Ask a Stoner: Will Secondhand Pot Smoke Get Me High?

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Dear Stoner: Will secondhand pot smoke get me high?

Dear Rudy: Thanks to advice from Casanova (the eighteenth-century Italian adventurer/author/player), oysters are renowned as an aphrodisiac — a natural Viagra, if you will. But while oysters are high in zinc, which increases testosterone, and dopamine, which stimulates the brain, Casanova said he ate five dozen oysters per day. Are you going to eat that many oysters on a date to go full-chubs faster? If not, you probably won’t be game to inhale enough smoke to get a contact high, either.

Scientific studies have shown that being exposed to large amounts of marijuana smoke in an unventilated room — aka hotboxing — can increase your heart rate while decreasing cognitive skills, but the conditions have to be extreme. Like fifteen-one-gram-joints-blown-in-your-face-with-absolutely-no-ventilation extreme, according to a 2015 Columbia University study. Those severe conditions resulted in enough THC entering the subjects’ systems that their urine tested positive 22 hours later. Subjects in ventilated rooms, however, did not feel impairment or fail the urine test, and they had significantly less THC in their blood.
Dear Stoner: What do those little orange and red hairs on buds do? Do different colors mean different effects?

Dear Zan: The little hairs on marijuana buds, known as pistils, play an important role in the eye test when you’re trying to determine the quality of pot, but they don’t play a significant role in predicting effects.

Pistils form on the calyxes of female marijuana plants to collect pollen as the buds grow and are a good indicator during the flowering stage as they go from white to yellow, orange, red and tan throughout the maturation process — so the color of hairs you smoke could be telling you how old your pot was when it was harvested. Pistils that darken too quickly during flowering or are too large and rampant in relation to the calyxes can be a sign of stress on the plant or poor genetics, both of which you should avoid. (This isn’t an erotic film from 1974: Nobody wants to put their mouth on anything hairy these days.)

Pistils on some sativas and hybrids can be a lighter orange, while heavier indicas, like Bubba or Hindu Kush, can have browner hairs, but I wouldn’t recommend using that to identify strains; trust your nose instead. Even though they don’t have an effect on potency or taste, pistils are essential to a plant’s growing process and should be monitored accordingly.

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com or call the potline at 303-293-2222.

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