How Long Does THC Stay In Saliva? All You Need To Know

Thousands of American cannabis users wonder, how long does weed stay in your system? Before we answer this question, let us have a brief introduction to weed consumption. After that, you’ll know how long does THC stay in saliva and much more.

Marijuana consumption is a hot topic of debate in the USA. While it is a federally illegal drug, the majority of Americans want its consumption to be legalized; either for recreational purposes or medicinal uses. While 52 million Americans have smoked or used marijuana, only 39 states have legalized its consumption. That points to a large majority of people using illegal means to procure the drug.

Another facet of cannabis consumption is that most physicians do agree with its positive impact. And while it has become somewhat socially acceptable, many employers still want their employees to take drug tests. The reason is that the drug control authorities want to make a clear distinction between the medicinal use of weed and people doing it for recreational purposes. As a result, drug testing on job-site is becoming increasingly common.

So, if you love to smoke weed or consume it in any form, it can be a source of anxiety for you. What if your employer tests you and takes disciplinary action? Well, all your queries will come to rest with detailed information about how the weed is processed once it enters your body.

How long does weed stay in saliva

How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System?

Any compound that you consume goes through several processes before being ejected out of the body or assimilated into it. Now, THC, the active compound of weed is a fat-soluble compound. So, let us go through its breakdown inside the body:

THC is present in saliva in its active form. That is if you have smoked or consumed weed and a saliva drug test is done on you, you will come out positive for the next 72 hours max.

Once consumed, THC runs into the bloodstream and is ultimately metabolized by the liver. The liver converts THC into THC-COOH. This is a fat-soluble compound and hence sticks around the fatty tissues of the body and also hair, and nails. So, the THC compound can last for months especially if you are a heavy user.

THC Detection Factors

This is how the weed is broken down inside the body. However, its detection depends on several other factors:

  • The frequency of consumption: If you are a heavy consumer, the concentration of THC-derivative compounds will be high in your body. That means you will always show positive drug tests in the urine test. You may come out clear in the saliva drug test after 72 hours.
  • The strain of the weed: If you consume a stronger strain of the weed, the chances of THC lingering in your body are always higher.
  • Body fat: If you are someone with a fatty body, be assured that THC metabolites have accumulated in your body which means its detection will be high.
  • Body metabolism: As we have mentioned earlier, it is the body metabolism that ultimately flushes the THC out of the body. So, if you are blessed with a high body metabolism, your saliva might show negative within 8 hours of consumption. But if you have a slow metabolism, try to stay away from the weed.

How Long Does THC Stay In Your Saliva?

THC is an active compound in weed. Saliva is the first body fluid that it encounters after consumption. It needs at least 13 hours to completely get out of the oral cavity. The average time taken is 72 hours. So, if you have wondered how long does THC stay in saliva? The answer is 72 hours maximum and that too for heavy users.

The reason that most employers prefer a saliva test is its spontaneous result. Also, a saliva test lets them decide if the employee is capable enough to do the office job.

In order to test the presence of THC in saliva, the offices conduct a saliva drug test. Here is brief information about it:

What Is A Saliva Drug Test

The saliva drug test is the most commonly used in workplaces. How long does THC stay in saliva glands determines its percentage in the test. Another one is the urine test. Both tests have different purposes. The saliva test is done to ensure that an employee is not stoned and is in a proper mental state to work. Most employers do this either on designated days or randomly.

The urine test is to check if the person has consumed weed ever. Employers usually refrain from carrying out this test. The mouth swab drug test weed timeline is a maximum of 72 hours. After that, it will not be detected in the oral cavity.

So, how is the saliva drug test done?

Let us look at the steps:

  • A healthcare provider asks you to clean your mouth and refrain from eating or drinking for 10 minutes.
  • Then they take a mouth swab and send it for lab analysis.
  • The sample undergoes immunoassay technology to test for the compounds.
  •  If the result comes out positive, it is retested using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. This often is a source of anxiety for many users. Because if their first test comes out positive, their sample will undergo a second test as well. This is an average protocol for saliva drug test THC detection times.
  • The prescribed cutoff level for saliva drug tests is 4ng/ml and for a retest is 2ng/ml.

How Long Can Mouth Swab Drug Test Detect THC

It takes a maximum of 72 hours for heavy users and around 8 hours for occasional users.

Saliva Drug Test: Pros And Cons

Pros:

  • It is cheap.
  • It gives instant results.
  • The process is the least invasive and the person receiving it underlies minimum mental or physical stress.

Cons:

  • The testing window is extremely small.
  • It is easy to pass the test with mouthwash, large consumption of fatty food, and foregoing the 72-hour timeline.

Other Marijuana Test Methods

The saliva test is not the only drug test for marijuana. Even though it is the easiest and the fastest, there are many other methods as well. Let us have a look over them:

  1. Urine drug test: marijuana is also tested using urine. It is a more reliable method than the saliva test. It can detect marijuana consumption for as long as 30 days.
  2. Blood test: THC is present in the blood for approximately 12-24 hours after consumption. It is mostly done in the case of accidents.
  3. Hair follicle drug test: since marijuana is fat-soluble, it also gets embedded in the hair follicles. As a result, the hair shaft shows a positive result.

How To Pass Saliva Drug Test for THC

If your employer constantly demands saliva drug tests, consuming weed can be a big issue, if you are not a heavy consumer, it will automatically get flushed out of your oral cavity in 12-13 hours. But it might take 72 hours for heavy users.

The best way to pass the saliva drug test is to give up drug consumption. It is addictive and ultimately hazardous to your health. For instant results, you can try these methods to pass the mouth swab drug test for weed:

  • Use oral detox mouthwash 3-4 times after consuming the weed.
  • You can also make a mouthwash using vinegar or lemon juice and clean your mouth at regular intervals.
  • Consume fatty foods. The idea behind it is to increase your metabolism and since THC is fat-soluble, the large amount of fat consumption will accelerate its absorption in fatty tissues. That way, your oral cavity will get rid of the active THC compounds.
  • Keep yourself hydrated and chew ice. It will promote urine formation and that will also flush out a considerable amount of THC from your body.

Can We Get A False Positive Test Result?

The most commonly used saliva test’s accuracy is 97.5%. There is still a faint chance of it being a false positive. It is mostly because of the OTC medicines and sometimes also due to the food items. Like if you have taken ibuprofen, the test might show positive. Also, many people consume hemp seeds and oil for their medicinal properties and that also shows false positives.

So, if your saliva test comes positive, just give a thought to your last 3 days’ food and medicine consumption instead of stressing over it.

Conclusion

Weed is something that most millennials are consuming these days. The thing is, it is known for altering the sense of judgment when in an active form inside the body. Also, many states have laid clear guidelines regarding how much weed can be consumed for medicinal purposes and what classifies as drug consumption.

To keep up with the drug control authorities, most firms prefer to carry out surprise drug tests in their office. The easiest method for them is the saliva test. However, if you are a sportsperson or in a profession that completely prohibits weed consumption, you might be asked for a more thorough test like the urine test. While it is easy to pass the saliva test, the urine, blood, or sweat test might land you in trouble.

The best way is to abstain from weed usage. Because if you have ever wondered how long does weed last? The answer is, it may always be found in your system if you are a heavy user. It will be present in your fatty tissues and you may never get rid of it. This will be beneficial for your overall health. However, if you consume it as a medicine, just make sure to have a proper prescription. In that case, passing the drug test will be an easy task.

How long do edibles last also determines your test result. You might come false positive if you have taken pain medication or are a regular consumer of hemp bars.