Skip to main content

How Long Does One Bowl Stay in Your System?

By Last updated on May 9, 2024Last updated on May 9, 2024No Comments

One of the trials and tribulations of the regular cannabis user is how long the green stuff stays in your system, even after one use. While CBD and other low-THC strains will not show up in standard drug tests, it is important to know just how long your pipe will stay with you once you go through a bowl.

Even though the bowl or even one hit of the green stuff is detectable as soon as you smoke, 4 hours is where it really peaks and settles into your system, making it probably the worst time to schedule a drug screening.

A quarter gram (0.25g) is a pretty safe amount to go off of assuming your bowl is a factory or industry-standard size. If that is the case, 1-3 weeks tends to be the standard time it will stay in your system. However, this is based on different factors on part of the consumer, so consider longer times if you toke up daily or shorter times if you are a casual user.

What about weed stays in my system?

The short and most obvious answer is THC. This and other psychoactives have such unique properties and effects on the user that it is the key to detecting cannabis use in drug tests.

THC and similar psychoactives are detectable in urine, saliva and hair due to metabolism in the liver. You might be thinking “Isn’t metabolism how fast I digest food?” In a way, yes and no. Regular metabolism refers to the chemical process of converting food to energy, but since your body cannot do that with THC, it is converted to metabolites and distributed through tissues.

The entire process involves a few more steps and a bunch of big words, so for the sake of clarity: Psychoactives in your body become water soluble and expelled through urine, which is why this is among the most common test methods for THC.

How long will a bowl stay in my system?

How Long Will a Bowl Stay in My System

For up to 90 days, weed is detectable in your hair. So in the very unlikely event that your new job or sports team collects a lock of your hair, you might be in trouble. But worry not: Blood and saliva samples are only ‘dirty’ for a few hours but urine, the gold standard (too easy), will stay anywhere from 2 weeks to 12 weeks if you smoke potent strains heavily.

Yes, a lot of different methods of smoking are very similar but you are probably aware that the results can be very different. Dabbing, for example, will give you a different effect than a joint, joints give you different effects than eating edibles.

So what does that mean for a bowl of weed staying in your system? Does smoking that same amount across different devices hit you differently? In a few ways, so always know what you are consuming and always use it responsibly.


To break down how long a bowl stays in your system through different methods, we can start with the most well-known and straightforward: smoking a pipe (since we are basing our ‘measurement on a bowl). It is not unusual for ¼-⅓ of a gram, a.k.a a bowl, to contain anywhere between 50 mg to 80 mg of THC.

So, that bowl you might have smoked 5 days ago should be out of your system by now. If you took a hit any time sooner, not only do you have a time frame to work with, you still have time for extra detox measures.


But say you decide to load that bad boy in a vape cartridge: Will the stay in your system longer? It pretty much only stays longer if you vape more than a bowl and vape consistently. The rate at which a bowl stays in your system virtually stays the same between smoking and vaping.

However, because it is a quicker route to the bloodstream and does have to digest surrounding foods first, vaping a bowl makes it more detectable faster than eating edibles. The latter could take hours to even be metabolized let alone go into effect (in terms of a high), and even vaping does take 4 hours to fully metabolize, it becomes detectable as soon as you inhale.


It does not take an expert to know that a dab is going to be stronger than a regular bowl or nug. Since it is pure concentrated THC, it is going to get real cozy in your system once you take a hit. So much so that your very first hit off of one dab will stay in your system for 7 days.

Casual users, just smoking a handful of times a week will have it detectable for upwards of 30 days and as many 90 days if you dab or smoke frequently.

How does that change in different doses?

It can obviously change in different devices and methods, but what changes when you up the dose? Assume we are increasing the dose since a quarter gram is a pretty small amount to start with. As you would expect, higher doses equates to higher detection in your system.

One month for the average user is about the time it will stick around, but you can take an extra step or two to flush it out of your system (if you are trying to), and buy a couple THC test strips to track exactly how long it stays.

Different Strains

It really does come down to mathematics to figure out exactly (or as close to exactly as possible) how long a bowl will stick around, but here is the simple truth: More THC equals more time a bowl stays in your system.

Even for heavy users, a bowl of Harlequin, usually made of 5%-7% THC, will be gone over the weekend whereas a 25% strain like Bruce Banner can give you weeks of positive tests for that exact same amount. Talk about ‘going green’, right?

That basic principle applies to casual and frequent users alike, but the strain you pick will either be a small or key factor based if you smoke a bowl once every couple days or if you have it once a day or more.

The Sanctuary Editorial Team

Our writers use a combination of research and personal experiences to eloquently tackle these topics. The research process utilizes multiple levels of information. We reference informal channels for details relating to casual topics such as describing slang or how to create a bong out of fruit. We also examine scientific publishings for up-to-date research. The accuracy of our articles is crucially important to us and they are written with the idea of inclusiveness for readers of all walks of life.