How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the main components in cannabis that stays in your body the longest. A wide variety of factors contribute to how long this compound remains detectable with testing. For example, in heavy consumers, THC can remain detectable for up to 30 days! (1)  Yet, it’s obvious you won’t be feeling the psychoactive effects that long. If you want to understand the science of how cannabis manages to stick around, understanding the nature of THC will shed some light on this topic. 

If you’re looking for superior vapes, edibles, tinctures, flower, and more, Canna Culture in San Jose, CA and Santa Clara County has an array of superior cannabis products available for pickup, delivery, and in-store. Feel free to look through our massive online menu or give us a call at (408) 264-7877 for further guidance on your cannabis-related needs. Our knowledgeable budtenders have the right tools and knowledge for you to find the experience you’re looking for. 

Weed Delivery in the South Bay

Canna Culture offers free delivery on premium products within a 20-mile radius, serving the areas of San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountain View, Morgan Hill and more. Here’s what else you should know about our services: 

  • We deliver from 9 am to 9 pm.
  • We provide same-day delivery. 
  • Cash, credit, and debit cards are accepted.
  • See our Delivery Map for more details

The Basics of THC 

There is much more to this fascinating compound than meets the eye. Although most customers understand it as the main psychoactive ingredient in their cannabis, not many understand how it works in harmony with our human physiology. First of all, THC is just one of over 100 different cannabinoids found within cannabis. (2) 

The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the network that hosts neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids and various enzymes that help to regulate normal, everyday bodily and mental processes like: 

  • Energy 
  • Appetite 
  • Blood pressure 
  • Pain perception 
  • Learning and memory 
  • Immune responses 

THC and other cannabinoids bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system. It primarily binds to two different receptors in the ECS, CB1 receptors, found within the brain and spinal cord, and CB2 receptors, found in the nerves throughout the body. Though, the body works to metabolize THC, a process in which the THC breaks down and eventually converts to waste. This process also creates THC metabolites or other substances that derive from THC that are also detected in tests. When the body metabolizes THC, it releases over 100 different metabolites. 

How is THC Metabolized? 

Depending on the method of consumption, THC enters the bloodstream through different pathways. As cannabis users know, the compounds of the plant are usually consumed through smoking or vaping, or by enjoying an edible


When cannabis is inhaled, it enters the bloodstream via the lungs. The air and smoke you inhale pass through the trachea and the bronchial tubes before they finally reach structures called alveoli. The alveoli absorb oxygen and cannabis compounds through tiny blood vessels called capillaries. 

Within an average of just 6 to 10 minutes, THC reaches the brain and other organs and provides a psychoactive effect. When inhaled, about 10 to 35% of the THC becomes bioavailable and capable of providing benefits. Once it’s fully absorbed, THC is transported to the liver where it’s further processed into waste or broken down into the metabolites 11-OH-THC or 11-COOH-THC. (3) The latter compound is often found during urine tests for cannabis since it’s capable of staying in the body for days or weeks– depending on how much cannabis is regularly used by the consumer. 


After eating an edible, the food is processed in the stomach and the THC is absorbed into the small intestine leading nutrients and various compounds to the bloodstream. It takes roughly 20 minutes to 2 hours for the cannabis to take effect. It’s slightly less effective than the inhalation method; only 4 to 12% of the total THC consumption becomes bioavailable. After THC leaves the bloodstream, it is deposited into subcutaneous fat tissues. 

Since this cannabinoid is fat-soluble, these tissues are able to pick up and store THC rapidly. (3) Because of this, people with more fat deposits may metabolize THC much slower than those with low body fat. Still, THC from edibles is sent to the liver where it is processed into 11-OH-THC and 11-COOH-THC, making it detectable for the same amount of time as if it was inhaled. 

Canna Culture encourages clients to partake in their use of cannabis responsibly.

What Factors Contribute to the Speed of Weed Metabolization? 

A wide variety of factors can affect how slow or fast you metabolize weed. As stated before, larger people have more fat deposits for THC to bind to, so tests may show up positive for a longer amount of time. Other factors include age, sex, individual metabolism, and how frequently you use cannabis. Those who regularly consume large amounts with higher potencies of THC will test positive on diagnostic tests for several weeks, while someone who only occasionally smokes may metabolize the compounds within a few days. 

How Long Can Tests Detect Weed in the Body?

Urine Tests 

Urine tests are the most common type of cannabis-detection tests. If someone who doesn’t regularly consume cannabis smokes one joint, a urine test will detect it for up to 3 days.  With moderate use of the plant (the equivalent of 4 times per week), this test can detect THC for 5 to 7 days after the last usage. If someone were to smoke every day and stop, it would be detected for up to 2 weeks! Someone with very heavy usage who smokes multiple times a day would have detectable THC for an entire month. 

Saliva Tests 

These tests are incredibly sensitive because someone who has simply been around secondhand smoke can test positive. The downside is that they are usually only reliable if they are administered on the same day of weed consumption. However, very frequent users may have THC in their saliva for up to 3 days. Since it only tends to detect short-term usage, they’re often used by law enforcement in roadside testing. 

Blood Tests 

Weed usually only remains in your blood for 12 hours after usage, which comes as a surprise for many people. Just like any other test, more chronic, heavy usage will result in detection for a longer period of time. 

Hair Tests

A strand of hair can tell an accurate narrative of one’s cannabis usage over the past three months. In a hair test, only a 1.5-inch piece of hair is collected near the scalp. The 0.5-inch segment closest to the scalp will reflect the rough amount and frequency of cannabis consumption within the past month. Every 0.5-inch that grows after that reflects usage from the month before. 

Weed Testing in California

At Canna Culture, we support the responsible use and enjoyment of cannabis- whether it be recreational or for medical reasons. However, the reality is that weed is still under federal scrutiny, making it a tricky situation to navigate at times. California, though, has been a pioneer in paving the way for consumers to incorporate the healing abilities of weed into their daily lives. 

As of January 1, 2024, an amendment to the Fair Employment and Housing Act will declare it unlawful for employers to discriminate against those who use cannabis outside of work and those found to have non psychoactive cannabis metabolites after a workplace drug test. Still, employers who demonstrate reasonable suspicion that their employee has recently consumed cannabis can administer an “impairment test”- most likely a saliva test that will reveal very recent usage. Without this reasonable suspicion, employers won’t be able to discriminate against potential employers with a pre-screening test or a test administered to help with decision-making in terms of disciplinary actions or termination of employment.

How Much is Premium Weed in San Jose?

The cost of your haul depends on what you buy! Shop our massive selection here for delivery or pickup. If you have any questions about our products, give us a call at (408) 264-7877 or use our inquiry form for more information.

Get connected to the weed world by reading more about cannabis on our News page.


Is there a way to detox THC from your urine faster? 

Consuming a lot of water can sometimes help dilute your urine and allow you to clear THC from your body faster, but this isn’t always effective. The test may also reveal that your urine is too diluted and similar to water, and you’ll have to take it again. 

Is there a way to detox THC from your hair? 

While there is a way to reduce the amount of THC in your hair with bleaching, perming, and other methods of coloring, you may not be able to conceal heavy usage. Research has shown that bleaching, specifically, can reduce the concentration of THC by only 14%, while coloring can reduce it by 30%. 

Can other compounds besides THC be detected in weed tests? 

Yes, metabolites from the various cannabinoids of cannabis can be detected with weed tests. Metabolites come from a parent compound and are created as the body works to metabolize it. Two common metabolites identified with tests are 11-OH-THC or 11-COOH-THC which come from the parent compound THC. 


  1. Turner AR, Agrawal S. Marijuana. PubMed. Published 2022. 
  2. Haney M. Cannabis Use and the Endocannabinoid System: A Clinical Perspective. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2022;179(1):21-25. doi: 
  3. Chayasirisobhon S. Mechanisms of Action and Pharmacokinetics of Cannabis. The Permanente Journal. 2020;24(5). doi: 
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