Cocaine can stay in your system for varying lengths of time, depending on several factors:
- Body Weight
- Body Mass Index
- Metabolic Rate
- Frequency of cocaine use
- Potency of cocaine used
- Which part of the system is in question
It is widely believed that cocaine stays in your system for 2-3 days and its by-product, Benzoylecgonine can remain detectable for weeks. Because Benzoylecgonine is detectable for so much longer, many tests will look for this metabolite as opposed to looking for cocaine itself.
Cocaine is mainly processed by the liver and is excreted out of our system as waste. The remaining metabolite, Benzoylecgonine that does not easily pass through the system ultimately ends up stored in fat cells. Therefore, the body mass index or body fat percentage determines the duration that cocaine and its metabolites will remain detectable in your system. The more fat a person carries, the longer the traces of cocaine will remain in the system.
How often you use cocaine is also a factor to consider when determining how long the drug stays in your body. A person who uses cocaine regularly is going to have more evidence of use stored in their cells than someone who uses cocaine rarely.
The strength of cocaine used will also affect the length of time cocaine will remain in the system. Cocaine typically found in the United States has a 60% purity level but it could be higher or lower. Without a lab, it is hard to tell the exact potency. A high potency level will keep the cocaine in the system for much longer than a lower level.
Due to the variables among all of these factors, it is difficult to pin point an exact amount of time cocaine will stay in your system. As mentioned earlier, cocaine itself is usually detectable for 2-3 days but Benzoylecgonine can be detected for weeks.
How long cocaine and its metabolite Benzoylecgonine can be detected in a person’s hair is an easier equation to solve. The bloodstream circulates metabolites throughout the body, and since the bloodstream nourishes developing hair follicles, metabolites are deposited in the hair shaft. Hair grows on average one half inch every 30 days. Therefore, if your hair is one and a half inches long, cocaine and Benzoylecgonine will be detectable for 90 days.