It is a most frequently asked question that for how long does the weed stays in your system? The information related to this subject allows you to know about the negative consequences if you test positive and also helps you to decide whether you want to use cannabis or not.

So for most of the people, the weed stays in the body for around ten days to 1 month depending on every individual’s body system.

The detection timings vary based on the frequency of drug use and which test did you take.

Individuals consume marijuana, weed or cannabis either for medicinal purposes or the recreational purposes.

It is said in the Scientific Reports of Journal that weed plant is the safest drug and is less deadly when compared to alcohol.

The cannabis has positive as well as negative effects which need to appreciate if consumed in significant dosage in the underlying medical conditions.

As soon as the marijuana or weed is smoked, the contents are readily absorbed into the bloodstream.

The immediate effects are perceived by the brain and heart rate. If the cannabis is drunk or eaten, then the consequences take longer to be felt.

According to the journal published in Jan 2017, the National Academics of Science, Engineering, and Medicine a comprehensive review explained about the interaction of Cannabis with the human system.

Cannabis has both the short and long-term effects, and it all depends on how often and how much it is consumed.

How does the endocannabinoid system of the human body works?

The Endocannabinoid system also termed as ECS defines a group of receptors present in the brain throughout the peripheral and central nervous system.

The Endocannabinoid system is involved with a range of physiological effects including the pain sensation, regulation of appetite, memory, mood along with the functions of the immune system by serving as an auto protection.

The endocannabinoid system has a significant impact on voluntary exercises and is associated with motivation and award.

As soon as you consume marijuana or weed, it similarly acts on the endocannabinoid system as the natural cannabinoids present in the body.

For how long does the weed stay in your system?

Surprisingly, the weed stays in the body for a long time. Moreover, for the consumers who use marijuana on chronic terms, it remains in the organisms for around weeks.

The reason for this statement is that most of the cannabinoids are fat-soluble and store in fats. Other recreational drugs also have a long half-life regarding elimination.

If you test positive, it does not indicate that you are high at the moment when the test is performed.

The identification of exact time is difficult as every individual has a different body process due to which the drugs are metabolized. Differently, the testing technologies also differ, and the inconsistent results are also produced.

Logically, if you smoke weed, then it takes longer to eliminate from the body. However, on average it takes around 3-4 days to completely get out of your system if you smoked weed as an occasional joint.

According to the research of Drug Court in 2005, according to the literature, it is not common for occasional weed smokers to achieve positive test results for cannabinoids in their system if it has already been seven days or more until they used weed again.

For chronic weed smokers, the cannabinoids stay in the system for more than a month, and some studies indicate that the contents might be present for more than 77 days.

Detection methods for weed in the system

The following tests are usually performed:

  • Urine tests

    Urine testsA urine test is the most common detection method for the weed consumption.

    The detection can be done quickly to 5 days in infrequent users while the urine tests can detect the weed for 15-20 days in heavy weed users or individuals with high body fat content.

    The principal metabolite of marijuana is 11-nor-delts9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (delta9-THC-COOh) which is excreted in urine.

    If the concentration of marijuana in urine exceeds 50ng/ml, then the drug tests for THC will be positive.

    If you have used weed for once, the urine test is helpful for detecting the cannabis within seven days.

    However, if you are a chronic user, the marijuana might be identified within a range of one week to 100 days, but most probably they might take around 30 days or 1 month.

    To summarize,

    1-time weed use results in cleaning within 5-8 days.
    2-4 times weed use in a week leads the weed out of the system within 11-18 days.
    5-6 times of marijuana use week results in cleaning from the system within 33-48 days.
    The daily use of weed needs around 65-77 days for complete elimination from the body.

  • Blood tests

    Blood testsThe blood tests are used for the detection of weed in repeat consumers within 2-7 days until the last time they have used marijuana.

    If you have used cannabis for once only, then the tests work typically for 24 hours.

    These tests are uncommon for weed users but are usually done after injuries or accidents.

    The circulatory system shows the signs of weed in your body for the shortest time. While smoking marijuana, the cannabinoids such as THC provide effects by making way into the bloodstream while ingesting marijuana leads to the consequences by passing through the stomach.

    Blood is the central part through which the potent cannabinoids reach to the brain and lead to the therapeutic, high or euphoric effects.

    The body rapidly metabolizes the cannabinoids leading to the signs of weed in blood for a short time.

  • Hair tests

    Hair testsThe Hair method is for single users and is of limited value but the users who are on repeat, the hair tests can detect weed for months to years especially for heavy weed consumers.

    The weed is detectable with hair tests. For hair tests, the most recent hair growth around 1.5 inches is used to provide the detection period of around 90-100 days.

    The shorter the sample of hair the smaller is the detection period. The body hair leads to the distortion of timeframe for detection period as the body hair grows slower than the head hair.

  • Saliva tests

    Saliva testsThe Saliva tests do not work for detecting the weed in the system, neither for repeat nor single users.

    The cutoff level for marijuana is around 50ng/ml if performed instantly.

    However, the level of weed detection is shallow if not implemented correctly. The saliva testing is considered as a perfect alternative to other testing methods.

    Mouth swabs are also useful for identifying the active cannabinoids as do the blood tests.

    The Delta-9 THC is a psychoactive compound, coats the inner lining of the mouth and gets absorbed in the saliva by the saliva glands as soon as you smoke.

    This amount of THC mainly stays in the saliva. Therefore, to get rid of the THC effects, you need to drink lots of water, do proper brushing, use mouthwash and eat fatty foods.

  • Breathe testing

    Breathe testingThe technology for breath testing helps in detection of weed. Individual companies have developed the technology for weed detection.

    However, results are promising with this test and other drug tests.

    The different detection methods have different detection times because all of them search for different things.

    Urine tests are helpful for detecting the THC-COOH which is a non-psychoactive agent. However, the blood tests identify the psychoactive version of the THC component. It allows the blood tests for measurement of actual impairment.

    These are the average detection times mentioned above. However, all the individuals have different measurements accordingly. Heavy weed users, for example, take longer time for THC to be detected in the system.

    Urinalysis is considered as one of the most common methods for drug testing.

Factors to find the weed in system

The length of the time for which the weed stays in the system and the positive testing for drugs depends on multiple factors. These factors include:

  • Body fat content

    The chemical compounds or cannabinoids are responsible for the effects on brain and store themselves in the fat cells.

    The higher the percentage of body fat present, longer the weed stays in your system. It indicates that the more upper body mass you have for longer, the marijuana will remain in your body. However, the BMI or body mass index is not linked to the body fat content.

  • Exercise

    ExerciseThe exercising does not result in the increased time for which the weed stays in the system; it increases your likelihood to appear positive on the drug test.

    During exercise, the body burns the excess fat and releases the chemicals into the bloodstream which are stored in the fat.

    So as you exercise before taking the drug test, you have higher chances of not appearing negative on a drug test.

    However, it is recommended to start exercises weeks before getting your test done; this helps in burning the fat cells which contain the cannabinoids.

  • Hydration

    Dehydration before a drug test results in less water ratio in the blood or urine meaning that the cannabinoids in the weed make a higher percentage of the blood or urine sample.

  • Strength of the drug

    The weed is available with different levels of intensity. The stronger the marijuana, the higher is the concentration of THC.

    It results in more cannabinoid concentration in the body, taking it longer to eliminate from the system.

  • Metabolism

    MetabolismEvery individual has a different metabolic rate leading to the various timings for the body to eliminate the weed.

    The metabolic rate also affects the body fat content resulting in influence on the cannabinoid detection.

    Other factors include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Height
  • Ingestion method

All these factors affect the timings for which the weed is detected in the system.

According to this information, you can manage to be negative on drug tests by maintaining yourself hydrated and lowering the amount of body fat content.

The reliable method for appearing negative for the drug test is to avoid using weed if you have a scheduled drug test within the coming month or you can use marijuana in moderate strength.


The weed has short-lived effects, but it does not prevent the consumption of marijuana from staying in your system.

However, it does not indicate that you remain high or stoned during that phase of chemical existence in your body.

So to conclude, how long does the weed stay in your system? For blood or saliva tests, the active THC or marijuana stay for around a week. While for urine tests the cannabis lingers much longer.

For hair tests, the weed stays forever, until you cut the hair off.

Jennifer Kurtz studied medicine at the New Jersey School of Medicine (Rutgers). She is passionate about developing her knowledge of Cannabis, Nootropics, Kratom, and nutritional supplements. In addition to attending medical webinars and conferences, she loves to write research-based articles for magazines, healthcare professionals, and medical agencies.