How Long Does Weed Stay in the System of an Athlete?

How Long Does Weed Stay in the System of an Athlete?

Marijuana is thought to play a critical role in the preparation of athletes. It’s thought to help with muscle inflammation and recovery after heavy exercise. However, many athletes opt to stay away from weed because they’re subjected to random drug tests at any point in their career.

If you’re an athlete with an upcoming drug test, which could set you to wonder how long weed stays in the body of an athlete. You should know a few things that determine how long weed stays in an athlete’s body.

Factors that Influence the Length of Time Cannabis Stay in Your System

Athletes are like regular people in many ways. But, they have two advantages. They have a faster metabolic system because of their training and lower body fat, which means fewer places to store THC. Other factors that might influence how long cannabis stays in your system include:

Body weight

When you smoke cannabis, your body stores the THC in fat cells. The more you weigh, the more time it will take your body to metabolise the THC. Because Athletes have leaner bodies and reduced body fat, the THC might pass much faster. Also, because athletes have a naturally fast metabolism, it helps to expel the THC must faster.

The potency of the cannabis you consume

Marijuana with high potency also contains larger amounts of THC, which stays in your system much longer.

Frequency of consuming cannabis

The amount of weed you consume is the most critical in determining how long the THC stays in your system. Consuming weed has a cumulative effect on the body. The more you smoke, the more THC is stored in your fat cells, and the longer it takes for the body to expel the THC, which is the active compound that drug tests check for.

What Type of Test Are You Taking?

You shouldn’t be worried about how long weed stays in your body, but more about the type of test you take. THC traces present themselves over different periods depending on the body samples collected.


Urine THC tests are the most common. They are simpler to administer and have a larger time range of detection. The tests are usually called urine screens, pee tests or UAs.

The urine test can take roughly 3-5 days to get results from positive tests. Weed can be detectable in urine for various amounts of time depending on how much you consume:

  • For occasional users who take weed less than three times a week, 3 days detectable
  • Moderate users at least four times a week 5-7 days detectable
  • Intense users daily 10-15 days detectable
  • Chronic users, multiple times a day, more than 30 days detectable


The body filters out THC from the blood faster than urine. However, Blood tests are more accurate because they have a smaller detection window than urine. Although not as popular as urine tests, blood tests are preferred in workforce injuries and DUI investigations.

Once you smoke weed, it enters the bloodstream which is detectable for about 1-3 days. For heavy users, the THC will be in your bloodstream even longer.

Hair follicles

Hair follicles have the longest time range. The hair analysis test can detect THC up to 90 days out but is only suitable for heavy weed smokers. The test requires expensive equipment, so it’s reserved for special testing scenarios.


Saliva testing is another common window with an even shorter detection window. For occasional users, the detection period is about 24 hours of detection while for heavy users, the window is about 72 hours or more.

How Long Does Weed Stay in the System of An Athlete

If you’re in the mood to crunch some numbers, you can determine how long THC will stay in an athlete’s body using the concept of half-life.

The excretion half-life during the first five days following weed intake is approximately 1.3 days or 27 hours for infrequent users, according to research.

For frequent users, the half-life was 1.4 days, while in some cases, it was reported to be 10.3 days, while for heavy users, the half-lives would be longer.

For the purpose of the calculation, assuming you’re a slim athlete, first-time users with a fast metabolism and smoked 1g of marijuana with 20% THC content, this would result in 200mg of THC in your body.

According to another study, if you smoked 27mg of THC in a joint, the THC-COOH metabolite in your urine would peak at 180ng/mL after 4 hours.

Using cross-multiplication laws, after smoking 200mg of weed, the concentration of THC-COOH in your urine would be 1330ng/ml.

  • After 26 hours, the concentration would be 665ng/ml
  • After 52 hours, it would be 332ng/ml
  • In 130 hours, the concentration would become 40ng/ml which is below the detectable level of the urine immunoassay drug test. That’s about five days and 10 hours.

Can an Athlete Beat a THC Test?

Naturally, athletes have a higher chance of passing a THC test. But there’s no certain formula for passing the test. Many factors impact the results, but you can try several tips that will drastically increase your chances like:

  • Taking safe and natural detoxing products will accelerate the body’s natural detoxification systems.
  • You can also try taking large amounts of water or cranberry juice with tons of antioxidants to help accelerate the body’s THC removal process.
  • Don’t use the first urine sample for a drug test in the morning. You have better chances if you urinate at least twice before going for the test. The first sample of the day has the heaviest amounts of metabolites.


 Knowing how long weed remains in an athlete’s body is not the surest way of passing a THC test. The best way is to abstain from using cannabis at all. Should you choose to use cannabis to assist with the rigours of training, it’s essential to know how long the THC will be in your body to avoid triggering a positive result.

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