How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?

Though the effects of marijuana may wear off quickly, the drug has the potential to stay in your system for a much longer period. The length of time can depend on many factors including the marijuana’s potency, frequency of use, and individual factors such as metabolism and level of hydration.

Using Marijuana

Marijuana is the umbrella term for the components of the Cannabis sativa plant that can be used to achieve a high. This typically includes the leaves, seeds, and flowers of the plant. These components are most often smoked, either rolled up in a joint or from a pipe or bong. Other methods of administration include vaporizing the THC-concentrated resin and ingesting it with food known as edibles.

The way it is used can affect how long its effects are felt. For example, when marijuana is absorbed in the body through the digestive system, the high may be more potent and long-lasting. This is why edibles may be more likely to lead to an uncomfortable high known as a “bad trip.” The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC, is stored in fat cells where the chemical is released slowly. This contributes to the length of time that marijuana can stay in the system.

Marijuana in Your Blood, Urine, Hair, & Saliva

Traces of marijuana can remain in your body long after the effects of the drug have worn out. Depending on the type of drug test used, marijuana can be detectable for days or months.


Blood tests only detect marijuana while it is still in the bloodstream. This is typically a period of only a few hours, which is why blood tests are rarely used to screen for marijuana use.


Urine tests for marijuana use are common and relatively effective. A urine test can detect marijuana in your system for days after use. Individuals who smoke frequently may have traces of marijuana for weeks after the last use.


Traces of marijuana can remain in your hair for up to three months after use. That’s because the substance is passed from the bloodstream to the hair follicle. However, these tests may be more reliable for habitual users.


Saliva tests have a relatively short window of detection. Most can only detect marijuana in your system for up to 24-48 hours.

How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effects?

Marijuana can cause a variety of effects on the mind and body. The sensation that is often perceived as most desirable is the relaxation or light euphoria brought on by marijuana use. However, this comes with a host of unpleasant side effects including distorted perceptions of reality, changes in mood, impaired thinking and coordination, and impaired memory. Some people who smoke marijuana also report feelings of paranoia and anxiety.

These effects tend to come on within minutes when marijuana is smoked, typically peaking in intensity within a few hours. When ingested as edibles, the effects of marijuana can take longer to be felt, but they can last for almost twice as long.

Can You Fail a Drug Test From Secondhand Smoke?
Though very little THC is released when a person exhales marijuana smoke, there is still a small chance that being around other people who are smoking marijuana could cause you to fail a drug test. This is especially true if you are in an enclosed space with heavy marijuana smoke for an extended period of time. Traces of marijuana can be found in hair, for example, even through physical contact. As such, a person surrounded by heavy marijuana smoke could test positive on a drug test.
Detoxing From Marijuana

Common myths surrounding marijuana use purport the ability to eliminate marijuana faster using a variety of methods. These range from drinking a lot of water to taking vitamins or other over-the-counter medications. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that any of these methods actually help hasten the elimination of marijuana.

There is nothing that can be ingested that will change marijuana’s half-life, which is the amount of time it takes for the body to metabolize half of a dose. This half-life cycle repeats until all of the ingested drug has been eliminated, regardless of how much water or vitamins you ingest after using marijuana.

When a person suffers from marijuana dependence, the detox period may be uncomfortable. This makes it more likely that they will continue using to avoid the unpleasant effects of withdrawal. In this case, individuals may benefit from completing detox in a safe and supervised environment as part of an in-patient addiction treatment program.

Symptoms of Overdose

Marijuana overdose is rarely lethal. However, heavy use can lead to severe psychological distress and other signs of toxicity. These can include:

  • Impaired judgment leading to potential injury
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Panic attacks

Marijuana Length in System FAQs

Marijuana Detox At Riverwalk Ranch
A Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area Addiction Treatment Center

At Riverwalk Ranch, we can help you detox from marijuana and other substances as part of our comprehensive addiction treatment services. Our professionals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area employ only effective and research-based treatments to help you eliminate marijuana from your system. In conjunction with the addiction experts at Riverwalk, you will find like-minded peers with a common goal that make this an encouraging and safe haven to detox.

If you or a loved one is suffering from marijuana abuse or addiction, contact our addiction treatment center today at (877) 863-3869. Whether you live in Texas or you’re looking to detox in a new environment, Riverwalk Ranch can provide a therapeutic and supportive home for you. Everyone deserves a happy and healthy life free from addiction, and overcoming problematic marijuana use is the first step in getting there.

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