Marijuana is a psychoactive drug derived from the cannabis plant. It is most commonly used for either medicinal or leisure purposes. Despite so, it is illegal in many countries and the chemical that shows up in drug tests for marijuana is Tetrahydrocannabinol. This is as the chemical can stay present in the body for up to a few weeks after consumption. This is contingent on factors such as body fat percentage, frequency of drug consumption, how precise the test is and the frequency of smoking.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is often detected through the hair, blood, and urine for up to a few weeks. On the other hand, testing an individual’s saliva will only be accurate in the first few hours after ingestion. Since THC is a chemical that is lipid-soluble, the way that an individual’s body metabolizes THC involves attaching itself to body fat. This results in the chemical staying in the body for a prolonged period of time before it is completely gone.
The time period for Marijuana detection
So how long does it take for a drug test to detect marijuana in a person’s body? In 2017, in a study carried out by rehabnear.me, it was discovered that it takes three days for one marijuana cigarette. However, this is also contingent on many other factors, one of them being the frequency of the individual’s smoking habits.
For instance, for first-time users, marijuana is more likely to be detected in the first 3 days. If an individual smokes a little more frequently, let’s say three to four times a week, this window is extended to 5 and 7 days. Lastly, should the individual consume marijuana once or a few times daily, this window yet again extends to a month or even longer.
On top of this, there are many different tests that one can undergo, with varying levels of precision. Some tests are only effective for a limited time. For example, saliva tests can detect marijuana for around 24 to 72 hours after usage, and blood tests have an even shorter window of 3 to 4 hours. Others, such as urine tests and hair tests are more sensitive, with urine tests being able to detect the drug for up to about 30 days after use, and hair tests for up to 90 days. However, it is imperative to note that hair tests focus on the oil in the skin that transfers to the hair, hence a false positive may sometimes happen.
Does the amount matter?
There isn’t much research that shows a precise numerical figure for how much marijuana an individual has to smoke to fail a drug test. However, these tests are known to be able to detect the smallest quantities of THC. Of course, marijuana smokers who smoke frequently are at a higher risk of failing the test compared to people who only do it occasionally.
In fact, there are various factors that may have an impact on whether marijuana can be detected in a person’s body. These factors are metabolism and body fat percentage, gender, the accuracy of the test used, the THC dose and health(hydration and exercise).
Firstly, metabolism and body fat percentage. These may not seem like major factors in the detection of marijuana in an individual’s system, but they can play a rather significant role. For metabolism, similar to getting rid of fat in the body, individuals with faster metabolism rates are able to break down THC way faster than those with slower ones. Since THC and all other metabolic chemicals need to be completely eliminated from the body for the individual to pass a drug test, people with faster metabolisms have an advantage. With regard to body fat percentage, a higher body fat percentage equates to a slower metabolism. This is because marijuana is stored in excess fat. Using the same logic, it is way easier to detect marijuana in people with higher body fat percentages.
Secondly, gender plays a role in drug tests too. This also has links to body fat, because women generally have more body fat than men, hence they will metabolize marijuana at a slower speed.
Next, the accuracy of the tests used also has an effect on the results. As mentioned above, more sensitive tests such as hair tests and urine tests may be able to detect smaller amounts of marijuana as compared to blood tests and saliva tests.
Lastly, health factors play a role in the detection of marijuana as well. These factors include regular exercise as well as hydration. For regular exercise, though the act itself does not have a direct correlation with the body’s metabolism of THC, exercising right before the test might have some impact. Studies have shown that exercising right before the test can actually increase test positivity. This is because, during exercise, the levels of THC in an individual’s body can increase by a huge amount. Some of these researchers attribute this to the fact that exercise acts as a catalyst for fat cells releasing THC. As for hydration, a lack of sufficient water may have a direct impact on the results of the drug test and may increase the concentration of THC in the individual’s body.
Ways to quickly eliminate the presence of marijuana
One way to quickly reduce the amount of marijuana in an individual’s body is to decrease the concentration of the drug THC, and the other way is to stimulate faster metabolism for the individual. When it comes to metabolism, it may be a little more difficult to control since there are few ways in which one can do so. One of the potential ways maybe exercise, however, it may also have the risk of causing a positive result, as mentioned in the section above.
For reducing concentration, this can be done by drinking enough water. As aforementioned, dehydrated people tend to have higher concentrations of THC in their body, hence this can be one of the methods to reduce it.
In conclusion, there may not be a surefire way to determine how long it takes for someone to break down marijuana in their system and cleanse their body of the drug. Despite so, a better understanding of these factors and how they affect the test detection can help you better test the presence of marijuana in your body. And we totally understand that recovering from drug addiction is a difficult process. So if you happen to be near Henderson, Desert Hope treatment is a great option as a treatment facility.