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  • Matthew O.

What Is THC Half-Life & How Is THC Metabolized?

Are you curious about the half-life of THC and wondering how THC is processed

out of the body? The chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for the intense feeling in marijuana. THC and cannabinoid chemicals are produced naturally by the body.

Cannabinoid regulates cognition, memory, pleasure, coordination, and time perception. While THC binds and activates these receptors, it influences memory, pleasure, movement, thinking, concentration, coordination, and sensory and time perception.

The Science Behind THC

Pharmacokinetics is how a body processes drugs. In other words, how a drug is absorbed, how it is transported throughout the body, where it is disseminated, how it is metabolized, and how it is finally eliminated.

Pharmacodynamics is the diverse interactions between a drug, the body, and any pathogen that may be infecting the patient are all taken into account by pharmacodynamics.

What the body does to a drug is called pharmacokinetics. A drug's effect on the body is called pharmacodynamics because it aids in understanding how drugs work in the body and how it responds to pharmaceuticals.

What Is THC Half-Life

A drug's half-life is how long it takes the body to metabolize half of the amount consumed. Marijuana's half-life varies according to the frequency of use. People who use marijuana infrequently can expect a half-life of about 1.3 days, whereas people who use marijuana frequently expect a half-life of five to thirteen days.

When getting addicted to a substance or noticing you can withdraw from a substance, the half-life can be helpful; the half-life also reveals specific metabolites detectable by a drug test. Drugs disappear within hours; therefore, drug tests do not determine the drug but look for chemicals the body produces due to drug use.

Cannabis metabolites can be detected in urine, blood, and hair for days or months after your last use. Many factors can influence the rate at which THC and its metabolites are eliminated from the body for cannabis users; the factors are:

The Amount of Marijuana Used

One of the main variables that can affect how long THC will last in the body is its frequency of consumption. Due to the long-term storage of THC metabolites in body cells, frequent users will likely experience metabolite accumulation following each use. As a result, compared to infrequent users, it will take significantly longer for them to be eliminated.


The dosage also has a significant impact. Because medicinal marijuana users may require a higher dose to treat their symptoms, low doses will be processed and eliminated from the body much more quickly than high doses.

Strain Type

There are so many appealing strains of marijuana that it might be challenging to decide which one to try. Cannabis hybrids are even more varied and strong than cannabis Indicas and Sativas. But whichever strain you pick, it's the THC content that counts. You will end up storing more metabolites as the THC concentration rises.

Metabolism Used

The half-life of THC and how your body will metabolize it can both be significantly influenced by your metabolism. Your THC tolerance is particularly important because different marijuana users react to THC's effects differently. Yet, some people have inherently faster metabolisms and can eliminate THC metabolites.

Body Mass Index (Bmi)

The body mass index refers to the percentage of body fat and to get the body mass index you will have to consider the weight and height of the user. Because metabolites are primarily stored in fat cells, it is assumed that people with a higher BMI will store the metabolites for a longer period, but there may be exceptions depending on the individual.

How to Metabolize THC and How It Is Processed Out of the Body

THC metabolism differs depending on whether it is smoked or consumed. When cannabis is smoked, THC-A is converted into THC. It enters your bloodstream through the lungs. This is why the intense high from weed can be almost immediate.

THC and other cannabinoids enter your bloodstream immediately after use, and they can travel to your brain and other body parts and bind to cannabinoid receptors. When cannabinoids bind to these receptors, they cause certain bodily functions to be activated.

THC will gradually move from the blood plasma into the body's fatty tissues, including the liver, lungs, and spleen. THC can take at least 10 hours to completely clear from the blood plasma, depending on the method of consumption.

The liver performs numerous functions, including blood sugar regulation, clotting detoxification, storage, and THC metabolism. It accomplishes this by converting toxins and other compounds into forms that the body can process or excrete.

In the liver, THC is broken down into products known as metabolites. THC is metabolized in the liver and further broken down into other compounds. THC metabolism occurs in two phases, which are:

  • 11-OH-THC (11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the metabolite THC gets converted into; it is an active metabolite that produces a little effect similar to THC. The high from edible THC lasts longer because the metabolite is more obvious when the weed is eaten. The most common metabolite found in feces is 11-OH-THC.

  • 11-OH-THC is then deactivated and converted into THC-COOH, another metabolite (11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid). THC COOH remains inactive in the body for a longer period. THC-COOH is more common in urine, making urine tests the most popular drug tests. THC metabolites then return to the bloodstream and are distributed in body fat for an extended period. They are gradually eliminated from the body through fecal and urinary excretion over time.

Bottom Line

THC undergoes a lengthy metabolization and elimination process when consumed. It is converted into several metabolites, which are then stored in your body's fatty tissues for an extended period. One of the factors that will influence the half-life of THC in your body is the frequency with which you use cannabis. Another factor is dosage and strain, which can differ from person to person. The branch of science investigating how substances affect the body and how the body is affected by substances is also important when consuming marijuana.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today!

Ohio continues to expand its medical marijuana program and make residents’ lives easier by passing new progressive legislation. The addition of new qualifying conditions means that many more people will now be eligible for their medical card.

If you think you could benefit from medical cannabis, there is a good chance you qualify!

You need your medical card to access any of Ohio’s medical dispensaries. Not to worry, because it is now easier than ever to get your card with Ohio Marijuana Card!

In Ohio, there are many conditions that may make you eligible for medical marijuana, and we hope the program continues to expand by adding more conditions soon! If you have questions about whether you qualify, we can help with that too!

In order to visit a dispensary in the State of Ohio, you will need your medical marijuana card. With telemedicine, you can even get your card from the comfort of your own home!

If you don’t already have your card, we can help! You can even have your appointment from the comfort of your own home and get your recommendation on the same day!

Schedule an appointment with one of our physicians today to see if you qualify.


Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

Here at Ohio Marijuana Card, our goal is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

If you have any questions, call us at (866) 457-5559, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!


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