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How Long Does Marijuana & Cannabis Stay in Your System (World’s #1 Resource)

In an effort to provide the most accurate answer for how long marijuana stays in your system, we set up a simple submission form where people can report their pass/fail drug test results, along with biometric measurements in addition to their smoking habits. This study started in 2011 and was used to create the only statistical drug test passing probability calculator.

Since then, we’ve continued to use the thousands of responses to update and increase the accuracy of our calculator formulas, and have released a detailed report of our drug test submission data with a state-by-state breakdown of drug test rates and racial discrimination. In response, we’ve started a change.org petition in order to raise awareness and bring an end to drug testing altogether.

After reading this information, use the calculator to determine your odds of passing a drug test and please consider taking the time to sign our petition (links below). For those interested in methods used to increase your odds of passing a drug test, our research comparing detox products and water dilution may be of use.

Passing Probability Calculator

Use the world’s only data-driven marijuana drug test passing probability calculator in order to determine your odds of passing a urine drug test. With over a decade of research and development, this is the only application that can provide an accurate answer to how long cannabis can be detected in your system:

The calculator graphs your Passing Probabilities vs. Days for untampered and diluted/detoxed urine. View Patent US 13/866,015 for more information.

Table of Contents

Background

Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC, is the primary chemical compound found in marijuana that is responsible for the euphoric “high” that cannabis consumers experience. It is an extremely hydrophobic (water fearing) organic compound that is metabolized and broken down by the body into about 80 different metabolites.

Because of the hydrophobic nature of these metabolites, polar molecules like water do not “stick” to and dissolve them, like they do when breaking alcohol and most other substances down. Instead, these metabolites associate themselves with non-polar compounds, such as alkanes, oils, and body fat – where THC and related molecules are stored to be metabolized and broken down at a later time.

Five metabolites of tetrahydrocannabinol, with THC-COOH being the primary one, are targeted by a multi-billion dollar drug testing industry that specializes in making money off of invading the privacy of people at every corner; pre-employment, medication pain pill contracts, insurance benefits, companies trying to evade payment of pension/retirement plans, etc.

This is one of the reasons why we set up this petition to end marijuana drug test discrimination. Unfortunately for those of us that use cannabis, it takes a considerable amount of time for these compounds to drop below detectable levels.

THC Concentration Levels After Consumption

Smoking is a very common way to consume cannabis. After inhalation, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) quickly enters the blood stream through the lungs. With rapid circulation of the blood, this compound, in conjunction with a myriad of others, including CBD, act almost instantly on the human endocannabiniod system by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors located throughout the body.

THC has been found in studies to be immediately detectable in the body, with blood levels of THC reaching a peak at around nine minutes into smoking. For low-dose cannabis use, it can take between 3 to 12 hours for THC to drop below blood detection limits and from 6 to 27 hours for high-dose users.

It should be noted that the subjects of this referenced study were not regular marijuana smokers, which may explain why THC levels in the blood didn’t last much longer than a day.

Generally, active THC blood concentrations decrease rapidly after you finish smoking due to its fast uptake into tissues. However, if the uptake tissues are saturated with THC, it isn’t uncommon for blood levels of active THC to remain high for several days in chronic marijuana users.

Over time, these fatty tissues leach active THC molecules back into the blood stream (increasing the blood detection window), where the liver continues metabolizing them into non-psychoactive, THC-COOH derivatives for your body to pass (increasing the urine detection window). For chronic users, a background level of detectable THC can almost always be found in blood and urine for days.

Likelihood of Being Drug Tested by Ethnicity

Marijuana Detection Times

Drug tests for THC in the body are generally divided into two categories, historical use and present intoxication. Historical use includes the infamous urine drug test along with the hair follicle test.

These tests almost always target the THC-COOH molecule, a non-psychoactive substance that has absolutely nothing to do with a person’s level of sobriety; used only to determine if someone used the substance in the past, regardless if use was during personal time.

To detect present intoxication, the blood serum or saliva test is typically employed. These tests indicate whether or not active THC molecules are present, therefore being an indicator of impairment, despite a persons level of tolerance (note: marijuana is not alcohol, therefore marijuana tolerance is not comparable to alcohol tolerance).

These type of tests are supposed to be accurate to within a couple of days but for blood tests, this is under heavy scrutiny. For instance, it can literally take a week for a healthy, chronic marijuana user’s THC levels to drop below 5 ng/mL of blood, which is the national standard for blood tests.

Below is a breakdown and general length of detection time for each testing method through which THC metabolites can be detected.

Table: Marijuana Use and Approximate Detection Times

Present Intoxication

Historical Use

Single Use

Regular Use

Urinalysis Drug Testing

This is the most common drug test. The test is quite easy and all that is required is a sample of urine by the subject for the test to be carried out. The sample is first taken to the laboratory and screened under a threshold sensitivity level (immunoassay). If the targeted THC-COOH metabolites of the test are found to be below the national standard of 50 ng/mL, then the sample is marked negative, you pass the test, and typically, no further action is taken.

However, if you fail the immunoassay by going above 50 ng/mL, then the sample is marked positive and tested a second time for confirmation.

The second test for confirmation is conducted with the use of more advanced equipment. A Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) is used. This test is analyzed under a threshold of 15 ng/ml, which very accurate and extremely stereoselective (meaning that it knows exactly what it’s looking for and can distinguish between two closely related molecules). If the sample is higher than 15 ng/ml, then a “Test Positive for Marijuana/Cannabis” is reported.

If you are a chronic marijuana user, THC can be detected in your system using a urine test for up to 12 weeks depending on the quantity as well as frequency of use. For a light user with average measurements, the general rule of two weeks to 30 days may be used. If you just used marijuana once and stopped, the odds of passing a test within the first week are decent (around 50%).

However, in all cases, the odds of testing positive for up to 30 days will always be there, depending on many factors. The weight of body fat a person has, for example, plays a major role in our calculations. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of drug test submissions where people have used cannabis once and still failed 30+ days later.

Hair Follicle Drug Testing

Although hair testing is more accurate compared to the other tests, it is relatively expensive and not reliable if a person only used marijuana once in the past. However, the advantage this test has over all others is that it can be used to detect the use of marijuana for months.

Just an inch of hair from a person’s scalp is all specialists need for the test. And hair from any other part of the body can still be used – the pubic area, arms and legs.

Blood Serum Drug Testing

This type of test is used to detect current usage of drugs such as marijuana. It also helps to investigate car/work accidents. After a single use of marijuana, the blood test can produce positive results for 6-24 hours. However, for regular users, a blood test can produce positive results for up to 7 days or more.

Below is an illustration of how long it can take a chronic user to pass a blood and urine test after stopping the use of cannabis. User measurements are as follows: 31 year old male, 170 lbs with a 29 inch waist, multiple dabs per day plus high potency flower for more than three months before going cold turkey for this study. In addition, the user had a very fast metabolic speed with a high level of cardio exercise.

Although this is just one scenario based on one chronic user, what this demonstrates, in many cases, is that THC detection within the blood can remain for almost as long as it’s detectable in the urine. For explanation on why this is the case, we need to look a little closer at what is being tested.

Saliva Drug Testing

This is the newest test for marijuana usage and hence not commonly used. Usually, it is used to investigate car and work accidents. This is because the test can detect whether a person is under the influence of marijuana or not. A saliva test can produce positive results within the first 24 hours of its usage.

How Long Does Marijuana & Cannabis Stay in Your System (World’s #1 Resource) In an effort to provide the most accurate answer for how long marijuana stays in your system , we set up a simple

If I Smoke Weed Once, Will I Fail a Urine Test?

Many occasional smokers think they will fail the urine drug test because they smoked weed once before. Could this be true? The answer is complex. Therefore, read on, as we break down this question into smaller parts.

Table of Contents

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System?

Whether you smoke occasionally or are new to cannabis, having information about how your body reacts to weed is essential.

Marijuana contains THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), a psychotropic or euphoric substance that stimulates part of your brain and causes a “high.” A drug test is not usually administered to detect the THC molecules in your urine but rather the waste products your body produces after smoking weed.

When you smoke marijuana, THC metabolizes in your body, which gets you high for a few hours as your body processes the psychoactive content. The end products, which are called metabolites, store in your fat cells and organs of your body from several days to several weeks until fully clean. The time it takes for the metabolites to clean from your system depends on how often you smoke, your metabolism, and the amount of fat you have in your body.

How Much You Need to Pass a Urine Test

A urine test is considered noninvasive and relatively accurate. Technically, weed doesn’t stay in your urine, but its waste products do. A urine drug screen for marijuana contains immunoassays with antibodies that are made to detect THC’s main metabolite 11-nor-delta-9 Carboxy-THC (THC-COOH).

The accepted cutoff level for THC-COOH in a urine test is 50 ng/mL, which means that your result is considered negative if you have less than 50 ng/mL; otherwise, it’s positive. When the initial urine screen is positive, a Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry test will be used to verify the result at a cutoff level of 15 ng/mL.

How Much Is 50 ng/mL?

CarboxyTetrahydrocannabinol is the most abundant metabolite that stores in the system and ultimately the compound of interest during a urine test. According to studies, the average joint gives about 150–200 ng/mL peak concentration of THC-COOH in urine 4 hours after smoking. So, 50 ng/mL is about one-fourth or one-third of a joint, but it strongly depends on your cannabis potency.

THC Half-Life

Half-life is the time frame it takes for a substance to reduce by half its initial value. The half-life of THC is not the same as how long you stay “high.”

The half-life of THC in urine is about 30 hours, which means that THC concentration in urine is reduced by half about every 30 hours. So, having 200 ng/mL after smoking a joint will give you about 100 ng/mL the next day and about 50 ng/mL 2 days after smoking.

This calculation is very rough because half-life depends heavily on many factors, such as:

  • the route of administration
  • the frequency of marijuana use
  • body structure
  • drug potency
  • fluid intake
  • metabolism rate

Will I Pass a Drug Test If I Smoked 1 Week Ago?

Regardless of all the information about whether or not you will pass a drug test, it still depends specifically on your body and the potency of marijuana. In most cases, a week is long enough to flush THC out of your body. So, yes, if you smoked only once, you are very likely to pass a urine test after one week. After 2, 3, 4, and more weeks, chances are 100%, but 1 week is also close to 100%.

Will I Pass a Drug Test If I Smoked Weed a Few Days Ago?

The short-lived effect of THC does not prevent evidence of marijuana from lingering in your body. For as long as the chemical exists in your body, you risk failing a drug test. If you had smoked weed just a few days ago, your chance of passing is 50–50, depending on the potency of the marijuana and your metabolism. Having a few puffs will give you a THC-COOH level under 50 ng/ml in 1–2 days. After one joint, you can pass the test in 3–5 days.

Can I Pass a Drug Test the Next Day?

The time it takes for weed to get out of the system depends on how often, how much, and for how long the user has been smoking. If you don’t have a history of marijuana smoking and you had just a few puffs, it’s possible but not guaranteed that you will pass a drug test the next day. After a joint or even half of a joint, you will fail.

Can I Pass the Urine Test in a Few Hours?

Surprisingly, yes. As was said before, urine tests check for THC-COOH, not THC itself. THC-COOH is a metabolite of THC, and the body needs some time to metabolise THC into THC-COOH and excrete it through urine. According to studies, the peak concentration of THC-COOH in urine comes about 4 hours after smoking. So, 1–2 hours may not be long enough to accumulate 50 ng/mL in urine so that you can pass. This is why saliva tests are used to detect recent cannabis use.

So, the main question is:

Will I Fail a Urine Test If I Smoke Weed Once?

Several factors can improve or decrease your chances of passing a drug test. Studies have shown that occasional smokers can pass a urine test in a few days.

If you had just 1–2 puffs, the chances are that you will pass even the next day if your strain was weak.

If you had a full joint, you would fail in the next few days, but it’s impossible to say for sure how many days you would need to get clean. It depends on weed potency and your metabolism.

You will pass the urine test for sure about one week after smoking weed once.

Important Notice

This information is for only one smoke, not for regular users! Even if you had smoked a few weeks ago, some residue might stay in the body and affect test results.

The calculations above are rough. In the end, it all depends on weed potency and your metabolism! You should not rely on this information when preparing to pass a drug test.

To know if you are ready for a drug test, you need to be able to determine the number of metabolites in your urine. You can use the THC calculator to calculate your approximate level of THC-COOH. It also helps to understand the probability of passing a test.

When your chances of passing a drug test are slim or you are not sure about the result, use THC detox kits that clear THC metabolites from your system. They include high-quality detox drinks that will help dilute your urine. These detox drinks contain vitamin B and creatine that will help hide that your urine is diluted.

Many occasional smokers think they will fail the urine drug test because they smoked weed once before. Could this be true? The answer is complex. ]]>