Photography by Jonathan Coward for Herb
Hotboxing is a rite of passage for any cannabis enthusiast. In some cases, like hotboxing your bathroom, it can be a practical way of hiding the smell of cannabis smoke from your roommates. In other cases, it is easy to turn your hotbox session into one of the least discreet smoking methods—and that’s the point. Hotboxing can be less of a smoke session—and more of a celebration of life as a cannabis enthusiast.
The basic concept of hotboxing is simple: light a joint, close the windows and bask in your own cloud of exhaled cannabis smoke. But depending on where you’re hotboxing, the technique may change slightly.
Let’s start with one of the most classic places to hotbox: your car.
First things first: do not bring your car keys into the car you plan to hotbox. If you’re about to hotbox your car, the last thing you should be doing after is cruising around your city, smoke pouring out from your windows, car smelling like a dead skunk, the world barely visible through your squinted, bloodshot eyes. If you do this, you could end up hurting yourself, hurting someone else, or in jail. You don’t want that and neither do we. So just don’t bring your keys into the car, okay?
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to call some friends, roll your fattest joint, pile into the car and hotbox that bad boy.
Like real estate, the key to hotboxing your car is all about location. Once you start the hotbox, it will be immediately obvious to anybody walking by that you’re smoking cannabis in your car so choose somewhere discreet. This might be in your own driveway. It could be in the back of an empty parking lot near your house. Wherever it is, make sure that it’s discreet and fairly close to your house (so you can easily pick up the car the next day) and you can legally park there overnight.
The second most important thing to remember is that hotboxing is a team sport. The more people you can convince to join the hotbox, the more fun you will have. So invite your friends, your family, your co-workers! Hotboxing is all about inclusion.
Once you’re all piled into the car, all you have to do is close the doors, roll all the windows up, and smoke that joint (the bigger the better). The car will slowly fill up with secondhand cannabis smoke until you can barely see out of the windows. This probably is not great for your health, but it will get you very high. Very high.
Hotboxing a closet is slightly more difficult since there will inevitably be a sizable crack beneath the door, and if it’s a double-doored closet, another crack running between the two doors. Your primary challenge, then, is to make the closet as air-tight as possible.
If you have a single-door closet, this can mostly be accomplished with a towel. Simply roll the towel lengthwise, and stuff it into the crack beneath the door until it’s completely covered.
If you have a double-door closet, you’ll still want to stuff a rolled towel into the crack beneath the doors. But you will also likely need to take the additional measure of taping the crack between the two doors. Simply run a piece of thick tape up the crack between the two doors, top to bottom, until there can be no airflow through that crack.
If you’re really serious about hotboxing, you can also tape the crack above the door. Just make sure that if you’re taping the doors of your closet from the inside that you could break out easily if necessary. The last thing you want to happen while you’re trying to smoke cannabis is for you to light your closet on fire while you’re trapped on the inside. That’s not a hotbox. That is a chamber of fiery death. Safety first.
Before you begin the hotbox, make sure to bring an ashtray—or something to safely dispose of your ash—into the closet.
Once all of the cracks around your closet doors are covered by towels and tape, it’s time to hotbox. Again, the steps are simple: light a joint and smoke it.
Unlike hotboxing your car, hotboxing your closet tends to be more of a solitary activity. Not that you can’t invite more people to smoke weed with you in your closet. If you can find a non-weird way of asking someone to smoke in your closet with you, you deserve the company.
This is easily the most ingenious hotboxing method. With this method, you can hotbox your entire bathroom without anyone else in your house finding out.
Go into your bathroom with two towels. Roll up one towel lengthwise and shove it in the crack beneath your door. Turn on your shower at full heat, and put it on full blast. Wait until the room fills up with steam. Once the room is nice and steamy, it’s time to smoke. The easiest way to do this will be sitting on the floor, since most of the steam will be hanging around the top of the room.
The smoke from your joint will convolve with the steam, masking the smell of your cannabis. Once you’re done smoking, open a window and allow the steam to pour out of the bathroom. If you’re trying to be discreet, take this opportunity to take an actual shower. This will eliminate any odors clinging to your fingers and will make it more believable that you were just showering and not blazing a massive joint in your family washroom.
If you want to be extra discreet, allow all the steam and smoke to exit the room. Then spray your bathroom with some sort of deodorizer (i.e. Febreze) before opening the door.