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Cannabis Column | May 26, 2022

Is It Possible To Get High From Smelling Weed?


Are you wondering, “can you get high from smelling weed?” If you live in a city, you've probably encountered the smell of weed while walking outside. The smell of weed is hard to miss. But is it possible to get high from smelling weed? The answer depends on what you mean by “smelling weed.” For example, if you are in a car where your friends are “hotboxing” a joint with the windows rolled up, you may have wondered, “can you get high from smelling weed smoke?” Cannabis workers, especially those that trim weed during the harvest season, have wondered if they can get high from constantly breathing in the pungent aroma. They might wonder, “can you get high from smelling raw weed?” If you have been abstaining from cannabis to pass a drug test, but you walk through a cloud of marijuana smoke, you might find yourself wondering, “can smelling weed make you fail a drug test?” Let’s find out if you can get high from the smell of weed.

Can You Get High from Smelling Raw Weed?

If you stick your nose into a jar of cannabis flower, can you get high from smelling raw weed? To put it simply, you cannot get high from smelling raw weed. There are multiple reasons why you cannot get high from smelling the marijuana plant. Firstly, what gets you high is THC. The cannabis plant produces THCA, which must undergo a chemical transformation called decarboxylation before it becomes THC. Heat rapidly converts THCA to THC, which is what happens when you prepare cannabis for edibles or smoke weed. So even if you ate raw cannabis flower, you wouldn’t get high. Secondly, the THCA is bound up in the plant, so you aren’t ingesting THCA by smelling raw weed. So, what are you smelling when you inhale the pungent scent of cannabis? You are breathing in terpenes, which are volatile enough that many evaporate at room temperature. To get high from weed, you must ingest THC or CBN or another similarly psychoactive cannabinoid. You aren’t ingesting any cannabinoids when you smell the weed plant. However, terpenes are aromatic compounds that influence various systems in the body, so smelling raw weed flower could potentially be psychoactive. In fact, the most bioavailable way to ingest terpenes is through inhalation. One of the primary benefits of forest bathing (Shinrin yoku), which is the practice of visiting a forest and breathing its air, is that you breathe in terpenes from the forest. So, you cannot get high from smelling weed plants, but you might get some benefit from breathing in all the terpenes.

Can You Get High from Smelling Weed?

Contrary to popular belief and what your friend says, you can get high from smelling weed smoke if you’re in a poorly ventilated area, like a room without a fan or a car with the windows rolled up. Exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke can get you high—an experience known as a contact high. However, you’re unlikely to get high from smelling weed in a nearby room or if you’ve entered a room that people were toking in earlier.

Can Smelling Weed Make You Fail a Drug Test?

Can you fail a drug test by smelling weed? According to recent studies, the results depend how long you were exposed to marijuana smoke and the ventilation of the area. If you’re with your friends outside and they’re sparking one up, it’s very unlikely you’ll have trouble passing a drug test. There are a few different methods of getting drug tested for weed, like urine tests, hair samples, or saliva tests. A study of nonsmokers and smokers showed that high concentrations of cannabis smoke in an unventilated room can trigger positive test results in people who didn’t use cannabis. In another study, participants were left in a cannabis lounge (coffee shop) with people smoking marijuana for three hours. The participants were tested after this period. The results showed a small amount of THC in their urine and blood, but not enough to trigger a positive drug test result. Based on the findings of these two studies, smelling weed can make you fail a drug test in certain situations. The key factors include the length of exposure and the ventilation of the space. Now you know the answers to “can you get high from smelling weed?”, “can you get high from smelling raw weed?”, and “can smelling weed make you fail a drug test?”

Can You Get High from Smelling Weed Smoke?

Although secondhand weed smoke can cause THC to get into your system, this is only in extreme conditions, as mentioned above. With this, you’ll experience the effects of THC, including getting high.

Get Started on Your Cannabis Wellness Journey

Have you started your cannabis wellness journey? Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps you discover purposeful cannabis consumption so you can achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how well they helped you achieve your goals, and track and optimize 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. These 15 factors include your dose, the environment in which you consume cannabis, who you are with when you ingest, how hydrated you are, the quality of your diet, how much sleep you got last night, and more. Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the Google Play Store to get started on your cannabis wellness journey.

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