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The question of how long marijuana stays in the system is a commonly asked one, as it holds significant implications for employees who are subjected to drug testing.

Marijuana, a widely used psychoactive drug, contains compounds such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that can linger in the body after consumption.

This blog will talk about the various factors influencing the duration of marijuana detection in different drug tests, shedding light on a topic of great relevance in both medical and legal contexts.

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Factors that affect Marijuana detection

The duration for which marijuana can be detected in the body varies based on several critical factors. Here's a closer look at the key factors that impact marijuana detection:

Frequency and Amount of Drug Usage

Regular and heavy users are more likely to have THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) metabolites stored in their body tissues for an extended period. In contrast, occasional or light users may eliminate THC metabolites more rapidly, leading to a shorter detection window.

Method of Consumption

Smoking or vaping marijuana results in a faster onset of effects, but the metabolites may also be eliminated relatively faster. On the other hand, when marijuana is ingested through edibles, the effects take longer to manifest, and the metabolites may linger in the body for a more extended period.

Rate of Metabolism

People with faster metabolisms tend to process and eliminate THC and its metabolites more rapidly than those with slower metabolisms. A faster metabolism can lead to a shorter detection window for marijuana.

Percentage of Fat

THC is fat-soluble, meaning it can be stored in fat cells in the body. Therefore, individuals with a higher percentage of body fat may retain THC metabolites for longer periods, as compared to those with lower body fat percentages.


Studies suggest that gender may also influence marijuana detection times. Men tend to have a higher metabolic rate and lower body fat percentage than women on average. As a result, women may retain THC metabolites in their system slightly longer than men.

Type of Drug Test

Different drug tests, such as urine tests, blood tests, saliva tests, and hair tests, have varying sensitivities and detection capabilities.

Detection Time of Marijuana

The detection time of THC can vary significantly depending on the type of drug test being used. Here's a general overview of how long THC can be detectable in different drug tests:

Urine Test: THC can be detected in urine for up to 30 days after the latest consumption for heavy users.

For occasional users, THC may remain detectable for up to 3-4 days after its last use.

Blood Test: THC is typically detectable in the blood for up to 2-7 days after the last use.

Saliva Tes THC can be detected in saliva for up to 24-48 hours after consumption.

Hair Test: THC can be detected in hair for an extended period, up to 90 days after consumption.

Maintain a Drug-free Environment

The length of time marijuana stays in your system varies based on factors like frequency of use, dosage, metabolism, and individual traits.

goMDnow helps employers adapt to legal marijuana by offering assistance in creating policies and conducting workplace drug testing. Contact us for 24/7 free consultation.

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