How Long Does THCA Stay in Your System?

Three different Imperial flavor prerolls – Indica GMO Cookies, Hybrid L.A. King Kush, Sativa Cereal Milk – placed on a black surface

There are many reasons why you might be required to take a drug test. Maybe you are applying for a new job or trying to maintain your current employment. Or perhaps you have been ordered by the court as part of your probation or parole terms.

Regardless of the reason, it is important to know how long drugs can stay in your system. THCA is a compound found in cannabis that can show up on drug tests. Even though it’s non-psychoactive in its natural state, smoking THCA flower, vaping, cooking, or any other form of heating can convert it to THC, which can linger in your system for some time.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look closer at THCA, how it affects your body, and, most importantly, how long it stays in your system.

Key Takeaways

  • THCA is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that isn’t easily detected on drug tests.
  • When exposed to heat or light, THCA can convert to THC and cause a positive drug test result.
  • The duration of time that THCA stays in your system depends on several factors, such as frequency of use, dosage, body fat percentage, and metabolism.
  • There are several ways to get rid of THCA metabolites quickly, including drinking plenty of water, exercising, and abstaining from cannabis use.

What is THCA?

THCA, short for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is a prominent compound or cannabinoid found in raw and live cannabis. In its pure form, THCA is non-psychoactive. This means consuming it in its raw or unheated form won’t cause the high typically associated with cannabis.

However, when exposed to heat through a process called decarboxylation, THCA converts into the well-known psychoactive compound THC.

Besides being an inactive compound, recent research suggests that THCA has its own set of potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.


THCA vs. delta 9 THC is a debate that has raged on for some time now. But in simple terms, the main difference between THCA and THC lies in their chemical structures and effects on our bodies.

THCA is the precursor or “parent” compound of THC, meaning it’s the molecule that eventually converts into THC when heated. This means that when you light up your THCA prerolls, you will experience the high associated with delta 9 THC because the THCA will turn into delta 9.

Both compounds are similar in structure, except for one crucial difference – THCA has an additional carboxyl group attached to its chain.

Additionally, while THC is known for its psychoactive effects, THCA does not produce any euphoric or mind-altering sensations in its natural state. Instead, it’s believed to have therapeutic benefits similar to CBD, such as reducing inflammation and pain relief.

THCA Effects

The effects of THCA can vary significantly depending on several factors. These include:

  • The Individual’s Unique Biochemistry – Different people can react differently to the same dose of THCA due to variations in their body’s metabolism, genetic makeup, and overall health.
  • The Method of Consumption – Consuming raw cannabis (which contains THCA) can have different effects compared to inhaling or ingesting decarboxylated cannabis.
  • The Quantity Consumed – The effects of THCA are dose-dependent, meaning they can vary depending on the amount consumed.
  • The Strain of Cannabis – Different cannabis strains have different levels of THCA, which can influence the effects experienced.
  • The Presence of Other Cannabinoids – The effects of THCA can also be influenced by the presence of other cannabinoids, such as CBD or CBG.

According to research, these are some potential effects of THCA:

  • Appetite Loss and Nausea Relief – THCA may aid individuals battling with eating disorders by reducing nausea and stimulating appetite.
  • Pain and Inflammation Reduction – It has been suggested that THCA may reduce pain and inflammation. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, THCA might be effective in reducing the symptoms of inflammatory diseases.
  • Brain Health – THCA may help protect memory and coordination, offering potential benefits for neuroinflammatory diseases.
  • Relaxation and Sleep Aid – The compound could potentially aid relaxation, promoting better sleep.

How Long Does THCA Stay in Your System?

The length of time THCA lingers in one’s system is contingent upon several factors and varies greatly from person to person.

It’s essential to note that the precise timeline can be influenced by:

  • Metabolic Rate – Individuals with a faster metabolic rate tend to process and eliminate substances like THCA more rapidly than those with slower metabolisms.
  • Body Mass – Generally, a person with more body fat may store THCA for longer periods than someone with less body fat.
  • Hydration Level – Staying well-hydrated can help your body process and remove THCA more efficiently.
  • Physical Activity – Regular exercise can speed up your metabolism and help your body eliminate THCA faster.
  • Quantity and Potency of Consumed THCA – As one might expect, consuming larger amounts or more potent forms of THCA can increase the time it takes for your body to fully eliminate it.

In light of these factors, let’s look at the estimated length THCA will linger in different parts of the body:

How Long Does THCA Stay in Your Saliva?

Saliva tests are typically used in situations where recent use needs to be detected, often in workplace drug testing or at roadside checkpoints for DUI enforcement. This is because saliva tests can detect the presence of THCA for up to 72 hours after consumption.

How Long Does THCA Stay in Your Blood?

Blood tests, while not the most common form of drug screening, are particularly effective for identifying recent substance use. In the context of THCA detection, the window of opportunity for these tests tends to be relatively brief due to the temporary nature of THCA in your bloodstream.

While THC can linger in the blood for extended periods contingent on usage patterns, THCA does not typically persist for long durations. Thus, if you’ve consumed a THCA product and several hours have elapsed since then, it’s less likely to be detected in a blood test.

However, it’s worth noting that advances in THC detection techniques outpace those for THCA. If you have consumed THCA, and it has subsequently been converted into THC—either through smoking, vaping, or exposing it to extreme temperatures, it is possible for it to be picked up in a blood test.

How Long Does THCA Stay in Your Urine?

Urine drug tests are the most frequently used form of drug screening by employers and other organizations. The reasons are manifold: this method is economical, generally non-invasive, and offers a fair degree of accuracy. It’s a tried and trusted approach that has stood the test of time in many different sectors.

However, it’s important to underline that standard urine tests typically target the detection of THC-COOH, a metabolite of THC, as opposed to THCA itself. THCA is not the primary focus of these urine-based drug screenings. Despite this, these tests are relatively effective at detecting THC metabolites.

This means that while THCA might not be the main target, its breakdown products, including THC, can still be identified. So, if you have consumed a product containing THCA, and it has been metabolized into THC, it could potentially be detected through a urine drug test.

In general, the amount of time that THCA stays in your urine is highly dependent on factors such as frequency of use, dosage and potency of the product, and individual metabolism.

However, it’s generally accepted that THCA can stay in your urine for around 2-4 days after consumption. If heated and converted into THC, it can be detectable for up to 30 days.

How Long Does THCA Stay in Your Hair?

Hair drug tests are not as common as blood or urine screenings, primarily because they’re more expensive and require specific laboratory processes. However, they present a significant advantage: they can provide a much longer detection window.

While urine tests are ideal for identifying recent drug use, hair tests can detect patterns of long-term drug use spanning weeks or even months.

However, it’s important to understand that hair tests’ sensitivity to THCA may not be as robust as for some other substances. The ability of these tests to detect THCA can vary significantly based on the composition and individual characteristics of your hair.

In general, hair tests are more effective at detecting THC-COOH, which means that they may not be as reliable for identifying THCA consumption.

Does THCA Show on a Drug Test?

Two women seated on a bench, holding a clipboard with a paper attached

Drug tests are designed to detect THC-COOH, the main metabolite of THC, in the body. THCA is not tested individually because it is not considered to be psychoactive and does not produce the same effects as THC.

This means that, in most cases, THCA will not show up on a standard drug test.

However, as mentioned earlier, smoking, vaping, cooking, or exposing THCA to any form of heat, including body heat, high temperatures, or acidic environments, can cause it to be converted into THC. This could potentially lead to a positive drug test result for THC.

It’s also worth noting that certain specialized tests may be able to detect THCA itself, but these are not commonly used in standard drug screenings.

What is THCA on a Drug Test?

On its own, THCA is not typically included in a standard drug test panel. Therefore, if you have only consumed THCA and no other psychoactive substances, chances are high that the test will turn out negative.

However, the decarboxylation process of THCA could turn everything upside down. This process can occur through smoking, vaping, cooking, or even natural body heat and transform THCA into THC. When this happens, THCA metabolizes into THC-COOH, which is what drug tests are designed to detect.

When you consume THCA after conversion, you are typically taking regular THC, which produces psychoactive effects. As a result, the body will break down THCA exactly how it would with a regular dose of THC. This means that you could potentially test positive for THC on a drug test, even if you only consumed THCA.

It’s also worth noting that some extraction methods used to create THCA products may leave trace amounts of THC, which could also result in a positive drug test. Therefore, understanding the source and production methods of your THCA products is crucial if you want to avoid a positive drug test.

How to Flush Out THCA Metabolites

Flushing THCA metabolites from your system involves a combination of factors that cannot be achieved overnight. The time it takes for your body to eliminate these metabolites depends on various aspects, including your metabolism, body fat percentage, and hydration levels.

Generally, the more frequently you consume THCA or other cannabis products, the longer it will take for your body to flush out the metabolites.

Some methods that may help speed up this process include:


The first and most straightforward step to flushing THCA metabolites from your system is abstinence.

Simply put, refrain from consuming any cannabis products. This gives your body a chance to naturally eliminate the metabolites over time. It might be a challenge, but remember, the goal here is to clear your system.

Persisting with abstaining can test your patience as it may take weeks or even months for regular cannabis users to completely clear their system of THCA metabolites. The duration largely depends on the frequency and quantity of use.

Light users may find their systems clear within a few days, while heavy users might need to abstain much longer. During this period, it’s also important to avoid situations where you might be exposed to secondhand cannabis smoke, as it could potentially contribute to the THC levels in your system.

Stay firm in your resolve, and remember that it’s a necessary step towards a successful detoxification.

Lots of Hydration

Hydration plays a significant role in flushing out THCA metabolites. Drinking lots of water helps dilute the concentration of metabolites in your body, thus accelerating the excretion process through urine. This process contributes to detoxifying your system and promotes overall health.

However, it’s essential to strike the right balance.

According to research, you should drink one to two liters of water daily. While it’s tempting to chug gallons of water in a desperate attempt to flush out THCA, excessive consumption can lead to serious health risks, such as water intoxication, characterized by electrolyte imbalances in the body.

While hydration is not a quick-fix solution to eliminate metabolites completely, it’s a positive step towards hastening the detoxification process. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to hydration’s beneficial effects on detoxification.

Diet of Organic Foods

Another essential factor to consider is your diet. Eating organic foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals can help flush out THCA metabolites. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are all excellent choices that promote overall health and wellness.

In particular, certain foods have been known to support the detoxification process by promoting liver function and aiding in eliminating toxins from the body. These include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale and foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries and spinach.

It’s also crucial to avoid processed or fatty foods that can slow the detoxification process and contribute to toxin buildup. A diet consisting mainly of organic, whole foods can greatly benefit your body in the long run and assist in flushing out THCA metabolites.

Exercise Regularly

Incorporating regular exercise into your routine can also help speed up the elimination of THCA from your system. Physical activity promotes sweat production, which is one of the body’s natural ways to release toxins.

It also increases blood flow and metabolism, aiding in the breakdown of THCA metabolites.

Exercise can support overall health and wellness by reducing stress levels and improving mood. This can be especially helpful during the detoxification process when you may experience heightened anxiety or discomfort.

Some suitable forms of exercise include cardio activities such as running, swimming, or cycling, as well as strength training exercises like weightlifting or yoga. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per day to reap the detoxification benefits.

Where to Buy THCA Online

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Every batch of our THCA prerolls undergoes third-party testing to ensure it meets our high standards for quality and safety. Lab reports for each product are easily accessible on our website, providing customers transparency and peace of mind.

Final Thoughts

Understanding how long THCA stays in your system is crucial, particularly if you’re anticipating a drug test. While exact timelines can vary based on individual factors like metabolism, frequency of use, and body composition, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

If you’re able to, try to allow for an adequate detox period before any scheduled drug tests.

Remember, while physical activity and staying hydrated can help your body metabolize and eliminate THCA faster, these methods are not foolproof. It’s also important to remember that at-home detox remedies or quick-fix products aren’t reliably effective and can sometimes cause more harm than good.

The smartest approach is to be mindful of your THCA consumption, especially in situations where drug testing could be a factor. Stay informed, make responsible choices, and know that, ultimately, time is the most reliable detoxifier.

THCA: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Half-Life of THCA?

The half-life of THCA can vary significantly based on individual factors, but on average, it tends to range between 1 to 3 days. This means that it usually takes about 1 to 3 days for the concentration of THCA in your system to decrease by half.

How Sensitive are Lab Drug Tests?

Lab drug tests are designed to be very sensitive and specific in detecting substances. They can usually detect even small amounts of drugs in the system, often as low as a few nanograms per milliliter. However, the sensitivity can vary based on the specific test and laboratory procedures.

What Shows Up in a Drug Urine Test?

A urine drug test typically screens for a variety of substances, including THC and its metabolites. Different cutoff levels may be used to determine a positive result depending on the type of test and the testing laboratory. It’s important to note that even trace amounts of THC can show up in a urine drug test for several days after consumption.

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