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Getting high during a heat wave: How to safely use cannabis during summer

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Some precautions and tips for smoking or sipping in soaring temps.

Record heat events are starting to become the norm these days. Much of the US has already experienced multiple heat waves, and summer has only just begun. When the weather gets oppressively hot, there is not much you can do to improve the situation other than to stay hydrated, and if you consume cannabis, maybe get high and hope for a breeze.

Enjoying some quality THC on a particularly hot day can certainly improve your mood, even if it can't make it cooler. There may even be some physical benefits to getting high on a hot day. But there are some precautions and considerations to think about when you decide to get high and embrace the soaring temperatures. Here are five things to remember about marijuana during these brutal summer heat waves.

1. Don't let your edibles melt

Edibles are great for all sorts of occasions. Long plane rides, might nights and days in nature can often be improved by a gummy or piece or THC chocolate. It is important to remember, however, that these products can easily melt and perish in the heat, and extreme heat can render them almost useless.

"I recommend tinctures and flower as they won't quickly break down in high heat," cannabis educator Emma Chasen told MedMen. When you do purchase edibles, make sure you store them somewhere safe, and only take out what you need during the hot months.

2. Summer heat can weaken your weed

Just like with edibles, all your weed needs to be stored properly in these extreme temperatures. Remember to store your weed in a cool dark place, especially if you are an infrequent user or like to buy in bulk. As we have previously reported, sunlight can break down and weaken the product and heat can induce moisture and cause mold.

Airtight glass containers like mason jars are great storage containers for your weed, as they seal airtight, and don't promote moisture. Any dark place in your home that is climate controlled is a good spot to store your weed during a heat wave.

3. Make the most of marijuana's "cooling" ability

There have been several studies suggesting that marijuana can, in fact, lower your body temperature in some cases. This is certainly a handy side effect for those braving temperatures in the 90s and above. As we have previously reported, marijuana can cool your body temperature down, and this is thought to be due to the way THC interacts with a receptor called TRPA-1.

Not all weed is created equal, however, when it comes to this cooling phenomenon. According to Arizona's The Flower Shop, "switching out the tinctures and edibles for bong rips, dabs, or other methods that heat the product is sure to activate the body's cooling response quicker." So if you are hoping weed will cool your body down, be sure to do your research to understand more about how it works.

4. Stay hydrated, consider a cannabis cocktail

The last few years have seen a tremendous boom in cannabis beverages. These drinks are both refreshing and highly effective. They often use emulsifying technology to infuse weed into their drinks, which means you feel the effects much quicker than an edible. This will help you monitor how the THC is making you feel in hot weather.

You can also have some fun at home in the AC mixing up some of your own cannabis cocktails. This allows you to have some fun in the kitchen while you beat the heat and stay hydrated. Whatever way you decide, adding hydration to your cannabis routine is a good way to stay safe in extreme heat.

5. Be careful with your smoking devices

If you are someone who likes to vape, be sure you pay attention to where you store your vape during the summer months. Overheating the device can cause malfunction, leaks and weakening of the product. Storing indoors in a cool dark place, just like your other marijuana products, is the best bet.

Also remember that glass can retain heat. If you leave a pipe or bong in the hot direct summer sunlight it can reach high temperatures. The glass even risks cracking and shattering if it changes dramatically in temperature. So while it might seem like a great idea to put ice cold water in your bong this summer, make you do this in a cool place, not while you and your bong are baking in the sun.

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