All You Need To Know About Cannabis Drug Tests

Orange test tubes

Cannabis and marijuana are being seen in a more favorable light nowadays. But even though medical marijuana is legal in 38 states and recreational marijuana in 24 states, the rules are a bit murky when it comes to workplace-related drug tests. 

Some states such as New York and Nevada have discrimination laws in place which protect current and prospective employees from cannabis tests. But if your company operates in multiple different states it might have less tolerable policies. And until the reclassification of cannabis is official, contractors under federal jurisdiction are technically still required to submit to these drug tests. 

So if you are one of these unfortunate souls here is all the info you need to know about cannabis testing, how long it will stay in your system, and more importantly, how to hack your own drug test? 


How long does cannabis stay in my body?

The test will be looking for traces of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical found in cannabis that makes you feel high. How long THC can be detected in your system depends on three main factors: 

  • Your body fat – Because THC is a fat soluble compound it is stored in our fat cells. Which can be bad news for people with higher body fat concentrations as they metabolize THC at a slower rate. 
  • The amount consumed and frequency of use – Research has shown that regular users of cannabis have THC in their systems for an extended period of time. For example, first timers can show positive results within 3 days. But for someone who smokes 3-4 times a week, that detection window can last for 5-7 days. 
  • The type of test – Different tests will have different levels of sensitivity and this will also depend on which part of the body they’re getting their sample from. Refer to the chart below for the list of most common drug test methods:


Cannabis screening method Detection period
Urine 1-30 days after use
Saliva 24 hours and up to 44 hours for edibles
Hair Up to 90 days
Sweat  7 – 14 days


Can I detox cannabis from my body faster? 

While there have been studies done to see if we can speed up our body’s detox journey they still remain unreliable. We have to remember that everyone is built differently and processes cannabis at different rates. 

But the general advice most commonly given is to adopt a balanced lifestyle that will help your body maintain its natural functions. These include:

  • Regular exercise – Daily exercise may help break down fat cells and release THC into the blood to be flushed out.
  • A balanced diet – Since THC is filtered through our livers and further flushed out by our intestines, a healthy diet full of fiber and water will help to regulate your bowel movements and get rid of any lingering chemical traces.
  • Sleep – This may be a conundrum for people who use cannabis for their insomnia, but if you are anticipating an upcoming test you’ll have to unfortunately use alternate methods, at least until you’ve been cleared. 


In addition to these methods, it’s also worth looking up labor laws in your district and learning if privacy laws apply in your workplace. For instance, since Illinois’s reclassified cannabis as a ‘lawful product’ it affected the state’s Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act. Which means employees are protected against discrimination by their employers and cannot be dismissed for ‘use of lawful products’ outside of work hours. 


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