Josh Chandler | May 17, 2024

How Long Does THC Stay in Your System?

THC is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis — aka marijuana. Although marijuana has been legalized in many states, it can still impact a person’s brain and body. THC is the compound in marijuana that causes individuals to get high–or experience a temporary feeling of euphoria, well-being, or relaxation. How long it stays in a person’s system depends on the strain of the drug used, the dose, and how long the individual has been using it. 

Muse Treatment is a leading area addiction treatment center that offers comprehensive treatment for drug and alcohol use disorders. While some people don’t believe that marijuana is addictive, we know that it most certainly can be, and it can alter an individual’s mind and body health. We treat all forms of substance abuse at our rehab center. We treat addictions to prescription drugs, illicit drugs, and alcohol. If you abuse marijuana or other drugs, you can get help at Muse Treatment. 

Our treatment center offers inpatient rehab treatment, outpatient therapy, medical detox, and aftercare programming. We treat the mind, body, and spirit and can meet people wherever they are on their recovery journey. Although pot has been legalized in many states and many individuals use this substance habitually, it can still be habit-forming and cause unwanted effects and consequences for a person’s health and life. Has THC become a problem in your life? Muse Treatment can help you overcome your chemical dependence and manage your condition for the long term.


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Understanding THC and Its Effects on the Body

THC can impact the mind and body, whether it’s smoked or ingested in edible form. THC slows the body down. It can cause relaxation and, according to many people, relieve pain. Many people report that THC also alleviates emotional stress and anxiety. On the other hand, some people experience negative effects from THC, such as increased anxiety or even paranoia. Users may feel lightheaded or experience reduced cognitive functions and impaired coordination. For this reason, users should never drive or operate dangerous equipment when under the influence of THC. The dose and strain of cannabis used can also increase these effects. 

Factors That Influence THC Retention

Many different factors can affect how long THC stays detectable in a person’s system. Although the high that people experience from THC tends to last only a few hours, the chemical can remain detectable in a person for much longer. The stain of cannabis a person takes and the amount they take will impact THC retention. A person’s weight and metabolism can also impact the detectability of the substance. Some people process chemicals quickly while others take longer; the rate at which a person metabolizes chemicals also impacts how long THC remains detectable in their system. Finally, other chemicals in the body can alter the detectability of THC.

Detection Windows for THC

THC can usually be detected in blood and urine for up to three days, depending on the abovementioned variables. On the other hand, a hair drug test may detect THC for up to a few months — about three. Drug detection rates are subject to variables regardless of the substance in question. That is to say that one person may test negative within the detection window even if they used the drug simply because they processed it faster or their dose was small, for example. 

THC Metabolism: How the Body Processes THC

The body must process chemicals that enter the system through ingestion, smoking, and the bloodstream. Metabolism refers to the process by which the body processes or rids chemicals from the system. When inhaled, THC enters the lungs and then the bloodstream, where it makes its way throughout the body. THC that’s ingested goes through the gastrointestinal system and is primarily processed by the liver. THC is associated with quick metabolism rates, but this rate is subject to many different variables. 

Common Methods for THC Testing

THC is a substance that is commonly searched for on standard panel drug tests. There are single tests that check for, as well as multi-panel tests that detect the presence of multiple commonly abused substances. The most common drug tests are urine, blood, and hair tests. Each test provides a different window of detection. Most substances can be detected in urine or blood tests for about three days from the last use. THC is among them. A hair test can usually detect commonly abused substances like THC for about 90 days from the last use. 

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Strategies to Clear THC from Your System

Many people want to clear their systems of drugs before a drug test. Today, many products on the market promise a fast detox, but there is no guarantee that these products will work for users. Many of these products attempt to speed up a person’s metabolism so that the body processes chemicals like THC more quickly. Again, there isn’t a guarantee that one product or another will clear your system of drugs before you need to pass a drug test. You may be able to boost your system’s ability to process substances by increasing hydration. The body needs water to function optimally, so be sure to drink plenty of water to help your bodily functions do their jobs.

Legal and Employment Considerations for THC Testing

Many employers routinely check prospective employees and current employees for drug use. Conducting these tests is legal, and employees must accept testing under the terms of their employment. Naturally, people do not have to undergo tests if they choose not to, but they may forfeit their employment as a result. If you have questions about your employer’s policies regarding THC testing, you should check with your employee manual or consult its human resources manager or staff. 


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Muse Treatment’s Approach to Recovery and THC Education

Muse Treatment takes a holistic approach to the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. We combine medically traditional therapies (evidence-based) with alternative and holistic therapies. Together, these therapeutic approaches target each aspect of substance addiction and recovery. Muse Treatment also believes strongly in individualized treatment to suit each client’s needs. 

THC can be addictive. A person who has developed a dependence on cannabis or a full-blown addiction can get help at Muse Treatment. We offer a complete lineup of treatment programs that include both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Our licensed clinicians can also provide clinically supervised medical detox, dual diagnosis treatment, and medication-assisted treatment. Our Los Angeles drug rehab center is known for its ultra-comfortable setting and enjoyable amenities like nutritious, chef-prepared meals and fitness equipment. 

You can overcome a THC addiction, but it takes time and support. You can get help at Muse Treatment to manage your substance use disorder effectively. If you want to stop worrying about drug tests for good, stop taking drugs for good. Let Muse Treatment Center help you get your life and health back on track with our proven strategies for safe and effective drug addiction treatment. Get started today —  contact Muse Treatment or call 800-426-1818 to learn more about our substance abuse treatments and rehab center. We can discuss our enrollment process and help you get started in therapy as soon as possible.

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Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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