Originally Posted by braindouche
Ok, so, nicotine and I are on really good terms. I'm a pack and a half a day cigarette smoker, sometimes supplemented with cigars or snus, depending on my mood and how much work I need to get done. I'm a rampaging addict.
I'm also a research nerd who spent more than her fair share working as a librarian in a drug-rehab-focussed prison. It was the only prison in the state that didn't house juveniles that was smoke-free, and there were lots of resources sitting around the library that talked about various substances and their effects on the body. So, I spent some time looking up my favorite vice, tobacco, and what it does to you. It's totally enlightening, and I recommend this sort of research to anyone who wants to quit using cigarettes -- you'll get a much better idea of why it's such a hard habit and addiction to break than if you just look at quit-program material or anti-smoking propaganda. I'll be happy to share if you care.
Anyway, I want to talk about hookah buzz, since it seems to be a popular topic. I couldn't find any of this info on this forum, so I thought I'd drop it in for the edification of future generations. If it's there and I'm just an idiot and repeating other people, my sincere apologies.
I've been reading through the forums, and you guys are describing sever different sorts of buzzes, and at least one nasty side-effect, and I think they're all coming from different sources. I think this will give you a better idea of how to diagnose what you're doing wrong. Or right. Depends on your goals, I guess.
This is all based on my own research and experience, so take it as you like.
First off, nicotine is, among other things, a powerful stimulant. If you've taken a dose of nicotine, generally you'll feel energized, happy, and relaxed. You may feel a head buzz, but your whole body, generally, will also feel lighter and ready to move. Nicotine also stimulates virtually every happy chemical receptor in your brain, so your mood will lighten. You may get a little physically disoriented, but the sensation will be more "floaty" than "dizzy".
This is one of the main reasons why nicotine is hard to quit. This is also why smokers in the process of quitting are so freakin' grouchy.
Nicotine is also a powerful appetite suppressant, like most stimulants. (Never try to quit smoking while you're on a diet, you'll probably fail at both.) Too much nicotine, and you'll get nauseous. If your buzz is making you barf, you've probably OD'd. Thankfully, it's a very temporary condition. Most cigarette and cigar smokers experience this when they first start smoking, and they usually forget about it after a little while and a little practice.
If you experience a headache, that's more likely to be carbon monoxide intolerance. Regular smokers build up a tolerance to CO just like they do to nicotine.
Oxygen deprivation is probably the other source of buzz. I think we can all accept that you get light-headed if you're not getting enough oxygen? The sensation is markedly different from one that's nicotine-induced. You'll feel "dizzy", and your body will feel heavy and somewhat unresponsive. I find the sensation to be "sparkley" compared to a nic buzz. This can come from not getting enough fresh air while smoking, or from your lungs not taking in enough O2, either from inflammation due to smoke irritation or simply getting smoke-and-therefore-mucus all over the insides.
Obviously, depending on what you smoke and how much, you could be experiencing any one or a combination of all three. However, if you can distinguish your sensations, you might be able to figure out why it is you feel the way you do.