The idea of a secondhand high, or “contact high,” which was a concept popularized in both television and film plot points, is the thought that inhaling someone else’s marijuana smoke can induce a slight high. This could be concerning to people who aren’t marijuana users but who have friends who are. It could also be a concern for people attending music festivals where weed smoke is in the air.
Even people who aren’t opposed to being high from marijuana use might express concerns about secondhand highs in relation to upcoming drug tests.
However, let us put your minds at ease. Research has shown that a person is unlikely to experience any drastic effects from inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke in most circumstances.
A study conducted at Johns Hopkins University in 2015 concluded that it is possible for secondhand cannabis smoke to affect a non-smoker; however, the conditions have to be just right. The study consisted of two experiments. The first experiment placed 12 subjects in a small room with no ventilation while half of the subjects smoked 10 joints each over an hour.
The non-smokers of the group reported feeling tired and less alert, albeit pleasant. At the end of the experiment, the non-smokers’ urine and blood tests were positive for THC. The second experiment had the same conditions except for having a well-ventilated room. No non-smoking subjects tested positive for THC in this scenario.
According to the research conducted at Johns Hopkins University, it is not impossible to fail a drug test due to secondhand marijuana smoke. The conditions a person needs to be in for secondhand marijuana smoke to become a problem are pretty extreme. So those worried about contact highs in open-air music festivals should no longer have concerns.
However, for non-smokers whose cannabis-indulging friends want to hotbox, you may want to exit the hotbox area if you don’t intend to catch a little buzz. If you do decide to stay in these conditions, even if you aren’t smoking yourself, there is still a possibility that your blood and urine could test positive for THC, the psychoactive component found in cannabis.
Those familiar with the effects of secondhand cigarette smoke are right to have concerns about secondhand marijuana smoke's health effects. However, research on the subject suggests that marijuana smoke is less carcinogenic than secondhand smoke from tobacco cigarettes.
So, while you shouldn’t worry about your non-smoking friends getting a contact high unless you’re in a small, unventilated space, you should still respect the choices of people who choose not to partake. Make sure the area where you smoke is well-ventilated to avoid becoming a nuisance to non-smokers near you.
Cheeba’s online dispensary is one of the most popular choices for Canadians in the BC area to access marijuana. When you choose Cheeba’s, make your choice responsibly, and make sure you smoke in the right conditions to prevent giving anyone a secondhand high.