IF THE TRUTH will set you free, then sorting out some popular marijuana myths must be a step in the right direction.
Myth #1: Smoking pot makes you grow man boobs. (Just so we are all on the same page, this refers to MEN smoking pot. No one's suggesting that women who smoke pot will grow man boobs.)
Verdict: BUSTED. Although perpetuated by a few, there's only one study from 2002 that claims to back this up, and it fails the test for many reasons. There are numerous studies that show there's no link at all. You're good.
Myth #2: Hold it in, then cough or you don't get off. "Whatever you do, DON'T BREATHE OUT! That's gonna get you so high, man! And you gotta cough, dude; that's how you know it's good weed."
Verdict: BUSTED. I'll get to the science on this in a sec, but mother of Jah, people, you need air, okay? And while self-asphyxiation is "hep" in some circles, don't die for your high, and don't hold your hits.
Research shows there is no benefit to holding a hit for more than three seconds, and there's a belief that it's not the duration of your hit, but the depth that counts. So breathe in deeply and exhale about three seconds later, and receive the same amount of THC and other cannabinoids as a red-faced, pass-out hit. You'll avoid exposing your lungs to the tar and carbon present in a pipe, bong, or joint hit. And coughing has nothing to do with anything high-related. Holding a hit for 45 seconds may make you feel higher, but that's called oxygen deprivation. You may as well close your eyes while spinning in circles to complete the experience, bro.
Myth #3: Eat a mango, get higher.
Verdict: TRUE! You should be eating more fruit. Sorry to sound like your mom, but next time you partake, try eating a nice mango instead of half a box of day-old doughnuts. It's great to eat a mango while high, as they are delicious and awesome for cottonmouth. But there's some evidence that eating a ripe or even overripe mango before smoking will increase the potency and duration of the cannabis. It's believed to be connected to a chemical compound that mangos and cannabis share called myrcene terpenes. It allows the THC to get through your "blood brain barrier" faster and more effectively. If you have a slower metabolism, eat 90 minutes before using herb. If faster, 60 minutes. The mango should be very ripe, and smoothies work great.
Don't have that sort of time? Take a big spoonful and place it in your cheek, like chewing tobacco, for 15 to 20 minutes. The lining of your mouth absorbs the myrcene. Just swallow it before smoking—no one wants mango on their joint.