Does Holding Your Cannabis Hit in Longer Get You Higher?
There are countless numbers of misconceptions about cannabis use. One of the popular misconceptions is that the longer a hit is held, the higher the user can get. Often, you see videos where stoners keep their smoke in for a few seconds or minutes because they believe this action improves the effect of the weed. This practice is a myth. What actually happens is that the consumer feels lighter because their breath has been held.
There are better ways to improve the effect of cannabis without a breath pause. Holding your hit in your lungs does not help with anything. It instead puts a strain on the lungs. We’ll be looking at better ways to optimize individual smoking experiences without holding off on exhaling the smoke.
Over the years, different stoner cultures have been adopted to optimize smoking experiences. Some of these methods work, while the rest do not. The majority of stoners who toke, vape, or dab believe they need to hold their breath. This belief is one of the vestiges of early stoner culture from the 1900s, passed from generation to generation.
To clear this misconception, you need to understand how the lungs work when you take a drag on your joint.
Physiologically, our bodies take in about 20% of oxygen when air is inhaled and retain only 5%. This tiny amount of oxygen goes into the bloodstream after passing through the lungs. Studies show that the human lungs cannot hold up to six liters of oxygen at once, hence why breathing is rhythmic. Now that you know how air, oxygen, and carbon dioxide go into and out of the body, we can discuss how cannabis smoke works.
How Smoking Works
When you inhale from a joint, bong, or other delivery devices, the human lungs process it the way they process inhaled air. It expands. In the process, it picks up the THC compounds and transfers them to the air sacs. The THC subsequently moves from this region and enters the bloodstream. It then diffuses to other parts of the body. The “high” or “psychoactive” feeling settles once the THC enters the bloodstream.
Unlike other consumption methods, where it takes up to 30 minutes for THC to enter the bloodstream, the inhaling process is completed within minutes.
Holding on to Your Hit
If you hold on to your hit for seconds or you extend it to minutes, it will have the same effect on you in both cases. When cannabis is smoked, THC takes less than 5 seconds to enter the body. Research showed that 94% of THC enters the bloodstream within 5 seconds after inhalation.
Another study, completed in 1989, revealed that cannabis smokers tend to hold their tokes in for up to 20 seconds further to improve the diffusion of THC in their bloodstreams. Volunteers were recruited to test the viability of this theory. However, all the practicals and experiments showed that holding the hit for 0, 10, or 20 seconds has no impact on THC absorption. The delivery of psychotropic effects has nothing to do with how well or how long a consumer can retain a hit in their lungs.
These studies served another purpose. The researchers discovered that the rate of carbon monoxide absorption increases with the length of time the smoke is held within. Another study found that the longer the hit is retained, the more tar is left behind in the lungs. These studies prove that retaining hits has no impact on how high a stoner can get. Instead, it has more adverse effects on the stoner’s health.
The feeling of lightheadedness that follows when hits are held in is because the brain is being deprived of much-needed oxygen. This, in turn, accelerates the heart rate and induces dizziness or temporary mental confusion. It doesn’t mean you’re higher; it actually indicates that your body has lost its homeostatic balance. It is best to exhale and allow your body to rebalance itself as soon as possible.
Better Ways to Optimize Your Smoking Experience
Now, you can stop practicing smoking myths and instead adopt other methods to improve your session’s psychotropic effects without compromising the health of your lungs. Remember that you only need to hold your hit in for 3 seconds at most, and you’ll still enjoy the full potency of the THC. You can also choose better delivery methods, like vaporizing instead of smoking. Vapes preserve a good number of cannabinoids that would otherwise be burnt off during combustion (smoking) sessions.
Other tips include
Consuming high-THC strains
If you discover that you’re finding it hard to get high on your regular product, it’s time to move on to a more potent strain or product. You’ll opt for marijuana varieties with higher THC percentages. Rather than holding these hits in longer, take bigger and faster hits instead. Potent strains with THC percentages of 23% and upward will give you stronger stoned sensations.
Use Dab Concentrates
Dabbing concentrates deliver stronger highs when smoked. They increase the potency of the regular buds by about 70 or 80% (could be higher than this). Note that you should not go all-in on your first dabbing experience. Take hits gradually till you attain the psychotropic peak you are most comfortable with.
Some foods could improve your psychotropic experience—especially fruits. For example, mangoes are known to increase the movement of THC in the brain because they contain an ample amount of terpene called Myrcene.
Invest in Premium Delivery Devices
Weed vaporizers and ice bongs are better options for optimizing the psychotropic effects of cannabis. These devices do not overheat the cannabinoids to the extent of combustion. They are affordable and cost-effective. Ice bongs are often preferred because they deliver cool hits that make the entire session more enjoyable.
Several other smoking myths need to be dispelled. In the meantime, the only reason why anyone should hold on to their hit is that they enjoy it, not because it improves their “high.” If you’re serious about improving your smoking experience without putting your lungs at risk, you can try the alternative cannabis consumption methods highlighted above.