Health Risks You Need To Be Aware of When Smoking BluntsErica Smith
Blunts: In this article, we will discuss what blunts are and how they affect your body. This article is for people who are fascinated by blunts or interested in smoking them. You will get to know everything about the popular intake method of cannabis, the process of making cannabis, the difference between spliffs and joints, the risks involved in using it, and the different intake methods if you are unsure about taking cannabis.
Introduction to blunts
People try different methods for consuming the plants, including smoking joints or orally consuming products such as tinctures or edibles. Every technique of cannabis intake has benefits as well as drawbacks, and it is necessary to find out which is excellent and suitable for you.
Among all the various methods, one of the most famous is smoking blunts. There was a wave of immigration from Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic; this wave became why smoking blunts became popular in the New York area in the mid-1980s. Besides this information, there is not much data available about the roots of smoking blunts. According to lore, Snoop Dogg, a famous rapper and a cannabis consumer in 1993, allegedly smoked his first blunt.
Social smokers or people who occasionally smoke in groups prefer to smoke blunts more. So, what a blunt is and what are the health risks involved in smoking a blunt or is it riskier than smoking any other form of cannabis? If yes, then smoking a blunt is worth the risk and what are the alternatives?
Let’s find the answers to all these questions in more depth.
Smoking a blunt: What is it?
Blunts are cigars which include cannabis with different ways of making it. First, the consumers of blunts purchase a cigar wrapper and a cigar or a narrower cigar which is called a cigarillo. Then it is necessary to split the cigar open to remove the inner smokable tobacco from it with the help of your fingers or a tool such as a knife or a blunt splitter. After all these processes, the cannabis flower is inserted into the tobacco paper and then rolled and resealed to create a blunt.
Different methods of rolling a blunt
If you use a traditional cigar like Backwoods or Philly, you need to remove the outer tobacco leaf to make a blunt. In the case of a cigarillo, one does not need to remove the outer cover, and he can split the blunt then and there. The cigar wrap, made up of tobacco leaves, is similar to a joint roll; hence it is ready to roll. There isn’t any need to follow any of the steps mentioned above.
After splitting the cigar, take out the loose tobacco filling. Then it is refilled with ground cannabis flowers, and one tucks and rolls the cigar tightly enough to reseal it. It shouldn’t be so tight that it becomes un-smokable. People usually lick the blunt to seal it while they roll it.
Potential risks of smoking blunt
Even though blunt contains cannabis flowers and not tobacco, it is still not safe. This is because the wrapping of traditional candies has tobacco, which is as harmful as cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The American Lung Association warns us about the dangerous effects of smoking and consuming tobacco products on our health. Tobacco consumption increases the risk of heart disease, strokes, lung disease, cancer, and blood vessel damage. This risk increases more when smoking blunt as cannabis smokers hold the smoke in the lungs for some time to let the high set in; this causes more damage to the lungs than smoking a cigarette, where the smoke gets immediately released from the lungs.
When you use cannabis-only products, there isn’t a risk of addiction, but in the case of blunts, there are chances of developing a habit due to nicotine.
What about smoking a spliff?
There are a lot of people who get confused between a blunt, spliff and a joint. The three terms are similar, and many countries might not know the difference. To learn more about these terms clearly and straightforwardly, we will discuss them in more detail. We have already discussed the above about blunt so let’s discuss what a spliff is.
Loose tobacco and ground cannabis flower are mixed to make a spliff, and then both the loose tobacco and cannabis mixtures are rolled in paper. Non-wood fibres such as hemp, flax or rice are used for making these papers of a white or light brown tone and come in a pack of 32. A spliff can appear the same as a joint from its outside appearance, but there is a vast difference between a joint and a spliff where the joint contains only pure cannabis flower, but the spliff is a mixture of cannabis and tobacco.
Smoking a spliff is injurious to health as it contains tobacco. According to the Centers fir disease control and prevention (CDC), smoking a cigarette or consuming any products that contain tobacco harms every organ of the body and causes many health diseases.
Is smoking a joint the best option?
Blunt and spliffs both contain tobacco products. A joint and a spliff both have the same rolling paper. Although, there is no tobacco present in the joint because it only contains cannabis flower. Excessive smoking of tobacco products can be very harmful to health. According to studies, it has been shown that cannabis intake or smoking can be less damaging than smoking tobacco products.
According to a 2005 study, tobacco has been found more likely to be carcinogenic than cannabis. This is due to the differences in the pharmacological properties, which means tobacco is much more harmful and likely to cause lung cancer than cannabis. Moreover, in early studies, cannabis has been found to have substances like cannabinoids like THC that have proved to have anticancer activity.
Does the paper matter?
As we all know from the above explanation, tobacco leaves are used for rolling blunts, whereas spliffs and joints are rolled in a rolling paper made of rice or hemp. Therefore, if you want to smoke a joint or a spliff, you must know that the form plays a vital role.
Let’s discuss various rolling papers in detail to understand them clearly.
Different types of rolling papers
- Wood pulp paper
The people who intake or consume cannabis have been using wood pulp paper for rolling up. Wood pulp paper is thicker and texturized due to its solidity compared to newer varieties of documents and has a white or brown tone. The beginners prefer these papers as they hold their shape well and are not generally affected by humidity or sweaty hands.
- Rice paper
Rice rolling papers are thinner than wood pulp and hemp paper, which does not cause serious harm to your lungs but can be difficult when rolling. But there are a few disadvantages of using rice paper, like they have a thin and smooth texture and it can also get affected by humidity or rain. So rice papers can be best for health but are not best for beginners.
- Hemp papers
Hemp papers provide an excellent grip to consumers when it comes to rolling. Hemp papers are environmentally friendly since they save trees but can affect your health more than rice papers as they are naturally derived. For a good healthiest option, you can try hemp papers that do not contain harmful additives. In addition, these rolling papers have a medium burn rate.
- Palm leaves
Palm leaves are considered to be a healthy way to blunt wrap. The palm leaves wraps are made from Cordia palm leaves and are natural and free of tobacco, chemicals, and artificial flavoring. They are softer and burn slowly as compared to wood pulp papers. It is a good option for beginners as they can avoid a messy rolling process as these come as pre-rolled cones.
Harmful chemicals to avoid
Consuming cannabis may not be as harmful to health, but it has some adverse effects. According to a 2008 study, users of cannabis intake five times as much carbon monoxide as tobacco consumers. Once the smoke enters your lungs, it is transferred to your bloodstream. Carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas, has a very negative impact on your health and also reduces the amount of oxygen which is the carrier in the red blood cells in our body.
According to the American Lung Association and the Journal of Thoracic Disease, inhaling cannabis rather than smoking any smoke creates a risk of chronic bronchitis. In addition, it can increase the chance of cardiovascular events.
Blunt wraps and rolling papers have pesticides and heavy metals detrimental to humans. For example, in 2020, the Science of Cannabis Laboratories Inc. analyzed 118 rolling papers products and found that 90% contained one heavy metal like lead and 16% had chlorpyrifos.
Alternatives to smoking blunt
If you want to enjoy smoking without the risk of tobacco, the other option is using a pipe or a bong that can even be shared. Make sure to use a barrier while sharing a line because sharing does spread germs. Joints can be considered a relaxing smoke if you plan to smoke alone. Cannabis users who are health conscious prefer joints over blunts because it does not contain tobacco.
Vaporization is considered a healthier method than smoking because no smoke is involved. Vaporization also has a lower risk of accidental burns. In addition, people who have sensitive breathing or respiratory issues can try this method.
You can also try edibles to protect your lungs if you are searching for a healthier option as it has lots of benefits like no risk to your lungs because it contains less smoke. Edibles come in various ranges, including sublingual tinctures to baked goods to gummies and drinks.
By discussing the above points about blunt joints and spliff, you may understand them more clearly. Of course, there are pros and cons to consuming cannabis, and the methods are extensive and varied. But for the healthiest way, you can entirely skip drinking or smoking.