Marijuana Drug Test: Is the 30 Day Rule Fact or Fiction?

Marijuana Drug Test: Is the 30 Day Rule Fact or Fiction?

Many believe if you abstain from cannabis for 30 days, you’ll pass a marijuana drug test. Here’s a look at whether or not that’s true.

So, you’re up for a new job! What other reason would you want to know how long THC stays in your system? A marijuana drug test of course! Congrats on the career change; here’s to hoping cannabis doesn’t ruin your chance at a new cubicle (or working from home).Marijuana Drug Test

Marijuana drug test lore suggests that THC stays in your system for ten or so days,but the answer isn’t really that black and white. Rather, all sorts of variables play a role including your size, your metabolism, and your tolerance.

Thus, the answer to this question: it depends. There, you’re welcome.

Marijuana: The More You Smoke, The More You’re Screwed

Smoking lots of marijuana sets you up to fail a drug test: that much is clear. But heavy marijuana users are likely to fail even after a period of abstaining from the herb. According to a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence;

THC is detectable in urine tests after two weeks of abstinence in people who smoke regularly (and two weeks is a conservative estimate)

Other studies draw a similar conclusion; in people who use marijuana routinely (every day or close to it), THC can stay in the system for months. This doesn’t mean the person remains high the entire time (sorry!); it merely means that the drug hasn’t been fully excreted from their system yet. Urine tests, similar to hair tests, don’t measure the amount of THC; they measure the level of THC metabolites.

Delta Extrax

The Variables that Play a Role

As mentioned above, several variables work together to either remove or hold onto THC; two people who share a joint one Friday night at a party can easily have drastically different drug test results come Monday.

Body fat plays an important role in this regard: plainly, the more body fat you have, the longer it’ll take THC to leave your system. This is due to the fact that THC metabolites are lipid-soluble and accumulate inside fat reserves. Ergo, a person with more fat offers more places for THC to make itself comfortable.

Permanent Detox Kit (5 Day Program)
A fast metabolism is helpful to removal – the faster your metabolism, the faster THC metabolites decrease – as is drinking lots of water.

Dehydration causes the urine to concentrate, priming it to release THC and return a positive result

Naturally, the frequency of use plays, perhaps, the most important role (as the aforementioned study shows). If you smoke a joint socially every once in a while, you’re much less likely to fail a drug test than someone who smokes with any kind of regularity.

It’s believed that everyday factors like diet, exercise level, and stress also contribute, but to what degree isn’t certain. Exercise and spicy foods increase your metabolism, so it makes sense that they’d speed up the removal of THC from your body. The moral of the story? If you’re scheduled for a drug-screen think jalapenos and jazzercise.


Marijuana Drug Test: The 30-Day Rule

The 30-day Rule is often circulated in marijuana-loving circles as the gold-standard in which a person will test negative: if you don’t smoke for a month, you’re good to go. But, in reality, it’s rare for a readable amount of THC to stay in your system for that long; it can occur, but it’s an exception rather than a rule.

A study published back in 1989 by the National Institutes of Health found that the average length of time until THC was no longer traceable was 9.8 days. A study conducted five years prior showed similar results with 8 out of ten subjects testing cleanly in under two weeks.

A lot of this has to do with testing limits. For workplace testing, the usual cutoff is 50 ng/ml – most people test negative after around a week and a half of no marijuana exposure. If the limits were lowered, to 20 ng/ml for instance, the detection window widens to around three or so weeks.

What about CBD Consumption?

Standard drug testing tests for THC metabolites, not CBD. In other words, consuming CBD oil or wearing a CBD patch isn’t likely to result in a positive test.

Some CBD products contain small amounts of THC, but most of the limits are so low they aren’t likely to do anything

The exceptions of this are cannabis strains high in CBD as they’re often high in THC as well (and if not “high,” certainly much higher than what you’d find in CBD oil). This isn’t always the case, as some CBD strains are quite low in THC, but most have some measurable amounts of the cannabinoid.

CBD 1500 mg Organic Olive Oil Tincture

Marijuana Drug Test: Beating the Screening

If you’re applying for a new job and you’re a frequent smoker, the best thing you can do to stop a positive result is to abstain from cannabis use (I’ll pause for your laughter). If that’s not a task you’re willing to do (or unable to do in regards to medicinal use); there are other tricks of the trade (or tricks of the charade).

Some people turn to synthetic cannabinoids as a way to alter the tests; these are risky (for your wellness and your result). And some testing labs are onto this scheme: if you take a synthetic cannabinoid, it’ll show up on the report and everyone will know you’re a cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater.

Other people swear by detox drinks and B vitamins, but water is a viable option too

Water flushes out your system (and the THC inside it). But don’t wait until the day of your test to suddenly go full on camel; start flushing it out a few days before. If your urine is too diluted and you’re overhydrated from drinking way too much H2O; it can invalidate the test (and it’s not great for your kidneys either).

Also be aware that there are other drug tests than urine test. Hair, saliva and blood test are also commonly used to determine if someone has been using Cannabis over the past few days or weeks.

And, of course, never smoke in the days right before a test. It’s a pain in the butt, sure, but it’s only a few days; put down the ganja and just have some vodka.

Click Here To Lean More About Drug Testing, and How to Pass a Drug Test


  • Douglas Stafford
    January 6, 2017

    I smoked a load midsummetr and glandular enzymes were detected.they digest marijuana.they were present over 6 months .but cannabis does not persist more than 1 month or so maxium,but your own bodys chemistry enzyms remain showing a past positive depending how strong and how much you consumed .i n other words your own digestion gland secretions are dna encoded and they stay present expecting to digest and uptake more the thc test isnt.its a test of your dna rna matter which can reflect any drug in dna photography for 6 months to 8 years. The genetic test on dna is not the same screening for your own marijuana digestive metabolites.

    • Brett
      June 17, 2017

      I’m kind of an idiot and don’t really understand what you said, but I am 120 days clean now and still testing positive. What is wrong with me??

  • Me
    September 10, 2017

    I am 32 day clean still positive

    • Stave
      March 4, 2018

      35 days clean smoked about an oz and 1/2 over a 1 month period and still testing positive

  • Nikki Berriochoa
    February 21, 2018

    I smoked for yrs oz a week and I’m still dirty 105 days clean I’m 5’2 160 but not to much fat everyone says I’m little

  • Anonymous
    June 16, 2018

    36 Y/O Male; 6’6, 205lb, 12% Body Fat, exercise daily, hydrated (clear piss always)

    I’m 35 days sober from daily use over four years at 1oz a month.

    Still testing positive for THC.

  • Anonymous
    September 5, 2018

    Kind of a stupid question but I had 2 puffs of a joint on the weekend but I never smoked in 5 months should I be good to pass a piss test in 3 weeks

  • L
    September 5, 2018

    So true..ridiculous that to provide for our families we are subjected to these tests and stress..i am a very professional worker and live in a state that has legalized it.

  • Jack MeHoff
    May 11, 2019

    I, too, am tired of being a prisoner in rules made by incompetent overreaching jagbags.

    For over a decade, I report to work, on time, leave on time, never call out sick, never been disciplined, and now I have to sweat thinking about smoking a joint? Seriously???

    What a backwards thinking society. No wonder we don’t lead the worlding in anything except incarcerations and hate crimes.

  • Dale Gribble
    May 28, 2019

    The war on drugs is a farce. It is only a war on SOME drugs. You can smoke crack, meth, snort cocaine, etc and you will come out clean within a week. I have completely abstained from the use of cannabis for 90 FUCKING DAYS and I am still pissing dirty. The federal government will burn in Hell.

Post a Comment