Tetrahydrocannabinol, short for THC, is the main psychoactive chemical present in the cannabis plant. It makes people feel high and causes psychological as well as behavioral effects. This chemical continues to show in a drug test for several days or even weeks in the human body, depending on various factors. To learn how long does THC stays in urine, you may want to go through this guide.
Detection & Analysis of THC by Different Techniques
Most pharmacokinetic studies, workplace drug testing, drug-impaired driving investigations, and drug treatment assess the measurement of cannabinoids. Its tremendous use is the cause of developing a wide range of advanced testing methods. It is essential to have a drug test to ensure that you have not failed the drug test and no THC traces.
By the following chromatographic methods, it has become easier to detect THC in saliva, blood, urine, hair, and nail.
- Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)
- High-Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC)
- Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
- High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-MS)
All the given techniques are reliable in quantitation and evaluation of the level of various cannabis metabolites
Why Is Urine The Preferred Sample for THC Detection?
Testing urine for finding THC use is the most common method among all. Urine is the favored sample since it has a higher concentration with a longer detection time of THC metabolites. It can show up marijuana use in your test even after several weeks. Moreover, it is also accessible and can be sampled easily.
Besides, marijuana tests can also detect THC in blood and hair for several days after use, whereas saliva tests detect THC only for a few hours. So, it depends on how the body metabolizes THC.
How Long Does THC Stay In Your System?
People, who smoke marijuana or have been exposed to passive smoking, must be wondering how long THC metabolites stay in their bodies. The non-THC parts of marijuana and hemp-based products do not remain in the body for a longer time, so they cannot be the cause of failed drug tests.
The chemical typically shows in the urine within 60 minutes and as long as 4 hours. Sometimes, the after-effects wear off in a few hours, but its traces can remain in the body for many days. It will stay in the system within 3 days after a single use and approximately 30 days in more frequent smokers.
After ingesting or smoking marijuana, it can fail a urine test after 30-45 days, a blood test after 60-75 days, and a hair test up to 90 days after the use. It means that the traces of THC stay for 30-90 days after using marijuana.
What Are The Factors That Influence The Detectability of THC’?
The length of time during which THC stays in the body depends on various factors. These factors influence the detectability of THC on a drug test.
1. How Often Does the Consumer Take the Drug
Marijuana is a common weed with THC as the main chemical. However, the tests of marijuana look for THC and not marijuana. That’s why the THC dose consumed by the person is also a very important factor. Someone who has been taking marijuana more often is likely to have more THC absorption in their system. In that case, it will take longer to eliminate the traces from the body even though the effects of THC diminish.
Staying dehydrated can also affect a drug test since dehydration causes a rise in concentrations of THC.
3. Strength of Dose
The strength of the dose also matters since marijuana shows varying THC levels. A higher THC potency dose will stay in the body for a longer time as compared to marijuana with low THC potency. Moreover, a sensitive laboratory device can find the strength of marijuana precisely. If you feel high, THC can’t be the only reason since other factors can also intensify this feeling.
4. Route of Administration
The method of marijuana use is a significant factor in its detectability. If you ingest marijuana, it will remain for a longer period since the chemicals break down in a slow process. But, if you smoke marijuana, it will affect the drug test as the THC levels drop within a few days after use.
5. Body Fat Contents
THC is stored in the body’s fatty tissue as it is a lipid-soluble chemical. Due to this property, THC binds to fat and increases the length of time with which it stays in the body. People with more body fat and body weight metabolize THC more slowly than people with less body fat.
Moreover, people who maintain their body weight by eating healthy and exercising regularly get rid of THC traces faster than someone who has poor habits. Also, exercise right before THC detection might increase the chances of positive results.
6. Rate of Metabolism
People who smoke marijuana have a completely different rate of metabolism. It can also influence how the human body breaks down THC and how much time it will stay there. For a successful drug test, people must have faster metabolisms to eliminate THC traces quickly.
In addition, females have more fat content and may metabolize THC somewhat more slowly.
7. Sensitivity of the Drug Test
More sensitive tests such as hair tests can detect lower THC doses for up to 90 days after use. It can show a false positive test since the person can test positive on a hair test if he passes by a THC user.
Point to ponder: drugs can completely fade away from the body within a few hours of administration, yet weed stays for a longer period.
THC can stay in the body for 3 to 30 days or longer, depending on various factors. Urine tests may detect THC in the urine for 3-30 days after its use. And, there is no specific amount of time it will take to metabolize and remove it from the body. If a person smokes marijuana more frequently, he has taken a higher THC dose and is more likely to test positive.
Also read: CBD vs THC – Know the Difference