Do the Effects of the Hit Increase If I Hold It for Longer?

Do effects of hit increase if I hold it for long

How long should I hold my dab hit? It's a question that many new and novice smokers ask. It's confusing because there are conflicting thoughts out there. 

It is normal to wonder if holding your hits longer will make them more potent. Given that many factors influence how high you get, you need to understand how a hit is broken down and the effects to experience.

How Is Cannabis Smoke Absorbed by Your Body?

How is cannabis smoke absorbed in the body

It all starts with your lungs. When you take a hit, cannabis smoke goes through your lung walls into your bloodstream. From there, cannabinoids travel to the brain and attach themselves to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Then, they signal neurotransmitters to initiate the effects you intend to feel.

It's important to note that e-nail vapor is absorbed by the lungs 3-5 times faster than when using edibles. So even if you're not holding it for very long, the effects will likely be pretty quick!

Is It Possible to “Overdose” on Cannabis?

Cannabis has been used recreationally by humans since ancient times. It is one of the safest recreational drugs / medicines in the world. There is no known lethal dose of cannabis or any documented cases of people dying from a marijuana overdose. 

For comparison, it would take 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of THC in a dab wax blunt to kill. And a dab wax blunt is pretty frikin strong! It cannot be physically addictive (no withdrawal symptoms), and there is no scientifically published evidence that it is psychologically addictive either. Although there is substantial case studies that it can be be psychologically addictive just like anything can be, like shopping. 

What Affects the Strength of Cannabis and Its Effects?

The following factors affect the strength of your cannabis and how it affects you:

Bioavailability of THC

Bioavailability is a measure of how much THC is absorbed by your body. When smoking, THC bioavailability is low because some of the "THC gets lost in sidestream smoke", and some doesn't make it past the liver (where it's broken down). 

Vaping typically results in complete absorption. But, whether smoking or vaping, you can still feel effects from inhaling less than 1% of the THC entering your lungs.

Cannabinoid Content

Some cannabis strains have higher THC levels than others. Strains that are high in CBD tend to be less potent because CBD lessens the intoxicating effects of THC. Thus, if there are fewer cannabinoids relative to CBD in your cannabis plant, they will be more substantial and potent than those present in plants with a high amount of CBD relative to other cannabinoids.

Terpene profile

The terpenes found in cannabis plants vary depending on strain type. They play a role in determining how strong the effects will be (stronger smells tend to imply stronger effects).


A larger dose is likely to result in stronger effects. But, this varies based on tolerance level and other factors. Some people report feeling certain symptoms at lower doses after taking cannabis for more extended periods. In contrast, others do not seem to build up a tolerance (it's unclear why there is such variation). 

While these variations may complicate predictions about individual reactions to different dosages, the issue becomes more apparent when considering groups rather than individuals. Higher doses may present more intense effects, but "effects can vary widely."

Do the Effects of the Hit Increase If I Hold It for Longer?

Cannabis hit smoke in lungs

Short answer: not really. The active ingredients in marijuana get into the bloodstream within the first few seconds of inhaling. It's theoretically possible that too much inhalation could cause you to feel unwell. Like any other smoke, cannabis smoke can irritate the lungs and throat if held for long.

As far as the science goes, it doesn't matter how long you hold in your smoke after taking a hit from your e nail or wax dab pen.

When you inhale marijuana vapour, your body absorbs THC through tiny air sacs called alveoli. These air sacs are so tiny and absorbent that when they contact THC molecules, they almost instantaneously pull them through their cellular walls and into your bloodstream. In fact, most people feel the effects of THC within minutes of smoking weed. 

Why Holding Smoke For Longer May Not Work

It's a common misconception that holding your breath longer after taking a rip from an electronic nail will increase the THC absorbed. 

This doesn't work because you simply cannot hold your breath long enough to make any difference. There's no need to take an extra-long hit to get high. If you could, you'd be inhaling toxic amounts of carbon dioxide, which could result in dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

If you're not getting as high as you'd like on each hit, try holding the smoke in your mouth for a few seconds before inhaling it. This will slightly increase the potency of your hits; some stoners call this technique "shotgunning."

You may as well take short hits with intervals in between. That way, cannabinoids will have enough time to be absorbed and manifest. Having breaks may prevent you from taking more than your body needs.


Cannabis is one of the safest recreational drugs in the world. Cannabis is between 104 and 1,000 times less toxic than alcohol, and there have been no recorded deaths from cannabis in human history.

It will help if you note that holding the smoke in longer does not increase the effects of the hit. However, taking more minor hits and waiting for a few minutes between each one can make the experience last longer and be more enjoyable.