How long are cannabis and its degradation products detectable in urine? What is the situation with cannabinoids?

Whether in sports or in the context of private investigations, many people ask themselves how long cannabis or cannabinoids are actually detectable in urine. THC detectability depends largely on the type of consumption. A single use of THC is often degraded after a few days, whereas regular use can lead to long-term detectability in urine and blood. However, there is no fixed rule.

What factors influence the detectability of THC?

Not only the frequency of cannabis use plays a role in detectability, but also the method of ingestion. In general, consumed THC products last significantly longer, as they can accumulate in fatty tissue. However, there are a number of other factors that can influence THC detectability:

  • the personal physical condition
  • the amount of THC consumed
  • the type of consumption (THC drops, joint, oral consumption)
  • THC content of the consumed cannabis variety
  • the own metabolism

Cannabis in the blood - how long is it detectable?

How long the active ingredient THC is detectable in the blood depends, among other things, on the factors mentioned above. On average, the active ingredient is assumed to be detectable for between three days and three weeks. When smoking hashish, the main active ingredient breaks down more quickly than when eating space cookies.

Cannabis in urine - how long is it detectable?

THC active ingredients can be detected in urine for much longer. In the case of a single use, nothing more is likely to be detectable after around two to three weeks. Long-term users, however, can still produce positive results in a urine test months after their last use.

Hair analysis - are CBD and its breakdown products detectable?

Hair plays an important role in the detection of THC. It is not only the degradation products in urine or blood that can be the downfall of consumers. When THC is consumed, the breakdown products of hashish are deposited in the basic structure of the hair. Consequently, a laboratory analysis can still detect drug use a year or more later, provided the hair tips have not been cut off. Due to the susceptibility to errors, however, the hair test is rather rare. In forensic medicine, THC is detected in the blood or by urine test.

Detecting THC in saliva - how long is it possible?

The cannabis plant is becoming more and more popular, and legalization is expected in Germany in 2024. Nevertheless, the traffic authorities show no mercy, because the active ingredient affects driving ability. Points in Flensburg, a revocation of the driver’s license and the summons to the MPU? That doesn’t have to be the case. The intake of cannabis may bring some benefits for the body, but marijuana has no place in traffic.

Thanks to increasingly innovative tests, THC can be reliably detected in road traffic. The duration of detectability plays an important role. Saliva tests have a high hit rate especially within the first 24 hours after consumption. The effect has already dissipated by this time, but the saliva usually still reveals the truth. After two to three days, the body no longer has any saliva containing THC, and the tests are negative.

How reliable are drug tests for detecting THC?

There are now a large number of drug tests and special rapid tests that can detect the use of marijuana. They are mainly used during traffic controls when the driver becomes conspicuous due to unusual driving behavior. If the test shows a positive result, the further procedure is similar to that for drunk driving. A crossmatch is detected in the blood serum or via a urine test. Rapid tests can cause errors in individual cases, but are considered very safe overall. Before a long-term driving ban is imposed, a laboratory analysis is carried out anyway and this is safe.

THC in urine or blood - what happens to the driver's license?

While alcohol still has limits, no mercy can be expected with psychoactive drugs like marijuana. Detection leads to the revocation of the driver’s license. If a quantity of more than one nanogram of THC is found in the blood, it must be assumed that concentration and driving ability are impaired. In the case of a one-time conspicuousness, only a fine and a one-month driving ban are to be expected. In the case of regular use or repeated conspicuousness, the driver’s license can be revoked for much longer.

But this does not end the problem, because a report is made to the driver’s license authority. And this in turn sends THC offenders to the MPU. In the course of the medical-psychological examination, abstinence must be proven on the one hand, and fitness to drive must be demonstrated on the other. Regular urine tests are mandatory to prove abstinence for at least six months.

Can CBD also be detected in blood or urine?

CBD consumption in Germany has risen sharply in recent years. Unlike cannabis, it has no psychoactive effect and therefore does not affect driving ability. But are CBD and its degradation products detectable in urine? We now know about THC detectability that it varies from person to person.


With CBD, it’s not much different. Regular use can lead to weeks or months of detectability in urine and hair. In the blood, CBD is detectable for less time. But what about the consequences? Does CBD threaten the loss of a driver’s license?

What happens if CBD is detected in blood or urine?

In most cases, CBD is not detected because traffic controls only focus on cannabis and its degradation products. CBD is not searched for. Visually, the consumption of CBD is not conspicuous, unlike THC. The typical red stoner eyes do not play a role, the reaction capacity is not limited.

Conclusion: Duration of detectability varies depending on the situation

From when a THC test is negative cannot be guaranteed with certainty. It depends on the amount of the consumed flowers, on the personality and on other aspects. However, the main role is played by the frequency of consumption. Due to the fat solubility, the body can store THC for a very long time and here lies the danger! In general, however, the following applies: Never get into a car after consuming THC!