Marijuana edibles have become increasingly popular as a discreet and smoke-free way to consume cannabis. However, due to the presence of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound in marijuana, many individuals wonder how long the effects of edibles can be detected by drug tests.
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In this blog post, we'll explore how long marijuana edibles can be detected in your hair, urine, blood, and saliva, and discuss factors that can influence the length of time they remain in your system.
How Long Do Marijuana Edibles Stay in Your Hair?
When you consume cannabis edibles, the active compound THC gets broken down into a metabolite called 11-hydroxy THC. This metabolite can be detected in your hair follicles for 30 days and up to 90 days after consuming edibles.
Hair follicle tests are commonly used to detect long-term drug use. THC metabolites can be detected in hair for an extended period, making it one of the longest-lasting methods of detection.
It's important to note that the detection window varies from person to person, depending on factors such as the amount of THC consumed and individual metabolism rates.
Hair Tests - 30 to 90 Days
How Long Do Marijuana Edibles Stay in Your Urine?
Urine tests are frequently employed to screen for recent marijuana use. For individuals who consume edibles infrequently or moderately, THC metabolites can be detected in urine for approximately 1 to 13 days. However, for frequent to extremely heavy users, THC metabolites may remain detectable for up to 15 to 30 days after consuming edibles.
It is crucial to remember that these timeframes are approximate and can vary depending on various factors such as metabolism, body weight, and individual physiology. The exact duration varies from person to person.
Urine Tests - 1 to 30 days
How Long Do Marijuana Edibles Stay in Your Blood?
When it comes to detecting THC from marijuana edibles in the bloodstream, the duration can vary depending on factors such as frequency of use, individual metabolism rates, and the amount of THC in the edibles consumed. However, for most users, THC from edibles can typically be detected in blood tests for approximately 3 to 4 days after consumption.
Blood Tests - 3 to 4 days
How Long Do Marijuana Edibles Stay in Your Saliva?
Saliva tests are gaining popularity due to their non-invasive nature and ability to detect recent drug use. While saliva drug tests are less commonly used for detecting cannabis use, they can still indicate recent consumption.
THC from edibles can be detected in saliva within minutes of consumption and may remain detectable for up to 24 hours for one-time or moderate users. However, for frequent to extremely heavy users, THC can be detected in saliva for approximately 72 hours after consuming edibles. It's worth mentioning that the length of time THC remains detectable in saliva can be influenced by factors such as oral hygiene and the frequency of cannabis use.
Saliva Tests - 24 to 72 hours
Factors Affecting How Long Edibles Stay in the System?
One of the primary factors affecting how long edibles stay in the system is an individual's metabolism rate. Metabolism refers to the chemical processes that occur within the body to maintain life, including breaking down and processing substances like THC.
The speed at which THC is processed in the body depends on the person's metabolism. People with faster metabolism will have a shorter time span for detecting THC. THC detection can be influenced by a person's body fat percentage. This is because THC is stored in fat cells. Individuals with higher levels of body fat may have THC in their system for a longer time because there are more fat cells available to store THC.
The frequency and amount of cannabis edibles consumed also play a significant role in determining how long THC remains in the system. Those who consume edibles regularly or in large amounts are likely to have a longer detection window compared to occasional or moderate users.
This is because the body accumulates THC over time, and frequent or heavy consumption can lead to higher concentrations of THC being stored in fat cells, which then take longer to be processed and eliminated from the body.
Lastly, it's essential to consider the individual variability and genetic factors that can influence how long edibles stay in the system. Some people naturally metabolize THC faster than others due to genetic differences, while others may have slower rates of metabolism due to various health conditions or medications.
Furthermore, factors such as age, sex, and overall health can also impact the rate at which the body processes THC. As a result, the detection window for marijuana edibles can vary significantly from person to person, making it difficult to predict with certainty how long edibles will stay in an individual's system.
How Long for Edibles to Take Effect?
Edibles take longer to produce a psychoactive effect compared to when you smoke marijuana. Since edibles are processed through the digestive system, it may take longer for the effect to be felt.
Typically, users start to feel the effects of edibles within 30 minutes to 2 hours after consumption, and the effects can last for up to 12 hours.
Get Help for Substance Abuse in Anaheim, California
While marijuana use may be legal in several states, abuse of this substance can still lead to physical, psychological, and social problems. If you or a loved one are struggling with marijuana addiction in Anaheim, California, there is help available.
At Anaheim Lighthouse, we provide evidence-based treatment programs tailored to meet the needs of individuals seeking help for substance abuse.
Medically Reviewed by:
Dr. Preet Joneja PsyD and the clinical team at Anaheim Lighthouse
Preet Joneja is the Clinical Director at Anaheim Lighthouse in Anaheim, California. She is a Board Certified Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years of experience working with individuals suffering from mental and emotional disorders.
Peng, H., & Shahidi, F. (2021). Cannabis and Cannabis Edibles: A Review. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 69(6), 1751–1774. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c07472
Barrus, D. G., Capogrossi, K., Cates, S., Gourdet, C., Peiper, N., Novak, S. P., Lefever, T. W., & Wiley, J. L. (2016). Tasty THC: Promises and Challenges of Cannabis Edibles. https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.2016.op.0035.1611
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