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Bebefits of cbd oil for smokers and drinkers

How Long Does Hash Stay in Your System?

Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism.

Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania.

Verywell / Cindy Chung

Hash, which is short for hashish, is a preparation of marijuana made from the resin of the buds of the cannabis plant. Hashish oil, or hash oil, is the strongest form of marijuana since it’s so concentrated, with a pound of marijuana yielding just an ounce or two of hash or hash oil.

It can be used in preparing edibles, smoked, or ingested orally. The psychoactive ingredient in hash and marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Since the processing of marijuana into hash oil isn’t standardized, even in legal production, it’s difficult to know just how much of the active ingredients are present in the hash oil. It can contain anywhere from 15% to 60% THC.

While marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug at the federal level (meaning that it’s still considered to be a drug with no currently accepted medical use), several states and Washington, DC have legalized marijuana for recreational use for people over the age of 21.

As of March 2020, 34 states have laws legalizing marijuana for medical use and others have legalized cannabis-based oils with low-THC content. Hash or hash oil may be used as a form of medical marijuana and may be allowed in states where marijuana has been legalized.

How Long Does Hash Stay in Your System?

Blood: Up to 4 hours

Urine: Up to 30 days

Saliva: Up to 72 hours

Hair: Up to 90 days

How Long Does It Take to Feel Effects?

THC enters your body’s bloodstream rapidly after smoking hash oil. You feel the effects within minutes and they peak in about 30 minutes. If hashish is ingested, such as in baked goods or edibles, it takes longer to be absorbed into the blood, usually from 20 minutes to an hour and a half.  

Once in your system, you may feel like the effects have passed after two to three hours, although there can be some impairment for as long as 24 hours. The timeframe is extremely variable. Duration depends on the concentration of THC, which, as noted before, is not standardized with hash oil, even where it can be produced and purchased legally.

If you’re a light user, the effects of THC on attention, concentration, and working memory generally pass six hours after ingesting or smoking THC-containing products. During this period, your psychomotor skills are affected, so you shouldn’t drive or operate machinery. In a traffic stop, you could be charged with DUI, even if you have a prescription for medical marijuana.

If you’re a heavy user, there can be residual effects for as long as 28 days after you stop using THC-containing products. The physical side effects of hash oil include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • Red eyes
  • Vasodilatation (widening of blood vessels, which decreases blood pressure)

Due to the uncertain concentration of THC in hash oil, you should be cautious about the amount you take for medical purposes. Taking a large dose may result in the following:

  • Altered mood
  • Altered sensation  
  • Anxiety
  • Memory problems
  • Paranoia

Fortunately, these effects will wear off over the course of a few hours.

How Long Does Hash Last?

The half-life of hash is how long it takes for half of the drug to be metabolized and eliminated from the bloodstream. Some THC metabolites have an elimination half-life of 20 hours. The half-life of fat-stored THC is about 10 to 13 days, meaning there is half of the original amount left at this time.  

Some of the THC in your bloodstream is rapidly metabolized into more than 80 different chemicals, known as metabolites. A portion of these metabolites is then excreted in your urine.   But THC and its various metabolites are also stored in body fat and remain in your system for much longer.

These metabolites accumulate, so if you use hash or hash oil every day, you will have more stores of THC in your body and it may take much longer to eliminate them from your system.   Some of the THC is stored unchanged, so when it’s released from fat into your body, it can again exert its psychoactive properties as well as be metabolized and excreted in your urine.

Blood

Blood tests are rarely used to detect THC since it can only be detected in the bloodstream for about three to four hours after use.

Urine

In general, the detection windows for THC in a urine test can range from 3 to 30 days, depending on how often you use the drug.

  • Daily use: 10 days
  • Daily use over an extended period of time: 30 days
  • Moderate use (4 times a week): 5 days
  • One use: 3 days
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Saliva

THC typically remains in saliva for 1 to 3 days, or until it’s fully swallowed. Drinking water, brushing your teeth, and using mouthwash may speed up this process.

THC can also be stored in your hair follicles, where it may be detected for up to 90 days.   This long elimination period can be of concern for someone who uses medical marijuana and who may need to take a drug screen.

False Positives

Previously, over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications like Advil, Motrin, and Nuprin caused false positives on tests used to detect THC. The tests have been adjusted, however, and this is no longer a problem.

Factors That Affect Detection Time

How long THC stays in your system depends on a variety of factors, including age, amount of body fat, hydration, physical activity, and how frequently and how much hash you use.

Body Mass Index

Body mass index (BMI) is a method of estimating body fat levels based on a person’s weight and height measurement. Since THC tends to accumulate in fatty tissues, people with a higher BMI of body fat percentage may metabolize THC more slowly, causing longer detection times than a person with a lower index.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a dated, biased measure that doesn’t account for several factors, such as body composition, ethnicity, race, gender, and age. Despite being a flawed measure, BMI is widely used today in the medical community because it is an inexpensive and quick method for analyzing potential health status and outcomes.

Since women tend to have higher levels of body fat than men, they may metabolize THC at a slightly slower rate.

Metabolic Rate

If you have a higher metabolic rate, the shorter the time a drug can be detected in the body. Metabolic rates can be affected by your age, physical activity level, and certain health conditions.

Hydration

If you’re dehydrated, you’re likely to have higher concentrations of THC in the body after use. That said, drinking lots of water will only dilute a urine drug test, which in most cases, will mean you’ll be asked to retake it.

Frequency of Use

If you use hash one time, it might be detectable for only a short period of time, whereas heavy or very frequent use can cause concentrations in the system that can be detected for longer periods of time.

Smoking vs. Ingesting

Whether you smoke or vape hash, ingest an edible, or take it orally will also influence how long the drug stays in your body.

For example, when you ingest the drug or eat it in the form of an edible, hash takes longer to enter the bloodstream. It has to first go through the entire digestion process. This means it will stay in your body longer. If you smoke or vape hash, it will enter and leave your body more quickly

How to Get Hash Out of Your System

There is no reliable, quick way to remove THC from your body, despite what people and products claim. Certainly, drinking a lot of water and liquids or exercising vigorously may help, but you’ll still need time for your body to break down and eliminate THC metabolites from your body. The only reliable way to get hash out of your system is to discontinue use and wait.

Various companies sell drinks and herbal supplements like creatinine or vitamin B12 that claim to dilute your urine or “clean” the body’s system, but these drug screening agents may take time and are not always reliable.

Symptoms of Overdose

Medical professionals don’t yet know how much THC it takes to overdose. That said, THC toxicity has been found to result in psychotic episodes, uncontrollable vomiting, and heart arrhythmias. THC overdose can occur more easily with edibles, as it takes longer for your body to absorb the THC and feel the effects, which can prompt people to ingest more.

Drug Interactions

THC can interact with other drugs, including alcohol, as well as a number of medications like blood thinners and anti-anxiety medications. If you’re on any medications, discuss your use of hash oil and other THC-containing products with your doctor as it may influence your dosages.  

Getting Help

While marijuana, and by extension hash, isn’t considered a highly addictive substance, you can become psychologically addicted to THC and experience symptoms of cannabis withdrawal if you stop suddenly.

While these symptoms are milder than many other drugs, they still exist and may include cravings, mood swings, sleep disruptions, headaches, and digestive troubles. The frequency and amount of hash used prior to stopping will affect the severity and length of the withdrawal.

If these symptoms become intense enough to drive you to relapse to find relief, you’ll want to seek guidance from a healthcare professional who can offer coping strategies for the physical side effects. It’s also smart to get help if you find you can’t get through your day without hash; this may be a sign of a substance use disorder.

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Setting up an appointment with a mental health professional or visiting an online or in-person support group can help you deal with the psychological symptoms of hash withdrawal.

CBD Oil: 9 Science-Backed Benefits

Dr. Bindiya Gandhi is an integrative medicine physician with expertise in functional and holistic medicine based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis sativa plant. When applied topically or consumed through smoke inhalation or edible consumption, CBD interacts with neuroreceptors in your endocannabinoid system, which sends signals between your cells to help regulate your movement, mood, homeostasis and immune system.

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CBD is often extracted from the cannabis sativa plant in oil form and mixed with an inert carrier oil like hemp seed oil for consumption. In fact, of the 60% of U.S. adults who report having used CBD before, 55% of them use CBD oils and tinctures specifically, according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll.

CBD research is growing, too. Here are nine ways studies suggest CBD oil could benefit your health.

1. Offset Anxiety and Depression

CBD’s ability to calm is perhaps its most popular effect and the reason its use is so widespread. A 2017 study in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry tested the anxiety levels of 57 men in a simulated public speaking test. Some received a placebo while others received either 150 milligrams, 300 milligrams or 600 milligrams of CBD before their speeches. Those who received 300 milligrams of CBD experienced significantly reduced anxiety during the test compared to those who received the placebo. Interestingly, participants who received either 150 or 600 milligrams of CBD experienced more anxiety during the test than the 300 milligrams group.

Meanwhile, at least one study in mice revealed CBD had effects similar to the antidepressant imipramine. Human trials are needed, though, to confirm whether CBD can induce this same antidepressant reaction in our bodies.

2. Treat Select Epilepsy Syndromes

In some instances, CBD can be used to treat epileptic seizures.

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of CBD under the brand name Epidiolex to treat seizures resulting from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome—two rare forms of epilepsy—in patients at least 2 years old.

Three well-vetted studies provide the basis of support for the FDA’s decision. In these trials, 516 patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome received either Epidiolex or a placebo. Epidiolex, when taken along with other prescribed medications, decreased the frequency of participants’ seizures compared to the placebo.

3. Reduce PTSD Symptoms

In a small 2018 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11 people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) received CBD along with routine psychiatric care for eight weeks in an outpatient psychiatric clinic. Ten of the 11 experienced a decrease in their PTSD symptoms. CBD was generally well tolerated, the researchers write.

Margaret Rajnic, a doctor of nursing practice experienced in medical cannabis and CBD, emphasizes the importance of using therapy in tandem with any type of cannabis or CBD for PTSD. “There is an amount of therapy that is needed for PTSD,” she says. “But CBD will give you that little bit of decreased anxiety.”

Four other human trials from 2012 to 2016 suggest CBD reduces PTSD symptoms, although some include THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the main mind-altering element in cannabis. When THC and CBD work together, they create what’s called an “entourage effect,” complementing each other’s benefits and potency. For example, taking the same dose of THC and CBD together tempers the “high” from THC, while just a little THC paired with more CBD enhances the effects of the CBD.

4. Treat Opioid Addiction

Some studies—both preclinical animal and human clinical trials—suggest CBD could be used to help treat people who are dependent on opioids.

In one such study, researchers administered CBD to people with heroin use disorder. Over the course of a week, CBD significantly reduced heroin users’ cue-induced cravings, withdrawal anxiety, resting heart rate and salivary cortisol levels. No serious adverse effects were found.

Other studies find CBD helpful in reducing various psychiatric and medical symptoms like anxiety, insomnia and pain in patients with substance use disorders, indicating that CBD may be an effective treatment for opioid addiction. However, further studies are necessary.

5. Alleviate ALS Symptoms

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease that causes nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to deteriorate, resulting in loss of muscle control that worsens over time. It’s not yet understood exactly why ALS occurs, although it can be hereditary in some cases. There’s no known cure, and there are only two FDA-approved medications to help treat ALS symptoms.

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Research suggests people with ALS can benefit from the entourage effect created by the combination of THC and CBD, similar to people with PTSD. In a 2019 study, patients received a combination of THC and CBD in varying doses depending on their needs and preferences. Those with mild, moderate or severe spasticity (muscle tightness and stiffness) due to ALS reported high levels of satisfaction with the treatment, and those with moderate to severe spasticity reported higher satisfaction rates than those with mild spasticity.

6. Relieve Unmanageable Pain

In 2005, Canada approved the use of Sativex, an oromucosal (absorbed in the lining of the mouth) spray with equal proportions of THC and CBD, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis-related central neuropathic pain. In 2007, Canada approved the medicine’s use again for cancer pain that proved unresponsive to other medications.

Meanwhile, continued studies in the U.S. indicate CBD is effective in treating chronic, non-cancer pain. In one 2020 study, researchers administered CBD topically to a group of patients with symptomatic peripheral neuropathy (a result of brain nerve and spinal cord nerve damage) while another group with the same condition received a placebo. Results showed a significant reduction in intense, sharp pains and cold, itchy sensations in those who used the topical CBD compared to those who used the placebo. No participants reported adverse side effects.

When introduced topically, CBD oil doesn’t affect the systemic issue as it might if it were introduced directly into the bloodstream. Instead, topical CBD is more localized and treats pain in a certain area. Since it’s more direct, it may have a more pronounced effect.

7. Ease Diabetic Complications

For starters, tests on human cells found that CBD helps reduce the effects of high glucose levels on other cells in the body, which typically precedes the development of diabetes and various complications. Researchers concluded that with further studies, CBD could have significant benefits when used in patients with diabetes, diabetic complications and plaque buildup in artery walls.

In another small study, 13 patients with type 2 diabetes who weren’t on insulin treatment were given both CBD and a placebo (in lieu of insulin). Researchers found CBD decreased their levels of resistin (which causes resistance to insulin, the protein that regulates sugar levels) and increased their levels of glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (a hormone that ensures a sufficient release of insulin from digested food) compared to their baselines before they started the test. These results suggest CBD could be a natural treatment for diabetes by helping the body regulate insulin-related hormone levels.

8. Protect Against Neurological Disease

Preclinical and clinical studies show that CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers deduce these characteristics can provide significant neuroprotection, or protection against numerous pathological disorders.

Several preclinical studies suggest CBD can produce beneficial effects against Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Huntington’s disease and cerebral ischemia were also tested, although significant positive results were not recorded. Further clinical studies are needed to confirm CBD’s benefits when used as a treatment for these disorders.

9. Inhibit Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis involves the deterioration of the tissues in and around your joints. There are several types of arthritis, and symptoms include pain, stiffness and loss of motion. Arthritis treatment usually targets pain relief and improved joint function.

A 2006 study found that Sativex—a CBD-based botanical drug approved in the United Kingdom in 2010—promoted statistically significant improvements in quality of sleep, pain during movement and pain at rest in patients with rheumatoid arthritis when compared to a placebo. It was the first controlled trial of Sativex as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, involving 58 patients. CBD was found to have a pain-relieving effect, as well as an ability to suppress disease activity.

In 2018, in a study of more localized treatment, researchers administered a synthetic CBD gel in either 250-milligram or 500-milligram doses daily or a placebo to patients with knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Patients also stopped taking any other anti-inflammatory medications or painkillers, with the exception of acetaminophen, before and during the study period.

The results were interesting, although not entirely conclusive. On one hand, those treated with CBD did not experience much change in pain when compared with placebo patients. On the other hand, there were statistically significant differences between the group receiving the 250-milligram dose and the placebo group when measuring the average weekly improvement of their worst pain levels and their WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index) physical function rating. Additionally, men seemed to benefit from CBD more significantly than women in this test.

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