How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Your Saliva

Marijuana or Cannabis or weed, are all same product called by different names. Its a recreational, psychoactive drug that is believed to give a good high when smoked or consumed orally. Although the effects of marijuana are faded away with time, the chemical named THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) stays for a long time in your body. How long does cannabis stay in your saliva can depend upon the amount consumed, the frequency of consumption metabolic rate, and the activities performed by one’s body.


How Long Does Marijuana Stay in your Saliva?

THC testing if most effective on hair as it always gives a positive result. Others, such as urine and saliva testing are also done. For how long does marijuana stay in saliva, it can be quite less. Marijuana can be detected in saliva for a period of 2 to 3 hours after intake of the drug. But the detection of marijuana also depends on where the saliva test was performed, because when it is done in a laboratory, the level of detection is very low (0.5 ng/ml), and the cannabis can be detected up to 48 hours after it was consumed. If the test is performed on site with instant saliva drug testing equipment with a higher level of detection, the cannabis can be detected only within 12 hours of intake of the drug. For timescales of blood, urine, or hair, check out this article: how long does marijuana stay your body.


How Long Does THC Stay in the Body?

After smoking weed, the THC remains stored in body fat and thus, metabolic activities performed by a person greatly affect for how long does marijuana stay in your body.
If a person consumes less frequently it may stay in their body for a few days. Also if the person is greatly involved in exercise, the THC may drain away even faster. For a frequent smoker the THC remains in the body for 2 weeks to even a month before the THC content reaches to zero. For chronic smokers, i.e. people who smoke on a daily basis, the THC may remain for 2 to 3 months after their last consumption. There are several ways as to how THC can be drained from the body. Exercising every day is a very effective way. A person should consume enough fluids after consumption of marijuana.


What Does the Marijuana Saliva Test Look Like and How to Read it’s Results

Marijuana saliva tests are ready available at many online from most clinical testing stores. Be sure to first read the instructions provided with your test pack to avoid getting any invalid results.
Marijuana Saliva Test
If taking the THC saliva test, you can expect to see results with a series of lines, stating whether its either: Positive, Negative, or Invalid. (see below)

Marijuana Saliva Test Results
A typical Marijuana Saliva Test will show these results.

Please note that this indication guide may differ with the different brand of tester that you may use.

Results of a saliva test are usually instant, but some test could take up to 5 minutes to provide a result.

Other Methods of Detection

Other than saliva, cannabis can stay in the hair for 7 to 40 days, in blood for 2 to 10 days but can extend up to 4 to 10 weeks of heavy use of cannabis. It also stays in urine for about 2 to 8 days and can be detected even longer for chronic users. The saliva test only detects how long does marijuana stay in your saliva but fails to detect the active THC metabolites as there is a very short window time for testing and only a very small amount of drug can be found in the saliva. The test results can be obtained within 10 mins with a detection level of 25 ng/ml.


Marijuana Studies

Here are some studies as to how long does marijuana stay in your saliva:.

A study on detection of recent cannabis use by saliva Δ­9 –THC radioimmunoassay was applied to 352 samples including male and female cannabis users. Each of them was administered with half to two cannabis cigarettes containing 27 mg Δ­9 –THC per cigarettes. There were 72 controlled subjects who ate only food or medications on their own. (see chart below)


How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Your Saliva


It was found that all cannabis users showed a positive result during a period of 2 to 5 hours. Thus, how long does marijuana stay in your saliva largely depends on the frequency at which you intake cannabis.

Saliva drug test is more convenient and can be easily taken by law enforcement agencies as it gives an instant result. Although the window period of testing is short, a person who has consumed 12 hours before a saliva test, may not show positive results. But unlike urine tests that can be faked by changing the urine sample, saliva test cannot be faked. In case of an accident or car crash, a saliva test is one effective test to find out if the drug was the cause of it. How long does marijuana stay in saliva also depends on how much quantity was consumed. If a large quantity of cannabis is consumed, the cannabis can be detected even after 12 hours.

On the other side of the story, a presence of THC in saliva may not indicate a recent marijuana use. A recent study in Oslo, Norway, performed a series of tests by collecting saliva twice daily from habitual cannabis users, but at the time when they were not using the drug anymore. They found that THC was still present in the oral fluids even after 8 days from last consumption of cannabis. On further experimentations on these subjects they found that the THC level greatly varied during this period of time, even though they did not use the drug. It was concluded that THC was processed through brain through the nervous system and not through the salivary glands. Thus, medical professionals and even the U.S. department of Justice declared that saliva test did not determine the frequency or amount of marijuana use.

THC is also known to attach itself to the fat cells within the body, so although a saliva test my show negagtive after 12 hours since last use, a urine or blood test could show a positive THC result for a number of days since last use.

You may also want to check out: how marijuana effects the body.


  • Detection of Recent Cannabis Use by Saliva – Journal of Analytical Toxicology – 1985 – by Stanley J. Gross, Thomas E. Worthy and Linda Nerder, Emery G. Zimmermann, James R. Soares and Peter Lomax