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All You Need to Know About How Long Weed Stay In Your Body

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Written by Sulagna Chakraborty

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, weed, or pot, is a drug derived from the cannabis sativa plant. Within the plant is a chemical known as tetrahydrocannabinol (TCH), which brings about a euphoric effect when inhaled, ingested, or vaped.

THC is detected in the blood or saliva as early as 2–24 hours after consumption. Urine and testing of hair strands may have a longer detection window, which may be anywhere between 1 and 90 days after last use.

Weed might be detected in your system for up to 90 days after you’ve taken the drug, depending on a number of factors, including:

  1. The method of testing for cannabis in your system
  2. The way in which you consumed the cannabis (e.g., smoking or ingesting the substance when it has been baked or cooked in food)
  3. How much cannabis you have been using
  4. Various factors relating to your unique body

THC is abundantly present in cannabis, and drug tests can measure it and its metabolites, which stay in your system long after the effects of the drug itself have worn out. 

These metabolites are generally fat-soluble, which means they leave fat behind, making their testing easier.

What is Weed Made up Of?

Weed is made from the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the cannabis plant. The primary active compounds responsible for its effects are cannabinoids, with the most well-known being delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD)

The plant’s chemical composition can vary based on the strain and growing conditions, leading to different levels of THC and CBD. THC is responsible for the psychoactive properties that induce the “high,” while CBD is non-psychoactive and may have potential therapeutic properties.

Cannabis has a long history of medicinal and recreational use, and its legal status varies worldwide. When consumed, typically through smoking, vaporizing, or ingestion, these cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, affecting mood, perceptions, and physical sensations. While it has potential medical benefits, it is important to note that excessive use may have adverse legal, psychological, and physical consequences.

How does your Body Process THC?

When you consume THC, your body processes it through a series of metabolic and physiological mechanisms. After inhalation or ingestion, THC enters the bloodstream and is carried to various organs and tissues.

It binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and the nervous system, specifically the CB1 receptors. This interaction is responsible for the psychoactive effects. 

The liver metabolizes THC into various compounds, primarily 11-hydroxy THC, which can be more potent than the original THC. These metabolites are then excreted through urine and feces.

THC’s half-life varies, but it typically ranges from 1 to 2 days. Factors like frequency of use, metabolism, and method of consumption can influence how long THC remains detectable in the body through drug tests. Ultimately, the body's ability to process THC varies from person to person.

Side Effects of Weed Consumption

Consuming weed can have serious side effects, both short and long-term, which can vary among individuals based on factors like dosage, method of consumption, and individual sensitivity. Short-term effects often include altered perception, relaxation, and an increased sense of well-being, but they can also include:

  1. Impaired Coordination and motor skills
  2. Increased heart rate and bloodshot eyes
  3. Dry mouth and increased appetite (often referred to as “munchies”)

Anxiety, Paranoia, or hallucinations, particularly in high doses

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Long-Term Effects of Weed

Long-term, heavy use of marijuana can lead to:

  1. Respiratory problems from smoking
  2. Reduced motivation
  3. Withdrawal Symptoms from dependency
  4. Increased risk of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis (particularly in those with a predisposition)
  5. Negative impact on professional and academic achievements

Is Weed addictive?

The addictive potential of marijuana use is a subject of ongoing scientific research and debate, but it is widely acknowledged that it can lead to a condition known as Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) in some users. CUD is characterized by symptoms like cravings, tolerance, withdrawal, and the inability to cut consumption despite negative consequences.

While marijuana addiction is generally considered less severe than addictions to substances like opioids or alcohol, it can still negatively impact one’s life, health, and well-being. Approximately 9% of people who use marijuana become dependent on it, with this figure rising to about 17% among those who start using it in their teens.

Responsible and moderate use, along with awareness of the potential risks of addiction, is advised, especially for those with a history of substance abuse or mental health issues.

Treatment for Weed Addiction 

Treating addiction to weed or cannabis use disorder (CUD) requires a comprehensive and holistic approach. This includes:

  1. Detoxification: In case of heavy use, a brief period of supervised detoxification may be necessary to manage withdrawal symptoms, though these are typically less severe than with other substances
  2. Education and Awareness: Providing individuals and their families with accurate information about the risks and consequences of CUD and granting an enhanced support network for better recovery
  3. Holistic Therapies: Incorporating mindfulness and yoga into addiction treatment aids stress reduction and well-being. Mindfulness heightens self-awareness, enabling better choices when confronting triggers. Yoga promotes physical well-being and instills balance and self-care, which are vital for post-rehab positivity.
  4. Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Many with CUD suffer from issues like anxiety or depression, acting as triggers. Dual diagnosis treatment identifies and addresses these concerns through therapy, medication, or relevant interventions, enhancing the chances of lasting recovery.
  5. Routine Monitoring: Drug tests deter relapse and objectively measure sobriety. Routine check-ins with counselors and support groups facilitate reflection, goal setting, guidance seeking, reinforcing commitment to the recovery process, and reducing relapse risk. 
  6. Long-term Aftercare: Ongoing support, such as therapy or participation in recovery communities, is vital for maintaining sobriety. Addiction is chronic, and aftercare provides consistent support, personal growth, and a drug-free, fulfilling life. 

How Rehabilitation at a De-Addiction Center Helps

Treatment at a rehabilitation center provides a structured environment for everyone seeking recovery. They employ a combination of individual counseling, group therapy, and cognitive behavioral approaches to help clients understand the underlying triggers and cravings.

Additionally, they provide medical supervision to manage withdrawal symptoms and other mental health issues that come with weed addiction. The supportive community in these centers helps individuals connect with peers who are facing similar challenges, reducing feelings of isolation.

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1. How long does it take your body to absorb weed?

The time it takes for your body to absorb weed, specifically its psychoactive compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can vary depending on how it's consumed. When smoking or vaping, THC can take effect within minutes, reaching peak levels in about 15-30 minutes. Edibles, on the other hand, may take 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in, as they must first pass through the digestive system. The duration of effects also differs; smoking or vaping typically lasts 2-4 hours, while edibles can last 4-8 hours. Factors such as metabolism, tolerance, and dosage play a significant role in the absorption and duration of effects.

2. Is smoking weed bad for your heart?

Research has discovered that cannabis is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Some studies show that THC causes inflammation in the cells that line the heart and the blood vessels. Smoking exposes you to some of the same toxins and carcinogens present in cigarettes.

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