One of the main questions you’re likely to ask once you smoke weed—especially if you’re in a job that does random drug testing—is How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System?
This is an important question, particularly if you don’t want to lose your job over a tiny bit of THC still floating around in your body. After all, it’s still illegal on the federal level, and “legalization culture” still hasn’t quite penetrated the world of three-piece-suit swag, concrete jungles and cubicle forests.
How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System?
A Big Question With a Big, Complicated-as-Hell Answer
You asked the question, but the answer is not simple.
For starters, THC is fat soluble, not water soluble. This means that the structure of THC is such that it attaches to fat molecules rather than water molecules. If it were water soluble, you could drink a good deal of water and the THC would be flushed out of your system in a matter of days. But as it is fat soluble, it will attach itself to the fat molecules in your body and thus it stays in your body for longer.
Secondly, once THC enters your bloodstream, the stuff can be detected immediately, so even if you take one toke, and then get a test the next day, you could be in trouble. And of course, the drug testing industry has gotten insanely good at sniffing out the main metabolite called carboxy-THC, or in chemistry-speak: THC-COOH.
On top of the immediate detection and the fat-soluble quality of THC, there are several factors to How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System, such as: how much fat is in your body, your diet and exercise patterns, as well as how much cannabis you actually consume.
And the release of carboxy-THC out of your body is based on your personal metabolic rate, so if you’re into weed and have a sluggish metabolism, or you don’t exercise a whole lot, you might want to reconsider just how much you indulge. Why?
Stop! In The Name of Drug Testing…Maybe
Even if you were to set aside the spliffs for a number of weeks, you could still get escorted out the door at work, because merely stopping marijuana use does not automatically keep you safe from having to sign drug-use-based termination papers on what could be your last day at an otherwise decent job.
Because here’s the scoop on what your company (or the area laboratory your company uses) will test for. If you have 50 ng/mL (ng = nanograms) of THC present after draining the main vein for the company nurse, then you’ll have tested positive. Like golf, a high score on a drug test is not good. If you have less than that amount, you’re away from the hazards and you can go about the rest of your day knowing you aced the pee test.
This said, how much THC has to leave your body—or remain—to either test positive or negative is actually impossible to know or predict. Which is why, understandably, you’re likely to sweat bullets if your company does random drug tests. And it can definitely feel like it’s a “no one expects the Spanish Inquisition” kind of thing.
How Many Days??
If you truly want hard numbers on how many days you can expect How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System?, you’re sort of in luck, because there was a study done some time ago which states that THC can linger around in your bloodstream and other tissues for up to 100 days.
How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System? Yes, peeps. 100 days. That’s three months and ten days, and again, depending on your exercise, diet and fitness level, it might be more, it might be less. But three months is still quite a long time, and within that time, you could be called up for a random test, if your company does this.
Now, you could luck out and work for a company that only does the one test before you’re hired and then trusts you based on that one test and your job performance at work.
But if you’re still not sure you want to risk being caught, you have one of two potential pills to take, a la “the Matrix”.
You can take the Blue Pill and drop the weed altogether till you can find a more toke-tolerant job, say at a dispensary. Those jobs are pretty coveted, so good luck. Or you can take the Red Pill and venture out into the world of self-employment. It’s a different sort of jungle, being your own boss.
But it’s not like you can fire yourself for your intermittent THC levels, right? Right.