How Long Does THC Stay In Saliva Glands (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 24-72 Hours

If you smoke cannabis regularly, you’ve probably wondered how long THC lingers in your bloodstream. Perhaps you’re concerned about drug testing before starting a new job, or you’re simply unclear whether or not it’s safe to drive home after smoking a joint.

However, there are no rough and hard rules for how long THC remains in your saliva. The actual quantity will be determined by a variety of factors, including body mass index, metabolism, and age. However, the most crucial factor to consider is how frequently – and how much – you smoke.

How Long Does THC Stay In Saliva Glands?

Weed Detectable In SalivaDuration
For Infrequent Users24-72 Hours
For Habitual Users30 Days

The majority of drug tests rely on blood or urine samples. Some companies, on the other hand, are resorting to speedier and less expensive options, such as saliva drug testing for marijuana. Employers, athletic associations, and even police departments use this screening procedure to detect the presence of illicit substances.

In the same way, that blood and urine may be used to test for drug use, saliva can be used to screen for drug usage. Saliva drug tests require the patient to spit or hold an absorbent pad in their mouth for a brief length of time to provide a sample.

Cannabis saliva testing has the benefit over blood and urine testing in that it is quick, convenient, and non-invasive, and it can be performed almost anywhere without invading the subject’s privacy. 

Another benefit of saliva testing for marijuana is that, because the tests may be performed in the presence of another individual, there is virtually no chance of cheating. Because of these features, saliva drug testing is an excellent tool for use both on the road and in the office.

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The best scholarly reference we have in terms of how long weed is detectable in the saliva shows that for infrequent users, it lasts roughly 24-72 hours, while for habitual users, it lasts up to 30 days. 

THC from marijuana can be found in the saliva for one to three days in casual users. THC can be identified in the saliva of frequent users for up to 30 days.

Why Does THC Stay In Saliva Glands For That Long? 

Marijuana has hundreds of distinct chemicals, each of which is metabolized at a different pace by the body. THC enters the system virtually instantly when marijuana is smoked, peaking 3–10 minutes after inhalation.

THC can take 1–2 hours to enter the bloodstream when consumed as an edible. The effects of marijuana can be felt for several hours as the liver breaks down active molecules called phytocannabinoids. THC is converted into a variety of metabolites in this complex process, one of the most frequent of which is THC-COOH.

Over the course of a few days, 85 per cent of cannabis metabolites are eliminated in the urine and feces. THC, on the other hand, is fat-soluble and can be kept in fatty tissues for a long time. THC-COOH and other cannabis metabolites can be reabsorbed into the bloodstream through the kidneys. This means that they can last considerably longer in your bloodstream than THC.

Three salivary glands in your mouth can create up to several millilitres of saliva every minute. The amount of saliva you produce changes throughout the day due to a variety of variables. Hunger, some treatments and prescriptions, and even emotions like stress and worry are among these influences.

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In most cases, collecting enough of a sample to complete an accurate saliva drug test for cannabis takes about 1–3 minutes. It can be difficult to get enough since many people experience anxiety before undergoing a drug test, which can create a dry mouth.

Conclusion

To recapitulate, the more you smoke cannabis and the heavier you smoke it, the more metabolites accumulate in your system. It’s also worth noting that regular or heavy smokers inhale more deeply, which means they absorb more cannabis at first than light users.

Smoking merely means that traces of cannabis remain in the saliva for a longer period. The rate of compound excretion is also affected by factors such as gender, age, and weight. Women, for example, appear to be able to digest these chemicals faster than men. Finally, because THC is retained in fat, it is frequently detectable in overweight people for extended periods.

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/jat/article-abstract/16/1/1/775849
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378434797005720
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1601-0825.2008.01459.x
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