Will you be celebrating back to school with cannabis?

Published Sep 3, 2019 10:00 a.m. ET
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The crisp cool breeze is in the air, and it is a stark reminder of how quickly the summer has passed us by. Chances are by this point, you have already stocked up on pencils, pens, book bags and clothes for the upcoming school year, and right now most college students are settling into their home away from home awaiting the beginning of the first semester.

This is a time of celebration and anticipation, as hopeful students right across the country anticipate what kind of experience this next term will bring, which often leads to some get-togethers and socializing to get to know new peers or neighbors. For a very long time, the only legal option that was available to young adults who were seeking a way to unwind was alcohol, but now thanks to federal marijuana legalization there is also the option of cannabis-derived products.

While some might disagree, the evidence shows that consuming pot in any form is much safer than alcohol, and its more adverse effects are incredibly short-lived which can help you to have a clear head come morning. However,  before you break out the bongs and pipes, there are a few things that you might want to know about cannabis products, their effects, the scents, and a few other helpful tips and tricks to make the transition from summertime fun to a full-time student a  little bit smoother.

1. It stinks!

Though many cannabis enthusiasts enjoy the way that a fresh puff of smoke smells, others might not be so happy with being exposed to it. You might think that most of the smell is related to the bongs and weed pipes that sit around unclean, but the scent molecules that travel the most, stick to softer materials like backpacks and clothing.

If you do decide to partake, your school clothes or bags should never be kept in the same room that you smoke in, as the smell will travel with you to school. Even if you don’t take a few hits before class, you will smell like it, which isn’t a great look and can be distracting to your peers.

Those who share a residence should heed this warning extra carefully, as marijuana smoke and used water smell from bongs and pipes can and does travel through hallways. If you are staying in a shared home or student residence, then it might be a good idea to smoke outdoors, but if you don’t feel that leaving is a possible or a preferred option, then you can always invest in, or make a smoke buddy.

How to make a smoke buddy

You will need:

  • 3 dryer sheets
  • 1 toilet paper roll (or paper towel)
  • 1 elastic
  • Essential oils (optional)


  1. Stack the dryer sheets on top of one another and place them flat over one end of the cardboard tube.

  2. Use an elastic to hold the scented sheet into place then drip anywhere from 1-5 drops of essential oils on the materials to add some extra layers of fresh scent to cover up the smell of marijuana.

  3. The smoke buddy is now complete, and it is compatible with any type of device including pipes, bongs, joints, vape pens and even dab rigs. Simply take a toke from your usual device, but instead of blowing it into the air, blow it into the open end of the smoke buddy. As the smoke travels through the sheets, they will act as a filter to trap the more pungent scent of cannabis, and as they heat up, they will also release a fresh burst of good smell.

2. How long does marijuana stay in your system?

This is a tricky question, and many of the most experienced cannabis consumers would probably answer wrong. The precise length of time that it can take the elements to leave your bloodstream entirely depends on several factors, including your fat content, frequency of use and tolerance.

That is true for both the felt effects and the traces that remain behind long after your high is gone. The amount that sticks around will depend most on how much you use, and how frequently you take it because unlike other recreational substances like alcohol, the cannabinoids in cannabis bind to the fat cells and slowly dissipate over time.


If you are required to take drug tests at any point during the school year, then you are probably wondering just how long you have to abstain from use, but the truth is, all we can provide you with, are averages, as every person’s body and lifestyle habits are different.

  • First time users - If you have only ever tried pot once then chances are within 30 days, all the residual cannabis elements will be out of your system.
  • Infrequent consumers - Those who partake in cannabis consumption on a semi-regular basis, can test positive for marijuana for up to 60 days after their last use.
  • Long term users - Someone that consumes cannabis regularly can still test positive for up to 90 days after last use.

3. How long do the effects of marijuana last?

Though cannabis elements like cannabinoids can stay in your body for quite some time, the felt sensations that come from ingesting them are much shorter-lived and slightly more predictable.

·         Smoking/vaping - Ingesting THC by smoking marijuana is the fastest way to feel the effects, as they can typically be almost instant. The reason this reaction happens so quickly is due to the THC being absorbed directly into the bloodstream through small vessels that line the lungs. The effects from this method of ingestion usually wear off within 1-3 hours.

·         Edibles/tinctures/other oral options – When THC is eaten it has much farther to travel before it makes it into the bloodstream, as this doesn’t happen until the infused ingredient makes it down to your stomach. This is the reason why it can take up to 2 hours to feel anything, but once it kicks in, the effects can last for up to 12 hours.

4. What to expect from using cannabis

The cannabis plant is special in the way that each strain can provide a wide variety of different potencies, flavors, smells and effects. What makes it even more confusing is that each person might react to the same types of weed slightly differently than the next. Hence the importance to go into each experience with an open mind, and only after researching the strain in question whenever possible.                        

However, not everyone has that option, so for them the best thing to do is be aware of some of the most common side effects of cannabis consumption, including both the good and the bad. Though you may not experience any of these listed sensations, all of them are entirely possible.

Good feelings

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Tingly
  • Hungry
  • Thirsty
  • Happy

Adverse effects

  • Sleepiness
  • Delayed reaction time
  • Altered perception of time
  • Nausea
  • Impairment

5. Discreet alternatives to smoking marijuana

Smoking marijuana is by far the most popular option, but as society shifts towards a more health-conscious perspective, it demands alternative ideas. Below, you will find a list of some of the best cannabis consumption choices that don’t include your average bongs or pipes.

  • Edibles
  • Tinctures
  • Oils
  • Vaporizer
  • Topicals

Now that you know some of the least talked about and most beneficial stoner etiquette, you should have a much easier time finding ways to celebrate the oncoming school year with cannabis safely, respectfully, and with confidence. Just remember, to always consume responsibly, and that it’s probably a good idea to keep consumption before class to a minimum to keep a clear head that is ready for learning new and exciting topics and ideas.

How to smoke weed in a dorm or shared residence


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