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How To Hotbox Weed


If you’re a cannabis enthusiast, you may already be familiar with the practice of hotboxing. If you’re new to the concept, hotboxing is a novel way to increase the narcotic effect when smoking cannabis. Proponents swear by it as a way to get higher, and faster.

As athletic as that sounds, there’s not much to it other than smoking weed in a confined space. This article looks at how to hotbox weed, where to hotbox weed, and why you would hotbox weed.

What is Hotboxing?

Hotboxing is a different type of smoking experience. You’re essentially putting yourself and your preferred method of smoking weed in an enclosed space with limited ventilation. Due to relatively low ventilation levels, the smoke recirculates around the room, increasing the user’s buzz. This comes from additional secondhand cannabis smoke over and above that generated by the inhale.

Hotboxing is popular as a group activity, and it’s believed that the secondhand smoke alone is enough to get you buzzed. Wanna feel the highs of cannabis without hitting the joint? Hotboxing is the way to do it.

Is Hotboxing a Modern Stoner Concept?

Believe it or not, hotboxing has been around a lot longer than the practice of smoking weed in cars. Hotboxing predates the humble automobile by a good few thousand years – or so sayeth historical writings. Ancient texts by a Greek scribe, Herodotus, illustrate his observations of nomadic warriors known as Scythians, hotboxing in tents after funerals.

Not nearly as jolly as parking up in your mom’s station wagon with your buddies for a smoke session, but just as effective.

How Does Hotboxing Work?

If you’ve ever sat in a room of stoners and not partaken (not fun), you might have felt yourself getting a little bit heady. For years, it was reckoned that this was something often referred to as a ‘contact high’ whereby simply inhaling the fumes of marijuana smoke in the environment is enough to produce – at the very least – a mild narcotic effect. Until recently, this was little more than a commonly-held belief until science stepped in and put it to the test.

A curious team at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine kindly tested the theory. They (somehow) managed to persuade a group of volunteers to participate in a study involving a makeshift hotbox made of plexiglass and gave six cannabis smokers ten joints each. Six non-smokers joined them in the box as they smoked up a storm, and THC levels were measured after an hour.

The non-smokers who hung around for the hotboxing session showed not only detectable levels of cannabinoids in their blood and urine but also displayed a degree of cognitive impairment during a post-sesh task involving memory recall and psychomotor agility.

Researchers took the additional step of repeating the experiment under ventilated conditions. The result? Non-smokers showed no significant subjective impairment and scored better on the same post-sesh tests.

It appears that the practice of hotboxing stands up to testing as a means of increasing the narcotic effects when smoking cannabis.

How to Hotbox Weed – A Guide for Beginners

If you’ve never hotboxed before, and this has got you curious, you’ll want to follow the steps outlined below to have your hotboxing experience under safe conditions.

Choose a Space

It should go without saying that you’ll need a group of friends and enough weed. After that, your biggest task is finding a safe location and a suitable hotbox. To do this safely, ensure you have enough people to fit in the small room or confined, unventilated conditions of your choosing – not too many. You still need oxygen.

If you’re going to toke in a car, make sure it’s a stationary vehicle and that you don’t plan on using it anytime soon. Write off the day, if possible, for several reasons. Never drive a car under impairment, but make sure you have enough time to remove the inevitable weed reek that goes hand in hand with the process of hotboxing. You don’t want to be clean and sober, driving to work the next day and then getting pulled over by a law enforcement officer, only to leave him in no doubt about what the car was most recently used for. You’ll have some explaining to do. Know the laws in your area beforehand, and stay on the right side of them.

Some Suggestions for a successful hotbox:

A car

This makes sense. You have a small space, seats, room for snacks and drinks, music, and access to ventilation if you suddenly need it.

A bathroom

Often referred to as the smallest room in the house, a small bathroom makes an ideal hotbox. Of course, there are downsides to this – you’ll have to stand for the session or bring your own chairs.

A tent

Zip that tent shut, and you have a perfect environment for hotboxing in. How many people you can invite will depend on the tent size. Don’t invite six people to hotbox in a four-person tent. Seems obvious enough. With a tent, you have a very small ventilation supply, making it ideal for the purpose. Make sure you provide ashtrays and take great care. Tents aren’t exactly fireproof, so if you absolutely must go down the tent route, exercise great care and make sure you have an extinguisher to hand.

Cupboard or closet

If you’re lucky enough to have access to a walk-in cupboard, closet, or a small utility room, these make ideal impromptu hotboxes. Seal the space well and close any windows to adequately trap the smoke, and you have a hotbox extraordinaire!

Garden shed

These structures make superb hotboxes due to their small size, and any ventilation, such as doors and windows, can easily be closed off to let the smoke build up inside.
After your session, reintroduce any ventilation you cut off for the duration.

Open any doors or windows you’d closed to allow the area to air out. It will smell strongly of weed for hours after your session, so if possible, try and place a fan in the hotbox to help move some of the smoke out. You can get creative with other devices to reduce odours, but it will be a tall order trying to restore normality to a hotbox area within a day or two.

Blaze up, and enjoy

Whether you prefer bongs, blunts, joints, pipes, vapes, or a combination of all these doesn’t matter. Spark up those lighters, get smoking, and let the room get cloudy with marijuana smoke. It won’t be long before you feel the hotbox working on you – and don’t be ashamed if it’s your first time and you feel the need to tap out. Hotboxing can be intense, especially in a small space, and especially if a lot of high-grade weed is passed around.

For these reasons, it’s best not to have anything important on your schedule after your session!

Is Hotboxing Dangerous?

You’d be forgiven for thinking any activity involving fumes in a confined space with little to no ventilation is dangerous. In fact, it’s been proposed by some people that the added effects experienced while hotboxing may be nothing more than light-headedness caused by a lack of adequate ventilation. After all, the long-held notion that holding in a hit of weed smoke gets you more stoned, or stoned more quickly has been dismissed by studies as little more than a self-inflicted head rush caused by momentarily curbing oxygen flow.

There’s some risk involved if you spend a long time in a small space with smoke and no fresh airflow. But the Johns Hopkins study measured the blood oxygen levels of participants every 15 minutes during the hour-long test and found no issues. It’s only wise to apply common sense if trying hotboxing. Don’t put too many people in too small a space. Don’t spend hours on end in the small space. Remove yourself into fresh air if you feel light-headed in any way at any time, and avoid hotboxing altogether if you suffer from any pulmonary issues.

Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.

Duncan Mathers