How Long Does Ketamine Stay In Your System?

By Austin Dixon | Updated February 11, 2023 | Effects & Benefits, Ketamine
A colorful ketamine trip high

Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic drug that has both medical and recreational uses.Β 

It’s commonly used in medicine, as well as in human medical procedures for pain management and sedation. 

However, ketamine is also use recreationally for its hallucinogenic and dissociative effects. 

Whether you’re using ketamine for medical reasons or recreationally, it’s important to understand how long it stays in your system.

The duration that ketamine stays in your system can impact several factors, including drug tests and your overall health. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the science behind ketamine metabolism and elimination, as well as the various factors that influence how long it stays in your system. 

We’ll also discuss the different types of drug tests and their respective detection windows, as well as some tips on how to speed up the elimination of ketamine from your body.

By understanding how long ketamine stays in your system, you can make informed decisions about your use and plan accordingly for any potential drug tests.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a fast-acting anesthetic drug that was first developed in the 1960s. It works by blocking pain signals in the brain and affecting the central nervous system, producing a trance-like state in the user. 

In medical settings, ketamine is used as an anesthetic and pain reliever, often in combination with other drugs.

In addition to its medical uses, ketamine is also abused recreationally for its dissociative and hallucinogenic effects. 

Ketamine is a Schedule III controlled substance, which means that it has a moderate potential for abuse and dependence.Β 

The recreational use of ketamine can be dangerous and even life-threatening, as it can cause profound respiratory depression and other adverse effects.

It’s important to note that the medical and recreational use of ketamine can both have long-term effects on your health. 

These can include cognitive and memory impairment, as well as damage to the bladder, urinary tract, and other organs.

Key takeaways about Ketamine:

  • Ketamine is a fast-acting anesthetic drug
  • It is used medically for pain management and sedation, and recreationally for its dissociative and hallucinogenic effects
  • It is a Schedule III controlled substance with a moderate potential for abuse and dependence
  • The medical and recreational use of ketamine can both have long-term health effects.

How is Ketamine metabolized?

Ketamine is metabolized by the liver into several different compounds, including norketamine, dehydronorketamine, and hydroxynorketamine. 

These compounds are then eliminated from the body through urine and feces.

The time it takes for ketamine to be metabolized and eliminated from the body depends on several factors, including the dose, route of administration, and individual factors such as age, weight, and liver function. 

Generally, the half-life of ketamine is about 2-3 hours, meaning that half of the dose will be eliminated from the body within this time frame.

How long does ketamine stay in your system?

The duration that ketamine stays in your system is influenced by several factors, including:

  • Dosage: The amount of ketamine you take can impact how long it stays in your system. A higher dose will take longer to be metabolized and eliminated from your body.
  • Route of Administration: The way that you take ketamine can also affect its duration in your system. Intravenous administration will result in a faster onset of effects and quicker elimination than oral administration.
  • Age and Weight: Age and weight can also impact the duration of ketamine in your system. In general, older adults and those with a lower body weight will eliminate ketamine more slowly.
  • Liver function: The liver is responsible for metabolizing ketamine, so individuals with liver problems may metabolize and eliminate the drug more slowly.
  • Frequency of use: Chronic or frequent use of ketamine can lead to a buildup of the drug in your system, which can result in a longer duration of effects.

It’s important to note that these factors can interact with each other and influence the duration of ketamine in your system in different ways. 

Therefore, it’s not possible to predict exactly how long ketamine will stay in your system for any given individual.

Best Ways To Take Ketamine

Ketamine can be taken in several different forms, including oral administration, intramuscular injections, and nasal insufflation. 

Each method of administration can affect the duration and intensity of ketamine’s effects.

Oral Administration

Oral administration is one of the most common methods of taking ketamine. 

When taken orally, ketamine can take longer to take effect but its effects tend to be milder and longer-lasting. 

Oral administration of ketamine can result in a high that lasts anywhere from 1-2 hours.

There are several ways that someone can consume ketamine orally:

  1. Tablet form: Ketamine can be taken in tablet form, which is swallowed with water. This method is the most straightforward and simplest way to take ketamine orally.
  2. Liquid form: Liquid ketamine can be taken orally by mixing it with a drink. This method is often used for people who have trouble swallowing pills.
  3. Dissolving the powder: Ketamine can be purchased in powder form and then dissolved in a liquid before being consumed. This method is often used by recreational users looking for a faster onset of effects.

Intramuscular (IM) Injections

IM injections are a quick and efficient way to take ketamine, as the drug is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. 

The effects of IM injections tend to be stronger and more intense than other methods of administration, but they also tend to be shorter-lived, typically lasting between 30 minutes to an hour.

Nasal Insufflation

Nasal insufflation, also known as snorting, is another popular method of taking ketamine. 

The effects of nasal insufflation tend to be longer-lasting than IM injections but milder than oral administration. 

A nasal insufflation high can last anywhere from 1-2 hours.

It’s important to remember that these are general guidelines, and the duration and intensity of ketamine’s effects can vary greatly from person to person. 

Factors such as weight, age, overall health, and frequency of use can all play a role in determining how long ketamine lasts.

How Long Does A Ketamine High Last?

When taken at recreational doses, the effects of ketamine can last anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. 

However, the duration of a ketamine high depends on several factors, including the dose taken and the method of administration. 

Intramuscular (IM) injections tend to produce the quickest and strongest effects, while oral administration and nasal insufflation produce longer-lasting, but milder effects. 

The duration of a ketamine high can also vary depending on an individual’s tolerance and the frequency of use.

Additionally, factors such as weight, age, and overall health can also play a role in determining the duration of a ketamine high. 

In some cases, individuals may experience lingering effects for several hours after the initial high has worn off.

It’s important to remember that even though the high may only last for a short period of time, ketamine can stay in the body for several days. 

This can have a negative impact on an individual’s mental and physical well-being, and can increase the risk of adverse side effects.

Does Ketamine Show Up On A Drug Test?

Ketamine can be detected in various drug tests, including urine, blood, and hair tests. 

Urine tests are the most commonly used type of drug test for ketamine, and can detect the drug for up to several days after use. 

Blood tests are more accurate but are typically only used in medical settings, and can detect ketamine for up to 24 hours after use. 

Hair tests can detect ketamine for up to 90 days after use, but are not commonly used due to their expense and invasiveness.

It’s important to note that the duration that ketamine can be detected in drug tests can vary depending on the factors discussed above. 

Additionally, some individuals may try to beat drug tests by using detox products or diluting their urine sample. 

However, these methods are not always effective and can sometimes result in a failed drug test.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it’s important to understand how long ketamine stays in your system and the factors that can affect its duration. 

Knowing this information can help individuals make informed decisions about their use of the drug and can help healthcare professionals provide accurate and effective care.

It’s important to remember that these are general guidelines, and the duration that ketamine stays in your system can vary greatly from person to person.

If you have concerns about the duration of ketamine in your system, it’s best to speak with a healthcare professional or a licensed addiction specialist.

Austin Dixon

About the Author

Austin Dixon is a recently converted psychonaut with a newfound interest in psychedelics and their affects on mental health. After thinking psychedelics were "weird hippie drugs" for 28 years, his mission is to now help educate others who are new to psychedelics.

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