Why The Body Holds onto THC for So Long

green-cannabis plant

green-cannabis plant

Metabolism of THC

Most people know that the active ingredient in cannabis is THC, but not everyone knows why it stays in your system for so long after consuming a cannabis product. While some factors depend on the person, including age, sex, weight, and overall health, there are other reasons why THC absorption is so much slower than that of alcohol or other drugs. THC can often be detected for weeks or months after consumption. If you’re curious about why your body holds onto THC for so long and how different consumption methods affect the metabolism of THC, continue reading for more information.

Why is THC Different?

Unlike many other products we use, THC is fat soluble and can stay in your body’s fat cells for months at a time. Since fat cells aren’t burned off unless you live a very healthy lifestyle, the THC just sits there. Getting rid of fat cells is all about eating healthy, exercising, and drinking lots of water. Many times, this type of lifestyle isn’t compatible with high levels of cannabis consumption.

The more regularly you imbibe in a cannabis product, the higher the levels of THC are in your fat cells. If you smoke cannabis, your mouth also absorbs small amounts of THC which can stay in your saliva for up to three days!

How is THC Metabolized

man weighing cannabis

To learn about the metabolism of THC, you have to understand a little bit of chemistry. When you consume cannabis, it’s generally the liver that breaks down the THC into other molecules. First, it turns some of the drug into a psychoactive molecule (11-OH-THC) and the rest is transformed into a non-psychoactive molecule (11-COOH-THC). When you undergo drug screenings for cannabis, most tests are actually looking for the non-psychoactive element of the plant.

Many detox kits utilize activity inducing nutrients for the liver, encouraging the organ to clear THC from your system.

The Metabolic Pathway

When you choose to smoke cannabis, it enters the lungs before reaching the heart and then eventually the brain and liver. When you ingest cannabis through edibles, it enters the bloodstream through the stomach and makes its way to the liver almost immediately. The “high” you get from the metabolism of THC differs from method to method and product to product, so it’s tough to conclude which provides a more effective experience. What is definitive is the amount of time you can expect for THC to remain in your system. Most people can expect THC to show up in testing for about seven days.

Frequency of Use if the Biggest Factor

woman holding cannabis joint

Regardless of which consumption method you use, how much you exercise, or how potent the cannabis is, the main factor that decides how long THC stays in your system is your frequency of use. Your THC absorption levels are increased every single time you smoke, so consider how often you’re consuming cannabis if you’re concerned about THC in your body.

From those who want to rejuvenate their lifestyle to people who want to reset their tolerance, knowing how much THC is in your cells is important. Explore our assessment tool now and check out our detox kits today! Check out the rest of our blog today to find more informational articles on cannabis-related topics.


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