Is It Better To Take Big Or Small Hits When Smoking Weed?
There are still plenty of cannabis smokers who believe that gigantic hits from a bong or blunt are a one-way ticket to getting higher than high. But is it true that more smoke means more THC? Let’s take a look at what separates the huge hits from the small.
It’s likely that you’ve heard the old myth about how you’re supposed to smoke weed the “right” way. How exactly is that done? Well, some say that you must take extra-large hits and hold them in the lungs for as long as possible to achieve maximum effects. If you’re in this camp, we hate to break it to you, but this is not doing what you think it is. Here’s why you don’t need to take huge hits to enjoy your weed.
WHY YOU DON’T NEED TO TAKE BIG HITS
To get a better perspective on things, let’s take a look at how our lungs function. When we breathe, we are actually not very efficient at absorbing oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. Although our lungs can hold about 6 litres of air with one large breath, we’re expelling a good portion of that oxygen when we exhale. If our lungs absorbed oxygen super-efficiently, we could potentially take in these 6 litres in one go and wouldn’t need another breath for a while. Instead, we breathe more often and with shorter breaths.
The fact is, your lungs can only absorb 5–6ml of oxygen per minute, and the same principle is true when you smoke weed. Or said differently, it’s not possible for you to force more THC into your system when you’re holding smoke in your lungs.
“TAKING BIG HITS MAKES ME HIGHER!”
You may indeed “feel higher” when taking larger hits and holding them in, but this is because you’re depriving your brain of oxygen. The lightheadedness or dizziness that you feel will be compounded further by carbon monoxide in the smoke. Simply by inhaling a larger hit of smoke, it may trick you into feeling as though the quantity of THC being received is also higher. Point blank, this is not the case.
OUR BODY ABSORBS THC INSTANTLY
Our lungs transfer oxygen from the air (or THC from smoke) almost instantly. As soon as you have taken a hit, almost all the THC from your weed (95%) has already entered your body. This means there is no point in holding your smoke for an extended period, or at all for that matter.
HOLDING IN YOUR SMOKE IS UNHEALTHY
The active compounds in cannabis (THC, CBD, terpenes, flavonoids) only comprise a small portion of what is contained in weed smoke. The rest of its contents is made up different substances, many of which are harmful. The longer you hold the smoke in, the more toxic byproducts settle in your body. If you think this sounds unhealthy, you’re spot on.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET AS HIGH AS POSSIBLE?
Simple answer here: smoke more. Or, if you think that your current weed might not cut it for your desired effect, consider stronger strains. You can also consider dabbing concentrates or taking edibles, both of which result in much more potent experiences.
Now that you realise taking smaller hits is healthier, it might make sense to try vaping. Vaporizers don’t combust the pant material or concentrates, but simply heat them to the desired range for cannabinoids to become active. This results in a healthier consumption experience that some people believe is more intense. The smooth draws should also make your lungs feel better after becoming acquainted with your vape.
OTHER BENEFITS OF SMALLER DOSES OF CANNABIS
Not everyone who smokes weed does so because they want to get as high as possible. Different folks have different reasons, and that’s okay. Microdosing has recently become quite popular among medicinal users, and it’s even gaining traction amongst recreational consumers.
WHAT IS MICRODOSING?
Microdosing involves taking a small, “sub-perceptual” dose of a substance (in this case THC), so you can experience its benefits without feeling high. A normal THC microdose is around 2–3mg. So, rather than smoking your entire joint or bowl, you’d just take a small puff or two. Some users microdose this way throughout the day to enjoy cannabis without the negative side effects that come with high doses of THC.
KEEP IT EASY AND HEALTHY
Fortunately, smoking cannabis isn’t some type of competition where you need to strain your body to get the most out of it. However you choose to do it, keep it easy with small puffs. If you smoke a lot, look into switching to a vaporizer instead. A decent vape can last a while and reduce harm to your lungs. It’s a win-win!
We dispel the old myth that you need to take huge hits to get higher. Learn why smaller hits hits of cannabis are smarter.
How to conserve your weed
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- Get the right gear
- Store your cannabis properly
- Invest in quality
- Smoke less
There are many reasons you might want to get the most out of your cannabis flower: to save money, minimize dispensary visits, or simply to stretch out your supply during a dry spell. Whatever your reason for wanting to conserve your stash, there are steps you can take to stretch your weed dollar further. This guide will walk you through how to properly conserve your weed.
Get the right gear
Having the right gear for cannabis consumption can go a long way towards conserving your cannabis. Joints and blunts are the least efficient consumption methods for flower, as the burning tip burns off the cannabinoids even when you’re not inhaling. It also takes a lot of flower to properly pack a joint or blunt, which means much of your stash is going into a single experience. If you love your joints, remember, you don’t have to smoke it all at once.
Glass pieces, such as pipes and bongs, feature smaller bowls and prevent you from loading too much bud at once. If you smoke the whole thing and you still want more, you can just pack another bowl. Bongs are also a good way to maximize your flower, as the long chamber allows you to consume all the smoke from the burning cannabis and take fewer hits to get the same experience.
Glass pieces, such as pipes and bongs, feature smaller bowls and prevent you from loading too much bud at once. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
To get the most mileage out of the flower you use in blunts, joints, or glass, use a proper three-tier grinder and save the kief, which are the resinous trichomes that fall off the flower during the grinding process. You can reuse this very potent dust to sprinkle on top of future bowls and add to their potency.
Vaporizers are also a great way to stretch out the viability of your dried cannabis. Vapes heat cannabis at lower temperatures and burn off less of the cannabinoids in the bud, which means you get more THC by consuming less cannabis.
Store your cannabis properly
The proper storage of cannabis helps ensure your cannabis stays fresh and potent for as long as possible. To extend the shelf life of cannabis, it should be kept in a cool, dark place at or slightly below room temperature. The ideal storage temperature for weed is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or 21 degrees Celsius. The darkness and cool temperature prevent moisture from changing the integrity of your flower and stop mold or mildew, which love light and warmth, from growing.
To extend the shelf life of cannabis, it should be kept in a cool, dark place at or slightly below room temperature. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Light and oxygen are the main culprits when it comes to degrading flower. According to a study that explored the stability of cannabis in various storage conditions, light is the single largest contributor to the loss and deterioration of cannabinoids. Carefully stored cannabis can stay reasonably stable for 1-2 years in dark, room-temperature conditions.
Ultraviolet light will also degrade your cannabis, so use dark and airtight glass jars to preserve your flower’s THC and prevent it from degrading into cannabinol (CBN), a cannabinoid that doesn’t have the same intoxicating properties as THC.
Invest in quality
There’s something to be said for investing in higher quality cannabis. Levels of potency, terpene profiles, curing and drying processes, and growing conditions all play into the experience of smoking a particular flower cultivar. If you can afford to spend a little more on high-quality flower from a reputable source, the potency may encourage you to consume less. Be aware, however, that research indicates those who routinely consume highly potent weed develop a tolerance over time, in which case the best method for conservation is to cut back on frequency.
As you increase the regularity of your consumption, the body builds up a tolerance to THC. Tolerance increases with many substances, such as caffeine, due to a biological process called downregulation in which cells decrease their sensitivity to particular molecules. More THC in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) overwhelms the CB1 receptors, and in turn, the cells reduce their sensitivity to THC. With this negative feedback loop, a consumer must smoke more and more cannabis to achieve the same experience they could when they first began consumption.
Your body will need more potent doses of cannabis the more frequently you consume, as your body “downregulates” the introduction of cannabinoids. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
When you intentionally regulate the amount of cannabis you intake, your body’s tolerance adjusts and you soon will be able to achieve your desired experience with a lot less green. Little habit adjustments go a long way: lightly pack a smaller bowl; roll narrow joints, called pinners, instead of fat joints; or invest in a one-hitter or snap bong piece designed for the smallest hit possible.
Already have a high tolerance? Never fear — a study from the Yale School of Medicine found that “significant CB1R upregulation begins with two days of abstinence and continues over four weeks.” In other words, when a cannabis smoker takes a break, CB1 receptors begin to bounce back after two days and return to almost normal levels after four weeks.
How to conserve your weed Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Get the right gear Store your cannabis properly Invest in quality Smoke