Wasting Medicine, You’re Inhaling Cannabis Wrong.
We’ve seen it in the movies, with our circle of friends, and have performed it ourselves. That long drawn out toke of the pipe. Inhale and hold it. Seemingly trying to capture every ounce of cannabinoid goodness that is hidden in that smoke.
Unfortunately, that approach is actually just a wasted breath. We aren’t gaining any more benefit from holding that inhale. We aren’t increasing the effect or bettering the high. If anything, we are just perfecting how long we can hold our breath. To understand, we have to look at how the lungs work.
How it Works.
Lets travel with the inhale to see the journey it goes on. When we inhale, cannabinoids like THC or CBD pass through the mouth toward the trachea before entering the lungs. Once in the lungs the cannabinoids then pass into the bloodstream, connecting through the heart, and then passed on to the brain.
Key to note here, is that there is no absorption in the mouth or trachea. So holding smoke in, isn’t pushing it to absorb anywhere where the impact will be greater. No benefit unless you were working up to creating amazing smoke rings upon exhaling.
Where does the Magic Happen?
Your lungs are key to this process. They are made up of densely folded, intricate tissue layers. These layers pull in and disperse gas throughout the body. The filter and absorb gas in fractions of a second. In fact, the absorption of THC is within milliseconds of inhaling. So for us it is almost instantaneous upon inhaling.
From the moment of inhalation, it can take the cannabinoids under a minute to reach the brain where they will permeate, or jump, the blood-brain barrier. This process is special because other molecules are not able to permeate the brain in such a way. These medicinal molecules seek out the CB1 receptors. THC molecule has a high binding affinity for CB1 receptors. The two fit perfectly together and are an essential aspect of cannabinoid signaling for the endocannabinoid system.
Because THC and other cannabinoids aren’t absorbed above the first bronchial split, any smoke or vapor that exceeds the capacity of the lungs will naturally fill the trachea and possibly the mouth and nasal passages. No magic happening in anything beyond the lung capacity.
Inhaling Cannabis, How To
If you are working on a new technique, try out this suggestion. Think of the air going in as needing assistance in being pushed down further into the lungs. To do that the lungs need to fill with air to open the airways and concurrently need to have the smoke pushed in. To do this think of an invisible plunger. Take a need breath prior to inhaling. This opens the lungs. Then inhale the medicinal smoke or vapor. Remember the instantaneous absorption. And then take another deep breath to work as the plunger. Pushing the vapors fully into the lungs.
No more clouds being held in your mouth. Be mindful of your inhale.