Do you know about the concept of passive smokers? It’s basically the idea that if you are inhaling the smoke of the nearby smokers, you are part of the chain too. It is also popularly known as ‘secondhand smoke’. We have a marijuana doctor to weigh in.
In the case of tobacco cigarettes, secondhand smoke has been associated with a number of health issues such as lung cancer and other respiratory issues. But, while there is enough evidence about the risks of tobacco smoke, what about cannabis?
If you are a medical cannabis patient who smokes regularly, you would want to know if your cannabis smoke is a health risk to your family members or the people near you. Most importantly, you would want to learn about the concept of contact high from cannabis. Whatever may be the case, I can help you understand more about it. So, let’s see what a marijuana doctor has to say about a contact high from cannabis.
What is Contact High?
The name is self-explanatory. Getting high by getting in contact with secondhand smoke is called contact high. According to some people, it is possible to experience the same effects and high as a cannabis smoker just by inhaling the exhaled smoke. If this concept is true, then it’s bad news for people who have smoker friends. Because even without touching a joint, you may end up having a positive drug test or even have trouble walking straight.
So what is the truth? We’ll discuss everything here.
Is There THC in Exhaled Cannabis Smoke?
The answer to this question is not very straightforward. Exhaled cannabis smoke may or may not contain THC. And the presence of THC and other cannabinoids in exhaled smoke will depend on a number of factors.
The first determining factor is the experience of the smoker. If you are around beginners or someone who doesn’t have much experience smoking, the exhaled smoke will be more potent in comparison to the one exhaled by an experienced smoker. That’s because a cannabis veteran has nailed the technique of deep inhalation and time duration to get the strongest hit from a drag. This way, the bloodstream absorbs most of the THC from the inhaled smoke, leaving little residue for the exhaled half. Even in the case of beginners, you are dealing with a very small amount of THC.
The second important aspect of contact high is the THC content of the strain. With intensive cross-breeding nowadays, you can find cannabis strains with as much as 30 percent THC. And since the bioavailability of joints and smokables is about 30 percent, you can expect some fraction of the THC to remain in the exhaled smoke.
The Real Question- Do You Get High With Secondhand Smoke?
Cannabis is infamous for causing a ‘high’ or ‘euphoric’ experience. And the main culprit behind this feeling is Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Now that you know that the exhaled smoke may contain some levels of THC, does it mean that people around you can get a contact high? Well, the answer is both a yes and no.
In a study conducted among smokers and nonsmokers in two different scenarios, the effects of secondhand smoke were observed. In the first scenario, both groups were made to share a non-ventilated room and the smokers were given a joint to smoke. The second scenario saw both parties were made to sit in a ventilated room while the smokers had a joint.
The results showed that in the first instance, the nonsmokers were able to feel mild effects of THC and had detectable amounts of THC in their urine tests too. In the other case, the THC levels were almost negligible.
A similar study was conducted in a well-ventilated coffee shop where a few people smoked cannabis cigarettes. After the exposure, the participants were tested for levels of THC. There were some levels of THC in the blood and urine, however, the amount was not enough to have a positive drug test.
With the two studies, we can conclude that it is only under specific conditions like that of a non ventilated room that you may experience some level of contact high.
What Does Contact High Feel Like?
Contact high is not as strong as inhaling from a lit joint or vape pen. But, for people who are non-smokers and have no experience with cannabis whatsoever, the contact high may cause confusion and paranoia. In addition to this, they may also have the following side effects:
Impaired reflexes: THC is psychoactive which often results in impairing the reflexes of the body.
Fatigue: THC has a sedative effect which is why the person may feel mild fatigue or need to sleep after a contact high.
Lightheadedness: Spending a lot of time around cannabis smoke may cause dizziness or lightheadedness.
What Should You do as a Cannabis Smoker?
With the studies on cannabis contact high, it is clear that there may be some cases where the people around you may feel the effects of THC. So, what can you do about it? Here are a few important points that a marijuana doctor asks medical cannabis smokers to keep a check on.
- Always smoke on your private property. Smoking in public places is not only risky for others but also legally prohibited.
- Avoid smoking around people. If you live with your family, always try to have your session when there is no one around.
- If you are around people who do not object to your smoking habit, make sure that you are in a ventilated area. Or try to smoke near an open window or an exhaust fan.
- If a person near you ends up experiencing contact high, help them sober up. Give them water or a snack to eat. If possible, let them sleep it out. You can also try black pepper to counter the effects of THC.
The chances of contact highs are very low but the probability of it happening still exists. So, it’s best to stay safe and avoid any risk to the people near you. Follow the tips of the marijuana doctor and make sure that no-one around you gets a contact high from cannabis.