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Written by Kieran Proctor

Can I Smoke Weed Before, During Or After A Tattoo?



Smoking Weed Before, During or After A Tattoo?

In the realm of body art, tattoos are a profoundly personal and lasting form of self-expression. And in the world of relaxation and recreational activity, smoking weed is a popular choice for many. Merging the two might seem like an ideal way to alleviate the discomfort of getting a tattoo, while also enhancing the overall experience.

But the question arises: can you smoke weed before a tattoo? We delve into the nitty-gritty of this topic, examining the pros, cons and alternatives to help you make an informed decision. And we also discuss the negative effects of smoking weed during and after a tattoo.

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Understanding Tattoos and Weed

Tattoos and weed are both intricate elements of modern culture, often linked with personal expression and relaxation. Yet, combining them can bring forth a set of concerns that need addressing.

Tattoos: A Permanent Mark

A tattoo is a permanent addition to your skin, a form of body modification achieved by injecting ink into the skin’s dermis layer. This process can be uncomfortable, given that it involves needles penetrating the skin multiple times. The level of discomfort varies based on the individual’s pain tolerance, the location of the tattoo and the overall complexity of the design.

Weed: A Calming Agent

Cannabis, often called weed, is widely acclaimed for its relaxing properties. The psychoactive compound in cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which can induce feelings of relaxation and euphoria.

However, THC also has other effects, which can be entirely negative if experienced during a tattoo. These negative effects can include heightened sensitivity to stimuli, altered pain perception and potential anxiety.

Tip: Just imagine if you experienced those negative symptoms during your tattoo. Particularly the heightened sensitivity to pain. And that’s why I avoid weed, until my own tattoos are healed.

Considering Weed Before A Tattoo

When contemplating whether to smoke weed before a tattoo, it’s crucial to examine the potential advantages, disadvantages and side effects.

Potential Benefits Of Smoking Weed before A Tattoo

Weed can potentially offer some benefits when used before getting a tattoo. The primary advantage is its potential to reduce anxiety. Which, it’s claimed, allows you to relax during your tattoo session.

Some users claim it helps dull the sensation of pain, making the experience more bearable. Furthermore, being relaxed allows your muscles to loosen up, making the tattoo artist’s job easier. Yet, all of these same effects can be achieved with a reputable and proven tattoo numbing cream.

Note: I personally won’t use cannabinoids before, during or a for a few weeks after a tattoo. I avoid them until my tattoo is healed.

Potential Drawbacks Of Smoking weed Before A Tattoo

Despite the possible benefits, there are several potential drawbacks to smoking weed before getting a tattoo. Notably, cannabis has blood-thinning properties, which could lead to increased bleeding during the tattoo session. This could make it challenging for the artist to implant the ink correctly, potentially leading to ink drop and affecting the quality of the tattoo during the healing process.

Moreover, cannabis can sometimes heighten sensitivity to pain and amplify feelings of anxiety, making the tattoo experience even less pleasant. It’s also important to consider that cannabis can potentially interfere with the healing process of your new tattoo.

Weed During A Tattoo Session

Another frequent question is, can you smoke weed during a tattoo? The answer largely depends on the individual’s tolerance and the tattoo studio’s policies.

However, smoking during a tattoo session could potentially intensify the pain or lead to unnecessary distractions. It’s always advisable to discuss this with your tattoo artist beforehand. As most reputable tattooists won’t allow you to smoke or vape anything in their studios.

Weed After Getting A Tattoo

On the topic of smoking weed after a tattoo, it’s usually better to abstain for a few days. While it may be tempting to light up a joint to celebrate your fresh ink, smoking weed post-tattoo can slow down the healing process and increase susceptibility to infections.

Smoking weed has similar negative effects to smoking cigarettes or vaping after a tattoo. It will reduce the available oxygen in your blood and slow down the healing process.

Alternatives to Smoking Weed

If you’re contemplating smoking weed before, during or after a tattoo, consider possible alternatives. For instance, delta 8 THC, which is known for its relaxing effects, could be a suitable option. Delta 8 THC is considered a less potent alternative to traditional weed, enabling you to relax without some of the negative side effects associated with marijuana smoke.

Another alternative to consider is HHC or Hexahydrocannabinol. It’s a synthetic cannabinoid known for pain relief and relaxation. Like delta 8 THC, HHC has fewer psychoactive effects than delta 9 THC.

Yet, personally, I would advise against all cannabinoids before, during and for a couple of weeks after a tattoo. If pain is your primary consideration when thinking about smoking weed before or during a tattoo session, opt instead for a proven tattoo numbing cream.

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Expert Opinions on Weed and Tattoos

Expert opinions on the topic of mixing weed and tattoos vary. Most artists discourage the practice, while some support it. However, the consensus is to be incredibly mindful about how your body reacts to weed. And to consider your own past experiences, before making a decision.


The decision to smoke weed before a tattoo is an individual one. It’s crucial to consider how your body reacts to cannabis, the tattoo studio’s policies and the potential risks involved. Ultimately, the most vital factors are your comfort, safety and the quality of your tattoo.

Disclaimer: This article is purely informative and should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before using cannabis products or getting a tattoo.

Article Sources – Recommended Further Reading

Vagabond takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

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