Marijuana, also known as cannabis, ganja, weed, and pot, among a host of other names, is a drug derived from the hemp genus of plants. When taken as a drug, marijuana can be used to attain psychoactive effects, and it is also becoming more prevalent as an alternative form of medicine for certain conditions. Marijuana is illegal in most cases in the United States, though many states have created laws allowing for its use as a medical aid.
Over one-third of Americans have reported using marijuana at least once - 40 percent of Americans, according to the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy. While it is frequently called a "gateway drug," the vast majority of users never go on to use any other illicit substances. Nonetheless, marijuana remains targeted by law enforcement and employers, with over 50 million drug tests performed in the country each year.
When examining how long does marijuana stay in the body, the ingredient under question is THC (Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the primary chemical in marijuana. THC is responsible for producing the drug's psychoactive effects. When testing for marijuana, the presence of THC or other parts of the substance may be analyzed. Urine is by far the most common method of marijuana testing. Whether it shows up in testing can depend on a number of factors.
How long does marijuana stay in the body? This depends on the amount of marijuana used, how frequently it has been used, the potency of the drug, and how well the body is maintained. Determining how long does marijuana stay in the system primarily relies on the extent of its use. The more frequently marijuana has been used, the more it becomes entrenched in the body. Also, highly potent strains of marijuana can linger in the system for much longer than weaker strains.
How long marijuana stays in the body depends in part on the frequency of use. For someone who has used marijuana only once or twice, it should be virtually eliminated from the body within a week at the most. People who use marijuana occasionally may take a matter of days or as many as a couple of weeks to completely eliminate it from their systems after discontinuing use. Regular users of marijuana can generally find that traces of the substance can linger for a matter of weeks, somewhere between one and four depending on the circumstances. For the most frequent users, traces of marijuana can remain in the body and show up in testing for as much as nearly two months after the last use.
The final factor in determining how long does marijuana stay in the body involves personal care. People who drink a lot of fluids, primarily water, and get regular aerobic exercise are likely to find their systems cleared more quickly than those who do not hydrate and exercise sufficiently. Much like its effect on weight, metabolism can play a significant role in the presence of marijuana in the system.
Marijuana is the most common illegal drug used in the U.S. Testing has become commonplace, both in law enforcement and in the workplace. How long marijuana stays in the body involves several factors including the frequency of use, its strength, and the body's metabolism.