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How long do chemicals from marijuana stay in the body?

Find out how long marijuana chemicals remain in the human body.

The marijuana plant is host to the chemical known as THC. [© Shutterstock, 2009]
© Shutterstock, 2009
The marijuana plant is host to the chemical known as THC.

When marijuana is smoked, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), its active ingredient, is absorbed primarily in the fat tissues. The body transforms the THC into metabolites that can be detected by urine tests for up to one week.

Tests involving radioactively labeled THC have traced the metabolites for up to a month. The retention of labeled THC in humans is about 40 percent at three days and 30 percent at one week.

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