One of the most terrifying situations for any Washington resident is an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). Although marijuana is legal for adults to use in the state, it’s against the law to be found to be intoxicated while driving. Knowing how long marijuana stays in your system can help you avoid driving while intoxicated.
How long marijuana lasts
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the component in marijuana that gives you the “high” feeling. Depending on each individual person, the effects may vary, and how long those effects can last also vary. When you smoke marijuana, THC quickly enters your bloodstream. However, if the drug is eaten, it reaches the bloodstream even faster.
Regardless of how you have consumed marijuana, if you are arrested on DUI charges, how long it lasts in your system depends on the type of test performed to check for it.
Testing for marijuana intoxication
There are different means by which police can test drivers to see whether they are under the influence of marijuana. The saliva test is fast and non-invasive, only requiring a quick swab of the tongue or the inside of the cheek. The presence of marijuana may be detected in the saliva for up to 24 hours.
Blood tests are often unreliable because marijuana only lasts in a person’s bloodstream for up to 12 hours when smoked. If ingested, THC begins to diminish within only three or four hours.
Urine tests are one of the preferred methods for determining whether someone has committed a marijuana DUI. The drug can remain in urine for up to 30 days if the person is a regular user.
There are also hair follicle tests to detect marijuana; these are often reliable in individuals who regularly use because the drug can remain in the hair for up to 90 days. These tests may not be effective in people who only occasionally use marijuana.