How long is cannabis detectable in the body?
How long a drug is detectable in your blood or urine depends on a number of factors. How often and how much you use and your personal metabolism influences this detection. Metabolism is the rate at which a substance is broken down, especially by your liver. Drugs are longer detectable in your urine than in your blood.
Cannabis can be detected in the urine for up to 5 days (with occasional use) and up to 4 weeks (with chronic intensive use). In some cases even longer.
The breakdown of cannabis, unlike the breakdown of most other drugs, is very slow. This has to do with the fact that THC, the main active ingredient of cannabis, stores itself in your fat tissue and is not directly broken down by the liver (as with ecstasy, speed and coke, for example). Very slowly, the THC is released from the fat tissue and broken down. So there are two steps:
- Delivery by blood to the fat tissue.
- Delivery of the fat tissue to the blood.
Because the release of cannabis from the fat tissue is so slow, cannabis remains detectable in your urine for a long time. With heavy use, THC can be detected in the urine for up to 4 weeks. It’s not like you still feel any of that slow release. The effects are noticeable for a maximum of 4 to 6 hours when smoking, so you will not notice anything of the THC that is later released slowly by your fat tissue.