How often have you heard the words, “No, no. You need to inhale it and keep it in for as long as you can to get high”?
And you try but still, you can’t get high? I have met so many people who have tried weed once and given up on it immediately because they couldn’t get high.
R: I do three quick puffs consecutively. Then I release the smoke out of my nose slowly. I feel the high hit my brain immediately.
D: Hmmm, no… I’m more of a traditionalist. I take a long pull, then suck in some air into my mouth and swallow it all. I hold it in for as long as I can without coughing.
V: Nah man, I dig the coughing. As soon as I cough, I feel high right away. Then I also know when to stop.
This was a conversation I had with some of my friends one day while sharing a joint. Each one of us had a different method of smoking weed. And each one of us stood by our methods. Moreover, each of our methods seems to get us adequately high.
So that left me with the question: which one of us was right? And was there an optimal way to smoke a joint?
How does weed get you high?
When you smoke weed, THC and other compounds burn and vaporize into the smoke. This smoke then enters your lungs. Your lungs are lined with hundreds of thousands of alveoli, organs responsible for the gas exchange within the body. The alveoli absorb the THC into the bloodstream with the oxygen in the air. Once the THC is in your blood, it only takes a few seconds for it to reach your brain, inciting that high feeling.
5 reasons why you can’t get high from weed?
Poor quality weed
One of the biggest offenders is the low-quality weed. Brown, dry and twiggy, poor quality weed can dampen the experience of any user, be they, patrons or newbies. It can lead to coughing and a subpar high that is more paranoia than mellowness.
Poor quality weed is often laced with other additives to increase its effectiveness. These additives are not healthy and should not be smoked. While it can be cheaper in the short term, high-quality weed pays for itself in the long run.
You’re smoking it wrong
The most obvious reason you are not getting high is that you are smoking it wrong. There are many ways you could smoke a joint incorrectly, but the following are the biggest causes.
You’re not getting enough oxygen
In order for your alveoli to absorb the THC in the smoke, you need some oxygen present. In that way, the THC gets absorbed with the oxygen. So make sure to draw in a bit of air at the end of your pull. The mix of oxygen and weed makes for a more potent hit.
This is why coughing gets the user high. Coughing forcefully draws in oxygen into the lungs, allowing the THC to have a medium for absorption.
You’re holding it in too long
Research has shown that holding the smoke in for longer has no correlation to how high you get. The THC in the smoke is absorbed within seconds, so prolonged exposure to the smoke will not get you any higher than if you let the smoke out after 2-3 seconds. That light-headedness you feel after holding in the smoke for a long time is from oxygen deprivation in your brain, not a potent hit.
You are new to smoking
Many people believe that weed takes time to build up in your system, and that is why first time users can’t get high. When, in truth, it is more likely that, it is the lack of experience of how to smoke correctly, that is responsible.
Research has shown that new users can get as high as frequent users as long as they are instructed how to smoke properly. Many users have reported that they required guidance on how to smoke before they even managed a high.
It was rolled badly
Badly rolled joints can impact the smoking experience even more than bad weed. The joint won’t burn properly or hold its shape. Its contents will spill out, whole and untouched by the heat, wasted. The smoke will not funnel into your mouth correctly and will instead be wasted into the air. A similar effect happens when bongs and pipes are not packed correctly, or the clutch is not used effectively.
Unfortunately, rolling skills do not come naturally – it takes practice. Find some rizzle paper and practice a few times. Practice making a decent filter. And most importantly, use a grinder. It will create a uniform crush to your weed and allow a more even roll. Badly chopped weed can lead to lumpy and sloppy joints.
Soon your fingers will become accustomed to rolling and you will have perfect joints in no time. I know that I still struggle – and I roll a joint every other day. But they are getting better with time, and that’s what counts.
You are immune to weed
It’s sad to say that there are some people out there who are immune to the effects of weed. But what is important to note is that these people form such a tiny part of the population of the world, that it’s unlikely that you will meet any of them in your lifetime.
Give weed another go, taking into account all the tips and tricks in this article.
How to smoke a joint correctly
When smoking a joint, inhale it into your mouth first, allowing the dense smooth weed smoke to culminate there, in the same way you might smoke a cigar. Then draw in a deep breath and take it into your lungs. This will negate coughing and allow the oxygen-rich weed smoke to be more quickly absorbed into your body.
How to roll a joint
The shortcut way
I have a trick that I used to use at varsity when I was still new to the game. It takes a lot more time but yield perfect, uniform joints every time.
Step 1: Roll the rizzle paper around a thin pencil, eyebrow brush handle, straw etc. Seal it and slide it off until a third of it is sticking off the end.
Step 2: Make a filter or use a pre-made filter. You can cut a strip of paper and roll it into a tube and carefully insert it into the rizzle paper allowing it to unravel slightly to fill the space but remain firm.
Step 3: Slide off the rest of the rizzle paper tube and start filling it with well crushed/chopped weed. Make sure to pack the weed down gently with the pencil every so often. Be careful not to press too hard.
Sept 4: Twist off the end and blaze up.
The OG way
Step 1: Hold the rizzle paper on its end, creating a half tube shape. Add well-crushed weed.
Step 2: Place the filter on the paper and use it as a thickness guide.
Step 3: Pinch the facing ends of the paper together and rub them up and down to roll the weed inside the paper. While rolling, apply some pressure to compress the weed to the thickness of the filter.
Step 4: Seal the paper and twist off the end.
So, going back to what my friends said:
R puffed the joints and released the smoke soon after inhaling it
D sucked air in with the smoke and held it in for a long time
V said that coughing made him high
Each of them has a different method but each of those works to a greater or lesser extent. What is key to notice, is that each of them took in the air with the smoke, whether by puffing, consciously taking it in or forcefully by coughing. This oxygen-smoke mix is crucial for a good high.
Whatever your method, make sure you’re maximizing your hits.
May all your future endeavours now be successful.
And may all your days be high ones!
Evarínya is a dancer, a dreamer, a cynic and a lover of glitter.
She began writing at a young age, creating her own private imaginary worlds to disappear into.
While her pursuit of her engineering degree side tracked her for a while, she has returned to the
world she loves in hopes of sharing her experiences and stories.
She believes in the empowerment of women through non-conventional methods and seeks to
uncover the world of cannabis through experimentation and the scientific method.
In her spare time, she reads avidly, sews and paints. She tutors part-time and blogs weekly. You can
find out more about her by reading her personal blog, Mist in the Mountains.