How Long Does Weed (Marijuana) Stay in Your System?
It varies according to dose
Weed, also known as marijuana or cannabis, is usually detectable in bodily fluids for 1 to 30 days after last use. As with other drugs, it may be detectable in hair for several months.
Weed detection windows depend on how much you smoke or ingest, as well as how often. In general, higher doses and more frequent use are associated with longer detection times.
For daily users, cannabis may be detectable for several months after last use. The longest-reported detection times are more than 90 days.
Read on to find out the detection windows for cannabis in urine, blood, saliva, hair, and more.
Drug tests measure weed and its by-products, or metabolites. These metabolites remain in your system long after weed’s effects have worn off.
According to Mayo Clinic Proceedings, weed is detectable in urine for the following amounts of time after last use:
- Occasional users (up to three times a week): 3 days
- Moderate users (four times a week): 5 to 7 days
- Chronic users (daily): 10 to 15 days
- Chronic heavy users (multiple times a day): more than 30 days
Cannabis metabolites are fat-soluble, which means they bind to fat molecules in your body. As a result, it can take some time for them to leave your system.
According to an article in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, weed is typically detectable in the blood for 1 to 2 days. However, in some cases, it’s been detected after 25 days. Chronic heavy use increases the length of time that it can be detected.
Weed is detectable in the bloodstream within seconds of inhalation. It’s distributed to the tissues. Some of it is reabsorbed in the blood and broken down. Its metabolites may remain in the bloodstream for days.
Blood testing may be used in laboratory settings or to indicate recent use of weed.
According to a 2014 review on cannabinoids in oral fluid, weed is detectable in saliva for the following amounts of time after last use:
- Occasional users: 1 to 3 days
- Chronic users: 1 to 29 days
Weed can enter the saliva through smoking and exposure to smoke. However, its metabolites are only present in saliva when weed has been smoked or ingested.
In jurisdictions where weed is legal, oral fluid may be used for roadside testing.
Hair follicle tests assess drug use for up to 90 days . After use, weed reaches the hair follicles via small blood vessels. Trace amounts may remain in the hair.
Since hair grows approximately 0.5 inches per month, a 1.5-inch hair segment taken close to the scalp can provide a window of weed use for the past three months.
The active ingredient in weed is a chemical substance called THC, which stands for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. THC that enters your body is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Some THC is temporarily stored in organs and fatty tissues. In the kidneys, THC can be reabsorbed into the bloodstream.
THC is broken down in the liver. It has more than 80 metabolites, but the most significant ones are 11-OH-THC (11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and THCCOOH (11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).
Drug tests look for these metabolites, which stay in your body longer than THC. Eventually, THC and its metabolites are excreted in urine and stool.
A number of factors affect how long weed stays in your system. Some of these factors, such as your age, gender, and body mass index (BMI), aren’t related to the drug itself, but to how your body processes and metabolizes the drug.
Other factors are related to weed and how you use it. This includes how much you take (dose) and how often (frequency). Higher doses and more frequent use tend to increase the amount of time it takes to eliminate weed from your system.
More potent weed, which is higher in THC, may also stay in your system for longer. Weed that’s ingested may also remain in your system slightly longer than weed that’s smoked.
There isn’t much you can do to speed up the amount of time it takes for weed to leave your system.
Once it’s entered your system, your body needs time to break it down. Exercising, eating healthy, and staying hydrated may help, but not drastically.
There are a number of weed detox remedies and kits available on the internet. Many require drinking a lot of water to dilute your urine, and then using herbal supplements such as creatinine or vitamin B-12 to mask the dilution.
These kits don’t work reliably.
Weed’s effects appear quickly, usually within 15 to 30 minutes after smoking. It can take one or two hours to feel weed’s effects when it’s ingested.
Weed’s active ingredients produce a short-term “high.” Common effects include:
- sense of well-being
- sense of relaxation
- feeling that time is slowing down
- giggling or chattiness
- altered sensory perception
Other short-term effects include:
- inability to focus
- increased appetite
- coordination problems
- rapid heart rate
- dry mouth and eyes
- feeling sick or faint
- anxiety or paranoia
In rare cases, high doses of weed can cause hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis.
Smoking or ingesting weed on a regular basis can have additional effects on your mind and body. You might be at an increased risk of developing:
- cognitive impairments
- memory impairments
- learning impairments
- cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke
- respiratory illnesses, such as bronchitis and lung infections
- mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety
- hallucinations and psychosis
If you use weed while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, there’s a greater chance that your baby will have birth defects or problems with brain development.
Weed’s short-term effects start to taper off after one to three hours. Some effects, like memory problems or trouble sleeping, can last a few days.
Researchers don’t know how long the effects of chronic use last. Long-term effects can last days, weeks, or months after weed use has ended. Some effects may be permanent.
Weed may stay in your system anywhere from several days to several months after last use. Detection windows depend on the drug test used and other factors, such as whether you smoke or ingest weed on a regular basis.
Weed is detectable in bodily fluids for up to 30 days after last use. For daily users, weed may be detectable for several months after last use. The longest-reported detection times are more than 90 days. Here’s how long it’s detectable via each type of drug test, whether you can metabolize it faster, and more.
How Long Does Weed Stay Fresh?
There’s nothing better than fresh weed. The smell, the taste, the stickiness all make for a great experience. But if you’ve had some weed sitting around for a while, or you just found a stash in your ski bag or in the back of a drawer, you may be wondering “how long does weed stay fresh?” or “how long does weed last?” and you’re not alone.
Cannabis doesn’t necessarily have an expiration date, as you can safely consume it for as long as you like, but it will indeed lose potency over time which will result in a less than “high” feeling. If you’ve come across some weed from who knows when and want to smoke it, by all means, go ahead. What happens if you smoke super old weed? Not much, unfortunately.
How Long Does Weed Stay Fresh?
Under ideal storage conditions, cannabis can actually last quite a while. What are the ideal storage conditions to keep weed fresh? Whether you have strong smelling flower, need to keep it safely away from children, or just want to get the bang for your buck and help your weed last long, there are some basic storage needs you’ll need:
- Humidity control
- Airtight or vacuum seal
- Zero light (natural or artificial)
- Temperature control
When stored properly and with care, weed can last up to a year or longer. If you love having a selection of strains but don’t smoke all of them very often, a humidifier storage solution will be your best bet. Check out these rad and functional storage solutions from High Times .
Even if you store your weed in a plastic baggie in a drawer, you’ll still get a good six months out of it before it loses potency and goes through some pretty scientific changes.
The Science of How Long Weed Lasts
As with everything, science plays a major role in how long weed lasts and stays fresh. Even if your weed isn’t super fresh, you’re probably wondering if the THC stays potent.
When weed is left in unsavory conditions for too long, it can begin to decompose and the cannabinoid, THC, will actually change into CBN (cannabinol) which is known to be present in high amounts with aged weed. CBN is derived from tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A) and is created when THC-A oxidizes.
This oxidation happens over time as the chemicals and cannabinoids break down, and this process will reduce the potency of the weed. This is reason to consume your weed within six months of buying it. In addition to THC potency, the terpenes will also break down and that’s where flavor and scent are lost.
If you smoke old weed, it’ll likely look like dust and not smell or taste like much of anything. Dusty weed won’t harm you, it just won’t be pleasurable to smoke and it could make your throat feel scratchy or conjure up some coughs. In some cases, old bud can take on a bad taste or smell, and that’s when you want to stay away from testing it.
While it’s good to store your weed in a humidity controlled environment, too much humidity can grow mold and that’s a very bad thing. Don’t smoke spongy or moldy weed!
If you want to get really technical with it, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has outlined this super hand guide for THC potency over time.
- After one year, weed loses roughly 16% of its THC
- Two years in storage results in a loss of 26% of its THC
- Weed loses 34% of its THC after three years.
- After four years in storage, weed loses 41% of its THC
While it may be tempting to try some old buds you found in your ski pants from last year, it’s more than likely that you won’t get high and might be left with a bad taste in your mouth or an uncomfortable cough.
How to Tell if Your Weed is Too Old
If you’re not sure how long the weed in question has been in its hiding place, there are a few distinctive things you can look for to determine if it’s too old to enjoy.
- It doesn’t have any smell and crumbles to dust when touched
- It’s spongy and too damp, likely has mold on it
- It doesn’t have any smell
Overall, keeping your weed fresh is dependant on how it’s stored and where. It won’t kill you to smoke dry, dusty weed but it also won’t do much for you so it’s best to just toss it. Sorry. On the other hand, it’s definitely not good to smoke old weed that is spongy or moldy. This can make you super sick.
Flower isn’t the only form of weed that can go bad. Edibles, concentrates, and vape pens are also all subject to time and the breaking down of cannabinoids that can rob cannabis of its potency.
How to Keep Weed Fresh Longer
In addition to that rad list of containers and storage solutions from High Times there are some tried and true techniques to keep all your cannabis nice and fresh. You’ll still need to plan on consuming it within a year, but that’s a nice stretch that is easy enough to work with.
How to Keep Flower Fresh
Store in an airtight or vacuum-sealed container to keep air out and keep in anything that is emanating from the flower. Keep it in a cool, dry, dark place to keep it away from light damage, temperature fluctuations, or too much humidity.
How to Keep Edibles Fresh
Keep them in their original packaging in a cool, dry place. Hard candies and gummies can easily melt, and the refrigerator is the best bet for many types of edibles.
How to Keep Concentrates Fresh
Keeping concentrates in silicone will not only keep them fresh, but it’ll also be easier to extract them when you’re ready to smoke. Shatter is hard to separate from glass where silicone makes it super easy.
Does weed go bad?
Yes. Proper storage and a year timeframe is your goldilocks zone. Anything beyond that is going to be less potent than desired or even moldy. Inspect your old weed well before you decide to smoke it. And if you want to throw it away, come into The Spot 420 to reup on some of the dankest buds around.
There’s nothing better than fresh weed. The smell, the taste, the stickiness all make for…