How Long Does THCA Stay In Your System?

How Long Does THCA Stay In Your System?

Key Takeaways:

  • Detection Methods: Learn about different THCA detection methods, including urine, blood, saliva, and hair tests, and their varying detection windows.
  • Influencing Factors: Understand the key factors that affect how long THCA stays in your system, such as metabolism, body fat, and frequency of use.
  • Myths and Facts: Get clarity on common myths about THCA detection and discover effective strategies to manage and detoxify your system.


At Gold Standard CBD, we pride ourselves on offering the highest quality hemp products, known for their purity and potency. As leaders in the CBD industry, our expertise extends to understanding the nuances of cannabinoids, including THCA, and how they interact with the human body.

THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw cannabis. Unlike THC, which is well-known for its psychoactive effects, THCA does not produce a "high" but has potential therapeutic benefits. As THCA becomes increasingly popular, it’s crucial to understand how long it stays in your system and the factors influencing its retention.

In this piece, we will be discussing how long THCA stays in your system, the factors that influence its detection, various testing methods, and tips for clearing it from your body. Whether you are a medical user or subject to drug testing, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the necessary insights.


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The Metabolism Of THCA

The metabolism of THCA begins when it is consumed, either through raw cannabis products like tinctures, juices, or edibles. Once ingested, THCA is processed by the liver. Unlike THC, which is metabolized into 11-hydroxy-THC and then further into THC-COOH, THCA does not undergo significant transformation. It largely remains in its original form, with some minor metabolites being produced. The body's metabolism of THCA can vary greatly among individuals, influenced by factors such as metabolic rate, body mass, age, and overall health. Understanding this metabolic pathway is essential to gauge how long THCA might linger in your system.

Factors Influencing THCA Retention

Several factors can influence how long THCA stays in your system:

Metabolic Rate

Individuals with faster metabolisms process and eliminate THCA more quickly than those with slower metabolic rates. A high metabolic rate can lead to faster breakdown and excretion of cannabinoids from the body. Factors such as genetics, physical activity, and overall health can influence metabolic rate. People with higher metabolism tend to clear substances like THCA more efficiently, reducing the detection window.

Body Mass And Fat Content

THCA, like other cannabinoids, can be stored in fat cells. Those with higher body fat percentages may retain THCA for longer periods. Since cannabinoids are lipophilic, they bind to fatty tissues, resulting in prolonged retention. This means that individuals with higher body fat might experience longer detection times compared to leaner individuals. Weight loss can also release stored THCA back into the bloodstream, potentially affecting test results.

Frequency And Amount Of Use

Regular and heavy users of cannabis products containing THCA may have longer retention times compared to occasional users. Chronic use leads to accumulation of THCA in the body, making it detectable for extended periods. Infrequent users might eliminate THCA faster due to lower overall exposure. The body's ability to clear THCA efficiently diminishes with continuous use, prolonging its presence in the system.


Metabolic processes tend to slow down with age, potentially leading to longer retention of THCA in older individuals. As people age, their liver and kidney functions may decline, impacting the body's ability to detoxify efficiently. This can result in a longer detection window for THCA and other substances. Additionally, older adults often have higher body fat percentages, further contributing to prolonged retention.

Overall Health

Liver and kidney function play a crucial role in the elimination of substances from the body. Healthier organs contribute to quicker detoxification. Conditions affecting these organs can slow down the metabolism and excretion of THCA. Maintaining good overall health through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding excessive alcohol or drugs can support the body's natural detox processes.

Hydration And Diet

Adequate hydration and a balanced diet can assist the body in flushing out THCA more efficiently. Drinking plenty of water helps maintain kidney function and promotes regular urination, aiding in the elimination of THCA metabolites. A diet rich in fiber can also support digestive health and improve excretion. Foods known for their detoxifying properties, such as fruits, vegetables, and green tea, can enhance the body's natural detoxification pathways.

Detection Methods For THCA

Various methods are used to detect THCA in the body, each with different detection windows and sensitivity levels:

Urine Tests

The most common method for detecting THCA, urine tests can detect metabolites of THCA for several days to weeks after use, depending on frequency and quantity of consumption. Urine tests are favored for their non-invasive nature, ease of administration, and relatively long detection window. They are widely used in workplace drug testing, probation checks, and sports doping tests. The test works by identifying THC-COOH, a metabolite of THC, which remains in the body after the initial effects have worn off.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are less common but can detect THCA shortly after use, typically within a few hours to a couple of days. These tests are more invasive, requiring a blood sample to be drawn, and are usually reserved for specific scenarios like roadside drug testing, accident investigations, or medical evaluations. Blood tests measure the actual presence of THCA in the bloodstream, providing a more accurate indication of recent use. They are less practical for routine testing due to the short detection window and invasive nature.

Saliva Tests

THCA can be detected in saliva within a few hours of use and may remain detectable for up to 72 hours. Saliva tests are less invasive and can be done on-site, making them popular for workplace testing and roadside checks by law enforcement. These tests are convenient and provide quick results, reflecting recent cannabis use. However, their shorter detection window means they are not suitable for detecting long-term use or past consumption.

Hair Tests

Hair tests offer the most extended detection window, as THCA can be detected in hair follicles for up to 90 days or longer. These tests analyze hair samples to identify drug use over an extended period, making them useful for uncovering long-term patterns of substance use. Hair tests are less commonly used due to their high cost, longer processing times, and the requirement of a small hair sample. They are often employed in legal cases, custody disputes, and certain professional settings where long-term drug history is relevant.

Average Detection Times

The average detection times for THCA can vary based on several factors, including the type of test used and individual differences. Here is a general overview:

  • Urine Tests: THCA can typically be detected in urine for 3 to 15 days after use. For chronic or heavy users, it can be detectable for up to 30 days or more due to the accumulation of metabolites in the body.
  • Blood Tests: THCA is usually detectable in blood for 1 to 2 days after use. In cases of heavy use, it might be detectable for a longer period, up to a week, reflecting more recent consumption.
  • Saliva Tests: THCA can be detected in saliva for 1 to 3 days after use, with the highest concentrations present in the first 24 hours. This makes saliva tests effective for identifying recent cannabis use.
  • Hair Tests: THCA can be detected in hair for up to 90 days or longer. Hair tests provide a long-term view of drug use history but are less commonly used due to their complexity and cost, and they require a small hair sample.

These average detection times are influenced by factors such as metabolism, body fat content, and frequency of use, making it essential for individuals to consider their unique circumstances when estimating detection windows.

THCA In Different Types Of Drug Tests

Understanding how THCA appears in different drug tests can help individuals anticipate detection times and outcomes:

Urine Tests

These tests look for THCA metabolites, which remain in the body longer than the parent compound. Urine tests are widely used in workplace and legal settings due to their non-invasive nature and relatively long detection window. The test is straightforward to administer, making it a convenient choice for random and routine screenings. Urine tests can detect THCA metabolites for several days to weeks, depending on usage patterns.

Blood Tests

Blood tests measure the actual presence of THCA in the bloodstream, providing a snapshot of very recent use. These tests are less common for routine screenings but are used in situations requiring precise measurement of recent use, such as in accidents or medical examinations. Blood tests are more invasive, requiring a blood sample to be drawn by a healthcare professional. Due to the short detection window of 1 to 2 days, they are effective in identifying current intoxication levels.

Saliva Tests

Saliva tests detect THCA in the oral fluid, reflecting recent cannabis use. They are becoming more popular due to their ease of administration and ability to detect recent use within hours to a few days. These tests are commonly used by law enforcement during roadside checks to quickly assess driver impairment. Saliva tests are non-invasive, providing quick and reliable results, making them suitable for on-site testing scenarios.

Hair Tests

Hair tests are unique in their ability to provide a long-term history of THCA use, detecting it up to 90 days or longer. They detect THCA that has been incorporated into the hair shaft from the bloodstream, offering a comprehensive overview of drug use over time. Despite their lengthy detection window, hair tests are less common due to their high cost and longer processing times. They are often used in legal cases, custody disputes, and certain professional settings where long-term drug history is relevant.

Effects Of THCA On The Body

THCA is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it does not produce the "high" associated with THC. However, it offers several potential health benefits:

  • Anti-inflammatory: THCA has been shown to reduce inflammation, making it potentially useful for conditions like arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
  • Neuroprotective: Research suggests that THCA may protect brain cells, which could be beneficial for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • Antiemetic: THCA can help reduce nausea and vomiting, which can be particularly beneficial for chemotherapy patients.
  • Analgesic: There is evidence that THCA can help alleviate pain, although more research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness and mechanisms.
  • Anti-proliferative: Some studies suggest that THCA may inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells, although this is an area of ongoing research.

These potential benefits make THCA an area of interest for medical research and therapeutic applications, despite its non-psychoactive nature.

Tips For Clearing THCA From Your System

If you need to clear THCA from your system, here are some tips that might help:

  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help flush THCA and its metabolites out of your system more quickly.
  • Exercise Regularly: Physical activity can boost your metabolism and help burn fat, where THCA can be stored. This may aid in speeding up the elimination process.
  • Healthy Diet: Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber can support your body's detoxification processes.
  • Avoid Further Exposure: To clear THCA from your system, it's important to abstain from any further use of cannabis products containing THCA.
  • Natural Detox Methods: Some people use natural detoxifying agents such as cranberry juice, green tea, and detox drinks that claim to cleanse the body of toxins. While their effectiveness may vary, they can be part of a broader detox strategy.
  • Rest and Recovery: Ensuring adequate rest and sleep supports overall health and allows your body to effectively process and eliminate substances.

These tips are general guidelines and may vary in effectiveness depending on individual factors such as metabolism, body composition, and overall health.


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Final Thoughts 

Understanding how long THCA stays in your system is crucial for both medical users and those who may be subject to drug testing. The retention of THCA can be influenced by several factors, including metabolic rate, body mass, frequency of use, and overall health. Various detection methods, such as urine, blood, saliva, and hair tests, have different detection windows and sensitivities. By staying informed about these aspects, individuals can better manage their cannabis use and prepare for any required testing. Additionally, debunking common myths about THCA detection helps in making educated choices about detoxification strategies. Ultimately, awareness and responsible use are key to navigating the complexities of THCA in the body.

Read also: 

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long THCA Stays in Your System


What is THCA and how is it different from THC?

THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw cannabis. It converts to THC, the psychoactive component, when heated through a process called decarboxylation.

Can THCA be detected in standard drug tests?

Yes, THCA can be detected in standard drug tests, especially urine tests, as it is metabolized into detectable compounds.

Does the method of consuming cannabis affect THCA detection times?

Yes, consuming raw cannabis (rich in THCA) versus heated or smoked cannabis (rich in THC) can influence how THCA is processed and detected in your system.

How long before a drug test should I stop using cannabis to ensure THCA is undetectable?

It varies based on individual factors, but generally, stopping at least 30 days before a test can help ensure THCA is undetectable.

Are there any natural ways to speed up the elimination of THCA from my system?

Staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy diet, and regular exercise can support the body's natural detoxification processes.

Does the presence of THCA indicate recent cannabis use?

Not necessarily. THCA can linger in the body for days to weeks after use, so its presence doesn't always indicate recent use.

How does body fat percentage affect THCA retention?

THCA is stored in fat cells, so individuals with higher body fat percentages may retain THCA for longer periods compared to those with lower body fat.

Is it possible to test positive for THCA from secondhand cannabis smoke?

While unlikely, it is possible in extreme cases of prolonged and heavy exposure to secondhand smoke.

Can prescription medications affect THCA detection times?

Certain medications that affect liver function or metabolism could potentially influence how quickly THCA is processed and eliminated from the body.

Are there specific detox programs designed to clear THCA from the system?

There are various detox programs and products claiming to clear cannabinoids from the system, but their effectiveness varies and lacks scientific backing.


  1. Hernandez, S. (2023, October 16). Is THCA Legal? The State Line is the Bottom Line. McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.
  2. Fischer, K. (n.d.). What Is THCA? WebMD.
  3. Study Reveals Inaccurate Labeling of Marijuana as Hemp. (n.d.). National Institute of Justice.


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