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How long does cannabis stay in your system after consumption?

Region: Ontario Answer # 2307

THC is detectable in the blood for a short time, about a few hours, because it is rapidly broken down into metabolites. The metabolites are stored in body fat and are gradually eliminated from the body through feces and urine. Marijuana users break-down the levels of THC in their bodies at unique rates, which will affect a person’s drug test results.

Approximate length of time that THC will be detected in the following tests:

Blood: Several hours up-to 3 days

Urine: 3- 21 days (daily users one up-to several months)

Saliva: 1-3 days (daily users 1-30 days)

Hair Follicle: Up-to several months 


Factors that can affect how long cannabis stays in your system

Many researchers believe that urine tests for THC can detect the drug in the body from about 13-45 days. However, this number often varies quite a bit, as the actual length of time cannabis can remain in a person’s system can be affected by many different factors, including:

1.  How much THC or CBD was ingested

For instance, an edible such as a cannabis brownie will not usually have consistent amounts of CBD and/or THC in each bite. One person may absorb a large amount while another person eating the same brownie may consume a smaller amount.

2.  Potency of the THC or CBD

Cannabis products with a higher ratio of THC to CBD will have a higher potency (concentration or strength) and will tend to stay in the system longer. When cannabis is consumed by smoking or vaping as opposed to ingesting edibles, the potency may be more consistent.

3.  How it was consumed

Cannabis that is ingested as an edible, may remain in the body slightly longer than cannabis that is smoked or vaped

4.  How frequently cannabis is used

Different terminology is used to describe how often someone uses cannabis. Most commonly:

  • Occasional users refers to those who use up-to three times a week
  • Moderate users refers to those who use four times a week
  • Chronic users refers to those who use daily
  • Heavy users refers to those who use multiple times a day

Single use or occasional smokers of cannabis will normally test clean for cannabis in their system in less time (normally within 3 days) than occasional to heavy users.

5.  Biology, diet and exercise

An individual’s age, gender and biology, such as their body mass index (BMI) will effect how their body processes and metabolizes cannabis when it is consumed.

When the cannabis chemical THC enters a person’s body it is absorbed into the bloodstream. It may also be stored in a body’s organs and fat cells, and then released into the body over time. How long it takes the cannabis to metabolize, or break down and leave the body, will be affected by an individual’s ability to burn fat cells, which is determined by both biology, and a person’s diet and exercise.

To erase your criminal record for simple cannabis possession or any other criminal charges, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

For legal advice and assistance with a cannabis related matter, contact our preferred cannabis law expert, Harrison Jordan Law .

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