforcement officials and some employers.
If you’re expecting to be tested for THC any time soon, it may be prudent to purchase a testing kit for urine and hair yourself to see if you will get a positive result. If you do get a positive, consider biding your time or finding employment elsewhere until you can show a negative on either of these two common cannabis use tests.