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

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • Robert Hancock

    40yrs of smoking has taught me to conserve and yes holding the hit does make the effect better, last longer and if your not out of control, conserve your supply. It’s obvious when smoking really good stuff, ragweed(commercial) doesn’t matter but who smokes bs anymore, legalize, put the south american drug lord out-of-business.

  • Stoner4ever

    Well to be honest it all depends on the work you have. It really doesn’t matter hoe long you hold it, but how many hits does it take to get you high. Having some nice upgrade, a strain containing a big amount of thc. Will get you as high as if you were to take a five second hit, than a 10 second hit. The smoke you inhale as you’re taking your hit already contains the amount of thc so that’s the amount that will get you your “high”. Taking a hit from some regs, which contains a low amount of thc, will mean that you’ll need more smoke = to more thc entering your body.

    I hope that helped out with the question

    & P.s I know I’m late asf, but it is indeed an interesting subject.

  • Cha

    If u keep the smoke inside, you’re more out of breath…so this leads to the point that your body seems more effected by it…

  • YOYO

    jst smoke it,if not pass it ovr

    • SynpulseBitch!

      Yeah, I know right? Why are we arguing, lol.

  • Buddy Stone

    no matter how much or what you smoke you can never be the most high

    • mine


  • lvl one

    It is the caughing after holding it in that makes you that way due to the lack of air to the dome.

    science bitch

    • Kids need to learn about weed

      You’re wrong. Coughing doesn’t get you higher.
      Science bitch.

      • charlesjoseph

        he didn’t say it gets you higher, he merely said it is coughing that causes lack of oxygen to the brain, even though it’s still wrong…

        Read it bitch

  • Ryan

    The only reason you feel higher is because of the head rush you get from holding it in for so long, cutting oxygen off from your brain, killing brain cells, that’s what causes this head rush and feeling that you’re getting higher, in reality you’re getting dumber..

  • Conner

    Holding in smoke doesn’t actually kill brain cells, or cause them any oxygen deprivation. Brain cells only begin to become oxygen deprived and die after several minutes of not breathing, under normal conditions, far longer than is possible to hold in a breath (without already having some brain damage). But it is true that holding in a hit causes much more tar build up than normal. But yes, I believe that holding in a hit does make you the slightest bit higher after absorbing the remaining five or so percent of THC; but whether individuals notice it varies.

  • Lexs World

    This information is consistent with what I have read, though again, can’t cite: 80% of the THC (and any other cannabinoids) is absorbed in the first second, and the other 20% takes another 3-4 seconds after that. So holding it in has no point.

  • Jerry Pritikin The Bleacher

    Bill Clinton… you can exhale now!

    • ray


    • Shits McDicks

      overwatered and right int he window.. /clap

  • JoeyMo

    Too much Tar but its ok if u dont have much pot.

    • Long9inJohn

      wtf no lmfao your smart

      • Yolanda Freedman


      • Bojangleston

        Could you be a bigger idiot longjohn? Jesus… Dumbasses like you are why people doubt weed. Go smoke meth.

  • Arctic

    I think it does make you higher, but just because you are giving yourself a head rush as well. I guess the ~5% would help as well, but with all the rare you get I don’t think it’s worth it.

  • fivenine

    I think folks who insist on you holding in a hit and “ghosting it” are tools…my buddy once got offended because it was his weed and I wasnt holding in my hits long enough…he felt i was wasting what he paid for…..what a doucher

    • wakeup

      well if you exhaled almost immediately like some of the newer folks tend to then your buddy is actually right and tis you who are the doucher. if you held for 5-7ish seconds and that wasn’t “long enough” then your buddy is the doucher.

      • LookinPaNub

        Why even smoke right

    • Some Dude

      Yea Fuck that guy

    • Bojangleston

      I’m sorry, but I find that to be offensive and kinda wrong personally. I “ghost” my hits all the time, that’s just how I hit my weed. Inhale, exhale, inhale the blown out smoke again. I am unsure how my habit of weed hitting makes me a “tool.” I’m sorry, but you don’t make sense.

    • Guest

      What does “ghosting” a hit mean?

    • gumby24

      If you can’t play by the rules, don’t smoke the herb.

  • SoLoGooN

    As you stated in your article here taking small tokes will absorb most of the THC in those first few seconds, however the excerpt does not state all THC just most of it. With that being said I still strongly believe the longer you hold your hit the better simply because any time the smoke is in your lungs it is absorbing THC song for the longer I can hold it and absorb the better¡!¡!
    When smoking; I would like to act as if my lungs were like an through toddler’s brain soaking up every little bit of THC until I can hold it anymore then exhale..
    Everyone is entitled to there own opinion but use your common sense when asking yourself if I hold it longer will I get a better buzz?? That’s like saying will I be more intoxicated if I drink one beer for ten hrs on the hour, as apposed to bonging ten beers in 10 mins¡!¡!¡!

    • Kai

      I get what you mean but bad logic… Longer hit vs shorter hit isn’t the same as one beer vs ten beers, what you’re saying is “the more the higher” so if you want to get higher smoke more weed, doesn’t matter how long its held in!

      • gumby24

        smoke 7g in two hours. see how you feel. Then in a few days try smoking 7g in however long but witholding each toke in your lungs for 10+ seconds. Then report back here.

    • Moi

      The only reason you feel higher holding it in ur lungs for ass-ever is cuz you’re causing a lack of oxygen to your brain… The combo of the two is what makes ppl feel super lightheaded, dizzy, and sometimes puke… Most THC is absorbed pretty quickly, there really isn’t much point in holding it in longer then a cpl secs.. Unless someone just likes putting more tar in their lungs..

  • WiseFerret

    Hold full hits for 6-8 seconds. If it’s hash, aim for 10.
    Hold “comfortably small” hits for 2-5.
    The only immediate high your lungs absorb during the first couple seconds is what you breathe in with the air, not what is left floating in your lungs. Do not hold in reg hits; do not smoke reg, it’s a disgrace to your lungs. Only smoke good weed, take slow draws from pipes and large hits from bongs, and don’t hold it for more than 8 seconds or you’re definitely holding it in too long.

    • Jamarcus A. Critisizer

      Or don’t hold it at all because it causes more tar build up.

  • charlesjoseph

    I believe it, that holding it in affects you more, but others may disagree, but this is merely going on by what happens to me and a couple of my friends, perhaps it’s different for everyone?

  • fish dog herb

    sure they do. i believe the best time to hold it is always time it takes you to walk to a waindow. i find the high is also enhanced by the change in environment. i notice the world in all its glory and im instantly lifted and relieved to see all its beauty is still just out my door. but the best way to smoke weed like anything, is your own favorite way. find the truth for you and see what you like.

    • Jamarcus A. Critisizer

      So I’d imagine then every time you take a hit you walk to a window and then back to where you were smoking every time you take a hit . lol

  • m1n4s

    I try to hold it more too because i feel higher when i do it. Although, i think that this happens because after having held a breath, your heart starts beating faster because your organism needs oxygen , and that makes you feel more relaxed and dizzy , same effects as weed.

    • Some Dude

      It gets your heart racing but it makes you feel more relaxed and dizzy? If you hearts racing your not relaxed.

  • dbr5088

    The mangosteen fruit and multivitamin in Vemma works for me.

  • Leya

    yes it does get you higher the longer you hold it in the higher you get :)

  • Experience

    I used to hold it in and toke on it as much as I can and it didn’t end up well, because I felt really dizzy and started throwing up. I kept on feeling my pulse throughout my body and feeling tingles in my brain and hands. It was the worst experience I’ve ever had

    • gumby24

      lol. Read: it was the best experience I ever had.

  • Judith Legendre

    If you want to get higher breath the smoke out though your nose …..The cells in your nose grabs ex thc….

  • Delilah

    I think it’s best not to hold it in as long as possible. Smoke as much weed as you want just don’t hold it in as long as you can. Take it easy, and breathe. ;)

  • painkills2

    The Public Information Channel never sleeps…

  • J

    10 years ago i did the same reasearch and came to the same numbers of 95% of thc is absorbed almost instantly… The reason you “feel” higher is the same as if you held in any smoke…. Lack of oxygen… You simply feel mre light headed plus the weed added to that makes the high more intense… So in a sense “that guy my friend knows” is right… You do get higher… Just not from THC…

  • Captain Sarcasm

    You can absorb 100% of the THC and 0% of tar in your lungs by ingesting it, ya dingus. For your health!

  • gumby24

    to be honest, I don’t know how I got to this article or even what site it’s posted on. However what I do know is that this is a question that I thought ought not ever need to be asked. I’ll put it like this, if you’re exhaling smoke, you’re exhaling plant matter, if you follow this process as follows, take the hit with the smoke in your mouth, then draw a deep breath and hold it. Then take “sips” of air whilst still holding it in, you’ll find this has a cooling effect on the smoke as you’re mixing it with oxygen and it’s thus easier to hold in longer. A good place to start would be maybe 5 seconds. A slow count of 5 seconds. Then your goal should be 10. the goal overall is to hold it in until what you exhale is indistinguishable from any other exhale.

    I guarantee you, that you will get a lot more out of your stash and probably smoke less. As for the original post, I am “that guy”.

  • 83diamonds

    When you hold your breath you cut of the oxygen flow to your body. The THC is pumps in your blood while your body tried to redeem oxygen again.

  • tino1

    From oregon tjats why haha

  • Wizkid

    I read once, that after 7 seconds your lungs absorb as much THC as they can. So I usually hold it in for about that long then exhale. Seems likes it does the trick for me lol