If you or a loved one are struggling, we can help! Call us today at (855) 722-6926
If you or a loved one are struggling, we can help! Call us today at (855) 722-6926

Why Hotboxing is Dangerous

Why Hotboxing is Dangerous

Young adults are discovering new and dangerous ways to increase the effects of drugs.

Hotboxing the car, for instance, is common amongst marijuana smokers, but it doesn’t come without its dangers. As a rehab facility in Pompano, we know that many people, specifically smokers, are unaware of the dangers of hotboxing and marijuana use. Practices like hotboxing intensify the effects of drug use and can increase the user’s risk of developing an addiction.

What is Hotboxing?

  Hotboxing refers to a person or group of people smoking in an unventilated area. Usually, the drug of choice for hotboxing is marijuana. Hotboxing is known to be done in cars, but it can also be done in a basement, attics, bathrooms, tents, or any other area that can be sealed off. Because it’s widely believed that weed is a natural and safe drug, many people don’t know why hotboxing is dangerous. When people hotbox a car or any other closed-off area, the lack of ventilation intensifies the effects of marijuana. This can lead to adverse reactions and other uncomfortable side effects. Further health conditions may also occur as a result of long-term marijuana use or hotboxing.

Is Hotboxing Dangerous?

  Hotboxing increases and prolongs the effects of marijuana. The lack of oxygen in the room causes the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the user’s blood to spike. People who are in the room not smoking will experience the same symptoms as a result of second-hand smoke. Hotboxing is dangerous for several reasons.

Hotboxing Can Lead to Marijuana Addiction

  Marijuana is the most commonly used substance in the U.S. after alcohol.1 Although many people believe it’s a natural drug because it is derived from a plant, it contains a mind-altering chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is what produces dangerous effects in its users and keeps them hooked. People who hotbox put themselves at risk of intensely dangerous side effects and future health conditions. Even after one session, users can experience short-term effects of weed, including cognitive impairment, disorientation, dizziness, and delusions.

The continuous use of marijuana, especially when used for hotboxing, can lead to addiction. Individuals who develop a dependency on weed should seek immediate treatment. We offer programs like our partial hospitalization program to individuals who struggle with drug abuse to get them the help they need to break free from their addiction.

Second-Hand Smoke Can Affect Non-Smokers

  Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the drug’s chemicals and the smoker’s CO2. Secondhand marijuana smoke can contain toxins and chemicals including:2

  • Ammonia arsenic
  • Hydrogen cyanide
  • Aromatic amines
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Benzene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Nickel
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Quinoline

The lack of ventilation required for hotboxing increases non-smoker’s chances of getting high and experiencing uncomfortable effects of marijuana. Non-smokers may also be exposed to the chemicals and CO2 in secondhand smoke when they’re hotboxing with other smokers. These chemicals can cause negative health conditions in the future, including cancer.


  One of the main reasons why hotboxing is dangerous is because the lack of ventilation and oxygen causes CO2 levels to rise in the smoker’s blood. High levels of carbon dioxide in the blood are referred to as hypercapnia, or hypercarbia. It’s usually caused by hypoventilation, or shallow breathing, that prevents the person from breathing enough oxygen.3 Long-term marijuana use, and especially while hotboxing, can lead to hypercapnia, which may result in other health conditions like lung disease. A lack of oxygen can also affect brain function.

At Banyan Treatment Centers Pompano, we understand the repercussions of practices like hotboxing. Any form of substance abuse can have a negative impact on a person’s life. Fortunately, treatment for addiction is available. With programs like our intensive outpatient program, people who struggle with substance abuse can recover and acquire the tools they need for long-term sobriety.

Do not let addiction keep you from living a healthy and sober life. Call us now at 888-280-4763 to begin your treatment.


  1. SAMHSA- 2018 NSDUH Detailed Tables
  2. NCBI- A comparison of mainstream and sidestream marijuana and tobacco cigarette smoke produced under two machine smoking conditions
  3. NCBI- Hypercarbia
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.