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How long can a test detect marijuana in your system?

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

When someone smokes marijuana, they may be high for a relatively short length of time. There are other forms of use, such as taking edibles, which can result in a longer high. For instance, someone who takes edibles may be high for the next 3 to 4 hours.

But this is much different than how long tests can detect marijuana use. For instance, a urine test may demonstrate previous marijuana use for 24 hours or even as long as a month. One of the most important variables is if the person is a chronic user or not. If they use marijuana frequently and at high doses, it’s going to show up in urine tests for much longer. Issues like hydration and metabolism can also have an effect.

Plus, urine tests are not the only type that are conducted. A saliva test can work for 24 hours after use, and a blood test can work for 12 hours. For a hair test, marijuana use may show up for 90 days, or roughly 3 months.

Issues with impaired driving

This can be problematic when someone is accused of something like impaired driving. If they had been drinking alcohol, a Breathalyzer could demonstrate their blood alcohol concentration at that very moment. But with marijuana, a positive test may be triggered for far longer.

This becomes an issue if the person is accused of driving while they are high. But maybe the urine test is just showing that they used marijuana products a week before. They may have been high for a few hours, but that was days ago and long before they got behind the wheel.

Even so, impaired driving charges can stem from any type of substance use, including marijuana. Those who are facing these allegations need to understand their legal defense options.

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