How to Get Properly Stoned for a Commercial Flight (And What to Bring for the Trip)
Consider this your guide to joining the real mile-high club
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Welcome to InsideHook’s first annual Weed Week, where we’ll be providing coverage of a variety of cannabis-related goods, services and other topics of high interest for sophisticated stoners everywhere.
I’d describe my relationship with flying as turbulent. That is to say, I love traveling to faraway places but I hate the flight that gets me there. It’s not that I’m afraid of flying — the general concept of hurtling through the air at 500 miles per hour is actually pretty remarkable when you think about it. I just hate everything that comes with flying: the lines, the cramped spaces, the weird smells and the passengers who crowd the aisle when the plane lands even though the flight attendant said to remain seated.
But I digress.
Over time, I’ve devised a number of strategies to make flying a more tolerable affair, but we’re only here to talk about one such strategy: flying high. As I step foot outside the airport before my flight, I pop an edible and head through security, grabbing a snack or two before the effects hit an hour later. And when they do, my once dull expedition from A to B is not only tolerable, but in many ways enjoyable. The music and podcasts I love are entertaining, inflight snacks taste (half) decent and passengers I would otherwise consider annoying are instead amusing. Oh, and I sleep like a rock on those gnarly red-eyes.
Look at it this way: There’s really nothing else to do on a flight whether it’s up the coast or across the country. No matter what, you’re stuck on a plane waiting to get somewhere, looking for any excuse to help the time go by faster. You might as well get stoned and enjoy it.
If you’re convinced (or even a little curious), read on. Here you’ll find tips and tricks to successfully get stoned before your next flight, along with a few products I rely on to help me enjoy my time in the clouds. Sit back, buckle up and don’t forget to ask for a second bag of chips.
Understanding Tolerance and Experience
Before you decide to get stoned on your next flight, consider the concepts of tolerance and experience. Put simply, tolerance refers to how your body gets used to cannabis, which will influence its effects. Experience, meanwhile, refers to your relationship with cannabis. If you’re used to getting high as a result of inhaling or ingesting cannabis, there’s a good chance you’ll have a higher tolerance and more experience. And if you’re new to the cannabis scene, the opposite is likely true.
We bring up these topics because they will influence your time in flight. If you’ve never experimented with cannabis, the first time to do so is not in a confined space, surrounded by people, 30,000 feet in the air. Stories of people getting too stoned on planes are common and cautionary. But if you have a healthy, comfortable relationship with cannabis, you might consider getting stoned on a plane. Before you embark on a high adventure, be honest with yourself, understand the environment and dose accordingly.
How You Get High Matters
Once upon a time, hippies were smoking ditch weed and eating moldy edibles, but times have changed. These days there exists a laundry list of products to get you stoned, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll discuss two primary options: inhaling and edibles. While similar in that they both get you high, their effects tend to be a little different. Neither is better but it’s important to distinguish which one is right for you.
Inhaling (that includes vaping or any form of smoking) cannabis produces a head high, which is powerful and often associated with more energy or creative thinking. On a plane, a head high gives you the opportunity to watch a movie (we recommend these), get some work done, get creative or, eventually, sleep like a rock. The high comes on within a matter of seconds and wears off within a few hours, making it a great option if you’re on a shorter flight.
Ingesting cannabis by way of edibles, tinctures or oils is commonly associated with a body high. The effects include muscle relaxation, reduction in tension and that couch-potato vibe everyone talks about. When you’re on a plane, there’s a good chance you’ll feel pretty mellow and easygoing, which is perfect for longer flights across the country. The effects of ingestion take a little more time to kick in but they last longer.
Even if you know your way around cannabis, consider the experience you’d like to have. If you want to sleep like a rock, take an edible and dose off. If you want to chat with your best friend and giggle over the latest romcom, smoke a little weed before the flight. And if you simply don’t know, consult your local dispensary to discuss your options, as different products and strains will produce different effects.
Keeping yourself entertained on a plane has always proved difficult, especially as the screens get smaller and the wifi somehow gets worse. But when you’re stoned on a plane, entertainment is your best friend.
Consider your favorite high activities and how they can be adapted to the confines of an aircraft. Do you like doodling when you’re high? Bring a tablet or notebook. Enjoy music? Download a playlist before the flight. Binging movies? Add a streaming service to your phone that lets you watch flicks from anywhere. Bookworm? Bring a novel. At the end of the day, you’re more likely to be entertained on a flight given the fact that you’re high, but you should still pack a few odds and ends to keep yourself busy.
Additionally, while we’d like to recommend watching a movie on that tiny headrest screen, there’s no guarantee it will work or even exist on your flight (some airlines simply don’t offer TVs). Don’t bank on the inflight entertainment, but bring a pair of wired headphones in the event that you’re greeted by a screen.
Snacks, Snacks, Snacks…
The munchies, a real phenomenon caused by the interaction between THC and our brain’s receptors, are a blessing and a curse in the midst of travel. Sure, food tastes better and you could probably eat an entire pizza, but airline food leaves much to be desired when you’re not flying with a first-class ticket.
Fortunately, the airport and its many kiosks are overflowing with a number of the best snacks to eat while high, from candy to cookies to sandwiches to dishes from local haunts. If you decide not to pack your favorite foods, prepare ahead and stop by a kiosk to find some grub. Our advice? Something salty, something sweet and something that’s a go-to guilty pleasure.
Expect the Unexpected
Flying high is like driving a car: anything can go wrong when you least expect it. Even if you’re comfortable with all manner of cannabis, getting stoned on a plane is a foreign experience for many which is why you should be able to handle your shit if things go south. Some common but unforeseen circumstances include turbulence, crying babies, rude passengers, blocked eardrums and a sudden lack of space when you’re in the middle seat.
Cannabis-induced panic attacks aren’t fun but they happen. If you happen to experience one in flight, it’s important to remind yourself that you’re not in danger. Close your eyes, practice a simple breathing exercise, listen to calming music, eat a snack and remember that the feeling will pass. Bad reactions occur but they’re never deadly and rarely warrant an emergency trip to the hospital. If all else fails, speak with a flight attendant who is trained to help uncomfortable passengers.
A Few of Our Favorite Things
As we’ve already noted, you should bring whatever makes you more comfortable on a high flight. That said, consider these recommendations below that we find useful whenever we fly stoned.
Unlike the THC gummy you’ll eat out of sight when you get to the airport, Wyld’s CBD gummies are entirely legal and delicious, and they pair perfectly with travel. In fact, taking CBD in combination with THC is more effective than taking either alone, which means you’ll have a greater opportunity to relax and unwind for hours. It doesn’t hurt that Wyld’s CBD gummies hail from Oregon, where the label got its start making, you guessed it, cannabis edibles.
When all else fails, your one saving grace on a long flight is your phone. Keep it charged whether you’re flying across the country or the Atlantic with Anker’s PowerCore Slim. It’s good for multiple charges thanks to a 10,000 mAh battery and exclusive PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology that combines to detect and deliver a tailored charge up to 12 watts. Anker also ships this powerbank with a traveling pouch, which gives you an excuse to pack it for every adventure.
Regardless of your destination, a lofty fleece pullover is your best friend in the midst of flight and Patagonia’s colorful Synchilla is our favorite take on the classic design. It’s warm and cozy, coming in handy on a cold plane, and it doubles as a makeshift pillow if you need to stuff it under your neck when you get drowsy. The super soft fleece will whisk you off to sleep before you can say, “I’m high as a kite.”
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