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

Last updated: 22 February 2024

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Dabbing                                                                        Vaping

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.

Aaron Fugal
Is there anywhere this information is referenced? I'd like to read more about it.
Hello Aaron,There's an article called "Breathhold duration and response to marijuana smoke" which says a lot about the topic, you can find it on the internet
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