Now that marijuana is so mainstream we’re getting rookie questions like “what is a contact high” and “can you get contact high from weed?” So we decided to explain some shit stoners all know to be true…
What is a contact high?
Everybody knows that a contact high is when someone gets high not from smoking weed but being around people smoking weed. What’s funny is Wikipedia’s definition: “A contact high is a psychological phenomenon that occurs in otherwise sober people and animals who come into contact with someone who is under the influence of drugs. It involves a supposed transfer of the physiological state of intoxication. A glossary of drug users’ language from the 1970s describes the term as “a psychogenic ‘trip’ without taking drugs by being close to somebody while he or she is on drugs. The term is often incorrectly used to describe the high obtained by inhaling the smoke of other marijuana smokers.”
Exactly what the fuck would the correct term be to describe the high obtained by inhaling the smoke of other marijuana smokers? And why does Wikipedia think Contact High isn’t it. Wikipedia must be stoned. Actually who gives a shit what they say about contact high anyway. Let’s just turn to science, man.
Can you get contact high from second hand smoke?
Can you get contact high from second hand smoke? Yes. Like any nerd who’s been in the backseat of a car while their cool friends got stoned and they didn’t can testify; you can get a contact high from being around people smoking weed. Need more proof? According to a June 2015 study called Non-smoker exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke II, “Under extreme, unventilated conditions, secondhand cannabis smoke exposure can produce detectable levels of THC in blood and urine, minor physiological and subjective drug effects, and minor impairment on a task requiring psychomotor ability and working memory.”
How’d these scientist dudes get to the conclusion that a contact high is real? Well they created a hot box. Using plexi glass. And stuck non smokers together with six individuals smoking cannabis that had 11.3% THC for an hour. Apparently ventilation was manipulated so that participants were exposed to pot smoke under unventilated conditions and with ventilation at a rate of 11 air exchanges/h. Then they measured the non smokers effects.
The results of the hot box test? Well according to the science jargon they published, “those non smokers being subjected to marijuana smoke under unventilated conditions produced minor increases in heart rate, mild to moderate self-reported sedative drug effects and impaired performance on the digit symbol substitution task (DSST).” That basically means they got stoned. But just a little bit.
Can you show up positive on a drug test from second hand smoke? Yes. According to the study being exposed to second hand smoke also led to detectable cannabinoid levels in blood and urine. One urine specimen tested positive at using a 50 ng/ml cut-off and several specimens were positive at 20 ng/ml.
However exposure under ventilated conditions resulted in much lower blood cannabinoid levels, and did not produce sedative drug effects, impairments in performance or positive urine screen results. Don’t worry too much though. According to another similar study that answered the question can you fail a drug test from second hand smoke, “positive tests are “likely to be rare and limited to the hours immediately post-exposure, and occurring only under environmental circumstances where exposure is obvious.” So don’t hot box a car with several stoners for several hours and then go to a job interview soon after and pee in a cup.
Have you ever given or received a contact high? Let us know in the comments below, dude…