Marijuana 101: Why You Shouldn’t Hold Your Hits For More Than 3 Seconds

Let’s get to the science and explain how your body works when smoking cannabis.

Marijuana 101
Photo by Flickr user Crazy_Zou

Welcome to Marijuana 101: There’s a popular misconception that makes us believe that the longer we hold a hit in, the higher we’ll get, or that if we smoke marijuana and cough a lot it means that the weed is really powerful and that you’re getting really really high. These are all urban myths. Let’s get to the science behind all of this and explain how your body works when smoking cannabis:

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How Your Lungs Work

Whether you’re inhaling smoke from a joint, a pipe, or a bong, your lungs react in the same way as when you’re taking a breath of fresh air. They expand and pick up oxygen and THC that make their way to your alveoli (the little sacs of air in your lungs) and then to your bloodstream, passing on both of these components to different areas of your body and getting you high in the meantime.

It doesn’t matter how long you hold in the smoke, the effect remains the same because it takes approximately 3 seconds for the THC to make its way through your body.

Why You Feel Lightheaded

This has a pretty simple explanation, which is that the longer you hold in a hit, the longer you deprive your brain of oxygen, which in turn makes you feel lightheaded. That airy feeling, coupled with the smoke in your system, will make you feel like you’re super high when in fact your brain is just begging for some air.

If you want to find an efficient way to get more high per hit, you can try adding some kief to your joints or bowl, or you can try smoking from a concentrate, which are getting stronger by the day.

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