How Long Does Weed Stay in Your Urine?

If you use marijuana as a recreational drug or for medicine and you need to pass a urine test, you’re likely concerned about how long does weed remains in your system. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the metabolite in weed that remains in the body for days depending on your body type, level of consumption, and others. Most tests like urine drug tests look for the presence of THC in urine.

Urine drug testing is the choice among testing facilities and laboratories because it’s cheaper and easier to perform. Updated urine drug tests can work more accurately and detect marijuana, other toxins, and metabolites with enhanced precision.

How Long Does THC Remain in Urine for Urine Tests?

Most urine drug test and hair tests products can detect the presence of THC several days after you consume it. For heavy users, THC may still be present in urine even after many weeks. Other than your weed consumption capacity, other factors can affect the way THC remains in your system. We’ll discuss these a bit later.

What is THC and How Does The Body Process It?

There are many ways to consume cannabis. Most recreational users prefer to smoke or vape weed while some chronic users prefer to consume it orally. Assuming you smoke weed, THC remains in your lungs, passes through to the blood vessels to reach the different organs like the brain, digestive system, liver, and kidneys.

The liver metabolizes THC and turns it into a substance known as 11-hydroxy-THC and carboxy-THC which are the metabolites of THC. These are excreted in the urine. THC also remains in the body’s fat tissues and is released to the blood to be metabolized in the liver.

People who take weed regularly or are regular cannabis users and those who are heavy weed users have THC build-up inside fatty tissues. This means that a heavy user may test positive for THC even after abstaining from weed for many days or weeks.

What Are the Factors That Affect THC Removal From The Body for Drug Tests?

Removing THC is the key to passing a weed test. And getting rid of THC relies on several factors: frequency of use, preferred usage method, body weight, THC concentration, and the use of other kinds of drugs.

How Often You Use Marijuana – How Long Metabolites Will Stay in Your System

How long marijuana stays in your system? Someone who uses cannabis regularly as a recreational drug or as medicine may have a buildup of THC metabolites in the body. It will take a lot of time before THC can be completely removed from the body. A urine test will reveal a positive result even after a heavy user abstains from weed or uses detox products.

Meanwhile, those who use cannabis occasionally will find it easier to remove THC from their systems. Light users or infrequent users may remove THC by abstaining and using detox products

THC Concentration In Weed Affects a Drug Test

how long does weed stay in your urine

Marijuana comes in a variety of strains. Some strains contain more THC than others and those with high concentrations of THC are considered recreational cannabis while those with lower THC are medicinal weed as these have higher CBD (CBD is the therapeutic component of cannabis). Cannabis sativa plant strains have the highest THC content.

Users who prefer to smoke cannabis with high THC will need to abstain and wait longer to remove THC. Drug tests such as blood tests, hair test, saliva tests, and urine can detect marijuana in heavy users of high THC weed longer. These can be used for therapeutic drug monitoring for secondhand smoke and for marijuana use disorder treatments.

Preferred Marijuana Usage Method

The way you consume marijuana also affects the amount of THC in your system. Smoking weed and vaping cannabis are the most common ways to consume weed. These are also the fastest ways for THC to exit the body. THC, after you smoke marijuana, will drop in just a few hours or after a few days of use.

By ingesting marijuana, such as cannabis edibles, weed is broken down very slowly, and thus, the drug remains in the body for the longest time. Weed edibles need to pass through the digestive system before THC can be absorbed by the body. This is why it takes very long for weed to take effect after you eat edibles and can have extended THC or marijuana detection time.

Also, people who take weed edibles tend to consume more THC, and this results in more metabolites stored in the body. Drug test methods or marijuana detection techniques such as a blood test, hair test, urine test, and saliva tests will detect marijuana longer in people who regularly consume edibles. Without abstinence or taking detox products, a user can get a positive test result.

The User’s Body Weight

how long does weed stay in your urine

THC remains in the fatty tissues and those with less fat will be able to remove THC faster compared to people with high amounts of fat. Weed users who exercise, eat healthily, and have enough sleep can function better and will remove THC faster than those with poor health. One of the ways to reduce THC in the body is to exercise. Exercising vigorously before a test can help release THC back into the body to break it down.

Thus, THC will stay in a person’s system longer and can be detected in a urine test, hair test, blood test, and saliva tests in chronic users or frequent users with higher body fat percentage or body mass index.

The Use of Other Drugs

Some drugs can affect how the body removes THC. Some drugs can affect the concentration of metabolites in the body and increase THC levels. Drugs like erythromycin, ketoconazole, clarithromycin, verapamil, and cyclosporine can cause THC levels to increase or stay in your system.

Meanwhile, some medications like rifampin can reduce THC. Also, THC can affect the behavior of some drugs. THC can enhance the effect of drugs like warfarin and can reduce the effects of chlorpromazine and theophylline. Chlorpromazine is used to treat mental health disorders while theophylline is a drug used to treat asthma.

How to Beat Most Urine Tests for Weed?

how long does weed stay in your urine

You might still be asking how long does marijuana stay in urine or how long marijuana stays in your system? Urine drug tests may be announced or unannounced or supervised or unsupervised. Also, some drug tests that use urine, oral fluid, and blood have higher test sensitivity rates. In most cases, you can beat an announced supervised or unsupervised marijuana tests with the following:

Abstain from Weed

Stay away from weed as soon as you know when the drug test will commence. Avoid all kinds of weed including edibles, smokables, topical, sublingual, and other forms. It’s useless to start any detox treatments without first abstaining from consuming weed. 

It’s difficult to abstain from cannabis use if you have a marijuana use disorder or a mental health disorder. Anyone with mental disorders and smokes marijuana should seek help from a professional to remove THC from the person’s system.

Use Detox Products or Detox Kits

There are natural, safe detox products online that can help you reduce THC or dormant THC levels in the body. Check out the various ingredients, how to use them, and reviews of these products before making a decision.

Get Enough Exercise and Sleep

It’s hard to remove THC if you’re unhealthy, stressed, and don’t have enough sleep. Exercise to help boost the metabolism of THC from the fatty tissues. Get enough sleep and relax so your metabolic system can remove THC easier and won’t test positive for a test. This is also applicable for drug and alcohol reviews and tests.

Living a Sober Life

Most users fail a drug test because they don’t abstain from cannabis before their test. A person who smokes weed even the night before the exam can fail a test the next day so it’s always crucial to practice abstinence. But if you want to end marijuana use, seek addiction treatment, end marijuana addiction or drug abuse/substance abuse, you can always seek addiction treatment from the nearest American Addiction centers or from a mental health services administration.

There are different kinds of drug tests and varying detection times for these tests. Many drugs may yield false positives depending on the type of test and how long weed remains in the person’s body.

Final Words

How long does marijuana stay in urine? THC in weed remains in urine for days or weeks depending on your consumption and other factors like body weight, THC concentration, preferred intake method, and other drugs you take. To pass a urine drug test, the most important thing to consider is abstinence, second only are using detox products, exercise, sleep, and other methods.

Bikas Gurung

Bikas Gurung is a human rights activist representing International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) and United Nations Strategic Advisory Group on drug use. He received his Master’s degree in Public Health from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and has been recognized for his work by winning "The Best Film Award" at the 2013 Harm Reduction Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania.