what is a contact high what is a contact high

An Explainer on What is a Contact High

 

Have you ever been in a room full of marijuana smoke, feeling the hazy cloud wrap around you like a mystical aura? As the air thickens and you catch a whiff of that unmistakable scent, you may find yourself wondering - can I really get high from secondhand smoke?

Is there a mystical force at play where simply being close to smokers can transport you into a euphoric state? So yes, is secondhand marijuana smoke a myth or reality?

In this blog post, we embark on a journey to unravel the mystery of the contact high phenomenon, exploring its meaning, effects, and whether it's fact or fiction. So sit back, inhale, and let's dive into the smoky haze together.

what is a contact high exposure to secondhand marijuana

So, what's the deal with a contact high? How does it even work?

A contact high, also known as secondhand exposure, refers to the phenomenon where an individual experiences mild psychoactive effects from being in close proximity to someone who smoke marijuana. Not only cannabis smoke but also tobacco smoke, cigarette smoke or marijuana cigarettes can cause marijuana secondhand smoke exposure.

This occurs when the nonsmoker inhales the exhaled smoke or the smoke produced by the burning product. The concept hinges on the idea that THC - the primary active compound in cannabis plant responsible for its characteristic high - can be passed along to others through ambient smoke. It's a controversial topic with studies offering varying results, leading to a lively debate about the veracity of the contact high phenomenon. But before we delve into the evidence, let's take a closer look at what causes a contact high and how it affects the body and even a drug test!

The science behind contact high or secondhand marijuana smoke

secondhand tobacco smoke

The notion of getting high from secondhand marijuana smoke relies on the assumption that THC can be absorbed through the lungs, which then enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain. While this may seem plausible, studies have shown that the amount of THC in ambient smoke is negligible and would require an extremely high concentration to cause any psychoactive effects. Additionally, THC breaks down quickly upon exposure to air, making it challenging for enough of the compound to reach a secondhand smoker. Moreover, the lungs are not as efficient at absorbing drugs compared to other parts of the body, so even if there's a sufficient amount of THC in the smoke, it may not necessarily lead to a contact high.

Are the consequences of breathing in second-hand smoke any different from those of indulging in a little "herb" therapy? Just curious!

While the risk of a contact high is relatively low, secondhand marijuana smoke carries an impact on non-users. The effects may include feeling lightheaded or experiencing dry mouth and throat irritation.

This is because the smoke contains various toxic chemicals and particles that can irritate the respiratory system, leading to discomfort. Furthermore, non smoker exposure to smoke - whether first or secondhand marijuana smoke - has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems. So while a contact high may not be a significant concern, being around secondhand smoke can still pose health risks.

Is it possible to hang out with someone who's smoking marijuana without getting high?

Yes, it is entirely possible to hang out with someone who is smoking cannabis without getting high yourself. As we've noted, the concentration of THC in secondhand marijuana smoke is typically negligible and unlikely to cause a high. This is especially true in well-ventilated spaces where the smoke can disperse easily.

However, in confined or poorly ventilated areas where the smoke is thick and prevalent, there may be a slight chance of experiencing minor psychoactive effects. It's noteworthy to mention that these effects if they occur at all, would be much less intense than the effects experienced by the person actually smoking. Keep in mind that the potential for a contact high also depends on the potency of the cannabis being smoked, the duration of exposure, and individual sensitivity to THC.

How can you avoid catching a contact high if you're in a spot where people are smoking?

secondhand cannabis smoke ii

If you're in a situation where others are smoking cannabis, but you don't want to experience any psychoactive effects yourself, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of a contact high.

Avoid Inhaling

The most obvious way to avoid catching a contact high is to avoid inhaling the smoke. If you’re in a spot where people are smoking, try to stay upwind of the smoke and keep your mouth closed. The hardest part about this is you can't really shut your nose. Not to mention, you might rub someone the wrong way while squeezing your nose shut while having a conversation. You can also cover your nose and mouth with a cloth or scarf if necessary.

Stay Away From Hot Spots

If you find yourself in an area where people are smoking, try to stay away from hot spots such as ashtrays or other areas where smoke accumulates. It’s best to move away from these areas and find somewhere else to sit or stand until the smoking has stopped.

Wear a Mask

In a post-pandemic world, it is undeniably more commonplace to wear masks in social situations. If avoiding inhaling the smoke isn't possible, then whipping out and wearing a face mask can help reduce your exposure. A simple surgical mask or even a bandana can be used to cover your nose and mouth while still allowing you to breathe normally. This will help filter out some of the smoke particles before they reach your lungs.

Ventilate The Area

Opening windows or using fans can help reduce the concentration of smoke in an area by increasing air circulation and ventilation. Your friends may not be aware of this, and it could result in you being asked to leave the function for blowing the spot. Proceed with caution! This will help disperse the smoke so that there is less of it in any given space, reducing your chances of catching a contact high from it.

Alright, how can you dodge the notorious "aroma" of marijuana from clinging onto your clothes, hair, or anything else?

Dodging the infamous, lingering scent of cannabis is an art, a dance if you will, akin to sidestepping a particularly clingy admirer at a party. Marijuana has a rather stubborn aromatic calling card that can attach itself to your clothes, hair, and other personal items like a starstruck fan to a rockstar. Now, unless you fancy smelling like the lovechild of a reggae concert and a botany experiment gone rogue, you might want to consider some counter-strategies. So, without further ado, let's delve into the practical, the plausible, and the slightly bizarre world of "aroma-dodging".

Change Your Clothes

The most effective way to avoid carrying the scent of cannabis with you is to change your clothes. This may not always be a logistical option, but if it's possible in your situation, do it. Make sure to store your items away from any sources of smoke and wash them as soon as possible.

Smoke Outdoors

If you're smoking with friends, try to do it outdoors. Not only will you avoid the chances of a contact high, but you'll also minimize your exposure to the smoke and its smell. Plus, nothing beats smoking in nature!

Use Air Fresheners

If changing clothes isn't an option, using air fresheners or deodorizers can help mask the scent of cannabis on your clothes or in a room. You can also try spraying some perfume or cologne on yourself and your clothes, although this may not completely eliminate the smell.

Is Contact High a Real Thing? Debunking the Myth and Unveiling the Reality

The idea of a contact high has been popularized in media and pop culture, leading many to believe that it's a real phenomenon. However, scientific evidence suggests otherwise. A study conducted by Johns Hopkins University found that non-smokers exposed to secondhand cannabis smoke did not experience any psychoactive effects or changes in cognitive function. Additionally, a review of existing research on the topic concluded that the likelihood of getting high from secondhand smoke is extremely low and highly dependent on individual factors.

So why does the myth of contact high persist? It could be due to the power of suggestion and the placebo effect, where individuals may convince themselves that they are experiencing a high simply because they expect to. It could also be influenced by the strong smell of cannabis, which may lead some to believe that they are feeling its effects when in reality, it's just the smell lingering on their clothes or in the room.

In a nutshell, here's the tea on contact high.

Although it appears that contact high is a real phenomenon, more research still needs to be done before the potentially powerful effects of secondhand high can be truly understood. Everyone's biology and environment are different, so each person may have a unique reaction to any presence of cannabis in the air. Whether you believe in secondhand high or not, it is important to remain aware of your own body and whatever effects you are experiencing; above all, remain mindful of any changes you feel after being exposed to cannabis-filled environments. If you find yourself feeling uneasy or uncomfortable in these spaces, just remember that taking precautions and knowing when to walk away is perfectly acceptable. Have you ever experienced contact high? Share your story in the comments!

FAQ:

Q: Is it possible to get high from secondhand smoke?

A: While the idea of a contact high is popular in media and pop culture, scientific evidence suggests that it is highly unlikely. Non-smokers exposed to secondhand cannabis smoke typically do not experience any psychoactive effects or changes in cognitive function.

Q: Can wearing a mask really help reduce exposure to secondhand smoke?

A: Yes, wearing a mask can help filter out some of the smoke particles before they reach your lungs, reducing your exposure. However, it is always best to avoid inhaling any smoke if possible.

Q: How can I reduce the smell of cannabis on my clothes and in a room?

A: Changing clothes, smoking outdoors, using air fresheners, and spraying perfume or cologne can help mask the scent of cannabis. However, these methods may not completely eliminate the smell.

Q: Is contact high a real phenomenon?

A: While some people may believe they have experienced a contact high, scientific research suggests that it is highly unlikely. The power of suggestion and the strong smell of cannabis may contribute to this belief. Overall, more research is needed on the potential effects of secondhand high.

Q: How can I avoid getting a contact high at a party or social function?

A: If possible, try to stay away from areas where cannabis is being smoked. Alternatively, you can wear a mask and practice good ventilation techniques by opening windows or using fans to reduce the concentration of smoke in a room. Changing clothes and avoiding close contact with others who are smoking can also help minimize exposure. As always, listen to your body and remove yourself from any situation where you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Remember, it's always okay to prioritize your own well-being.


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