One of the most common questions asked by those who are new to cannabis: Does holding my hit longer get me higher? Although some may debate that it does, the science behind smoking makes the answer pretty clear.
So, Does it Get Me Higher?
When consuming cannabis, our lungs quickly absorb its chemical compounds into our bloodstream. These chemicals then make their way to the brain. This includes tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabis compound that is responsible for the “high” you feel after smoking.
Science makes it clear that this process takes just a few seconds. Once you’ve held in the smoke for four seconds all of the absorbable compounds have been properly absorbed. Many will suggest to hold it for longer – commonly five to eight seconds. However, there is no science to back up the idea that more than three to four seconds will be beneficial.
So, How did this Falsity Start?
When cannabis first started gaining popularity decades ago, it was an entirely new things that people knew practically nothing about. This was particular true of the science behind cannabis and its consumption. Because of this, the popular misconception that long hits got you higher quickly gained traction. This is likely due to the fact that holding your breath for long periods of time can result in a lightheaded type of effect. To some, this might feel, at least initially, like it’s part of the high – a part that’s not typically there when taking short hits. However, this lightheadedness tends to wear off quickly, and once it does the high won’t be any different than if a smaller hit was taken.
In short conclusion, there is absolutely no scientific evidence to back up the idea that holding a hit longer than a few seconds will get you higher than if you didn’t.
About Anthony Martinelli
Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.