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Many bud smokers tend to hold the smoke in their lungs for prolonged periods of time. Most smokers, including myself, believe the longer you hold in your hit the more you intensify your cannabis smoking experience. Unfortunately, as much as I personally enjoy the practice, that's a misconception. You don’t actually get higher by holding it in your lungs longer. In fact, it will cause the smoke to go stale and not taste as good on exhale. So stop doing it, it's pointless.
To understand the technique and why it works, let me first lightly explain what happens when you take a hit. When you inhale the smoke, the cannabinoids absorption (THC, CBD, etc.) doesn’t start until the smoke has passed the first Bronchus split from the Trachea (or windpipe) and goes into the lungs where it enters the air sacs called Alveoli. Then, that's where the cannabinoids are transferred into the bloodstream pushing through to the heart and finally to the brain. This entire transport process can take under a minute
Related article: THC and CBD, and the Entourage Effect!
The belief that THC is being wasted is because it is not being absorbed above the first Bronchus split. The key here readers, is to breathe in deep, holding it for 2 mississippis, then then slowly let it out. Doing this you will allow you to absorb all of the THC on your toke.
By using this method, you are not losing any effects or decreasing your chances of a good experience, as long as you take a deep breath and get it in your lungs. Holding your breath for more than 2 mississippis doesn't do anything extra except deprive your lungs of a quite necessary function performed every day many times, called "breathing."
Recent studies show that holding your breath can be harmful because the smoke still contains tars and carcinogens , much like tobacco. The whole purpose of smoking cannabis is to absorb the two prominent natural chemicals, THC and CBD. You want these chemicals absorbed within the lungs, and based on many studies, this actually happens immediately. Literally, a few milliseconds. I am not kidding here. That's according to Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, Ph.D., MD candidate at the University of Washington, School of Medicine, and one of the most profound and respected cannabis medical experts.
In reality, when you hold your breath, all you are actually achieving is depriving your brain of oxygen, and that doesn't sound like a beneficial practice.
Stay toasty my friends.
Ayad Maher is a Cannabis Industry Entrepreneur, Blogger & Activist. eCommerce Specialist and Owner of a 420 Life Style Website; Monroe Blvd, an online smoke shop; 421Store, and an online CBD store; GoodyCBD.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been revamped and updated as needed for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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