Substance Use

What is Hot Boxing?

man driving car while smoking joint of weed hot boxing

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Hotboxing: What Is It?

Hotboxing is when an individual or group of people smoke in an unventilated, enclosed area such as a bathroom, tent, car, or any other sealed-off area. The goal is to fill these small, confined spaces with marijuana smoke to intensify the drug’s effects. Although the most common drugs of choice for hotboxing are marijuana and hashish, you can hotbox any smokeable drug, including crack and meth.

When hotboxing, exposure is extreme. If practiced often, the risk of complications significantly increases.

If you or your loved one are struggling with marijuana use, speak to a healthcare professional about your concerns. No two situations are identical, so you should seek individualized, holistic care. This approach ensures your every need is met concerning your struggles with addiction and any underlying mental health issues. Contact Zinnia Health to discuss your options at (855) 430-9439.

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Why Is Hotboxing Dangerous?

Over prolonged periods, frequent hotboxing causes several risks, especially among those with pre-existing health conditions or a predisposition to addiction. Smoking in small, poorly ventilated spaces can also be overwhelming for someone not used to such an intense high. These scenarios can intoxicate non-smokers via secondhand smoke — known as a contact high.

Research shows that smoking cannabis indoors creates high concentrations of air pollution known to cause adverse health effects. Over time, you can significantly increase your risk of lung disease. There is also research to suggest that THC can have immune-suppressing effects. 

Over the past decade, the United States has seen immense changes concerning marijuana laws. In many states, cannabis is now legal, but it can still pose risks to users. At the federal level, cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse. There are several risks associated with cannabis, and when hotboxing is your go-to smoking method, these risks may be amplified. 

Since many people hotbox their cars, one of the primary concerns is driving while high. Smoking marijuana impacts your reaction time, decision-making, motor coordination, and distance perception — all necessary to successfully operate a vehicle. Even if the driver is not actively smoking, they can experience the effects of hotboxing a car. Impairment can increase one’s risk of an accident, leading to one harming themselves or others on the road. 

Another concern is the possible build-up of carbon dioxide. In most cases, spaces aren’t fully airtight. However, depending on how long you remain in a hotboxed enclosed space, an unventilated area can cause oxygen levels to drop. A lack of oxygen can make you feel lightheaded, drowsy, and disoriented. Some confuse this with being high — although they are likely experiencing a combined effect. 

And finally, rising potency. Based on confiscated samples, the potency of marijuana has significantly increased over the past few decades. In the early 1990s, the average THC content was less than 4%. By 2018, average THC levels had hit over 15%.

Marijuana THC concentrations can be much higher. Some strains have an average of 30% THC or higher. Researchers do not fully understand the full extent of high concentrations of THC on the body and brain — especially the developing brain. 

The immediate effects of hotboxing are not often life-threatening, but there is a dark side to this activity, especially among those using multiple drugs. Cannabis is often called a gateway drug, although many researchers disagree. Most people who use marijuana will not go on to use “harder” drugs, like cocaine or heroin.

That said, some individuals may face a higher risk of dependence and addiction concerning stimulants and opioids. These individuals often heavily abuse cannabis at an early age. It is relatively accessible, especially if adults openly use it in an adolescent’s home. Based on variables such as family history, mental illness, and socioeconomic status, cannabis use can evolve into other types of drug use. 

Among these high-risk individuals, frequently hotboxing to achieve an intense high could be a warning sign of what’s to come. You must understand the warning signs of addiction, whether you’re frequently hotboxing because you have developed a high tolerance or are beginning to experiment with other smokeable, more potent substances. If you’re using any substance to cope with diminishing mental health symptoms, that is another reason you’d want to partner with a dedicated healthcare team. 

Zinnia Health offers locations nationwide, providing people from all backgrounds the evidence-based support they need to regain control. Frequently hotboxing any substance is problematic, not just for your health but for your relationships, professional life, and overall ability to live a fulfilling life. Call us at (855) 430-9439 to learn the next steps. 

Are You Addicted to Marijuana?

Many are surprised to discover the severity of marijuana addiction in some individuals. As cannabis continues to be legalized, the lines are blurred concerning the potential dangers. Research shows that approximately one out of ten people who use marijuana will become addicted — and when they start using this substance before the age of 18, the rate rises to one in six. 

Once marijuana use disorder develops, one of the greatest concerns is dependence. People who use marijuana daily for prolonged periods may experience uncomfortable symptoms when they try to stop.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Changes in mood, often reporting irritability 
  • Sleep issues 
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Cravings
  • Restlessness

This dependence occurs when your brain adapts to significant doses of marijuana. The production of and sensitivity to your endocannabinoid-related brain chemicals reduces. Dependence escalates to addiction when you continue using even though marijuana contributes to negative consequences in your life. For example, you lose your job after several warnings associated with heavy marijuana use. If you are thinking about marijuana all the time and are ignoring the related consequences, addiction is a significant cause for concern. 

Currently, estimates of the number of people addicted to marijuana are controversial. Many studies use dependence and addiction interchangeably. However, someone can be dependent without being addicted. 

What Are the Next Steps?

If you use any substance regularly to avoid withdrawal symptoms and continue using despite the problems it’s creating in your life, it’s time to seek help. Addiction treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution. So, partner with a treatment facility that offers various levels of care and many therapy options

The side effects of hotboxing may seem short-lived. However, an escalation in the frequency of use can be an issue — especially if you’re beginning to experiment with other smokeable substances, like meth or crack. Using these substances can lead to significant withdrawal symptoms, causing a cycle of addiction that is hard to walk away from without help. 

Zinnia Health offers comprehensive treatment plans for substance abuse and mental health conditions. If you’re ready to take the next step, please contact us to discuss your needs and goals. We will help you every step of the way.

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(855) 430-9439
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