Since cannabis is now legal in most of the United States and in many countries worldwide, the recreational and medicinal use of THC has skyrocketed. Whether you’re using THC to help you sleep, for chronic pain, or just to relax, there are some things you should know about where THC is stored in the body
While Green Gone Detox has briefly covered your body to flush out THC as well as what you need to know to prepare for a potential drug test, we haven’t actually gotten into depth about the precise location of THC cannabinoids in your body. Read on here to learn more about how cannabinoids travel through your system and where they’re stored for the long-term.
How Does Your Body Absorb THC?
The most important thing to understand about cannabis absorption is how it affects your body. Because cannabis has psychoactive effects, it needs to be decarboxylated. Decarboxylation refers to the removal of the carboxyl group from the tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). These acids are then transformed into tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC, CBG, CBN, or CBD, the cannabis delivers its psychoactive and physical effects, and then the metabolites are left behind after your body has finished processing it. The metabolites are what people are talking about when they ask where THC is stored in the body
Cannabis & Metabolites
After the marijuana cannabinoids interact with your system, you’re left with just the metabolites. These are the natural byproduct of THC and CBD products. There are over 80 metabolites that the liver must deal with after you finish smoking, drinking, or eating cannabis. Your liver works to flush out all of these elements, but it’s not where THC is stored in the body
Peak concentration of THC occurs within 10 minutes of consuming cannabis, but metabolite concentration actually peaks around 80 minutes after consumption. While peak time may vary depending on your consumption method, these are the most accurate estimates available.
Metabolites in Drug Testing
Most drug tests are looking for metabolites, not cannabinoids. The most common tests are looking for two specific types, including 11-OH-THC (11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and THC-COOH (11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). They show up in every kind of screening, from urine and blood tests to hair testing.
Basically,where THC is stored in the body changes based on which stage of consumption you’re in. While the cannabis is peaking in your system, the active ingredients of the plant are absorbed into your bloodstream. The metabolites that are left over linger in your fat.
Fat is the only place where THC is stored due to the solubility of cannabis ingredients. All of the ingredients are lipid-soluble, not water-soluble, so they can’t be absorbed into non-fatty tissues. Since you can’t easily get rid of fat quickly, tests can detect cannabis in your body for a pretty long time.
Now that you know where THC is stored in the body, you have a little more understanding of why it’s so difficult to flush it out. Stick with Green Gone Detox, and we’ll help you naturally remove THC from your system!