What Is Hotboxing
3 min

What Is Hotboxing And How To Do It

3 min

There are many methods of getting stoned, but one of the most beloved is the "hotbox." This popular stoner pastime involves an excess of smoke and carbon dioxide to achieve the full effects. Word to the wise, proceed with caution.


Hotboxing is the act of smoking pot in a small, enclosed space with no ventilation. For many stoners, it’s the preferred way to get high. Since hotboxing consists of smoking in a confined area with an excess of carbon dioxide, it’s actually not the safest way to get stoned. When done sporadically, however, it can be a great way to have fun and get loopy with friends. But it’s best not to make a habit of it.


The Science Behind Hotboxing

This has long been a popular topic of debate amongst stoners, so to answer the question: yes, hotboxing actually does get you higher. Most people think it’s the excess smoke that makes people more stoned, when in reality, it’s the lack of oxygen. Essentially, you are robbing your brain of oxygen, which is why that hotbox high comes with an extra kick. In order for a hotbox to be successful, the area has to be very small and completely enclosed.

recent study conducted by researchers at the John Hopkins School of Medicine discovered that hotboxing could even intoxicate non-smokers. So it would appear that secondhand stoned actually is a thing, but only under “extreme conditions.” For the study, six smokers and six non-smokers spent an hour side by side in a 10 x 13-foot (3 x 4m) cubicle.

Each smoker was provided with 10 top-shelf joints to smoke. Researchers turned the ventilation fans on in half of the rooms and left the other half unventilated, and their studies began.

All the subjects were tested for THC post-exposure via blood, urine, and saliva; and their cognitive performance was measured. Both the smoking and non-smoking group tested positive, although the non-smokers did have less THC in their systems. However, non-smokers all had mild feelings of intoxication and impairment.

"These were relatively slight effects," stated senior author Ryan Vandrey, PhD, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Johns Hopkins, "but even so, some participants did not pass the equivalent of a workplace drug test."


Preparing For Your Hotboxing Session

The best things you can do to prepare for an epic hotboxing session are getting a few friends together, and as many joints or blunts as you can. A rolled smoking method is always best because it creates more smoke. However, only one joint or blunt typically isn’t enough to fully hotbox an area. It’s best to have multiple blunts or joints in the rotation. The best case scenario is if everyone in the hotbox has their own bud.

Do not underestimate the importance of being fully loaded on snacks and drinks. When cottonmouth or the munchies strike, you will want to be well-prepared. The more options to choose from, the better. This diminishes the chance of one of your fellow hotboxers leaving the room and letting precious THC-laden air escape the hotbox.

Besides water and perhaps some soda pop, there is nothing like a bottle of cold craft beer to take care of rehydration while hotboxing. An expertly crafted IPA pairs exceptionally well with terpenes and flavanoid in weed, so why not kick the hotbox experience up a notch with that hoppy goodness? Just make sure that no one is planning and driving home.

Another factor to consider is music. Boosting the hotbox vibe with the right tunes is a must. With plenty of artists and songs to choose from, perhaps you and your friends could create a unique "hotbox playlist', ensuring that everybody's favourite jams pump through the speakers at least once during the hotbox session.


Hotbox Safety Precautions

Considering that the power of hotboxing stems from the lack of oxygen circulating the space, it’s safe to assume that this isn’t something that should be done on a regular basis. Starving your brain of oxygen isn’t the healthiest activity, especially when adding weed to the mix.

Another thing to be careful of (if you happen to prefer hotboxing a car) is cops! The number one place that people get caught smoking is, you guessed it… in their cars. All it takes is one nosy police officer to walk up to the window and take a big whiff of what’s going on inside the car and there goes your driver’s license. If you’re in the United States, that’s automatically a DUI, which is costly and embarrassing. So once again, be careful!


The Best Places To Hotbox

Most people prefer to hotbox in a car, bathroom, or small bedroom, for the simple reason that they are small spaces and readily available. But many stoners get creative with their hotboxing adventures. Outdoorsy stoners like to hotbox their tents before a nice hike or prior to cooking out. Others have utilised garages, small greenhouses, porta-potties, saunas, closets, and even living room blanket forts for their hotboxing needs.

And then, although not a "hotbox" persé, but a fun way to experience the hotbox sensation nonetheless is via a gas mask bong. You could consider the gas mask bong to be a micro-hotbox for one!

So there you have it folks; have fun with your hotboxing, but remember to be careful and practice common sense. Getting caught by the police, or having someone pass out during a session is the quickest way to kill anyone’s high.

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
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