Pot brownie drug test
Next to flowers and concentrates, cannabis-infused edibles are the legal industry’s hottest selling products. But even in states where marijuana is legal for adult use, employers, courts, and probation officers can still order individuals to pass a drug test for weed.
How long will those edibles stay in your system, and how long can it show up on a drug screen or drug test?
Typically, ingesting weed the old fashioned way (inhaling it) can show up on a drug screen for days — if not months — after the last puff. That’s because THC, the compound in weed that causes intoxication, is fat-soluble, meaning it only dissolves in fats and oils instead of water.
Whenever someone consumes cannabis, not all of the THC and its metabolites immediately flush out through the urine (remember, urine is mostly water). Instead, some THC ends up in our fat cells, where it remains trapped until our bodies burn up those fat cells through metabolism. Since the human body evolved to burn the fat cells last (if you’re starving, the body opts to break down muscle first), THC trickles out bit by bit. That’s why someone can test positive for weeks after last getting high, while a meth user can piss clean just a few days after.
Gallery — When Edibles Look Like Real Food Products
The key factor for clearing THC from the body is an individual’s metabolic rate, or how fast a body’s chemicals are processing. Other factors include body-fat content (more body fat equals longer THC clearance times); diet (fatty and sugary foods reduce THC clearance); and frequency and quantity of cannabis consumption (obviously, eating more weed means it sticks around longer).
However, eating weed versus smoking it also affects THC clearance rates. If you eat your cannabis, THC will remain in your system longer than if you only smoked it.
If you want a solid answer in full figures, you can always estimate your clearance time with an online pee-weed calculator. Additionally, this guide will only address urine testing for weed. Hair follicle tests can detect THC for up to a year, saliva tests can catch it up to an hour after eating, and blood tests are unreliable for edibles.
How Much Longer Do Edibles Stay in the System?
There’s no clear-cut answer here, but we discovered some solid clues.
If someone who doesn’t smoke weed puffs one joint to the head then stops, that person will test positive for THC about three to four days after imbibing. Keep in mind, that’s just an average, and will likely take longer for folks with slower metabolisms or higher body weights.
On the other hand, if our drug-free test subject eats an edible that contains as much THC as a joint, we’re looking at a much longer clearance window. There hasn’t been a lot of research on weed edibles, but one 1988 study found that if our hypothetical straight-edge subject eats a pot brownie, it would take three to 14 days for THC to clear out of their system.
Why Does THC From Edibles Stick Around for So Long?
When someone inhales cannabis, THC goes directly from the pipe to their lungs. The lungs then absorb the THC and transfer it to the blood. From the blood, the THC can reach the nerves and ultimately the brain, generating weed’s world-famous high.
Afterward, the inhaled THC and its metabolites fall from the nerve receptors and return to the blood. Then, most of it gets excreted through both of our lower orifices, but some stays in our system — and mainly in our fat cells.
When you eat your cannabis, THC travels a different route than smoking. It goes from the esophagus to the stomach to the blood and then the liver. Instead of entering the bloodstream in one big burst with smoking, oral ingestion releases THC into the blood at a slower rate.
Furthermore, the liver produces bile, which is what lets us absorb fat from the food we eat. The slower release rate, coupled with the liver’s role, is why edibles put more THC into our fat cells than smoke.
So, if you know you’re getting drug-screened after that big job interview, and you insist on getting your herb, take your chances with a plain ol’ joint. Save the edibles until you actually get the job.
Despite marijuana legalization’s successes across the country, employers, courts, and probation officers can still order drug tests for weed. If you recently ate some edibles, how long will it show up on a screen?
Dear Dr. vybe: “Will an Edible Show Up on a Drug Screening?”
Dear Dr. vybe,
First and foremost, I should say that I was a little hesitant to ask a doctor about weed, because I feel like I’m ratting on myself, but I’m willing to try anything at this point. I’m no pothead, but I dabble in the doobies from time to time — heck, I’m more of a drinker if I’m being honest. Who doesn’t love a Citywide Special to wrap up a stressful work day?
I guess I’ll cut to the chase…my company’s annual drug testing is next week, and let’s just say I had a “special brownie” at the John Mayer concert last month — though I may feel regrets now, it was a hell of an experience. But hear me out, doc: it was just ONE pot brownie!
Am I totally screwed? I know that stuff can stay in your system for a lot longer than you’d think; I’ve been doing some mental math, but I still can’t tell if I’ll fail this test or not. Is this one little pre-game snack going to show up on my results?
No Regrets, Except This One
Dear No Regrets, Except This One,
Hey, at least you’re being honest… that’s something any doctor would be proud of! Let’s get real: if you’re not a heavy user, a THC edible should leave your system in a matter of days, but that time frame can be different for everyone — each of us have unique metabolisms that deal with cannabis differently.
Here are some important questions to ponder as you prepare for the drug testing: how much of this brownie did I eat? What kind of effects did I feel and how long did they last? If you feel like you consumed a large amount, then it might not leave your system as quickly as if you had just eaten a nibble.
Also here’s a pro tip: a hair follicle drug test is significantly more accurate (and goes further back) than a urine or saliva test. If you know what method they’ll be using, that could help you determine how worried you should really be. A good place to start is to drink a lot of liquids! This includes the likes of good ‘ol H2O, cranberry juice, and green tea. They all have known diuretics that’ll make you pee frequently before you have to take the test.
Once your hydration game is in full swing start tallying how many times you’re peeing in a day — the more, the better! I also recommend that you exercise frequently throughout the week, or head to a sauna. If you get those sweat glands moving (to accompany your bladder) the toxins will get flushed out of your system even faster. Good luck, and next time just stick to regular old desserts — they’re just as tasty!
You’re Going To Be Peeing A Lot
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Dear Dr. vybe: I’ll cut to the chase…my company’s annual drug testing is next week, and let’s just say I had a “special brownie” last month. Am I totally screwed?