Marijuana and Tattoos is a topic that seems to go hand in hand. Especially as marijuana is often associated with the classic stoner image that is inked from head to toe and is completely reckless.
Well, welcome to the 21st century!
Over the last couple of years, the negative stigma on marijuana and tattoos has completely changed. Thanks to efforts of many millennials who support both and have the tools and knowledge on how to use social media and other forms of exposure, the perception of both are slowly changing. Since 1990 the percent supporting marijuana has increased from 16% to just under 60%.
The growing openness of pot and the tech savvy know-how of today’s generation is driving cannabis legalization efforts forward in the hope that people will understand the true healing properties of marijuana, rather than be mislead by false information.
Just because someone smokes pot, doesn’t mean that he/she is a pot head. People smoke marijuana for many reasons, some of which are solely medical, while others smoke pot simply to get high and relieve the day to day stress (take off the edge).
Similar to pot, recent research is suggesting that 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 serial killer or part of a gang. Today people ink their bodies for different reasons and ink has a different meaning for each individual. Some see ink as a reflection of one’s personality, expression of self, a symbol of a major life event or even merely a form of body accessory.
Whatever the reason may be, whether you smoke pot or decide to cover your bod with body art, the choice should be entirely in your hands.
The question shouldn’t be whether to do them, but whether you should do them both at the same time.
Can You Smoke Weed While Getting a Tattoo?
Before you sit down, have a puff and watch the ink start flowing, let’s understand the risks involved and how both effect the body.
Understanding the Tattoo Process
A tattoo is a permanent design that’s 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 a body sewing machine. Every time the artist punctures the skin he/she drops a tiny ink droplet. This action causes a small amount of bleeding and slight to 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
Unlike other illegal drugs such as cocaine and meth that will cause issues with bleeding as well as with people keeping still while that are having their tattoo done, marijuana and how it affects your blood is a controversial topic.
Studies suggest that following cannabis consumption, non-regular users will experience a mild to moderate increase in blood pressure and heart rate. This is thought to have an effect on the flow or your body’s blood. Repeated users, however, have been witnessed to develop a tolerance to this immediate reaction, and therefore it is debatable whether or not there is even a connection between the two.
Medical theories suggest that smoking pot can immediately increase your heart rate which can lead to increased blood flow through your vessels. This can result in increased bleeding among specific users who take longer to clot.
2) The Pain
This really depends on the strain you are using and your body’s reaction to weed. Some strains will dull your sensitivity/feelings, helping with the pain, while other strains will do the exact opposite. For some people, smoking weed before getting tattooed can actually cause more pain than normal as the weed effects the bodies 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.
Final Thoughts about Cannabis and Tattoos
It seems as if there still isn’t conclusive evidence on the field and while researchers are still confined by government restrictions, classing marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, not allowing them to conduct thorough testing, we are going to have to rely on personal stories. From an unscientific and personal point of view, it seems as if you can bear the pain from having a tattoo then it would be best not to smoke weed during the process. It may put the procedure at risk.
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