How long does cannabis stay in your system?

Wanting to know how long cannabis stays in your system? This article will tell you everything you need to know.

The amount of time cannabis stays in the human body will vary depending on several factors. It can stay in the body for several days, weeks or even longer in some cases.

Drug tests only pick up the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive chemical found in the cannabis plant. This chemical is makes a user feel ‘high’. THC is a lipid-soluble chemical, meaning that it attaches to the body’s fat, which in turn makes it stay in its system for longer making it detectable for long periods of time.

However, CBD cannot be detected in the same way. This is one of the reasons that users choose CBD over cannabis with high levels of THC in. Tests can even detect the smallest amount of THC. However, the amount taken to fail a drug test is not official. 

Studies have shown that frequent cannabis users are more likely to fail a drug test than those who have only consumed it once. One 2012 study from Clinical Chemistry examined cannabis users who smoked a cigarette with 6.8% THC in.

From this study, it showed that the levels of THC were found highest in a urine sample from 1 to eight hours after smoking. With the sample showing THC in the urine from 100% of frequent users and 60-100% in non-frequent users.

Factors that affect detection

As highlighted previously, the detection of weed in the bodies system will vary from person to person. Everyone is different and their body type or lifestyle will influence results massively. Here we will go through some of the factors that impact how long weed stays in your system.


The human body has something called a metabolic rate, and this varies from person to person. Metabolism is a chemical process that happens in the human body in order to maintain life. One of the main reasons for metabolism is for the conversion of food to energy. Your metabolic rate is the speed and time your body expends energy or converts food into energy.

This being said, people will a fast metabolism, meaning they can convert chemicals into energy faster will be able to eliminate THC quicker than those with a slow metabolism. For a test to show up clear, the body must have eliminated all traces of THC in. 

Body Fat

Because THC binds itself to the body’s fat, those with higher fat levels will metabolise cannabis slower than a person with less fat. Typically, women have more fat on their bodies than men, meaning they will metabolise weed slower than men. However, this is not always the case as each body is different.

To go with this, research has shown that exercise can cause the body’s fat cells to release THC. If someone was to exercise before taking cannabis, the THC concentration may increase. This means that the THC would be more prominent and appear positive on a drug test.


There is no exact way to identify how long it would take a body to pass as negative on a test and for weed to leave the body. But certain factors can give us a gauge of how likely a person will be to either pass or fail a drug test. Because of this, it is safe to presume the longest time and wait a minimum of three weeks before a test is taken.

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