Youâre having a fun time with your friends while some of the guys are passing a joint around. Now even though youâre not smoking, you wonder if you can get a contact high from that joint. Well, fortunately, we do know the answer to that.
But what exactly is a contact high? The term âcontact highâ refers to the idea of getting stoned or THC in your system by getting secondhand exposure to a cannabis joint or smoke.
THC content in the air
THC is a cannabinoid that is inhaled by the lungs and then absorbed into the bloodstream when a cannabis product is smoked or inhaled. Fortunately, the amount of THC absorbed by an individual depends upon how you are smoking it.
A study conducted by The British Journal of Anesthesia in 1999 reported that almost 50% of THC content enters through the smoke and is inhaled. However, the amount of THC absorbed in the bloodstream depends greatly upon the smoking style. Experienced smokers who prefer to deeply inhale the smoke and hold it in for a few seconds before exhaling are likely to absorb all of the THC content along with other cannabinoids.
Another study showed that patterns like smoking duration and the length of each puff may impact the THC absorption rate but not all of the exhaled smoke is free of THC or cannabinoids. In other words, a contact high is very much possible from exhaled smoke.
THC content in the bloodstream
Since modern-day cannabis has been found to be more potent than its past variants, any old research claiming that THC wonât be absorbed in the bloodstream by passively smoking, is outdated. Fortunately, modern-day research is here to back up this claim.
In 2015, a study was conducted with the title of â Non-smoker Exposure To Secondhand Cannabis Smoke IIâ. The study focused on 12 individuals out of which six were smokers and the remaining six were non-smokers. Both groups were studied under two different ecosystems.
First, all the 12 participants were moved to a small, unventilated chamber and each of the smokers was given ten joints with an 11.3% THC content. The participants were kept in the room for an hour during which the smokers enjoyed all the joints while the non-smokers were simply sitting with them.
The experiment was then again repeated but this time, there was an exception. The room was now ventilated. After carefully evaluating the results, researchers found out that both of the conditions had a massive impact on the concept of âcannabis contact highâ.
Non-smokers after going through the unventilated room showed detectable levels of THC in their blood and urine tests. The same group showed undetectable levels of THC in their blood and urine samples after spending an hour with smokers in a ventilated room.
This clearly indicates that under certain extreme conditions, passive smoking can lead to cannabis contact high.
Be mindful of your smoke
Scientifically, it has been established that you can in fact get stoned or high by being in the presence of cannabis smoke, even if you were not smoking. This means that you can be convicted of consuming cannabis because your blood and urine tests will show traceable amounts of THC and cannabinoids. This is why, it is better to be mindful of your surroundings so you can stay out of any sort of legal trouble.