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Does Hotboxing Actually Get You Higher?

News Posted Aug 26 2019

Hotboxing is pretty simple -- smoke in whatever way you feel most comfortable, then don't let the smoke get out. Usually, this is accomplished more easily if you're in a small place like hotboxing a room, hotboxing a car or hotboxing a closet. Keep the doors closed, seal up any windows and places where air can escape and start smoking. Wait until you are sitting in an atmospheric mix of stale air, smoke rising up from a joint and your own exhaust fumes. Let that collect, then simply breathe in and breathe out.

The underlying logic is about efficiency. Why waste all those breaths in between hits off the joint? What if those inhalations could be made more productive, namely by adding some THC? In theory, you'll get more THC into your lungs with smoke in the air and in turn, you'll get higher during the smoke session.

Does hotboxing actually work?

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Yes, there is research proving that hotboxing does get you higher. In 2015, researchers studied whether or not second hand cannabis smoke could get you high. The researchers were unknowingly testing the idea of hotboxing. They replicated "extreme conditions" of secondhand smoke by putting people in small ventilated or unventilated rooms. However, one man's extreme conditions are another one's ideal conditions and what they were essentially doing is hotboxing their research subjects.

Turns out, there was some effect. "All six nonsmokers who spent an hour exposed to secondhand smoke in the unventilated room under extreme conditions had detectable amounts of THC in their urine and blood," the research found. One of the six smokers even had enough trace THC to fail a Federal Workplace drug test!

The test didn't find the same results when people were put into ventilated rooms with fans which, when applied to the hotbox, is further confirmation that it is an act best performed in a confined and closed-off space.

However, the results should be taken with a grain of salt. While it shows that hotboxing works (at least to some degree), it also shows that everyone in the hotbox has to be committed. A hotbox is no place for ride-alongs, so you're going to get a bit of THC if you're inside. That passive consumption could, according to the 2015 study's results, cause you to fail a drug test. Be sure to go into any hotbox knowing what you're fully signing up for.

Pros and cons of hotboxing

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The biggest pro of hotboxing beyond the cool, Fast Times at Ridgemont High aesthetics of a smoked-out room is probably the efficiency. As mentioned before, you're getting a bit of THC in every breath during a hotbox. There are none of those pesky normal breaths going in and if your goal is maximum THC consumption with as little effort as possible, hotboxing will get the job done.

It's also a great communal way to smoke. Ideally, you're hanging out with friends, while getting the munchies in a confined space. Smoking in a dingy basement or a car parked in a grocery store parking lot can be just plain fun.

The cons arise from the same reasons why it's not a great idea to sit in an enclosed space for too long even without the dope. In a true hotbox situation, where you're hermetically sealed into whatever gradually fogging vessel, you will eventually start to run out of oxygen. (True enclosure is a drug best enjoyed in moderation.) But that's probably part of the high, too, so why not embrace a little bit of oxygen deprivation.

How to hotbox anywhere

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Theoretically, any smoking device where there's a lighter involved works for hotboxing. Trying to hotbox with a vaporizer might be healthier but a) it doesn't work very well and b) it is just kind of dorky. Bongs and pipes could work, so long as you're constantly feeding the bowl with fresh kindling. Dabbing can work too and will provide a more misty, concentrated smoke.

There's only one true way to hotbox: smoking joints and/or blunts that typically produce the most ambient, auxiliary smoke. A room filled with people's exhalations and fresh, THC-rich smoke will get you highest.

Don't forget that a hotbox requires a little bit of speed, too, since the smoke won't last forever. Go in with a handful of joints rolled and smoke them either one after the other or all at the same time.

Will a hotbox get you higher? Yes, probably a bit, just adjust your consumption accordingly.

Have a story to share about hotboxing? Leave a comment or question below and let us know what you think!

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