If you’re anything like us, you want to unwind after a long and exhausting day of work. So, you put on your favorite TV show and light up a joint. But a couple of days from now you have to take a drug test, so you wonder how long does marijuana stay in your system? Is it safe to smoke before taking the test? Let’s find out.
What Are the Effects of Marijuana?
When people smoke marijuana, they will experience a different effect, depending on the type of plant and their body chemistry. While some may feel a deep relaxation or euphoria, others might get anxious or even paranoid.
One of the most common effects of marijuana is the high that people associate with smoking pot. That translates to veeeery slow reaction times, lack of interest in pretty much any activity that requires even a little bit of movement, and difficulty understanding new concepts.
The high is caused by the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) present in the plant. It’s a psychoactive ingredient that has a different absorption rate depending on how you take the marijuana. For instance, if you ingest it orally instead of smoking it, it will take longer for the effects to kick in.
But, depending on the strain of the plant, as well as your body chemistry, it might take anywhere between a few seconds up to 20 minutes to experience the high.
Some of the most common effects of marijuana include:
- Increased body sensations (it might feel different when somebody touches you)
- Swollen eyelids
- Bloodshot eyes
- Increased relaxation
- Very dry mouth or throat
- Distorted perception
- Increased stimulation
- The munchies (increased appetite, especially for junk food)
- Difficulty focusing, thinking, coordinating, or remembering things
- Increased blood pressure or heart rate
How Long do the Effects of Marijuana Last?
All of the effects we listed above can last for different amounts of time. Sometimes, you could experience multiple effects after certain periods of time.
For instance, you might feel anxious at the start, have an increased heart rate, but after 30 minutes or so you might get the munchies and experience deep relaxation. They all depend highly on the strain of the plant — sometimes the high can last for one-two hours, and other times it could last a lot longer.
Either way, you need to keep in mind that if you aren’t experiencing the effects of marijuana, it doesn’t mean that it is not in your system. The THC will take a lot longer to break down in your body and get completely absorbed, and that’s the element most drug tests look for.
So, how long does marijuana stay in your system? Take a look below to find out!
Marijuana in Blood and Saliva
Blood and saliva tests are not too common for testing marijuana use, because the substance doesn’t stay in the bloodstream or saliva for a long time. It will only be present for a few hours, which makes it difficult to detect successfully.
Blood and saliva marijuana tests are used mostly in roadside sobriety checkpoints or in case of automobile accidents. They aren’t used more often because they only show if the driver is under the influence at the given moment.
Hair Test for Marijuana
There are hair tests that can show if a person is a frequent cannabis user. Those tests can show if the person smoked pot even three months after the fact. However, it’s not a very reliable test in terms of detecting marijuana for people who don’t use it frequently.
Urine Test for Marijuana
If you take a urine test right after smoking pot, chances are it won’t give you a positive result. The body takes time to break down THC, which means the urine you eliminate won’t contain any THC yet, unless it’s not your first use.
In short, a one-time marijuana use might take up to 13 days to be completely out of your system, regular use could take up to a month and a half to flush out of your body, and if you use heavily, even three months!
How to Quickly Eliminate Marijuana From Your System
If you need to take a drug test and you just finished your joint, there are a couple of things you could do in order to eliminate marijuana from your body faster.
First, you could drink a lot of liquids to help you urinate more frequently. This will dilute the THC, but will not completely eliminate it. Then, you could take some vitamin B-12 supplements to add color back to the urine.
We don’t suggest exercising, though, because if you smoke a lot, your fatty cells will contain THC. Those will break down during exercise, and release the substance into your blood, giving you the opposite of the desired effect.