How Long Does Cannabis Stay In Your System?

With cannabis becoming legal in more and more states across the US, people are more likely to try it. There are some concerns that people usually have when it comes to consuming marijuana though. Some of these include the effects they may feel and the side effects that could arise. One interesting point of concern for people, however, is how long weed stays in the body and through what ways it can be detected. 

This is How Long Does Weed Stay In Your Body

As much as we would like to have a straight answer to the question of how long does cannabis stay in system, there isn’t one. The answer relies on a number of factors. It’s also complicated because when you consume cannabis, the THC inside your body is absorbed into various tissues and organs that can retain it for days and even weeks at a time. The liver processes the THC into 11-hydroxy-THC as well as metabolites. The latter are cleared via urine after a good number of days. 

So, how long does cannabis stay in system tissues and organs? In the case of regular consumers, it can linger in the body for months. This is because THC finds its way into the fatty tissues of the body and it can take a long time to get eliminated after one stops consuming. 

In the case of light users, cannabis does not stay this long in the system. It can still be detected various days after consumption but this time is not comparable to the months it can stay in the body of a regular consumer. 

Types of Tests for Detection

One of the factors that influence marijuana detection windows is what kind of test is being done. Here are the common tests that are used:

  • Saliva – With a simple saliva test, THC can be detected in a window ranging from 34 to 48 hours after the weed was consumed. 
  • Urine – The urine test is the most common type done for detecting THC in the system. Through the urine test, metabolites are detected in the body that can stay there for a long time. The window of detection depends on the frequency of use, among other things. A heavy user may be detected positive for up to a month or even more in some cases. Someone who consumes weed often in a week can retain THC in their body for up to 21 days. Light users can be detected positive for 1-3 days. 
  • Blood – A blood test has almost the same timeframe as a saliva test. A person can be tested positive for marijuana use for up to 36 hours via this method. 
  • Hair – This is the test that has the longest window of detecting marijuana in the body, up to 90 days. However, it is only useful for those people who consume cannabis on an almost daily basis. 

Key Factors Affecting Detection Windows

 As stated before, there are many factors that influence marijuana detection windows in the body. So whenever you ask yourself, ‘how long does weed stay in your body?’, keep these in mind:

  • The various tests look for the presence of THC in the system. This means that the more THC you consume, the higher the chances of it remaining in your body for longer are. The strength of the THC you intake is also important in this regard.
  • A person with a slow metabolism will retain the chemical for longer in their system. A strong metabolism will help eliminate the THC from the body more quickly and hence reduce the detection window. 
  • When it is ingested, THC finds its home in the body’s fatty tissues. The more fat one has, the longer marijuana stays in their body. According to a study, even exercising or food deprivation does not cause any significant changes in the speed at which THC is eliminated from the fat. 
  • Someone who is dehydrated will end up having increased levels of THC in their body. Staying extra hydrated doesn’t necessarily reduce the levels of THC, however. 

There are other factors that influence marijuana detection windows but these are the primary ones. Many people try to find ways in which they can get the cannabis out of their bodies quicker. Some popular methods involve exercising to speed up the metabolism, taking detoxification kits, and drinking more water than needed. However, most of these don’t work significantly enough. The most important thing is to make sure you don’t get dehydrated because that can lead to higher THC levels. Other than that, there’s not much to be done for quicker elimination of marijuana. 


The question of how long does cannabis stay in system is a popular one, especially if you have to undergo some sort of a drug test. Knowing the factors that influence marijuana detection windows is crucial to determine how long the weed will stay in your system. This information should help you make more informed choices when it comes to consuming cannabis.