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  • Matthew O.

What Is THC Half-life and How Is THC Metabolized?

With a raised level of awareness concerning cannabis, you probably know it gets you high because of its THC. The cannabis industry is growing fast, and people are learning about how THC metabolizes. People now explore how to extend their high, how long the THC stays in the body and the general overview of how cannabis interacts with their bodies.

Since the government has legalized cannabis, people have now directed extra attention to the chemical formation of cannabis, leading to new medical discoveries about it now and then. Knowing how it interacts with your body will give you extra knowledge of what it does to your system.

The question now is, what is THC half-life, and how does it metabolize? You will get answers to this and several other questions here.

What Is THC Half-life?

THC means tetrahydrocannabinol, another cannabinoid found in cannabis apart from cannabidiol (CBD). The two properties are responsible for the medical and recreational benefits of cannabis. Once you consume any form of cannabis, they form with the cannabinoid receptors, then produce the typical effects of cannabis.

The best way to understand a substance/drug is its half-life. The half-life of a drug has to do with the duration it takes the active properties to reduce by half in your body system. The duration can vary depending on the substance and various biological factors. The half-life of THC in your body system depends on how often you take cannabis; the THC will stay longer in the body system of a perpetual smoker.

Also, note that cannabis is fat-soluble, which means the fat in your body will delay how soon the THC reduces to half in your body system. The half-life of a substance determines the medication prescribed and the time to take that particular medication. There is a reason you are asked to take a medication every 4 or 6 hours- half-life.

The half-life of a substance also determines it can trigger withdrawal syndrome and cause you to become an addict. It also shows the kinds of metabolites that drug tests can expose. When a drug test is conducted, the goal is not to check for the drug itself but the chemicals your body produces when you consume a particular substance.

The cannabis may disappear from your system soon as you take it; however, metabolites can still detect in your blood, urine, or hair months after your last take. For someone who takes cannabis once in a while, the half-life of the THC is 1.3 days, while it is 5-13 days for habitual cannabis consumers. The half-life is more about how long a drug can exist in your body in several forms; it is not about your usage.

Human bodies metabolize cannabis automatically, and people with high metabolism process it quicker than others. Cannabis’ harmony with fats and how much people consume it can affect its half-life and how long drug tests can reveal it.

How THC Metabolizes

Several factors determine how THC metabolizes, but the primary factor that determines the process is whether you smoke or eat cannabis. If you smoke cannabis, the THC-A changes to THC and passes through your lungs into your body system. This is why cannabis smokers get high immediately after they smoke it.

Once the THC reaches the bloodstream, it goes straight to the brain and other body parts, connecting to the cannabinoid cells. Your body experiences some reactions and sensations once the cannabinoid binds with the cells. For instance, THC triggers CB1 cells that cause munchies and form euphoria.

After the above mentioned stages, cannabinoids travel down to your liver, where metabolism occurs. There are two stages of metabolism, and don’t forget that THC is a lipophilic or fat-soluble substance, meaning it harmonizes with fats. For this reason, the THC will start its journey from the blood plasma into the fatty tissues in the body, such as the livers, spleen, and livers.

THC can stay in the bloodstream for up to 10 hours, depending on whether you smoke or eat it. The THC breaks down into metabolites (by-products) in the liver through the activities of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) system, a category of enzymes that take care of metabolism for any drug and medications, including THC.

Up to 90% of THC goes through the metabolism and breaks down into several compounds in the liver, while the remaining leaves the body unprocessed. At first, the metabolism process changes the THC to an active metabolite called 11-OH-THC (11-hydroxy-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or 11-hydroxy-THC) and triggers the same reaction as the THC, but maybe a little bit different.

The active metabolite is more active when the cannabis is absorbed, which is the reason for lasting highs, especially from edibles. The active metabolite is what is present in feces. Further processes occur, and the active metabolite is converted to THC-COOH (11-nor-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC).

The THC-COOH is inactive, which is what most drug tests focus on because it stays in the body longer than the active metabolites. THC-COOH is common in urine, which is why the urine drug test is popular among other drug tests. From here on, the active and inactive metabolites return to the blood and to every part of the body, where they stay for some time.

20% of the cannabinoids/THC metabolites pass through the urine out of your body, and 65% goes to your bowel and then out of your body.

Factors That Affect THC Half-life

As stated earlier, several factors can affect the duration at which the THC and its metabolites reduce into half from your body system. Some of the factors vary from person to person.

  • How much and frequently you consume cannabis will determine how long its metabolites stay in your body. It reduces faster from the body system of infrequent users than addicts.

  • Dosage also determines how long it stays in your system. Low dosages get eliminated from the system faster than high dosages.

  • The cannabis strain you consume will also determine how long it stays in your body. There are the cannabis Indica, cannabis Sativas, and other rear hybrids.

  • The THC-tolerant level of your body system is also a great factor in the half-life and the metabolism process.

  • Arkansas Marijuana Card gives you the best information about half-life and the process of metabolism. Also, we will take you through every drug test process and ensure you get the best care.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today

Medical marijuana is legal in Arkansas, and we can help you renew your medical card TODAY! If you would qualify for your card, or even if you aren't sure, give us a call, and we can help! You need your medical card to access any of Arkansas' medical dispensaries. Don't worry because it is now easier than ever to get your card with the Arkansas Marijuana Card! Telemedicine makes it easy to renew your card from the comfort of your home! Schedule an appointment with one of our physicians to get started today.


Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust. Here at Arkansas Marijuana Card, we aim 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.

Call us at (844)-249-8714 today, or book an appointment here.

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