“I’ve got some friends who are really into smoking weed and recently they’ve got into something called ‘hotboxing’. I looked on the web and found out what it is but why do people use cannabis in this way? Is it a safe way of getting stoned?”
As I’m sure you discovered when you searched the web, ‘hotboxing’ refers to when one or more people smoke cannabis in a small, enclosed and unventilated space. This usually involves the inside of a car but can also take place in a small room like a closet or a shed, or even a tent. This is usually done to ‘boost’ or maximise the smoking experience.
Does hotboxing actually increase the ‘high’ (i.e., do people get more stoned?) and if so, why? More importantly, does it increase the potential risks compared to using cannabis in a ventilated or outdoor space?
Smoking cannabis with others in this way will certainly expose you to a greater amount of cannabis smoke that’s being exhaled by others. This may get you a little more stoned but not significantly.
When cannabis is smoked, almost all (95%) of the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is absorbed very quickly (within 3-5 seconds). As a result, trying to exhale and recycle the smoke in an enclosed space is unlikely to increase the high very much at all. Nevertheless, your friends might still claim that this does get them more stoned. Experts believe there may be a couple of reasons for this, with one of the most likely being that the effect might be related to falling oxygen levels in the confined space that’s being used. This can cause feelings of light-headedness and mild confusion, which in turn can give the sensation of feeling more stoned.
No matter what is smoked, you’re inhaling burnt matter. As a result, smoking anything can cause a wide range of respiratory problems. Hotboxing involves inhaling cannabis smoke exhaled by others – you’re breathing in ‘second hand’ cannabis smoke. Although we know far more about the physical health risks of being around others who smoke tobacco than we do about cannabis, it’s still fairly obvious that spending periods of time in an enclosed space filled with any type of smoke is certainly not ‘safe’.
So, to answer your question, hotboxing doesn’t necessarily get a person significantly more stoned (although some certainly claim that it had that effect on them) but, more importantly, it’s certainly not a ‘safe’ way of using cannabis.
Published: August 2023