How Long Do THC and Nicotine Stay in the Bloodstream?

The question of “How long do THC and nicotine stay in the bloodstream?” depends largely on factors such as the route of administration (oral, nasal, or intravenous), how long they have been used, and the quantity of use. The detection of substance use within the bloodstream can be challenging when there is a need to carry out a drug test. How to pass a blood drug test is a major concern for many drug users.

Employers have shown a routine request for a drug test from employees, especially for jobs directly linked to health, transportation, and public positions. The motivation for the use of substances like THC and nicotine has been associated with stress relief, pleasure, and social pressure. In this article, we will look at ways to pass a drug test and the factors associated with the duration of THC and nicotine within the bloodstream.

How long do THC and nicotine stay in blood stream

Understanding Blood Tests

Blood assessments have often been used to detect substance use in individuals suspected of having tobacco in their bloodstream.  Depending on the drug and dose used, drugs can be detected from a blood immunoassay in minutes to days.

Blood tests work by identifying metabolites in the blood, such as cotinine and anabasine, for nicotine use. This test is done using chromatography, which separates the blood components using quantitative and qualitative analysis. THC and nicotine can be readily detected in a blood drug test without any special test being required.

Here are some common situations you need to pass a blood drug test:

  1. Employment screening
  2. Court-mandated tests
  3. Rehabilitation programs
  4. Vehicular accidents with suspicion of drug use
  5. Athletic assessment
  6. Military testing

How Long Does THC Stay in the Bloodstream?

THC which is known to be delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive constituent and metabolite of cannabis. THC is widely used as a recreational substance, with associated dependence and behavioural effects from its long-term use. In a blood drug test, a cannabis test is positive when THC metabolite, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is detected. The body often eliminates this metabolite over a longer period due to the lipid solubility of this substance. This chemical property also makes it less detectable a few hours after use, as it takes longer for the metabolite to be eliminated. Meanwhile, the inactive form of THC can easily be eliminated by the body.

THC Detection Windows

Medium Duration for Average Use  Duration for Heavy Use 
Blood 2-12 hours Up to 30 days
Hair 90 days Greater than 90 days
Saliva 72 hours Greater than 72 hours
Urine 3 days Greater than 30 days

Detection Factors

One puff of THC can be detected in a drug test. However, it is unlikely for a puff to last longer than a few days. There are, however, factors that can affect the detection of THC. Some of these common factors include:

  • Metabolism: The body’s rate of breaking down substances varies from one individual to another. While some have it much faster, others have it at a reduced rate, thereby affecting the time at which these substances will be detected if the body is taken simultaneously.
  • Frequency of drug use: Individuals who frequently use this substance will have it detected easily because remnants of the previously broken-down metabolite will be detected, unlike someone who takes just a puff.
  • Body fat percentage: THC, as a lipid-soluble substance, is stored in fat cells. Those with a high-fat cell percentage will have a lower metabolic rate for THC, as it will take longer for the body to assess the stored THC in all the fat cells and then metabolize it.

It is also worth noting that a blood test for acutely ingested THC might not be sufficient, considering that this substance takes longer to be metabolized. However, chronic THC users are more likely to be detected with blood tests due to the long-term storage of THC and the presence of the substance’s metabolites within the bloodstream.

How Long Does Nicotine Stay in the Bloodstream?

Nicotine can be detected in the blood via the detection of its major metabolite, cotinine. In the detection of cotinine, some studies have shown that smoking delivers more cotinine than when vaping is done. This makes the detection of nicotine faster when smoked than when vaped.

Nicotine detection window

Medium Duration for Average Detection Duration for Cotinine Detection in Longer Usage 
Blood 48 hours – 21 days More than 3 weeks
Hair It can be detected up to months after the last use It can even be detected up to years after the last use depending on the test used and genetic factors
Saliva 11 hours 4-5 days
Urine 16 hours Up to 40 hours

Detection Factors

Different factors can influence the detection of nicotine. Here are some:

  • Smoking history: The longer the history of smoking, the more nicotine can be seen in the S/Nbloodstream. Long-term use will be detected easily as cotinine will be in the bloodstream longer than an average user.
  • Hydration level: Unlike THC, nicotine is water-soluble. In highly hydrated individuals, nicotine gets metabolized faster than in dehydrated individuals.
  • Genetics: The CDC has said genetics plays a major role in cotinine metabolism. Non-Hispanic blacks are said to metabolize nicotine slower compared to Hispanic whites.

Detox Products for Bloodstream Drug Tests

Detoxification is an important process that helps to get rid of toxins and substance use especially when a drug test is requested. There are so many detox products in the market today, there is however the need to carefully select the most appropriate product for your detoxification. We will address two specific detox products for bloodstream drug tests. These are Toxin Rid pills and Detoxify Mega Clean.

Toxin Rid Pills

This product has so far been a go-to detox product when planning for a drug test. This product eliminates toxins within the body. It has natural ingredients, which facilitate its effect without being detected when carrying out a drug test. This product is highly efficient, as different detox programs are depending on the level of substance use. For an average user, the detox program ranges from 1–5 days. Meanwhile, heavy users will benefit more from the 1–10-day program. There are no associated side effects, and the natural ingredients make it a great choice for drug detox.

Detoxify Mega Clean

An additional product that can be used for bloodstream drug tests is the Detoxify Mega Clean. This product works fast, as it can be used 48 hours before a blood drug test to get your desired result. It is permissible to take fluids up to 20 ounces 2 hours before the use of this product and 2 hours after use. It is also important to avoid greasy and high-fat diets while taking this detox product. This product naturally utilises the advantage of water as a universal catalyst to cleanse the body of toxins just before a blood drug test is conducted. People who fail to drink this detox product keep getting their toxin levels high and are unlikely to pass the blood drug test.

Homemade Detox Methods to Pass a Blood Test

Most drug users who have a blood test often ask: how long does marijuana stay in your blood system? As much as this question is important, it is also important to utilize available means to pass a blood test without waiting for the substance to naturally get into the bloodstream. Here are some common homemade detox methods to pass a blood test:

  • Cranberry Juice;
  • Lemon Water + Vitamin B supplements;
  • Baking soda;
  • Fasting Before a Blood Test

The benefit of these products is that it is often easy to prepare and use with fewer side effects. However, it might not be as effective as a processed detox product.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I Smoke Once, Will it Show Up on a Blood Drug Test?

Due to the relatively fast metabolism of nicotine, blood tests for acute usage might not be a perfect representation of nicotine usage. One puff of nicotine might not be accurately detected by a blood test, depending on the duration of the use and when the blood test was done. Meanwhile, in chronic use of nicotine, blood tests can still detect cotinine accurately due to the prolonged presence of cotinine in the bloodstream.

Will a Regular Blood Test Show THC?

Typically, it is not commonly identified through a blood test. Nevertheless, urine and saliva samples are generally favoured for detection purposes.

How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your Blood System?

The question: “How long does nicotine stay in your system?” depends on different factors such as frequency of use, hydration levels and genetics. The more it is used, the longer it remains in the system.

How Long to Fast Before a Blood Test?

Your provider will usually provide this information. It is often requested to fast 8-12 hours before a blood test.

How Long Does Nicotine Withdrawal Last?

It takes 2–4 weeks for nicotine withdrawal symptoms to completely stop.


Blood tests are often a nightmare for drug users, especially when carried out on short notice. The metabolites of THC and nicotine are the most important detection agents in a blood test. Factors such as frequency of use, body fat level, and hydration play a major role in the metabolism of these substances. Irrespective of your recent drug use, it is critical to know that THC and nicotine in the bloodstream can be easily detected with a blood test in chronic drug users. The process of detoxification is important to keep your bloodstream free of toxins just before taking a significant blood test.


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