What is the deal with big hits? Are they good for you?
I bet you heard people say hold it till you can’t hold that smoke any more. Well, that is an old wives tale we need to put to rest.
A 1997 study determined that our lungs can only take in so much—5-6 ml oxygen per minute to be exact. And Australian studies indicate that 95% of the THC in cannabis is absorbed within the first few seconds of inhaling. So, no matter how deep you breathe or how long you hold, there’s a limit. Holding in the smoke or vapor for longer can cause bigger coughs as more waxes, lipids or smoke particles will collect on your lungs.
This is explained by looking at bioavailability which is the process where substances are absorbed by your tissues and organs. Vaping and smoking deliver cannabinoids at an average rate of 30% where edibles on average have a 5% bioavailability. This is why edibles take so long to kick in and many people can not wait so they also smoke or vape. This can cause another issue as once the edibles start to kick in, they can put you over the top. To avoid this its best to maybe not mix the two unless you are an experienced cannabis user. For edibles, the cannabinoids must travel through the body and have to pass through stomach acid. The stomach acid could have an effect on the bioavailability of the cannabinoids as well maybe destroying them as our stomach acid is pretty powerful. When flower or dabs are vaporized or smoked the cannabinoids go through an oxidation process causing the cannabinoids to have a higher absorption rate.
Your Lungs and Cannabinoid Vapor
Cannabinoids from vaporized or smoked cannabis are absorbed rather quickly. 88% of what makes up smoke is non-cannabinoids made up of tars and burnt plant material. Have you noticed on a sunny day in your house that the smoke actually has a blue hue to it? This is because of the carbon materials. tars and other combusted compounds that are in the smoke. Using a vaporizer helps reduce the tars and carcinogens by up to 90% making the vapor much much cleaner than smoke and perceived to be a healthier way to consume.
Consuming cannabis vapor and holding in your hit slightly longer won’t absorb any extra tars or smoke as they are not there. Although the way each vaporizer consumer uses their vape, they can alter the dosage, you should still generally hold your hit for a few seconds to get the best results as there is still the bioavailability of the cannabinoids and any longer than 3 seconds becomes pointless.
Best Way To Inhale Cannabis Smoke Or Vapor
Consider inhaling a bit of clean air after a rip and take time between hits to let your body absorb the cannabinoids at their own speed. We always encourage experimentation, so get out a timer and run some tests to discover the best time and intensity for you. Filling your lungs with maybe 1-3 air inhales will clear your lungs and allow them to absorb the next hit more efficiently. Not only is this efficient as you will use fewer herbs or oils, but you will end up getting a bigger high. This is where the term “less is more” comes into play.
Maybe also try taking many deep micro hits. What I mean about this is let your air out, take a small vape hit filling about ⅓-½ your lung capacity then filling your lungs all the way with air and hold for 2-3 seconds. Exhale and wait 5-10 inhales. Repeat.