Did you know that almost forty million Americans are regular cannabis users? Unfortunately, despite the growing popularity of the substance, there are still many stigmas surrounding it. One of these stigmas is that athletes can’t perform well if they regularly use marijuana.
Even though Olympic athlete Michael Phelps proved this wrong, there are still many coaches and trainers who believe otherwise. As such, some athletes may find themselves unexpectedly subjected to a drug test.
If you’re in this position, then you’re probably wondering, How long does weed stay in the system of an athlete? In this article, we’ll be answering this question and more. Let’s get started!
How Long Does Weed Stay in the System of an Athlete?
Two factors separate an athletic cannabis smoker from a regular cannabis smoker. The first of these is exercise. Athletes are typically much more active than the average person. The more you workout and move, the faster your metabolism works. A fast metabolism helps get rid of trace amounts of THC in your body by increasing blood flow throughout your body.
This causes you to sweat which expels the THC from your pores. However, if you work out right before a drug test, then this can backfire on you. Why? Because our body stores trace amounts of THC in our fat cells. So, when you workout these fat cells burn away and release THC into your system.
As such, if you work out a lot before your drug test, it can increase the concentration of THC in your system. The second factor is water intake. Athletes typically are much more hydrated than the average person. The water helps flush out the THC from your system at a much faster rate.
It can also dilute the concentration of cannabis when you urinate. As such, a dehydrated person will have a much greater concentration of THC in their body than a hydrated person.
These two factors — activeness and hydration — can certainly take a few days, or even weeks, off an athlete’s test detectability. However, the most important consideration is still how often the athlete smokes. This will be the main factor when it comes to how long cannabis stays in your system.
Factors That Influence the Length of Time Cannabis Stay in Your System
Before we begin, it’s important to first understand that cannabis affects everyone differently. As such, there’s no one set answer to how long it stays in your system. That’s because a variety of factors determine the rate at which it leaves your body. In this section, we’ll be covering three of the popular factors that affect how long it stays in your system.
1) Body Weight
When you smoke your body stores the THC in fat cells. As such, a heavier individual with a lot of body fat will metabolize the THC at a slow rate. Similarly, a thin individual with little body fat will pass the THC quickly. Metabolism also factors into this. A naturally fast metabolism will help the body expel THC much faster than a slow one.
2) The Potency of the Cannabis You Consume
Cannabis with a high potency contains large amounts of THC. This is the chemical that tests used to detect marijuana usage. As such, if you use a cannabis product with a high THC concentration, then it will stay in your system for much longer. Typically, you can find high concentration cannabis in states that have legalized the substance.
3) The Frequency in Which You Consume Cannabis
The amount of cannabis that you smoke is the most important factor in determining how long THC stays in your system. Cannabis consumption has a cumulative effect on the body.
This means that the more you smoke, the more THC will be stored in your fat cells. An individual who only smokes once a week will typically pass any cannabis byproduct in a few days. However, THC can stay in the system of heavy users for weeks or even months.
What Type of Test Are You Taking?
Not all cannabis tests are made the same. As such, the type of test you take can determine how long the substance is detectable in your body. The first method is the hair follicle test. This method is great at identifying heavy users, but not occasional ones. If you smoke a lot, then it can identify cannabis in your system dating back months or even years.
As such, it’s often used on federal employees. The second method is a urine test. Urine tests also depend on the frequency with which you smoke. For occasional users, it’s detectable for up to three days. However, for heavy users, it can take one to two months before it’s undetectable.
The second test method is blood, which is detectable in the casual user for two to three days. If you’re a heavy user, then a blood test can remain detectable for up to twenty-five days.
The final method is saliva. Saliva tests function the same as urine tests. However, often they’re more unpredictable in the accuracy of their results. If you want to learn more about the detection time, then make sure to check out this resource.
Looking for More Cannabis News?
We hope this article helped you answer the question, How long does weed stay in the system of an athlete? As you can see, physical exercise can decrease the amount of time that cannabis stays in your system. However, this is a double edge sword in that it can burn off the fat that contains cannabis chemicals.
As such, we recommend exercising weeks in advance if you want to pass your drug test. Did you enjoy this article? If you answered yes, then you’re in the right place. 420 DC provides you with everything you need to know about marijuana — from guides to local events. Make sure to check out our latest cannabis news to keep up with the developments on your favorite green plant.