Weed is prohibited for athletes.
And, it can create trouble for you if you are an athlete and used weed.
Because you might have to pass the drug test.
If you have been using weed or used it before then you need to know how long does weed stays in the system of an athlete.
So, that you can prevent any trouble passing the drug test.
Also, in this guide, we will be sharing some tips and factors that will help you to pass the drug test.
Let’s get started:
What is in weed that creates trouble for the athletes?
Yes, the main component of weed that makes you high.
However, the first component of weed is THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxylic Acid) which gets decarboxylated into the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the component we are talking about.
This is responsible for the psychoactive effects that you get.
And, also during the test, this is the component that is looked for in an athlete’s system. If it is found then it creates trouble.
If it is not present in your body then you are safe.
Although you might have thought that once the effects of weed get off then your body might be free from it. But actually, it is not like that.
It depends on many factors that how long does weed stays in the system. We will discuss it further in detail.
However, first, you need to know how cannabis or weed is digested in the system and produces effects in your body.
How does weed produce effects in your system?
If you have smoked weed then the THC component directly enters the bloodstream through the lungs.
And, this further produces psychoactive effects in your body.
Well, if you have ingested cannabis edible then it gets into your stomach.
There the THC is metabolized by your liver, which is further known as metabolites. Therefore, in this case, THC is absorbed in the bloodstream through the stomach or more precisely liver.
However, the broken THC or the metabolites are the main compounds that the drug test catches. Obviously, as this is the metabolite of THC therefore if it is found in the test then the result will be positive.
And, these metabolites can be found in your body after many days of the last consumption. That is why the metabolites can be found even when the effects have passed.
Additionally, THC and its metabolites are fat-soluble which can be stored in your body fat resulting in more time of the presence of these components.
Though this factor doesn’t matter for the athletes due to their fitness.
How long does weed stay in the system of an athlete?
Now, you know how weed is digested in your body and how it produces effects, so, you will understand better how long does weed stay in an athlete’s body.
As said earlier, THC breaks down in the inactive metabolites which stay in your body for a longer time. And, there are over 80 specific metabolites that get broken down and are stored in your body.
However, slowly it gets eliminated through urine and stool.
That is why drug tests are mainly Urine Analysis which is the ideal test for weed.
Coming to how long these metabolites can be found, it depends on various factors. However, the main factor is dosage, which matters the most.
So, depending upon dosage, frequency, and test type, weed metabolites can be found accordingly.
1. Urine Test
This is one of the highly accurate and trusted tests that is taken for catching weed metabolites.
Not to mention, weed components can be found in urine for a longer period and that is why it is the preferred way to catch it. Although you can get the idea of THC component to be found in your UA or Urine Analysis with the frequency and dose of weed:
- Occasional users (less than 3 times a week): up to 3 days detectable
- Moderate users (at least four times a week): up to 7 days detectable
- Chronic users (daily intake): up to 15 days detectable
- Heavy users (multiple times a day): more than 30 days detectable
After knowing under which category, you fall, you can have the idea that for how much time you will be vulnerable to the test.
2. Blood Test
For smokers, THC enters into the bloodstream instantly. And, it can be found immediately after that. In the blood test, THC metabolites can be detected for up to 3 days. Although if you are a heavy user, which frequently smokes cannabis then expect a longer time for detection through the blood test.
Although the blood filters out the THC faster than urine. However, dosage matters when it comes to the detectable time.
3. Hair Follicle Testing
Also known as hair analysis, this is also one of the ways for catching marijuana components in the system.
The testing includes hair samples. And, this is one of the tests which can even catch the THC component for up to 90 days for heavy smokers.
Though this testing is used for special cases because it requires expensive equipment to maintain. While the most common tests are urine and blood tests.
4. Saliva Test
Yes, even saliva is tested for knowing if you have consumed cannabis. And, not to mention, this is a quite vulnerable test for those who ingest cannabis through the mouth.
Though the good news is that it has a short detection window. Occasional users are more likely to have about a 24-hour detection window. While the heavy users are on the risky side with up to 72 hours or more time for the detection period.
Why THC can be detected for so long after ingestion?
Now, you might be wondering why THC can be detected for so long after the ingestion.
Well, the answer is simple.
Scientifically, THC is a chemical compound that is fat-soluble. And, irrespective of the ingestion way (smoking or using edibles), THC is stored in your body in the fats.
Also, THC after being absorbed in the bloodstream from the liver reaches into the different body parts in the case of marijuana edibles.
And, the THC compound remains in the fat tissues, where it can last longer depending upon several factors.
That is why people with higher fat are on the more risky side for getting detected in drug tests. Though as the athletes used to be fit and do regular exercises, the detectable period was automatically reduced.
However, another factor that plays a major role is the frequency of weed consumption. The more frequency, the longer time you will be vulnerable for drug tests.
How to pass a marijuana drug test as an athlete?
Just don’t intake weed.
This is the very first step.
However, if you have done it before and have an upcoming drug test then you might need a faster way to eliminate the weed consumed. However, eliminating weed through the body in a faster way is challenging. Even for the athletes.
Also, there is no straight way or clear solution for removing weed components from the body directly. And, you need to wait for a few days to get it removed completely by your system.
Still, there are some factors by which you can push your body to fasten the removing process of THC.
Let’s know them:
1. Stay hydrated
There is nothing better than water for detoxification.
As THC is removed through urine and stool, an increase in water intake can help you fasten the process to some extent.
Also, staying hydrated will be beneficial for your overall health.
2. Safe and natural detoxing products
To be honest, these are not recommended. Because there are several detoxing products available in the market which do not work at all.
However, still, if you want to go with them then prefer a high-quality and trusted brand that can promise you to detox the THC from the system.
3. Clear your first void
If you are not left with any other option then you can now rely on this last option. Clearing your void means avoiding giving the first urination as the sample for the drug test.
There are better chances that you can pass the test if you make 1-2 voids before going for the test. Because the first urine has a higher chance that it might contain a heavy amount of metabolites.
Factors affecting weed presence in your system
As said earlier, various factors affect the presence of weed in your system. Let’s have a closer look:
The dosage of weed is one of the major factors that affect the time of presentation.
The more you will intake, the more it will last in your body. This is as simple as that.
With dosage, frequency also matters. Because if you have taken a smaller dose of cannabis since last two weeks then there is less chance of getting it caught in the test.
While if you have taken a few days back then probably you are at risk.
So, reduce the frequency of dosage of cannabis to reduce the risk for tests. Keep in mind that THC can last in your system from 5 days to 30+ days depending upon your frequency.
As THC is fat-soluble, therefore, Fat is another important factor that can increase or decrease the time of detection. However, for athletes who do regular exercises, this factor should not be a concern.
Everyone is different. And, everyone has different genetics in their system. So, it can also matter when it comes to eliminating THC compounds from the body.
In this factor, athletes have an edge. Because due to exercises and regular bodywork, they possess a higher metabolism system which can help break down the consumed THC faster.
Faster consumption means faster elimination. So, athletes have a plus point for this factor.
6. Physical activities
Physical activities can enhance the blood circulation and fat burn in your body which can help push your system to eliminate the metabolites of THC. Simply, the more you will burn calories and will sweat the more you will hydrate yourself resulting in the ultimate elimination of metabolites.
7. Type of test
Well, it is least important to pass the test. Because you should mainly focus on the physical level to get rid of THC components from your body.
Still, as urine testing is highly accurate and sensitive so you need to prepare yourself accordingly. While on the other hand, the blood test is slightly relaxing.
But you should not relax at all until you are not sure and have done all the required steps for avoiding the THC component in the test.
For the hair follicle tests, there are higher chances that metabolites can be detected for up to 90 days in chronic users. Though it is for special cases and you should prepare yourself accordingly.
#1. What is checked in drug tests?
THC metabolites. However, in urine tests specifically, THC-COOH is the compound that is used to look for in the test.
#2. How much time is required to pass for a urine test after last consumption?
Usually, it takes up to 3 days for an occasional user. And, it is quite important too to maintain the dosage to a minimum as an athlete to easily pass the drug test. However, frequent and heavy users are on the riskier side because it can take several days to get rid of THC from your system.
#3. How long does THC stay in blood?
Blood removes THC faster than urine. Though it can stay in the bloodstream depending upon the frequency of dose somewhere between a few days to several weeks.
How Long Does Weed Stay in the System of an Athlete: Final words
Finally, now, you know how long does weed stays in the system of an athlete. To be blunt, it is better to avoid cannabis completely as an athlete for avoiding any stress of drug tests. Although somehow if you have consumed it, you can opt for taking the steps mentioned above.
Still, there is not a perfect way to eliminate THC from the body instantly until you wait for some days according to the dosage.