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does holding in weed smoke make you higher

How Long Should You Hold In Your Marijuana Hit?

Saturday July 15, 2017

Y ou may already have your own answer to this question. Or you may be a newbie cannabis consumer and just want to know. While there are certainly a slew of opinions online, we want to get down to the bottom of it.

First things first, we want to start by busting the myth that holding in your hit for longer means you’ll experience a better high. You might be thinking, “I actually do feel higher when I hold it longer.” And yes, this is partially true—but only because you’re depriving your brain of oxygen which means you’re more likely to feel light headed.

A 1997 study determined that our lungs can only take in so much—5-6 ml oxygen per minute to be exact. And Australian studies indicate that 95% of the THC in cannabis is absorbed within the first few seconds of inhaling. So, no matter how deep you breathe or how long you hold, there’s a limit.

Consumption Method Matters

The most important aspect to note when determining how long to hold your hit in is the method of consumption. Cannabinoid absorption differs depending on the type of consumption method because your body absorbs cannabinoids through each technique differently.

One way to explain these differences is by looking at bioavailability. Bioavailability is the process where substances are absorbed by tissues and organs, or rather, how likely it is for the molecules in cannabinoids to pass through the gastrointestinal tract liver filtration system and then be put to work. Smoking delivers cannabinoids at an average bioavailability rate of 30% where edibles deliver cannabinoids at an average bioavailability rate of 5%. This means that only 5% of a product’s cannabinoid content will get absorbed into the bloodstream.

This is also why edibles take much longer to kick in. They have to endure a long process throughout the body first. But because smoking marijuana produces an oxidization process, cannabinoid absorption is relatively high. This is because molecules do not pass through the acidic stomach environment, but rather go into the bloodstream through the lungs.

Long story short: The higher the bioavailability, the lower dosage you need to produce the desired result.

Holding in Your Hits

Cannabinoids from combusted cannabis are absorbed rather quickly, so holding in your hit too long will result in unwanted absorption of smoke and tars. In fact, approximately 88% of combusted smoke gasses (think joints and bongs) contain non-cannabinoid elements.

Smoking produces a rapid effect that lasts for a short time due to its high bioavailability, so the general recommendation is that holding it for a few seconds should do the trick.

Holding it any longer than that is just a waste. Holding a huge hit just produces more smoke than your lungs can handle and it can’t go anywhere but out.

Cannabis that is vaporized or dabbed, on the other hand, is cleaner and contains less tars or other non-cannabis elements (It’s also perceived as much safer than smoking). Some say that nearly 95% of cannabinoids are inhaled through vaporization. But when looking at bioavailability, it’s about the same as combusted cannabis.

Because you’re only consuming vapor though, holding in your hit slightly longer when vaporizing or dabbing won’t absorb any extra tars or smoke. Although each vaporizer and consumer can alter the dosage, you should still generally hold your hit for a few seconds to get the best results.

There is much debate in the cannabis community about how long you should hold in your hit. If you've ever been curious about this topic, check out our article to find the answer!

Busting The Myth Of Whether Holding In Weed Smoke Longer Gets You Higher

There seems to be a common misconception among stoners that holding in weed smoke for longer periods can somehow get you higher. Many believe that the longer you hold in the smoke, the more THC can enter your bloodstream, and therefore the higher you will be. In this article, we will explain how this is another cannabis myth and how long you actually need to be holding smoke in during your smoke sessions.

Why Holding In Smoke Doesn’t Get You Higher

If you’re a regular weed smoker, you may have heard that holding in weed smoke for longer amounts of time gets you higher. In actuality, holding in smoke for more than a few seconds is unnecessary. Human lungs can only hold about 5-6 milliliters of oxygen per minute. This is why when we smoke cannabis, 95% of THC is absorbed within the first few seconds. In the end, it doesn’t matter how long you hold in the smoke. Be it 3 seconds or 15, you’re already absorbing as much THC as you can in one breath.

Then Why Do I Feel Like It Works?

Why does it feel like holding in weed smoke gets you higher the longer you hold it in? The answer is, simply put, that you are getting lightheaded. The body needs to constantly filter oxygen through the lungs, and when you hold in a hit, you’re stopping your body from absorbing oxygen. This causes oxygen to be momentarily cut off from reaching your brain, which causes you to feel lightheaded. Lightheadedness, along with tingling sensations in the face or limbs, is often mistaken for getting extra blazed.

So How Long Should I Hold It In For?

You actually don’t need to hold in smoke for long to get all of the full effects of THC. The common consensus is that within the first 3 seconds of inhaling, about 95% of the cannabinoids have already been absorbed into the bloodstream. So if you’ve ever wondered if holding in weed smoke for longer will get you higher, the answer is no. The majority of the THC has already been absorbed.

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Alternatives To Holding In Smoke

If you want to get extra blazed when smoking, but are a little bummed now that you know how long to hold in weed to get as high as you can, you may be wondering if there are other ways to maximize your high. Here are three methods to try out yourself.

Practice Deep Breathing

One method you could try is to practice deep breathing. Usually, we take short, continuous breaths because our lungs can only hold so much air and oxygen. If you take the time to breathe deeper, your lungs can eventually develop the capacity to hold up to as much as 6 liters of air in one breath. Breathing deeper between hits can enlarge your lung capacity, and therefore the amount of THC you can consume in one breath.

Pack Another Bowl

Another method you can probably achieve in the moment is to just smoke more weed. If your tolerance is higher than others, you’ve probably been looking for shortcuts for weed to make you higher. Be kind to your lungs and stop holding in weed smoke to make you higher; instead, just smoke a little bit extra.

Try Smoking Something Stronger

If you’re short on weed and don’t want to smoke a little bit extra every time just to get extra high, you can try smoking stronger strains. There are plenty of strains that have high THC content for you to try out. You can also try stronger methods of cannabis use such as vaping or dabbing.

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So, Should I Keep Holding In All That Smoke?

So, should you? The answer is quite simply, no. Does holding in weed smoke get you higher? Unfortunately, it does not. However. there are other ways to get higher if you’re looking for a stronger psychoactive experience. Try stronger strains or simply smoking more. Either way, save yourself the trouble and only hold your smoke in for a few seconds – your lungs will thank you for it.

You may have heard that holding in weed smoke for longer amounts of time gets you higher. In this article, we will explain how this is another cannabis myth and how long you actually need to be holding smoke in during your smoke sessions.