How Long Does THC Last in the Body?
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis. When someone uses cannabis, THC enters the bloodstream and can stay in the body for varying amounts of time depending on several factors. Understanding how long THC lasts in the body is important for a variety of reasons, including understanding the effects of cannabis use.
Metabolism and THC
The body processes THC through the liver, where it is broken down into metabolites that are eventually excreted through urine and feces. The main metabolite of THC is called THC-COOH, and it can stay in the body for much longer than THC itself. While THC can be detected in the body for a few hours to a couple of days after use, THC-COOH can remain detectable for weeks or even months.
Factors that Affect How Long THC Lasts in the Body
Dosage and frequency of use: The amount of THC consumed and how often it is consumed can affect how long it stays in the body. Regular, heavy users may have detectable levels of THC-COOH in their system for several weeks after cessation.
Method of consumption: The way cannabis is consumed can also affect how long THC stays in the body. Smoking a Golden Pineapple pre-roll or vaping a Lemon Z cartridge can result in a more rapid onset of effects but may also clear from the body faster than other methods such as eating a Raspberry Peanut Butter Cup edible.
Body composition: THC is stored in body fat, which means that people with higher body fat percentages may have THC stay in their system longer than those with lower body fat percentages.
Metabolism: Individual differences in metabolism can also affect how long THC lasts in the body. People with faster metabolisms may process and eliminate THC more quickly than those with slower metabolisms.
How Long THC Can Be Detected
THC can be detected in different types of drug tests, including blood, saliva, urine, and hair tests. The amount of time THC can be detected varies depending on the type of test.
Blood tests: THC can be detected in the bloodstream for up to 12 hours after use.
Saliva tests: THC can be detected in saliva for up to 72 hours after use.
Urine tests: THC-COOH can be detected in urine for up to 30 days after use in regular users, and up to 7 days in infrequent users.
Hair tests: THC-COOH can be detected in hair for up to 90 days after use.
It is important to note that the detection times mentioned above are general estimates, and individual factors can influence how long THC stays in the body and can be detected.
The amount of time THC stays in the body can vary depending on several factors, including dosage, frequency of use, method of consumption, body composition, and metabolism. While THC itself can be detected in the body for a few hours to a couple of days after use, THC-COOH, the main metabolite of THC, can remain detectable for weeks or even months.