what is a contact high

If you’ve ever been at a party where other people are smoking marijuana, you’ll notice that you’re inhaling it, too, whether you want to or not. You might wonder whether you can get a contact high without smoking the marijuana yourself and what the effects would be if you did.

Are contact highs a myth? Can they make you fail a drug test? What do you do if you get a contact high? Whether you’re a smoker trying to be considerate of those around you or a non-smoker wondering about the effects of a contact high, this article has all you need to know.

Defining a Contact High

A contact high refers to the psychoactive effect of inhaling marijuana smoke secondhand. While you’re always at risk of getting high when you inhale any marijuana smoke, several factors determine its effect on you.

Even hours after someone smokes marijuana, you could still inhale it if it lingers in the air. Being aware of your surroundings is the best way to avoid or manage a contact high. Know who is smoking, how much, and whether the room is ventilated.

If you can’t avoid or don’t mind it, you might still wonder about the effects of a contact high on your body.

The Factors and Effects of Contact Highs

The Factors and Effects of Contact Highs

Whether you get a contact high and what effects you experience depend on several factors. The setting, the type of cannabis, and your exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke play significant roles in how your body responds.

THC Absorption

THC is a common cannabinoid responsible for that “high” feeling. How much THC you absorb depends on how you inhale the smoke. Even for smokers, THC absorption varies. Newer smokers who can hold the smoke in their lungs for less time will absorb much less THC than seasoned smokers.

Studies show that exhaled smoke can still have THC in it. That means as you inhale that secondhand smoke, there’s a possibility of a contact high.

The question then becomes: How much secondhand smoke do you need to inhale to experience a contact high? Exactly how high can you get from doing so?

Ventilation Matters

A large factor in how high you can get from secondhand marijuana smoke is ventilation. Studies show that in ventilated areas, you’re at a much lower risk of experiencing a contact high as you absorb less THC.

Given the low levels of THC you inhale, ventilated rooms also prevent you from failing a drug test over secondhand inhalation.

On the other hand, unventilated rooms produce a “hotboxing” effect, in which you inhale much more smoke and absorb much more THC.

You’re more likely to experience behavioral and cognitive differences from inhaling marijuana smoke in an unventilated room. A drug test is also more likely to show signs of THC.

Smoke Inhalation

From years of research, it’s widely understood that secondhand smoke from tobacco products isn’t good for you. While there hasn’t been much conclusive research on this, some suggest that inhaling marijuana smoke is just as damaging to your lungs as inhaling tobacco smoke.

If you have a history of respiratory problems, avoiding marijuana smoke is the best option.

What To Do If You Get a Contact High

What To Do If You Get a Contact High

If you experience a contact high, don’t panic. There isn’t much you can do now besides waiting for the effects to wear off. You might like our post on the “Stages of Being High.”

Avoid tasks that require your full cognitive attention, like driving. Otherwise, you should be able to carry on as normal until the effects wear off.

Visit Cannabis & Glass for All Your Cannabis Needs

Contact highs aren’t a myth, and neither is the quality of our cannabis. Here at Cannabis & Glass, we provide top-shelf cannabis at the best prices. We have dispensaries in Spokane, Spokane Valley, and Liberty Lake, WA.

Our new Loyalty Plus program gives you access to exclusive deals for your favorite products. You can visit us at any of our locations or browse our menu online.