If you’re a history buff and interested in cannabis based products you’ll be interested to know that researchers have found evidence of burned cannabis plants used all the way back to ca. 500 BCE in China, specifically in the eastern Pamirs region. That’s 2,500 years ago that we’ve found evidence of cannabis being used as a part of ritual and/or religious activities.


Our obvious human interest in cannabis use has brought us all the way here to the present day. Only now, we commonly refer to cannabis in different terms depending on the offering. In this post we’ll explain how cannabis, also known as weed, is processed in the body and how long it stays there. 

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how long does weed stay in your system

How Does Weed Make You High?

Weed, also known as marijuana, contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is responsible for the psychoactive effects that you may experience after using. 

As WebMD poses, THC stimulates the part of the brain that responds to pleasure. This then releases dopamine, which creates the euphoric, relaxed feeling that is most often reported. 

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How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System?

The rate at which weed stays in your system varies depending on the:

  • Method of Test - Some are more precise than others and depend on the sample being taken (blood, urine, hair). 

  • Method of Consumption - Did you smoke the substance or did you ingest the substance via an edible or tincture?

  • Frequency of Use - Do you use cannabis regularly? Or, is this your first time using it?

  • Medical and Personal History - Do you take medications? Your BMI, medical history, and other factors should be taken into account. 

How Does Your Body Process THC?

The body processes THC in different ways depending on whether it is smoked or ingested. When smoked, or inhaled, THC enters the bloodstream rapidly through the lungs, reaching peak levels within about 10 minutes by the time it reaches the brain and other organs. After absorption the THC travels to the liver to be metabolized and eliminated after a certain amount of time.


However, if absorbed (through an edible or tincture) then the body takes a longer time for it to reach the bloodstream. THC is soluble so it is absorbed by fat tissue where it is then distributed to the brain and other tissue/organs before finally being processed and eliminated by the liver.


There are similarities in how the body processes THC, largely due to the liver’s role in processing cannabinoids. 

How Long Do the Effects Last?

The effects of weed appear almost immediately after smoking, but it may take 1 to 3 hours for full effects if it is ingested. After smoking, users often feel the complete effect for around 1 to 3 hours.

Edibles function a bit differently and may take longer to reach the bloodstream. However, the effect of edibles can generally be felt for a few hours after as well. 

In both cases, smoking or ingesting, the effects and how long they last for depends largely on the strain of weed, the amount of THC, and your body’s tolerance of THC.

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Key Factors That Affect Detection Time

Much of the effects depend on your body and use of cannabis products, especially those with THC. Below are a few key factors to consider before any possible drug test. 

  • Body Mass - Your BMI has a factor in the length of time it takes to metabolize THC. Your metabolism is also affected by certain health conditions, your age, and even genetics.

  • Hydration - There is no evidence that suggests cleanses better your chances of passing THC through the body. And while you shouldn’t drink an excessive amount of water, it is in general good health to practice staying hydrated so your body can regulate temperature, prevent infections, and even deliver nutrients to cells. 

  • Frequency of Use - Someone who is new to cannabis may not have the same tolerance as someone who uses daily. It’s important to understand your tolerance of THC depending on the dosage. 

How To Get Cannabis Out of the Body Fast

While you can’t speed up your body’s natural metabolism, you can take steps to potentially prevent a test showing a higher THC level. Some have said that exercising is counterintuitive to removing cannabis from your system. This is because as you metabolize body fat you end up releasing more THC than you normally would if you weren’t exercising.


There isn’t a single answer to removing cannabis from the system quickly. To be safe, it’s recommended that you avoid THC all together if you have an upcoming test. This will ensure that you don’t set off any detections and can end up with a clean sample. 

There are also alternatives to THC based products that would not show up on a drug test. CBD products do not contain THC and also do not present with a psychoactive effect. We’ve listed two of our best CBD products for you to take a look at.

CBD Full-Spectrum Gummies - 25mg of CBD + trace cannabinoids per gummy in assorted natural flavors like raspberry, blueberry, and mango. A great option for those looking for the CBD calming effect without feeling high. 

Nighttime CBD + CBN Gummies - 25 mg of CBD + 15 mg of CBN per gummy in our tasty Lu nar Nighttime Raspberry flavor. A treat to drift peacefully off to sleep. 

How Long is Cannabis Detected Via Drug Tests?

If you find yourself needing to take a drug test, but you’re worried about passing if you’ve taken a product with THC in it you should always exercise caution and limit use before you’re tested.


Each test differs  in sensitivity, but you should also be aware of the THC dose you may have taken and other medical factors. This includes your BMI, your metabolism, how hydrated you are, if you exercise before a test, and if you are male or female. Typically women have more body fat than men which means that they may metabolize cannabis-based products at a slower rate. 

How long does weed stay in your system with a urine test?

With a urine test weed generally stays in the system for up to 30 days after use. This largely depends on frequency of use. THC remains in its most concentrated form in urine, which makes it an easy test to detect weed use. 

How long does weed stay in your system with a blood test?

Weed, specifically THC, which is what is being measured usually stays in the blood for up to 12 hours after use. This seems like a short time, which is why this type of tests are not the most commonly used. This is because the bloodstream works quickly to metabolize THC after it is first detected. 

How long does weed stay in your system with a hair test?

THC can be detected for up to 90 days in a hair test. This window is so long because hair follicles hold onto THC from the scalp. However, this type of test is usually only used for those who consume THC on a regular basis, not those with infrequent or little use.

How long does weed stay in your system with a saliva test?

THC can be detected for 24 to 72 hours in saliva. A saliva test is often administered roadside for drivers believed to be over the legal limit.

How Should I Manage My Weed Use?

If you’re new to cannabis products it’s best to exercise caution before beginning daily use. You may want to start off small and find your Minimum Effective Dose, which essentially means that you should find what you can tolerate.

For more information on delta 8 THC and how to best take cannabis products, head over to our blog for additional insights. 

If you are interested in trying quality delta products, check out our sister brand, Otterspace.

September 12, 2022 — Dennis Mistrioty

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