Chicks cannot hold their smoke, dat’s what is.

Brian Johnson, from The Breakfast Club, captures the predominant attitude of the cannabis community—in regards to girls chiefing*. 2 Although this quote is from 1985, this perception remains the dominant attitude of many. But what does it mean to “hold your smoke”? The hegemonic opinion of the herbal community has created a gendered landscape, with normative boundaries that affect both men and women.

Example 1

 When living amongst four gentlemen stoners, I witnessed the audience effect. “Social facilitation, or the audience effect, is the tendency for people to perform differently when in the presence of others than when alone.” 3 On the evenings when the boys had guests, it was not uncommon to see displays of hyper-masculinity. One man would challenge another, to see who could take the largest dab. The results were consistent: in the presence of hegemonic gender identities, the men felt compelled to perform. However, just because you can take a fat rip, that doesn’t mean you can handle your high. More often than not, the gentlemen participating either passed out or threw up. Although the men could technically “hold their smoke”, indicated by the completion of the dab, they were not prepared to handle their high.

Example 2

The emphasis on the normative and gendered boundaries in regards to smoking, has created a stigma against women and their abilities to “hold their smoke”. While sex-dependent differences in cannabinoid reactions do exist4 ; the research is minimal and dependent on several external factors. An example of this is, One-Hit Lizzy. She is a recreational marijuana user, and a dancer with 12% body fat. Because of this she is labeled as a light-weight. Her body composition and usage habits have created an environment where she will never be able to appropriately handle a dab. After her one hit, she coughs excessively and is hence forth stoned.

To conclude, gender does not affect one’s ability to “hold their smoke”. Example 1 highlights some advantages and consequences experienced by males when smoking. The second example provides an extreme alternative to the former. The results for both genders are the same: if you can’t handle your smoke, you’re a bitch.

With Love,