How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Urine after One Hit

How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Urine after One Hit

Let’s say you live in a state where recreational cannabis legalization is a reality, and you’re at a party where they’re passing around a joint. You’re not a regular cannabis user, but you feel the vibe and have a hit. Due to the fact that you’re an infrequent user, one toke is more than enough for you.

Then, in the morning you suddenly remember that it’s nearing that time of year when your employer, legally allowed to do so, tends to conduct the company’s mandatory annual urine drug screening test.

This is a very common occurrence for both frequent users, occasional users, and even one-time users to encounter.

So, if you’re wondering how long a hit of weed will stay in your urine or bloodstream, this article is for you.

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Find out which major corporations drug test for marijuana
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Key Factors That Affect How Long Cannabis Stays in Your System

A variety of biological factors determine how long a hit of weed stays in your body. These include your genetics, age, sex, your metabolic rate, and your percentage of body fat compared to your body mass. Other factors that come into play are if you are a heavy user, casual user, or a first-time user; how frequently you exercise; and if you are good about staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water on a daily basis.

Without spending a lot of time on each of these factors, here are some brief summaries of how and why these things affect how long marijuana stays in your system.


While this article is focused on how various factors impact how long the presence of weed can be detected in your body, there is the caveat of individual genetics. If, for example, you have a genetic defect related to your liver, which is one of the organs that filters your blood, THC may stay in your blood longer than others.


Simply put, body metabolism affects the speed at which your body can eliminate traces of THC from itself, where the older you are the slower your metabolism, and the younger you are the faster metabolism you have.


Generally speaking, those who are biologically male tend to have a low BMI (body mass index) and faster metabolism, so their bodies often process marijuana more quickly.

Body fat ratio

The higher your body fat percentage, the more likely weed can stay in your system as THC is fat-soluble.

Frequency of cannabis usage

In short, those who are daily users have more THC metabolites already stored in their fat cells and tissues than those who are infrequent users of cannabis.

Exercise and hydration

Although you cannot flush or exercise THC out of your system in the span say 4-24 hours, drinking lots of water and exercising can help your organs and urinary tract to filter THC out more quickly, as does increasing your heart rate and blood flow through your body.

Smoking cannabis from a pipe
Cannabis laws in the US may dictate whether companies drug test for marijuana
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Types of Drug Tests and Detection Times

Generally speaking, THC has its highest detection period the first 3-4 hours after you smoke. However, that doesn’t mean it is out of your system in that amount of time, and it’s important to remember that every type of drug test has its own time period for how long its detection window is open so to speak.

Provided below are four of the most common drug testing methods used for cannabis detection. (Again, remember these are all averages for the average person and can vary depending on the factors provided above.)

Urine test

Testing for cannabis in urine is the most common method used when conducting drug testing. The detection time for THC when urine drug screening is used ranges from 3-4 days for one hit or casual users to 33-48 days or more for heavy cannabis users. False positives tend only to occur if you are using other drugs as well at the time, like opioids, etc.

Saliva test

Saliva testing has been started to be used a bit more frequently. THC metabolites are usually present in the saliva for 24+ hours after your cannabis consumption. Mouth swab drug tests, when conducted, are often done so without much advance warning, due to the short period of time that THC can be detected in your oral fluids. As such, some like to keep a saliva-neutralizing mouthwash or gum on hand in case such a test is sprung on them when they’re least expecting it.

Hair follicle test

While hair follicle testing is rarely used in the workplace, it is the most accurate as it is the most sensitive test. Hair testing has the longest detection window and can detect cannabis metabolites for 90 days or more in your hair follicles. Basically, the only ways around this are to either use a special shampoo, like the Old Style Aloe Toxin Rid shampoo, which can help your body to detox; or to go the extreme route and shave off all of your body hair.

Blood test

Although rarely used, blood tests are used the most when an employer or authority wants to check if you are currently or were very recently “under the influence” as this test has the shortest window of detection. A blood test can usually detect usage between 4-24 hours after your last toke. However, if you are a very regular user or chronic user, the presence of cannabinoid metabolites may be detected for even longer as the THC in your blood hasn’t had enough time to be completely cleared from your bloodstream.

Cannabis edibles and products on a table
Learn how THC and CBD affect your system and bloodstream
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Now that you know the basics about four of the most standard drug tests administered, here are some final general rules of thumb related to how long THC metabolites are detectable based on how often you use weed.

If you are a rare user, it should clear your system in 3-5 days. If you literally only took one hit and basically never use weed or are a first-time user, your likelihood of passing a drug test in the coming days or weeks is quite high. In fact, if you’re taking a urine test and only had one hit, you’re likely to pass this test with flying colors in even a matter of 24-72 hours.

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