What’s more effective: big or small hits? Everyone has a perspective on this debate, so let’s clear up any misconceptions – it is not as simple as you may think. So, which one is more effective?
It’s likely that you’ve heard the old myth about how you’re supposed to smoke weed the “right” way. How exactly is that done? Well, some say that you must take extra-large hits and hold them in the lungs for as long as possible to achieve maximum effects. If you’re in this camp, we hate to break it to you, but this is not doing what you think it is. Here’s why you don’t need to take huge hits to enjoy your weed.
WHY YOU DON’T NEED TO TAKE BIG HITS
To get a better perspective on things, let’s take a look at how our lungs function. When we breathe, we are actually not very efficient at absorbing oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. Although our lungs can hold about 6 litres of air with one large breath, we’re expelling a good portion of that oxygen when we exhale. If our lungs absorbed oxygen super-efficiently, we could potentially take in these 6 litres in one go and wouldn’t need another breath for a while. Instead, we breathe more often and with shorter breaths.
Did you know that your lungs can only process so much THC? Bet you didn’t! Despite popular myth, no matter how long you how a hit, your lungs are only able to transport some much THC to the bloodstream at a time. While there are some ways to increase the body’s ability to absorb THC, your lungs can only do so much when you’re using a bong. The fact is, your lungs can only absorb 5–6ml of oxygen per minute, and the same principle is true when you smoke weed.
“TAKING BIG HITS MAKES ME HIGHER!”
You may indeed “feel higher” when taking larger hits and holding them in, but this is because you’re depriving your brain of oxygen. The lightheadedness or dizziness that you feel will be compounded further by carbon monoxide in the smoke. Simply by inhaling a larger hit of smoke, it may trick you into feeling as though the quantity of THC being received is also higher. Point blank, this is not the case.
OUR BODY ABSORBS THC INSTANTLY
Our lungs transfer oxygen from the air (or THC from smoke) almost instantly. As soon as you have taken a hit, almost all the THC from your weed (95%) has already entered your body. This means there is no point in holding your smoke for an extended period, or at all for that matter.
The active compounds in cannabis (THC, CBD, terpenes, flavonoids) only comprise a small portion of what is contained in weed smoke. The rest of its contents is made up different substances, many of which are harmful. The longer you hold the smoke in, the more toxic byproducts settle in your body. If you think this sounds unhealthy, you’re spot on.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET AS HIGH AS POSSIBLE?
Simple answer here: smoke more. Or, if you think that your current weed might not cut it for your desired effect, consider stronger strains. You can also consider dabbing concentrates or taking edibles, both of which result in much more potent experiences.
Now that you realise taking smaller hits is healthier, it might make sense to try vaping. Vaporizers don’t combust the pant material or concentrates, but simply heat them to the desired range for cannabinoids to become active. This results in a healthier consumption experience that some people believe is more intense. The smooth draws should also make your lungs feel better after becoming acquainted with your vape.
OTHER BENEFITS OF SMALLER DOSES OF CANNABIS
Not everyone who smokes weed does so because they want to get as high as possible. Different folks have different reasons, and that’s okay. Microdosing has recently become quite popular among medicinal users, and it’s even gaining traction amongst recreational consumers.
WHAT IS MICRODOSING?
Microdosing involves taking a small, “sub-perceptual” dose of a substance (in this case THC), so you can experience its benefits without feeling high. A normal THC microdose is around 2–3mg. So, rather than smoking your entire joint or bowl, you’d just take a small puff or two. Some users microdose this way throughout the day to enjoy cannabis without the negative side effects that come with high doses of THC.
KEEP IT EASY AND HEALTHY
Fortunately, smoking cannabis isn’t some type of competition where you need to strain your body to get the most out of it. However you choose to do it, keep it easy with small puffs. If you smoke a lot, look into switching to a vaporizer instead. A decent vape can last a while and reduce harm to your lungs. It’s a win-win!