Is Contact High Real?

By Rolling Up


You have probably heard of contact high before, which is secondhand exposure to cannabis if you’re in the presence of it. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a contact high is a psychological phenomenon. For non-smokers, this can lead to worries of not passing a drug test. When cannabis is consumed through inhalation, THC gets absorbed into the bloodstream, but what happens when it circulates through the air and gets passed on?


The answer is both yes and no. In 2015, researchers at John Hopkins University conducted a study with a dozen people - six cannabis smokers and six non-smokers. In the first experiment, 12 subjects spent time with each other in a small unventilated room where each smoker went through 10 joints with 11.3% THC. The group of non-smokers reported feeling more tired, pleasant, and less alert. The non-smokers tested positive for THC in their system. In the second experiment, the room was well ventilated, but the non-smokers didn’t test positive for THC.


The study concluded that exposure to smoke under extreme conditions can give non-smokers a contact buzz. Outside of this, any secondhand smoke effects around cannabis smoke are just imaginary and in the person’s head. You will only feel the effects while hotboxing. 


Whenever you’re breathing in THC, it’s possible to get high. The effects of THC varies from person to person and how much of the chemical compound you are exposed to. Contact high may be less common than you think. In reality, you would have to be in a room with people smoking about 10 joints before you start showing signs of being high. 


Be courteous around those who do not smoke and be aware of your surroundings. Keep the odor away from non-smokers and be sure to ventilate areas to ensure that the people around you won’t feel the effects. Smoking outdoors is the best option.

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