How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Your System?

how long does weed stay in your system

There are many people who ask the question “how long does marijuana stay in your system?”  Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not simple and straightforward, the fact is that if you want to use a drug test effectively, it is a question that requires an answer.

So let’s cut through the misinformation on the Internet and provide one!

Before we understand the period of time that marijuana lasts in the system, there are a couple of facts that you should know.

– The presence of marijuana is detected by a drug test through the presence of the active chemical THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol.  Technically, what is detected is known as THC-COOH (11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid).

– The time that marijuana stays in the system depends on the amount of marijuana intake and the frequency at which it is consumed.

– When you smoke marijuana, your body breaks it down like it would anything else.  The products of this breakdown are known as metabolites.  The main metabolite of marijuana is THC-COOH.  THC-COOH can be stored in the body in fat if you’ve consumed more than your body can get rid of at a given time.

– If you consume marijuana continuously, your system will be sort of “overloaded” with THC-COOH (which is not to say that you’ll be continuously high).  Some of that THC-COOH will be stored away in the fat since the body can’t get rid of it.  This means that the THC-COOH will be present in the system for much longer, as the body will have to play catch up at getting rid of the THC-COOH.  Think of it as the difference between eating a peanut butter sandwich and a KFC Double-down.  Both count as one meal, but one has far more calories and fat content.  Since the body can’t use the calories and fat content it’ll store them away.  Same with THC-COOH and someone who smokes a lot of marijuana.

– Marijuana drug testing can be conducted using saliva, urine, hair and sometimes blood as the sample.

– The specific window that you need to check for marijuana consumption depends on whether you are checking on someone who has tried for the first time or if you are testing someone who smokes a few times a week, or someone who smokes daily.

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Saliva?

Marijuana does not stay in saliva for very long.  Most of the rules that apply to marijuana’s detection time in urine and hair do not apply to marijuana in saliva.  It can be detected by a saliva drug screen about an hour after intake. The accuracy of a saliva drug test (97%-98%) will decrease rapidly about 12 hours after the marijuana was consumed. So while a saliva drug test option may be useful if you want to find out if someone is high or if they were smoking yesterday, it is not an effective test for long term or less recent use.

How often someone smokes marijuana (for example, every day for 6 months, or just once) has no bearing on the results of a saliva drug test.

How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Urine?

The amount of time marijuana can be detected in urine depends on the amount and frequency of its consumption.  Marijuana can stay in the urine for up to two months in cases of very frequent, prolonged use.   Basically, the more you use marijuana, the longer it will remain in your urine.  If you have just tried marijuana, for example, and that was your only use, it will probably be out of your urine within a week.

Those who kick the habit after consuming the drug almost daily can still have THC traces in the urine for a month or longer.

Be sure when testing to wait for about 2 to 5 hours after consumption or last suspected conception for THC to appear in the urine though.

How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Hair?

When smoked, marijuana enters the bloodstream and as the blood nourishes the hair, the drug gets into the hair follicles too. As the hair grows, the hair follicles contain traces of THC that can confirm the intake of marijuana. THC can show up in hair about a week after consumption (it takes the hair bearing traces of THC that long to emerge from the scalp).

Drugs take a long time to deteriorate in the hair and therefore testing can be done many days after consumption. A standard laboratory will check up to 90 days but a court or another law enforcing institution can have hair analyzed for more than 3 months as well.  Special arrangements can usually be made with laboratories if inquiries are made.

While hair drug testing provides a good opportunity to confirm whether someone has been on marijuana, and has the largest detection window, the issue is that this drug is not one of the easiest drugs to hair test. THC, when it’s in your body, does not always bind successfully to the hair follicle. Therefore, it is possible that a semi-frequent user may get a negative reading on a hair follicle drug test while someone who had it just once a couple of weeks back may get a positive result. It is a bit of a toss up. The hair follicle drug test is therefore not considered to be as reliable for marijuana as it is for other drugs like cocaine (and for drugs like cocaine, and all other drugs tested for in a standard consumer hair drug test, hair follicle drug testing is actually found to be better at catching drug use than urine tests).

So while the question “how long does marijuana stay in your system” is a pertinent and popular one, there are all of the above factors to consider before an appropriate and correct answer can be given. Even though there is all this discussion about the whole question, if you are concerned, the best thing to do is to just go out there and purchase a home drug test and check out whether you or someone else test clean or not.

(Check out our home drug test product line here! We carry all of the tests profiled above in the chart.)

Anne Hamilton

Drug Testing the Center of Debate in Kansas

Republican lawmakers in Kansas have come up with a proposal to screen welfare recipients for drug use.  There are a few proposals on the table, and they are not exactly new.  The Kansas House of Representatives passed a similar bill last year but the Senate of the state did not.  The lawmakers in charge of reviving such proposals are in the Senate.

One proposal would require drug testing all welfare recipients – around 44,000 people.  Another bill suggests people would only be tested if there was “reasonable cause” to believe they were using drugs.

It is perhaps a controversial issue, and the Springfield News Leader presents various perspectives in their article.  Do you agree that it would help people get jobs?  Is it an effective way of improving the quality of life among those on welfare?

A home drug test, administered by yourself or someone close to you, can be an effective way of ending drug abuse.  But is what is done at home necessarily appropriate on a federal scale?

There are lots of questions about drug testing, but no question that when used correctly it can even save lives – in situations like catching someone who has stumbled back into addiction with a hair drug test, or finding that someone is high on the job with a saliva drug test.  And these are just a few examples.

Are You Keeping Your Resolution? How to Quit Smoking

Stop smoking hypnosisEveryone knows that smoking is extremely harmful for one’s health and the government has done a lot to create awareness of the various problems that smoking can cause. The issue is not with creating awareness about the negative effects of smoking but actually quitting. The New Year is an excellent time to see how this is true because there are thousands of smokers who resolve to quit smoking only to find that they are itching to hold a cigarette in their hands after a few hours of the resolution. A nicotine test, among other methods, is a great way to give up the habit for good.

If you try and ask advice of smokers who have successfully quit smoking for good, you shall find that there are as many suggestions as smokers. While you can review each one of these methods, you will have to check out the one that works best for you. Make sure that you continuously use tobacco testing at home so that you can be aware of the presence of nicotine in your body. Awareness of the pervasiveness of nicotine in your body with these nicotine tests may actually shake you out of your inertia.

Such testing can be done at home very easily. All that you need is a small sample of urine. The tobacco test checks out the level of cotinine in the urine. This is a by-product of nicotine that is processed in your body and excreted through the urine. This is why the nicotine test is also called the cotinine test at times.

Some of the methods that you can adopt to quit smoking have been listed below. These can be used as standalone options or in combination to ensure that you are able to successfully quit the habit. While you work with these methods, use the tobacco test as well.

– Just quit – Some people believe that a slow reduction in the number of cigarettes is not an option but that a cold turkey method should be adopted.

– Reduction over time – This is a method that can help if you have specific times when you reach out for a cigarette and want to slowly eliminate those rituals as days pass. Use a nicotine test when you finally have not smoked for a few days. This can be a great motivator because you can see how your body is actually getting cleansed – you will see after 2 to 4 days that you actually test negative for nicotine!

– Quit with a friend – This is another method that works because it creates a sense of competition and/or cooperation.

There are other methods like nicotine patches, nicotine chewing gums, nicotine lozenges and nicotine inhalers that you can use. Whichever choice you make, everyone wishes you the best of luck in quitting smoking!  As a company that specializes in the home drug test, we know of a lot of drugs out there, and nicotine certainly is hard to quit!  That’s why we have a test designed along those lines to help you with that legal but addictive substance.

Anne Hamilton

Why You Should Alcohol Test Your Employees

It has been estimated that about 70 percent of substance abusers hold jobs. This includes the 18 million alcohol abusers that have been estimated in the United States. Coming to work under the influence of alcohol can cause various concerns and issues. Among them are risks of an accident, reduced productivity, higher levels of health insurance costs and therefore lesser profits and unsafe conditions for everyone.

An alcohol test can help in finding out those who have been abusing alcohol or have come to work under the influence. It has been seen that alcohol abusers like other substance users are more prone to miss work and are also at a much higher risk of being involved in a job accident. This risk obviously is far greater in jobs that require extremely high levels of concentration.

Workplaces that require physical work like driving or managing large equipment, in other words any work that requires the reflexes to be at their best, can benefit from on-site alcohol testing. Since alcohol consumption causes blurred vision and coordination issues, these tasks become difficult for those under the influence. Transportation companies, construction companies, factories, heavy equipment handling companies and others should definitely include alcohol testing as a regular practice to ensure job safety.

Not only are alcohol tests necessary for the job safety of the employees, they also keep the employers away from complicated law suits that tend to follow incidents. It may not be practical to have a laboratory come in and conduct testing every now and then, but the breath analyzer alcohol test is an extremely convenient and accurate one that can get around this problem and literally be used every day.

Educational institutions are also using the alcohol test to ensure that there are no students that come to the campus under the influence of alcohol. This is a necessary measure that is being taken to ensure that proper discipline is maintained in the premises of the school. Hooliganism and unacceptable behavior can be avoided by using the 0.02 percent breath alcohol test.  As a matter of fact, the University of Minnesota, for example, requires season-ticket holding students guilty of previous alcohol offenses to take an alcohol test before they enter the stadium (see the full article at the blog Alcohol Testing).

Small businesses that cannot afford to hire a laboratory for these alcohol tests on a regular basis can ensure that their workplace is devoid of alcoholics. While those with desk jobs may not be at such a high risk of accidents on the job, the short term effects of alcohol can lead to low productivity and bad judgment. Alcohol induced fatigue, insomnia and lack of judgment and false confidence can cause some really wrong decisions to be made.

The home alcohol test is also something that educational institutions and corporate offices can use to ensure that the employees are clean and not under the influence of alcohol when they report. These alcohol tests are simple and can give results in a matter of seconds.

The 0.02 percent breath analyzer is a great piece of zero-tolerance equipment that can detect alcohol that has been consumed in the past hours. It is also a convenient thing to use to decide whether it is safe to drive or not rather than calculating the number and type of drinks consumed before getting behind the wheel.

Such alcohol tests not only provide a great way to pick out alcohol abuse at the workplace, they are a significant help in deterring teenagers from indulging in alcohol too.

– Anne Hamilton

3 Reasons Why The Saliva Drug Test Might Take Off This Year

Well 2010 is finally here and a new decade begins.  What does that mean for the drug testing industry?  The drug testing industry is a field that was cited recently as being worth $1.5 billion – what new direction do you think the field will take to better serve employers, parents, and worried relations?

We think the direction is going to be home drug testing, and in particular the saliva drug test – and here are 3 reasons why:

1.  Great usability for any consumer.  A saliva drug test is extremely easy to use.  It does not have the “ew” factor that some may find in urine drug testing and it is really easy to administer.  Cheating the test is difficult, as you can collect the sample with the person.  So when you purchase a home drug test that uses saliva as its sample you can be confident you’re not throwing money away – important to home consumers and small businesses (especially in this economy!) alike.

2.  Ideal detection time.  Again, as a business, especially a business in a recession, you may be wondering if it is worthwhile to bring in a laboratory to drug test your employees.  Why not cut to the chase and just test yourself, using the one drug test that can tell you if somebody is actually high?  Because although there are many aspects of drug abuse that can affect behavior, in many industries the fact that someone is high can be the most urgent and dangerous aspect, and certainly the most important one to test for.  A saliva drug test has the capacity to tell you if someone is on methamphetamine 5-10 minutes after they take it.  The same goes for cocaine.  Marijuana will show up generally an hour after consumption which is still a short enough delay that you can tell if someone is high or if their work has been/will be affected.

3.  Affordability.  Again, no need for a lab – you can buy these and keep them around, and get the results instantly, all for under $15.00 a test (and that is the high price range for the technology).  Since the saliva drug tests have approximately 97% accuracy, they are a great way to ensure that the workplace is safe without breaking the budget.

These are only the top 3 reasons why home drug testing, and particularly saliva drug testing, is going to expand this coming year.  We will be expanding this series throughout the month.  If you want to drug test but haven’t thought you could afford it, or if you want to get rid of your laboratory service but don’t know what to replace it with, take a look at our article and the links on the side!

The Home Drug Test That Can Catch a College Student’s Drug of Choice

Ritalin and Adderall are two drugs that have been used extensively in the treatment of disorders like Attention Deficit Disorder also known as ADD. These drugs are an integral part of a treatment program that includes psychological, educational and social measures.

College students can and do temporarily increase concentration levels by taking these analeptics that stimulate the central nervous system during exams or otherwise (regardless of whether they have a prescription for the medication). An estimated 20 percent of college students have turned to this method of staying focused. One of the best ways in which the use of these drugs can be abated is by using a home drug test.

It is hypothesized that teenagers fake ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) to obtain a prescription for the drugs. This allows them access to the drug which is otherwise not sold over the counter. They also can obtain these drugs through a black market trade amongst peers.

Fortunately for parents, Adderall can be tested by a home drug test. A test for amphetamines will cover Adderall, as well as other amphetamines you might be concerned about. If you believe your child is using “uppers” then this is the type of test that will address your concern.

The Adderall drug test allows parents to have much better control over their children with regards to their medication. Children who have been prescribed the drug need to take it at regular intervals as per their doctor. If the child is not taking the drug any longer an amphetamines drug test can establish that, which may also mean the child has been distributing the drug to peers.

The Adderall  drug test is also extremely easy to read. If the home drug test for either prescription drug is positive a line will appear in the “control” region to indicate that the test was successful. There will in the case of a positive result be NO line in the “test” area. A negative home drug test result is obtained when there are two lines – one in the “control” area and one in the “test” area.

A simple urine sample is required for the test and therefore you may have to be careful about the manner in which you collect the sample and the authenticity of the same.

Ascertaining whether your child is dependent on these prescription drugs is important. You do not want your child to become dependent on crutches like drugs and chemicals to succeed in life. In addition to that a Adderall drug test can keep your child from consuming these drugs, which can cause medical problems and in the most tragic cases death.

–  Anne Hamilton