With most states in the country legalizing marijuana, you might be questioning how to get weed out of your system. While it might be legal to use marijuana for recreational purposes, the effects of marijuana can wreak havoc on someone’s body. Not to mention, almost 1in 10 marijuana users will develop an addiction at some point in their lives. The truth is that weed, like many other addictive drugs, comes with its fair share of dangers.
What is Weed?
Marijuana, also known as weed, ganja, and pot, is a psychoactive drug from the cannabis sativa plant. The main mind-altering ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The chemical is found in resin produced by the leaves and buds of the female cannabis plant.
People smoke, drink, and even eat (edibles) marijuana. The effects of marijuana are short, and most people experience relaxation or a “high” sensation from the drug’s psychoactive effects.
How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System?
The effects of marijuana on the body vary tremendously from person to person. While some people feel euphoric and relaxed, others feel anxious. The way marijuana enters the system has a lot to do with how long it stays. For example, when people ingest marijuana, it takes longer to be absorbed into the blood.
Overall, the half-life of marijuana depends on how long it takes the drug to be metabolized and eliminated from the bloodstream. While marijuana contains different cannabinoids, most drug tests only look for THC. It’s also important to note that it takes about five to six half-lives for a substance to be entirely eliminated from the system.
In the case of THC, its half-life is between 20 hours. However, at least 80 different metabolites are formed from THC, and some are stored in the body’s fat, which has a half-life of 10 to 13 days.
Unlike other drugs, marijuana stays in the system longer, and it does depend tremendously on the frequency.
Weed is detectable in urine even after long periods after the last use. Because cannabis metabolites are fat-soluble, it takes your system some time to release them. It also depends on the type of user:
- Occasional user (up to three times a week): about 3 days
- Moderate users (four times a week): around 5 to 7 days
- Chronic users (daily): between 10 to 15 days
- Moderate chronic users (multiple times a day): over 30 days
Weed is readily detectable in blood for 1 to 2 days. In some cases, it can be detected after 25 days, particularly among chronic users. Smoking weed is one of the fastest ways to get THC in the bloodstream, and it may remain there for days.
Weed can enter saliva through smoking and even exposure to smoke. However, some specific metabolites are only present when people smoke marijuana. The presence of marijuana in saliva does depend on the user:
- Occasional user: 1 to 3 days
- Chronic user: 1 to 29 days
Marijuana can quickly reach the hair follicles through small blood vessels. Trace amounts often remain in the hair for up to 90 days. However, it can take well over three months for marijuana not to be present in the scalp.
Factors That Affect How Long Marijuana Stays in Your System
Like many other substances, some factors affect how long marijuana stays in your system. Things like the length of marijuana use, frequency, body mass, sex, and even hydration levels play a significant role.
The first thing that plays a role is the dosage and frequency of use. People who use marijuana regularly can have positive drug test results even after 45 of the last use. Heavy users can have positive tests 90 days after quitting. It all depends on how much and how frequently you use weed.
Body Composition & Sex
THC metabolites are usually stored in the fat cells in the body. This means, the higher your body fat or BMI, the slower you metabolize and excrete marijuana. For example, women often metabolize THC slower than men because they tend to have higher levels of body fat.
If your body isn’t at its optimal level, it might take longer to metabolize weed. Your metabolism also plays a role. Usually, those with substance abuse problems have impaired digestive enzymes that can affect metabolism. Age, gender, weight, and overall physical activity can also have an impact.
How to Get Weed Out of Your System
While marijuana is not detected in standard drug screenings, some specific drug tests can detect buprenorphine. In addition, anyone looking to stop their misuse of weed might attempt some home remedies to get marijuana out of their system. This is mainly because weed comes with withdrawal signs that can last for months, including mood swings, digestion problems, cravings, appetite change, and weight fluctuations.
Because the risk of overdose from marijuana is high, the best way to get weed out of your system is through medical detox. Although marijuana withdrawal symptoms aren’t as severe as opioid symptoms, they can still place people at risk of overdose.
A medical detox program may also incorporate medication-assisted treatment, such as naloxone, to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and help people be better prepared for rehab.
Getting Help for Marijuana Addiction
Because marijuana is such a common substance, most people don’t recognize the dangers of addiction. Estimates believe up to 1 in 10 marijuana users will develop an addiction. If you think you may have developed a dependence or addiction to marijuana, it’s essential to talk to a medical professional and mental health professional.
Addiction treatment can help you address the physical and psychological effects of a substance use disorder. These treatments often incorporate various treatment options that include:
- Individual Therapy: Most of the time, these sorts of addictions develop due to compulsive behaviors that must be treated at the source. CBT helps address these addictive behaviors.
- Intensive Outpatient Treatment Programs: When patients are looking to seek addiction treatment while maintaining daily obligations like work, school, or caregiving, IOPs are a more flexible option that still gives people access to the help they need.
- Long-term Recovery Programs: With long-term recovery assistance, patients can have the ongoing support they need to maintain long-lasting sobriety. Recovery programs are crucial to relapse prevention.
In 2017, about 9.6% of the United States population. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our addiction recovery programs are designed to offer a comprehensive and patient-first approach to treatment. Our commitment is to develop a customized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs and challenges to help you find the right path toward long-lasting recovery.