Hotboxing is an age-old act of communion between cannabis users - an opportunity to “break bud” in a confined space with your friends and fellow weed enthusiasts. While this tradition is one of the best ways to enjoy cannabis and company simultaneously, hotboxing should be carried out with caution.
In order to be considered a “hotbox” and not just a run of the mill smoking session, the location of the endeavor must be an airtight space where smoke cannot escape. Hotboxing has evolved over time as a necessary means for smokers to get their toke on, without the smell billowing into say, a university dormitory or parents’ bedroom. As one of the more luxurious smoking experiences, hotboxing requires a fair amount of time and a fair amount of cannabis to boot.
There’s nothing more awkward than attending a hotbox where there’s hardly any weed to go around. For the effects of this unique environment to work fully, there must be enough smoke in the air that the room itself starts to get visually hazy. Joints, blunts and bongs make for an especially foggy experience and can be easily shared between friends without much re-packing.
Depending on how you imagine your ideal hotbox, it may be a good idea to suggest that each person bring a strain to share - a potluck of sorts, so that there are multiple options to try out and have fun with. The type of strains you use will largely determine the kind of experience you’ll have. When smoking indicas, the vibe will likely be more relaxed, lazy and comfortable; sativas lend themselves to more energetic socializing and game playing.
Regardless of where you choose to hotbox, you can’t forget the importance of post-smoke accouterments. Always make sure you have water or some other hydrating liquid on hand to provide a much-needed reprieve from cotton mouth. Snacks are another necessary addition to a hotbox. Remember, the more options, the better. As long as no one plans on driving home, enjoying a craft beer while smoking is a refreshing match made in heaven. The terpene content in cannabis pairs especially well with hoppy IPAs, which contain the abundant terpene
Cannabis has long been associated with enhancing one's appreciation of arts and culture, which is why music is essential for boosting the hotbox vibe. Consider making a collaborative playlist that sets the tone for the kind of session each of your friends is looking to have. Plus, once everyone is nice and stoned, music helps to establish a pleasant silence that can be enjoyed while basking in each other’s company.
Just as important to a successful hotbox is location! Environment plays a significant role in determining the mood of the hotbox. Be sure to have a location pre-planned, or at least have your gear with you should an impromptu smoke session arise. There are a number of “classic” hotboxing locations, some of which are more suspect than others. Below, we break down which locations are worth hunkering down in and those that are better off avoided.
If you’ve ever lived somewhere that did not allow smoking, cars always seem to assert themselves as a valid second choice. In practice, hotboxing in cars is effective, but should only be carried out under certain circumstances. Should you and your hotbox mates drive to a separate location, smoke, then drive back after, this increases your chances of being pulled over and ticketed.
Especially since THC is known to produce sensations of anxiety and paranoia, cars are perhaps best avoided for those looking to smoke worry-free. Additionally, cars can be cramped and don’t always make for the most comfortable hotbox. With that said, sometimes the options are limited and you have to work with what you have!
There are few joys in this world like a tent hotbox. Aside from the obvious cautions of flammability, there is nothing like relaxing with loved ones, relishing in cannabis and the great outdoors. Be warned, however - after breaking out my tent a year later, it still reeked of skunky bud! Tents are perhaps not always the most effective hotbox as the air holes in the fabric allow for smoke diffusion. Still, with enough joints a two-person tent can quickly turn into a bonafide pot palace.
One of the best things about hotboxing is that it can make any room feel like home. Bathrooms make the perfect locale for a chill, semi-spacious hotbox. In addition to providing an enclosed space, bathrooms come with the accessibility of a sink and some other rather beneficial resources. Some smokers prefer to turn the shower on to increase the humidity in the room. There’s no word on whether that limits the aroma, though.
The reason that hotboxes feel unique than other smoking experiences is because they are! In fact, hotboxes create an excess of CO2 in the bloodstream and a lack of fresh oxygen, causing the effects of THC to be augmented. The more you fill the room with smoke, the more heady and buzzed you are likely to feel. This is why it’s good to take breaks throughout each session. If you need an incentive to leave, consider keeping some snacks outside to give you added motivation.
A recent study conducted at Johns Hopkins and published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence concluded that hotboxing does indeed lead to secondhand smoke. In this particular study, all six participants tested positive for THC both in blood and urine samples, having not smoked any cannabis of their own. Simply being in the room with others as they smoked was enough to cause some individuals to feel stoned in just one sitting.
While hotboxing is all about having fun, there are legitimate safety concerns to observe to keep the event from turning sour. Some clear instances where it’s inappropriate to hotbox are in the presence of children, in flight, while operating a vehicle, or as a personal example, in the downstairs bathroom of someone else’s rented beach house. In all seriousness, hotboxing for too long can cause some people to feel dizzy and uncomfortable. The best way to avoid these issues is to check in on your fellow hotboxers to ensure everyone is content and feeling okay.
At the end of the day, hotboxing is just as much about community as it is cannabis - so grab a pillow, some friends, some chocolate and get on with your hotbox!