What does a contact high mean?
Before we dive into the science of contact high, let’s first start with what a hotbox is. If you haven’t heard, hotboxing is the act of filling up an airtight space with cannabis smoke. And before you ask, yes, it can get you high.
Breathing in all of that cannabis smoke in an airtight space is bound to get you high, but what if you experience the smoke while being in public?
With hotboxing, a method where tokers create an enclosed space to fill it up with weed smoke, in mind, it’s perfectly normal to wonder if the second-hand smoke from cannabis will trigger any sort of contact high.
Whether you’ve got an important job to do the next day, a family to take care of, or an important meeting, these are all good reasons why you might want to avoid consuming cannabis, especially by accident.
So what exactly is a contact high, and how do you get it. Keep on reading, and you’ll be sure to find out!
What is a Contact High?
A contact high is acquired from the second-hand smoke of joint or blunt. Usually, it occurs in sober individuals who come in contact with dense amounts of cannabis smoke.
The active cannabinoids in the smoke can be inhaled and subsequently absorbed by the lungs and entered the bloodstream.
Contact High – What Science Has to Say
So is it possible to not be able to get high from second-hand smoke? Let’s see what the studies have to say.
In 2015, a study looking at the effects of second-hand cannabis smoke in a ventilated and non-ventilated room had 12 participants spend time with each other in a sealed chamber.
Six of the participants were considered cannabis smokers, while the other six were non-smokers.
In the initial stage of the study, the researchers had 12 participants in a non-ventilated room. The cannabis smoking group consumed 10 high potency joints per person (11.3% THC per joint), while the non-smoking control group was to spend time and interact with them for one hour while in the enclosed chamber.
As a result of the cannabis smoke being trapped in the room with no means to escape, the non-smoking group had tested positive for THC in their blood and urine.
The researchers had also conducted a second stage of the same experiment in the same chamber and conditions but with the addition of ventilation in the room, meaning that the air could flow freely and escape.
The result was that the non-smoking group had tested negative for THC in their systems.
In 2010, a more realistic experiment also looked at the effects that second-hand smoke had on individuals, by having a small group of participants spend 3 hours in a coffee shop with cannabis smokers consuming joints.
After the experiment, the participants had tested for THC in their system, and the results came back negative, although there was THC in their system, but only in trace amounts.
All in all, the studies show that through most circumstances, even when spending a long duration of time around cannabis smoke (3 hours), it is unlikely that you’ll get an intense contact high.
It is only through extreme scenarios when enough THC will be able to enter the bloodstream to trigger a positive drug test.
The Possible Side Effects of a Contact High
While it isn’t common to get a contact high, you’ll want to know when you do have one. It can be hard to determine whether or not you have a contact high if you don’t know what to look out for.
If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t avoid the smoke, then here some of the key indicators to look out for:
Feelings of Intense Relaxation
Cannabis is well known for its abundant therapeutic properties. People around the world have enjoyed cannabis for generations, and for a good reason.
The THC in cannabis is a well-known sedative that can easily usher you into a state of relaxation. If you feel unusually lethargic and relaxed after being exposed to cannabis smoke, you might be impaired, meaning that it could interfere with your coordination, primarily when operating vehicles.
Building upon THCs relaxing effects, cannabis is known to put users in a “couch-lock” mode, where the limbs feel heavy, and it feels comfortable to stay put and relax. You may find yourself wanting to sit down, relax, or sleep if you’ve contracted a contact high.
Slower Reaction Times
If you’ve been exposed to high amounts of cannabis smoke, and feel lethargic and relaxed, it might be a sign to step away from the smoke.
As a result of the lethargic effects of cannabis, you’ll notice your reflexes and reaction times taking a toll, and it could be because you’ve gotten a contact high from someone else in the area.
The Sensation of Euphoria
While cannabis is known to be a great sleep aid, providing relaxing effects, it also can propel its users into a euphoria state where everything seems exciting and interesting.
If you find yourself uncontrollably laughing or giggling at even the most absurd things, chances are, you’ve caught a contact high.
Extreme Cravings or Hunger
The munchies are a well-known side effect of smoking weed.
The cannabis high typically involves its users gaining a tremendous amount of hunger, allowing them to devour vast quantities of food during the high.
Not to mention that the cannabis high makes its users more sensitive to taste and touch, meaning that foods will generally have more detailed flavors and textures when under the influence.
Dizziness and Nausea
While this is usually only an occurrence with high doses of cannabis, it is possible that you may experience some dizziness or nausea after being exposed to large amounts of cannabis smoke in a confined space.
Though it is highly unlikely to happen through a contact high, dizziness and nausea are commonly associated with heavy cannabis consumption.
Contact High Prevention
Much like hotboxing your car or place, cannabis smoke can still get you high when confined to tight non-ventilated spaces.
Whether you’re smoking a blunt with friends or enjoying a slim jim all on your own, it’s important to be a good samaritan and be considerate of those around you.
Some people may be susceptible to weed, while others may not. You can also consider opting for edibles, tinctures or vaporizers. By doing so, you will help people to avoid getting high from your smoke while also medicating conveniently without unnecessary attention.
As always, happy trails!