What is hotboxing? A brief guide

What is hotboxing? A brief guide
Steven Voser

Hotboxing is a popular pass-time among the cannabis community and involves smoking a lot of weed in a confined space like a car.

From Robert Downey Junior’s epic trip with Zach Galifianakis in Due Date to the infamous car scene from Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke, hot boxing is a popular stoner sport that doubles as somewhat of a community event (because it generally involves a group of people) and, well, a great way to get high.

Hotboxing is the act of smoking a lot of weed in a really confined space. Hotboxing is usually done in a group, and requires a lot of weed to really generate a lot of thick smoke.

Hotboxing is an extremely popular pass-time in the cannabis community, and is best enjoyed in a comfortable spot with close friends, great weed, music, and plenty of munchies.


When you hotbox, you essentially create a low-oxygen environment by filling up a small space with a lot of smoke.

As the space fills with smoke (which contains carbon dioxide), the oxygen levels in the space drop. By staying in that space for prolonged periods of time, you essentially begin to “rob” your body of oxygen, which is what produces that extremely powerful “high.”

When you smoke a dried plant material (be it tobacco, weed, or some fancy herbal mix you picked up at the headshop), you’re exposing your body to vast variety of toxic substances. These substances are caused by the combustion that takes place when you light a joint, blunt, bong, cigarette, etc.

Combining this with low levels of oxygen obviously doesn't sound too healthy. There has been no scientific study into the adverse health effects of hotboxing compared to regular smoking but, if you’re a health-conscious cannabis user, we suggest you hotbox in moderation.


Here's a brief explanation of how to hotbox.

First of all, you’ll need some great weed. Regardless of whether you like hybrids, indicas or sativas, just make sure you grab a good amount of high quality. Remember, you’re going to be rolling more than just 1 or 2 joints, so make sure you got enough weed.

Next, find a nice, confined yet comfortable space. Cars are a great place to hotbox, mainly because they usually have comfortable seats and a stereo to play some great tunes. Just remember never to drive stoned.

If you live in an area where cannabis use is illegal, you might want to opt for a more private solution. Other popular places to hotbox include:

  • Toilets and bathrooms
  • Closets or wardrobes
  • Tents
  • A blanket fort. Just remember to be careful when you light up!
  • Garage
  • Greenhouse or shed

Finally, it’s time to blaze. You’ll want to go with a smoking method that generates a lot of smoke, so consider rolling multiple joints or blunts or passing around a couple of bongs. Pipes aren’t recommended because they don’t produce enough smoke.

Once you start blazing, kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride. Remember, don’t be scared to drop out for some fresh air if you feel the need to.

Epic hotbox session under a parachute while fooling a police officer:

Steven Voser
Steven Voser

Steven is a long-time veteran of cannabis journalism, having delved into every aspect of the subject. His particular interests lie in cannabis culture, the emerging science of cannabis, and how it is shaping the legal landscape across the globe.