You just scored your dream job! You’ve been applying for the position for years and finally got your shot, but before you can celebrate, panic sets in thinking about the smoke sesh you shared with your friends last weekend. Will you have to pass a drug test? How long does THC stay in your system? How can you get rid of it?
Even though medicinal cannabis is legalized nationwide and recreational marijuana is approved for use in a growing number of states, there are a number of reasons why you may be wondering how long THC stays in your system. Whether it be a random drug test, a job interview, or general curiosity, it’s important to understand how THC interacts with your body and how long you can expect it to remain detectable.
Searching the internet for ‘how long does cannabis remain in your system,’ ‘how long does thc stay in your system urine test,’ or even ‘how long does thc stay in your system calculator’ can yield a number of confusing results, but we have the low-down on how long THC stays in your system and the ways you may be able to speed up the process of removing it.
Everyone is Different, so THC Reacts Differently in Your Body
Unfortunately, there is no easy method to predict with 100% certainty exactly how long THC will stay in an individual’s body. There are numerous factors including how often you smoke, the last time you smoked, and how much cannabis you consumed that all impact your individual results. Your metabolism and weight are also leading factors in lengthening the time THC stays present in your system.
A 1989 study of regular cannabis smokers showed a maximum detection window of 25 days, but even then, only 1 tester was positive after 14 days and most saw their THC levels fall to undetectable ranges within about 10 days.
What we do know is how the drug tests used to detect THC work. It’s that information that can help you set expectations.
How Do THC Drug Tests Work?
So how long does marijuana stay in your system and how do the tests work? There are a number of different drug tests that companies use – from urine to hair, blood, saliva, breath, sweat and even nails. When you use marijuana, THC levels in your body rise. This can be detected in your blood for up to a day after even a single smoke session. THC levels continue to decrease over time, but testers can still detect it in other ways.
THC and its byproducts, metabolites, accumulate in fat reserves throughout your body. The molecules are released over time leading to a longer period of THC detection. Hair tests have the longest detection window (up to 90 days). Luckily, most employers opt for urine tests.
Urine tests are the only test recommended by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Urine tests don’t actually measure the current amount of THC, but rather the levels of those metabolites, which is why most users need 10-15 days to ensure THC is completely undetectable.
We know that tests are tracking the metabolites that show up over time, and if there is no way to easily calculate how long does THC stay in your system, what should you do if you have to take a drug test?
How to Pass a Drug Test
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t smoke if the prospect of having to take a test was on the horizon. While it’s the best option, sometimes it’s just not feasible.
Another option users take is to turn to ‘fake’ marijuana products to keep their highs, but avoid the THC. We don’t recommend turning to these synthetic options like Spice or K2 due to the negative side effects. Keeping your green natural is always your best bet.
We’re certainly not Doctors, but exercise and water are the safest ways to speed up your ability to test clean. Drinking a ton of water helps to flush out your system. Dehydration can increase the concentration of your urine and could increase your chances of testing positive. On the flipside, whether good or bad, too much water in your urine could dilute your test results requiring you to come back for another test.
Outside of water consumption, watch your diet and hit the gym. Getting rid of fatty foods and lowering your calorie intake helps burn fat, releasing more of those metabolites. The more fat you have, usually the longer your period of detection
No Easy Way to Remove THC From Your System
If you can’t quit, make sure you understand the drug test you’ll be receiving and prepare accordingly. Try water and exercise, but ultimately, if you’re dying for that dream job, try to lay off the bud. Once you’re in the clear, come visit us at the Spot 420 and stock up for a celebratory smoke session!