The art of getting high from tobacco goes back at least a few thousand years. Native South and North American tribes would have a Shaman - a healer, a follower of nature and medicine. The shaman would take cigars - perhaps up to 10 a day, and smoke them to get high. By doing so, they were closer to their gods and natural spirits, and could see into the past and the future.
People all over the world enjoy smoking cigarettes today, but very few of those people get high from smoking. The 'High' which cigarettes provide is quite mild compared to many drugs, to the point where the high is milder than a strong cup of coffee, or even a Paracetamol tablet. Lets take a look at this strange phenomenon, and see if we can understand how it works.
The Nicotine Buzz
One aspect of the 'high' are the feelings caused by the Nicotine inside each smoking product. This is a natural chemical that is present in many plants, fruits and vegetables, which we eat ever day, but in very small amounts. Taking in doses of Nicotine from your very first cigarette is perhaps the time most people notice this Buzz in effect. The result is often light headedness, feeling woozy, feeling floaty, and a rush of chemicals to the head. If the person continues to smoke their first cigarette, they can experience feelings of nausea and dizzyness, and the feeling can become a little unpleasant for a few seconds, until the brain has flushed those chemicals away.
The Nicotine Buzz is not affected so much by the quantity of Nicotine in your chosen smoking material. For example, some mild cigs are only 5mg in strength, while some cigars and vapes are 30mg or more. The smoker will quickly learn how to handle this, and the feelings from the Nicotine Buzz will soon disappear after a couple of weeks of smoking. The old Buzz is then replaced by feelings of calm and relaxation, and the feeling of the 'Buzz' practically disappears. Dopamine and the mood lifter Serotonin are released as a result of smoking, helping the person feel at peace.
The Sugar Rush
Around 25% of a cigarette is sugar - it has to be added, as Tobacco is naturally quite harsh to taste, and no really very pleasant. By adding sugar, and other sweet things into the toppings (cocoa, liquorish, orange peel, lime oil, etc), the tobacco becomes tasty and very pleasant to smoke. As the cigarette burns, this combination of sugars are released into the body. To a first time smoker, this feeling of a Sugar Rush may be lost among the feels of the Nicotine Buzz, but they are there.
The way in which you light your tobacco can also have a affect in how you get high. Lighters are often fuelled by Butane, which when inhaled can add to the initial high from the first inhale. Different lighters contain different fuels, and some are more petroleum based than others. This contrasts against using matches, or a car cigar lighter, which has no such effects.
The Smoking Sensation
Perhaps the most common way to experience the combined effect or tobacco is to give up for a while, and then go back to it. Many people work all day, and find they are unable to smoke until they return home of an evening. Having not smoked for perhaps 12-14 hours, the person will likely feel something as they light up their cigarette. This can also be experienced after a long movie, a show, an air flight, or a stay in hospital, when smoking isnt possible.
To bring back the 'high' from smoking, some people have learned to smoke more deeply, and to hold in the smoke for longer. Young smokers can often be seen taking snap inhales and blowing it straight out, while a 50 years smoker will often take deeper drags and hold there smoke in, and not blow anything out at all, simply letting the smoke slowly escape from the nose and mouth. This means the smoke stays in the lungs longer, and gives the person a longer feeling of satisfaction.
Historically Getting High From Tobacco
The Tobacco plant has been consumed for around 4,000 year, and evidence suggest the planet was first consumed around 2,000 BC. Native tribes in South America, and North America, used the plant in ceremonial processes, and the wise people of the group - The Sha-man - would consume tobacco rolled into big fat and long cigars, in order to experience visions and connect to their ancestors. Between 10 and 15 cigars were consumed, quickly and one after the other, in order to reach that state of awareness. To the average person today, this would make them feel very sick, but back in those days, they used frog poison and other deadly ingredients to increase the effect. This would sent them off to planet coo-coo land, and they would have a fever for a number of hours/days afterwards.
In the middle part of history and leading towards modern times, extra ingredients were often added to the tobacco to increase the high, several plants, and drugs like cocaine and opium, were added to the mix. Today you will still find a few of these substances in the mixture, including formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and arsenic, although they are in such low quantities that it makes them almost non-existent, and the smoker would really have to work hard to get high from those compounds today.
The Easy Way
If you smoke lights or mild cigs (7mg), there is a good chance you will get high if you smoke a regular smoke (12mg), as you will get twice as much of a hit. I keep a pack of regular strength corks in a special place, so if I want to feel the luxury of a full favour smoke, I can smoke one of those and get high. Doing this too often would mean your body would eventually get used to the stronger cigs.
If you live in Europe or the UK, why not try American cigs, as they are stronger then their Euro counterparts and give a noticeable high. Brands like VS and Misty are more tasty and also longer than regular cigs, and the smooth high feels warm and lovely. If you are already an American smoker, you could try Far Eastern/Indonesian cigs, as they are much stronger.
If all else fails, why not try a cigar? Cigars are much stronger than cigs, and if you smoke them occasionally, a cigar can give an even stronger high.
The Shamanic Method Explained
In order to get high from tobacco, it is important a remember the story of the Shamen, and how they did it. The tobacco must be inhaled deepy and regularly, and the smoke held in to the lungs. This is often counter-intuitive to a smoker, who is used to taking puffs every few minutes. Packing the smoke into the lungs is a matter of inhaling until the lungs seem full, then taking a short breath, and then inhaling more. If this is done 4 or 5 times in a row, the brain with think the smoker has just taken 4 or 5 drags, and will give then a high 4 or 5 times as strong. This is still quite mild compared to other drugs, but by doing this it becomes noticeable.
As you quickly inhale, you will also be getting a Sugar Rush from the sugar inside to tobacco, and you would also increase the volume of chemicals ingested. When a smoker takes a normal puff, the lungs quickly get to work clearing the chemicals, and absorbing the nicotine. But if the smoke is consumed quickly, the lungs are overwhelmed, and are forced to take in more smoke than if you had just taken a single long drag.
Smoking quickly also causes an added effect similar to freebasing, by which I mean the extra intake of air/oxygen into your body causes the brain to have an oxygen high, which boost the feelings from the smoke by 50%. You can get high just from ordinary air by breathing very rapidly, and this will also make you feel 'spaced' and 'woozy' in a similar way.
By combining what we have learned, one method might looks like this:
- Light your cigarette and hold the lighter to the tip while taking the first inhale, to get the rush from the gas.
- Take rapid puffs, breathing in quickly in between inhales, to pack the smoke into the lungs.
- Hold the smoke in there for as long as you can, and slowly release.
- Repeat Step 2 until the cigarette is finished.
Here is a demonstration of this in action:
Words of Wisdom
If you feel sick, you are probably going to be ill, so stop smoking and head over to the rest room. You probably went too fast, too quickly.
If you do this too often, eventually your body will get used to this and stop giving you the high. So its best to do this perhaps no more than once a day in order to not get too used to it.
If you abuse tobacco, it will kick your butt, so treat this ancient shamanic ritual with the respect that it deserves.