weed before tattoo

Should You Get Inked While High on Marijuana?

Looking at it from a medical perspective

There is an indelible link between weed and ink! The stereotypical ‘stoner’ image is of a reckless individual, and society also didn’t think much of individuals with several tattoos at one time.

Over the last couple of years, however, the negative stigma surrounding marijuana and tattoos has wholly changed. Thanks to the efforts of many millennials who support both and have the tools and knowledge to use social media and other forms of exposure, the perception of both are slowly changing. Most polls now show a 65% support for legalized marijuana in the United States.

The growing openness of pot and the tech-savvy know-how of today’s generation is driving cannabis legalization efforts forward. The hope is that people will understand the actual healing properties of marijuana rather than be misled by false information. Not every person who uses the herb is a hopeless pothead. Indeed, the addiction rate of cannabis is below 10% by most accounts, a lower percentage than alcohol or tobacco.

People use marijuana for many reasons, some of which are solely medical. Others smoke pot to get high and relieve their day to day stress.

Similar to cannabis, tattoos have become more acceptable and today’s generation understands that it is a form of expression and art. Having yourself inked doesn’t mean that you’re a criminal or part of a gang. Today, people ink their bodies for various reasons and it has a different meaning for each individual. Some see ink as a reflection of one’s personality, expression of self, a symbol of a significant life event, or even merely a form of body accessory.

The question shouldn’t be whether to get tattoos or use marijuana, but whether you should do them both at the same time.

Should You Smoke Weed While Getting a Tattoo?

Understanding the Tattoo Process

A tattoo is a permanent design placed on your skin with pigments inserted through pricks into the skin’s top layer. In most cases, the artist uses a handheld device that acts as a body sewing machine. Every time the artist punctures the surface, he/she drops a tiny ink droplet. This action causes a small amount of bleeding and slight, potentially significant, pain.

What Does Marijuana Do to Your Body?

Marijuana has numerous effects on the body, but in this article, we are going to focus on two aspects that could seem related to the process of getting a tattoo.

1) Your Blood

Following cannabis consumption, non-regular users will experience a mild to moderate increase in blood pressure and heart rate. This could affect the flow of your body’s blood. Repeated users, however, may develop a tolerance to this immediate reaction, and therefore it is debatable whether or not there is even a connection between the two.

Other theories suggest that smoking pot can immediately increase your heart rate, which leads to increased blood flow through your vessels. This process might result in increased bleeding among specific users who take longer to clot.

2) The Pain

This depends on the strain you are using and your body’s reaction to weed. Some strains will dull your sensitivity/feelings and help with the pain. Others will do the opposite. For some people, smoking marijuana before getting tattooed can cause more pain than usual as the weed affects the body’s sensitivity to pain.

Studies on the topic are also currently mixed. While THC relieves pain for specific conditions, individuals have reported that they’ve experienced painful shocks, heat, and other unpleasant side effects. It has also increased their sensitivity to pain.

Could You Have a Pleasant Experience?

Undoubtedly! A large number of people claim that they feel relaxed when having a tattoo while high. In this case, they control their muscle functions more, which helps them stay still. In this instance, you can tell when the effect is about to wear off because you find it harder NOT to move.

Those with ample experience of ink and herb recommend using a small edible. Depending on the tattoo, you could end up in the artist’s chair for some time. The high from smoked or vaped marijuana doesn’t last nearly as long as when you consume an edible. As it takes anywhere from 30-120 minutes to take effect, don’t wait until you are in the tattoo parlor before using it!

In theory, you may think it is a good idea to get stupidly high before taking the ink. In reality, you need a controlled high that allows you to ease up and relax the body. If you enjoy the tattoo experience, getting excessively stoned only ruins it.

If you elect to try the herb before a tattoo, your best bet is a pure indica, if possible, or at least an indica-dominant hybrid. When you get it right, you’ll feel a splendid sensation of relaxation. A strong sativa could result in you shaking out of your seat! The last thing you need is a cerebral high that helps you think more. In this case, you could end up focusing on the pain a little too much.

The complete comparison…

Is a Post-Tattoo Smoke Better?

Probably! As you probably know, there are ample potentially beneficial compounds in the marijuana plant. These include cannabinoids with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, not to mention healing antioxidants. If you go down this route, take a smoke directly after to ease the pain and begin the healing process. Then, take an edible to draw things out a little further.

Another option is to opt for a high-CBD strain. Consume an edible an hour beforehand, and consider vaping some CBD oil while in the chair. There is no concern over intoxicating effects, and it may kick in during the tattooing process. A large dose of CBD could help ease pain and inflammation.

Once you conclude the process, consider applying CBD balm to expedite the healing process. However, you should check with your tattoo artist to ensure that your chosen brand does not contain any additional ingredients which will irritate your new ink.

Final Thoughts about Cannabis and Tattoos

It seems as if there still isn’t conclusive evidence, and while government restrictions continue to confine researchers in this country, we must rely on anecdotes. If you insist on using weed while having a tattoo, go for an indica heavy strain or choose CBD. Bear in mind that some parlors won’t work with stoned individuals. They have seen enough people freak out when the ink hits the skin!

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Are ink and weed a good mix? The answer to this one isn't so simple! Find out the truth on whether or not you should get a tattoo while high.

Here’s the Truth About Getting Tattooed While You’re High

Circa Suicide shares her experience inking under the influence of cannabis

While getting tattooed under the influence of alcohol is a huge no-no, many tattoo collectors enjoy getting high before and during their appointments. One of those people is Circa Suicide, an established tattoo model, ink collector of 10+ years, and cannabis influencer who grows her own plants in Oregon. Circa knows the cannabis plant from seed to flower, and has personally used its medicinal properties to aid in relieving pain across the board. Beginning her official journey with cannabis as a way to relieve menstrual cramps, Circa now uses weed to aid in the tattoo process. Find out what it’s really like getting tattooed high from one of our favorite stoners around, then let us know your experience inking under the influence of THC in the comment section.

Learn the Facts From the Professional

“Man oh man, I started getting tattooed when I was 14 years old and I definitely didn’t smoke weed at the time. Back story of that night if you’re interested—My first 3 tattoos all happened in one night, in my friends kitchen of course. The guy who did it used to work at a tattoo shop but was now like 7, “retired” and missing two fingers. I should have stopped there but I didn’t. This wasn’t a first for my friends, they’ve had people come over to tattoo all the time. It didn’t help that I wanted to get tattooed so badly for what felt like my whole life, so I was way to Gung ho about it. I got an awful New Jersey outline tattooed on my ribs. that came out looking like King Tut when it was done. Oh, it was so bad, but in the same night I still got my foot tattooed and a tramp stamp, of course. Why make one expensive, bad, ugly decision in a night when I can make three? My foot tattoo was pretty cool, just simple vines and flowers, but it really bled out and the colors were weird. It looked like a child drew it on and SURPRISE it said “believe” in the vines, and you guessed it, it was spelled wrong. “Beleive” is what it read. You can go right ahead and add that to the list of tattoo coverups too.
I’ve since had two of them covered, but the tramp stamp is still there.”

“I’ve been smoking weed since I was about 16, but didn’t smoke much at all in high school. I really didn’t like it or how it made me feel. When I was 18 or 19, I started dating a girl who would smoke to help ease her awful period pains and sickness— she really turned me on to it. I suffer from bad periods too and I was looking for any relief possible. It was the only thing that helped ease my terrible cramps and take away my nausea, whereas most pain killers make me feel more sick.
After that I become obsessed. I felt like I had found the cure to everything after suffering for so long (the docs always had me on and off a ton of meds to help with my gastric and feminine issues, but I never liked any of them much or found much help).
Now I strictly medicate with cannabis and other herbs. “

” data-full-src=”” data-image-id=”ci0234ff10a0062718″ data-image-slug=”circa 1″ data-public-id=”MTU5MDMyMzMxODU3OTYyNzc2″ data-srcset=” 320w, 600w” data-sizes=”(min-width: 675px) 600px, 600px” data-thumbnail=”” data-title=”1. When did you start getting tattooed and when did you start smoking weed?”>

“Absolutely! I get tattooed high about 80% of the time. I usually always medicate with an edible before hand, a bowl pack, and I’ll smoke a joint or blunt halfway through. One session we kept stopping to take dabs and I was falling asleep by the end of the tattoo.”

” data-full-src=”” data-image-id=”ci0234ff10700d2718″ data-image-slug=”circa 2″ data-public-id=”MTU5MDMyMzMxODU1NjY5MDE2″ data-srcset=” 320w, 598w” data-sizes=”(min-width: 675px) 598px, 598px” data-thumbnail=”” data-title=”2. Have you ever gotten tattooed high?”>

“Its really nice and relaxing to get tattooed high. I find that I’m more calm and relaxed instead of all tense and excited. It helps me control my muscle functions more and helps me stay more still. I can tell when its wearing off because I start getting more antsy. So without kush its really difficult for me to sit during long pieces.”

” data-full-src=”” data-image-id=”ci0234ff10e0092718″ data-image-slug=”circa 3″ data-public-id=”MTU5MDMyMzMyMTI0ODI1MzY4″ data-srcset=” 320w, 597w” data-sizes=”(min-width: 675px) 597px, 597px” data-thumbnail=”” data-title=”3. Can you give us a play by play of what the experience is like?”>

“Being high usually makes it less painful for me and really helps get me to sit still and relax. I get excited and tense up a lot when I am getting tattooed, so without being able to smoke I feel like it would hurt waaaay more.”

” data-full-src=”” data-image-id=”ci0234ff10f0022718″ data-image-slug=”circa 4″ data-public-id=”MTU5MDMyMzMyMTI1MDg3NTEy” data-srcset=” 320w, 597w” data-sizes=”(min-width: 675px) 597px, 597px” data-thumbnail=”” data-title=”4. Does being high make the tattoo more or less painful?”>

“If I were to just smoke, definitely not long enough. That’s where the small edible really comes in handy. It depends on what I’m getting at the time and how big it is, but I really like to split up the sitting with a smoke break, so it ends up being perfect. I don’t like being stupid high through the tattoo though, just enough to relax and ease up. I really enjoy the tattoo experience as a whole and don’t like getting so high that I can’t fully enjoy that.”

” data-full-src=”” data-image-id=”ci0234ff10d0072718″ data-image-slug=”circa 5″ data-public-id=”MTU5MDMyMzMyMTI1Mjg0MTIw” data-srcset=” 320w, 601w” data-sizes=”(min-width: 675px) 601px, 601px” data-thumbnail=”” data-title=”5. How long does the high last in relation to the tattoo?”>

“I haven’t had any weird experiences getting tattooed high that i can really remember.
One time I was too high to get tattooed, in my opinion.

We had already started the tattoo and took a break to smoke and when we came back I was just out of this world stoned. Which I usually wouldn’t mind, but I felt like it made me hyper focus on the needles stabbing me. Like I said, I love the feeling of getting tattooed and I don’t like inanely hindering that or doing something that makes it more intense either. So that sucked. I just breathed through it and closed my eyes till it was over.”

” data-full-src=”” data-image-id=”ci0234ff1060072718″ data-image-slug=”circa 6″ data-public-id=”MTU5MDMyMzMxODU2ODQ4NjY0″ data-srcset=” 320w, 596w” data-sizes=”(min-width: 675px) 596px, 596px” data-thumbnail=”” data-title=”6. Have you had any weird experiences getting tattooed high?”>

“I recommend Indica for sure! I think the heavier body effects/high is way better than the more sativa head high. If I were to smoke a sativa before I went to get tattooed, I’d probably shake out of my seat. Sativas are way more of a head high, get you thinking more, and doesn’t help relax my body as well as a nice indica. It can actually make me more anxious sometimes, so I definitely prefer an indica leaning hybrid or just indica when getting tattooed.”

” data-full-src=”” data-image-id=”ci0234ff10e0012718″ data-image-slug=”circa 7″ data-public-id=”MTU5MDMyMzMyMTI1MDIxOTc2″ data-srcset=” 320w, 476w” data-sizes=”(min-width: 675px) 476px, 476px” data-thumbnail=”” data-title=”7. Would you recommend indicas, sativas, or a hybrids for people getting tattooed?”>

“It is the healing process. There is so many beneficial components in a cannabis plant, including anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and its stocked with healing antioxidants. Smoking it isn’t the best way to get the most of those benefits, but of course, it goes amazing hand-in-hand with a medicated cookie. When you cook with cannabis it really helps you get the most out of your plant, and that goes the same for eating it. I feel like continually medicating through the healing process helps me greatly. I also use medicated salves during healing to speed up the process and help with the annoying healing pains. “

” data-full-src=”” data-image-id=”ci0234ff11200a2718″ data-image-slug=”circa 8″ data-public-id=”MTU5MDMyMzMyMTI3NzA4OTUy” data-srcset=” 320w, 476w” data-sizes=”(min-width: 675px) 476px, 476px” data-thumbnail=”” data-title=”8. How does smoking weed help you during the healing process?”>

“Hahaha, make sure that’s what you want. I think everyone who enjoys the effects of cannabis would enjoy getting tattooed high. Make sure you’re comfortable and confident with the person who’s tattooing you and don’t get so high that you’re not aware of your surroundings. Be smart, but also enjoy and relax yourself! Getting tattooed is a beautiful, special, meditative experience and to enhance that with cannabis is just fucking awesome.”

Circa Suicide shares her experience inking under the influence of cannabis