Aug 182013
 August 18, 2013

hold in marijuana hit gets you higherI think we all have that friend that tries to hold in his/her hit of marijuana as long as they possibly can in an attempt to get higher. They swear that if you hold in your hit of marijuana longer, it will make you higher. I have always gone back and forth in regards to which side of the equation I fell into – whether or not I believed holding in my hit of marijuana longer would get me higher. I have many memories of smoking marijuana, hanging out with friends growing up, and watching my friends try to hold in their hit as long as they could. I even witnessed a couple of friends pass out because they held in their hit so long. Luckily, none of them were ever hurt.

We always debated whether or not holding in a hit of marijuana longer would make you higher growing up, and we didn’t have the internet to research things. Everyone’s arguments were usually based upon ‘a guy they heard it from’ which is not exactly a good source. These days we have the internet to shed more light on the subject. I found some

According to Steve Liebke’s 2001 ‘A Cannabis User’s Harm Reduction Handbook,’ “Take small, shallow tokes or pulls. About 95% of THC in cannabis smoke is absorbed in the first few seconds so breath holding is quite pointless. All it really achieves is a far greater amount of tar being deposited in the lungs.”

The excerpt from Steve Liebke’s book didn’t have citation itself, so take that information for what you will. It seems much more reliable of a source than ‘some guy I heard it from’ though. What do readers think? Do you hold in your hit of marijuana longer because you think it makes you higher? Or do you think that it doesn’t matter? I invite others to post links in the comments to other research if they have something good to share! I would like to see a study done about the difference between smoking dabs versus smoking flower, and how holding it in is different (if at all). Because I know when I hold in dab hits, that shiz has some bite!

About Johnny Green

Dissenting opinions are welcome, insults and personal attacks are discouraged and hate speech will not be tolerated. Spammers and people trying to buy or sell cannabis or any drugs will be banned. Read our comment policy and FAQ for more information
  • Robert Nielsen

    Now that pot is legal here in Washington, and (due to completion) the price has come down to $25 an eighth $7 a gram?), I no longer need to worry about how long I hold it. I can stop by the store on the way home, pick up 5-7 days of weed, and not have to hold a hit at that price; thereby avoiding the whole controversy. Now I take a full hit then let it out. I would point out that none of my friends that smoke cigarettes hold their hits in. Because tobacco is stronger? The pot we’re smoking out of the stores here typically run 22-25% THC. I finally got used to it, but at first I had a problem with staring at the ceiling and drooling.

    By the Bye, after smoking pot illegally for 40 years, it still feels so weird to walk into store, look at the menu on the wall (usually about 30 stains), and order it over the counter; as much as I like, up to a limit of one ounce a day!


      Wish I could get it like that – easy. Jealous!!

    • Shane B.

      bro you’re fuckin right!

  • Sorryviller

    Ky Is never going to legalize it because the only way the cops can get it is by TAKING it from the farmers. I’ve been wondering forever about this! How many seconds exactly? Some chic told me 16. Lol, been wasting a lot of time! O well… good tines!


    Haha! It depends on how much I have, I think. If have more than enough, I’ll roll a joint and hold it in for less time. If I don’t have that much, I’ll pack a bowl and hold it in my lungs for 10-15 secs.

  • Noodle

    Holding longer means more oxygen deprivation which of cause will spin you out. I’m not sure if that’s a good method especially with all the dying brain cells popping.
    It’s like smoking a bong. You only actually need to smoke half a cone as the initial and subsequent heat from the top half vaporizes the THC crystals before the rest of the cone ignites. Tap a cone out half way or 2/3’s of the way thru. If you’ve ever vaped before you’ll recognise the colour and dryness of the herb. What this means is that for half the cone you get twice as stoned.

    • Stefan

      Completely dependent on the ratio of smoke to oxygen.

      Latest research says 7 seconds for best absorption of CBD and THC. Brain cells begin to die around one minute. So use common sense.

  • S Michael Broderson

    7 seconds is how long it takes for the thc and CBd to reach your brain. So hold for 7 seconds or longer

    • Annoh

      Yes, but it dossnt take more time then it takes to your lungs to be absorbd in your blood stream, so holding it down wil realy only make you more dizzy ;)

  • Ray Golden

    I prefer small puffs and long exhales :)

  • brandon

    As the study show yes it is pointless to hold your breath for more than 5 seconds at the most….95% of thc /cbd. Is absorbed the first 2-3 seconds….i think its the same with dabz too I’ve dabbed and blew it out right away and was high asf and wasn’t choking to

  • Pádráig O’Gáirmléadháigh


  • Cæsar_Had_Epilepsy

    It’s oxygen deprivation.

  • Skyy16

    Ive spent like 15min resetting my password now ive forgotten what i was going to type . but im still going to write shit just cause

    • Skyy17

      Ive spent 15min creating my account so i could respond to you .

      • sky18

        …..i just signed up for a bogus email account to sign up for disqus for this site to reply to your response

        • Terran Anthony Caporale

          i dont know how i got here but your replies made me lol so hard that i had to make an acccount just to let you know.

          • zr1411

            Pfft, only took me about 5 minutes to make an account!

          • jMichaelEdwards

            I had an account, and I broke my bong before I could get high, so commenting was easy :(

          • Shocking

            Already had an accout, bitches!

          • Sebastian Scaramuzza

            I’ve spent almost 55 minutes to read all this whole shit ’cause I’m high and I couldn’t read clearly, and the time flight.

            …Oh, and now what da f**k is my Disqus’s password?

        • CQ

          im here for this

    • sierra

      I’ve spent 15 minutes creating an account just so I could “like” your comment and its replies.

    • Gumby24

      I spent about 15 seconds creating an account to see what the fuss was about. I’m vaping with an arizer air with pvhes turbo stem and holding it in for about 10 seconds or until i have a coughing fit that makes me see black and white or colors and shapes and fractals. Kinda like almost passing out. Then i realized i had to verify my email and find this page again so like another 15 seconds

  • Ryan Schilling

    I’ve found that taking a half breath during a hit gets you the most bang for your buck. Its done by slightly exhaling through your nose than inhaling through your mouth than repeat till you need to actually breathe in. Common sense says this is how you “seem to hold your breath longer” your basically taking gradually smaller breathes in than out until you how no more air, mathematically it would be represented by 1/2^n+1, n cannot be less than or equal to zero, n must be a whole number. Unlike math you cannot breathe like this forever eventually your fraction gets to decimally close to 0 so I only recommend no more than 2 half breathes. Also there is no tar from marijuana and if you think resin is tar you’re a fool do you think tar would get you high. Its just clumped up thc crystals covered it soot from smoke. That’s why resin is so harsh, it’s cause your reheating oil mixed with whatever smoke residue is on it. Honestly I think it’s an alright idea to scrape your resin but only before thoroughly cleaning it. Don’t just scrape it and call it clean. A clean piece means a smoother, mellower smoke. Its not about the quantity, it’s about the quality.(of smoke)

  • Quotidian, Man

    Yes, holding it in increases THC blood plasma levels as well as heart rate, but there is a ceiling at 10 sec beyond which there is no effect.

    • Anthony Hanahan

      that study is so old and irrelevant. look at the thc levels lol

      • Quotidian, Man

        It’s not like science expires after 20 years and we all have to rediscover everything. Because this study exists no one is going to bother doing it again. The THC levels were ridiculously low as was the amount of marijuana smoked, and they tested it on veteran smokers. Measuring blood THC was really the only way to show any difference.

        • BL4QKB0X

          If there’s a study that disproves another study then yes, science does expire. That’s what studies do, that’s how science works.

        • Emily Chandler

          i agree, so much scientific research has been dis-proven after people lived by it for 30+ years. Just like we thought cigarettes didnt used to be harmful to any part of our bodies.

          • Emily Chandler

            i actually meant to reply to BL4QKB0X, as i agree with his point

  • UchihaNative

    I was wondering the same thing. Damn…Im high as hell right now.

    • Patricia

      Sure do type well for being high ;)

  • Kristian Thorsen

    It is completely true, anything longer thatn 2 sec is a waste, those 5-7% thc you lose does not matter, just take another hit aftewards! Thats how you get higher :D

  • Psychoholic

    I used to know a guy who would hold his in every single time until he blacked out every single hit he tried to do that on he died at 38 of a stroke… Me I just take another hit…

    • Zachary

      Wow. Life is crazy man.

  • Shocking

    Man I was just thinking about that. Damn, I must have a lot of tar in my lungs.

  • Emily Chandler

    I honestly think it makes you feel more high due to lack of oxygen to the brain. My friend used to take a zong toke, then run for like 25ft. And it would make him almost black out but he said he had never felt higher, which i tried it and in fact it did. Though i dont know whether its the lack of oxygen or more thc being absorbed, i found info online as well saying that it is actually mostly absorbed through the back of your throat. Being really sick atm, i cannot take big hits or hold it in for more than 2 seconds without coughing it out, and i definitely still feel very ripped :) plus it is helping with the muscle, stomach, and head pain ^_^

  • mercurymod

    I think holding it in works great if you like the smoke its actually quite relaxing. And I have heard 10 seconds is the best. Look if its smooth tasty nugs you just enjoy holding it.

  • James Densham

    thc absorbs into the lungs at different rates at different temperatures, best way to describe the rates is on a bell curve, but thc at the minimum temperature for vaporisation absorbs 65% in the first 3 seconds, 85% in the first 5-6 seconds and 95+% at 7-8 seconds, although the longer you hold the smoke the more tar is deposited. ideal situation is to use a vaporiser and hold your “hit” for 6-7 seconds and release, you should see almost no vapor released, although the volume of vapor inhaled affects absorption and exhaled visibility, idea for efficiency is small hits to half fill your lungs held for 6-7 seconds to achieve the best balance of thc absorption, oxygen deprivation levels and tar deposition.

    • ThisGuy^^^

      Someone did the math. If you want to quote anyone, quote this mothafucka!

  • Johnny Sky

    Have a great 4:20 to all the pot heads !

  • Gomu


  • brad

    420 errday

  • Stephen Lucas

    That makes no since saying most of the the is absorbed right away if so then why can you take a hit hold it and shotgun it to another person and that person gets high?????

    • Flo

      Because if you shotgun it you don’t inhale, you just suck the smoke into your mouth and blow it out. The lungs are where the THC gets absorbed.

      • d@ber

        shot gun a j or blunt true but shot gunning the entire hit someone took without it moving through a j or blunt all ways got me baked in the past tho it was 10 years ago in my first year smoking but recently every time i started holding cannabis hits in longer again i have been twice as baked. try it out ^_^

        • TryUsing Punctuation

          That’s not you getting higher, it’s you depriving your brain of oxygen. Try and hold your own breath for 20 minutes. I bet you get pretty high ;)

      • Bob

        You inhale 90% of the THC that your body can at once…

  • Ben Kealey

    We all know you ghost that shit pussy! Kids in Africa bro

  • SomeGuyIHeardItFrom

    That just made me disdain from EVER holding it in. I never did it in the first place just due to some people passing out from it. It obviously didn’t work for them so why try it yourself?