Congratulations! You’ve just landed your dream job and you’re about to conquer the market with your superb skills and the passion for your area of expertise. And you also think that one joint a day keeps the doctor away.
If the answer to the last assumption of mine is yes, you have one more test to pass, my fellow stoner – the drug screening. Despite the widespread decriminalization and legalization of cannabis in more and more states, the vast majority of employers still claim that they will reject a candidate who turns out positive on the marijuana screening during the drug test.
Fear not, as this informational guide is here to enlighten you how long THC remains in your system, e.g. in your urine, blood, saliva, and hair.
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your Blood?
Source: Franklin Institute
Employers use blood tests to measure the amount of active THC in your system. After THC enters the bloodstream, it almost instantaneously reaches the level of over 100ng/ml, and this happens within the first few minutes. After that, the THC level drops significantly to single digits with the passage of the first hour.
For casual smokers, THC levels drop below 1ng/mL within 3 to 12 hours, so if you’re a driver living in Colorado, you shouldn’t be afraid of the intoxication and driving impairment tests if the roadside inspection comes unexpectedly.
However, heavy smokers seem to show the longer retention of THC – it can stay above the 1ng/ML level in their blood up to 7 days after the last cannabis session.
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your Urine?
Source: Nicotine Resources
A urine test is the cheapest and the most common way to check whether a prospective employee likes to share his weed with friends more often than from time to time.
Let’s take a closer look at how long marijuana stays in your urine, depending on a smoking routine:
- Heavy smokers have been tested positive for up to 45-90 days in urine after stopping using marijuana.
- Regular (but not heavy) users appeared positive for THC for up to 30 days in urine.
- Those who were smoking occasionally have been tested positive for THC for up to 15 days.
- First-time, or as I like to call them, rookies, may have their THC levels >1ng/mL for up to 8 days.
You can dilute your urine by drinking large amounts of water before passing a drug test, and this method is actually proven effective by some studies. In order to make the strategy work for you, it’s best to drink as much water as possible at least two hours before undergoing a drug test.
How Long Does THC Stay in Your Saliva
Source: The Life Square
This kind of test measures THC in the oral fluid. Saliva tests are used for roadside tests to see if you have been smoking within the past couple of hours.
THC in your saliva can be found up to 24-36 hours after the last marijuana intake, although the average period for the detection of THC in saliva is 12 hours.
How Long Does THC Stay in Your Hair?
Source: How To Detox Thc
If your employee or a law enforcement body wants to detect THC and its metabolites in your hair, they will use a hair drug test (no way, Sherlock!). However, hair test doesn’t usually measure the very THC; instead, they measure levels of THC-COOH, a compound that is not present in marijuana smoke.
Hair tests can detect THC for the longest period of time, which is up to 90 days.
Have you ever been tested for THC before starting a job? If yes, what was the result? Did you try to cheat the test? Feel free to share your strategies!