The human body eliminates substances at rates that differ from drug to drug. Understanding the pace of elimination can help people have a better idea of the impact of these substances and how long they will show up on tests conducted by law enforcement or employers.
Marijuana is typically slow to purge from the body. The drug can be detected in urine for seven to 30 days and in hair for 90 days. Marijuana sticks around because its active component, THC, is fat soluble and will linger in the body for a longer period.
Heroin typically is detectable in blood for six hours and in urine for two to 48 hours. Larger doses of heroin take longer to purge, so it may be detectable in heavy users for longer periods.
Cocaine typically takes 12 to 24 hours to be non-detectable in blood and four to six days to be non-detectable in a urine test. The method of use has a big impact on how quickly it is eliminated, as injected cocaine clears faster than cocaine that is snorted or smoked.
Alcohol is one of the fastest substances in terms of elimination. It’s typically purged from the bloodstream within 10 to 12 hours and is no longer detectable in urine within three to five days.
To learn more about how long various substances take to be eliminated by the body, check out this infographic from ClearTest.