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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Buy the Best You Can Afford

posted by on December 19 at 12:01 PM

If you’re going to smoke pot, you should smoke the dankest, stickiest, mind-fuckingly strong pot your lousy paycheck can afford. At least, according to a study released this morning from Canada.

Inhaled cannabis smoke has more harmful toxins than tobacco, scientists have discovered.

The Canadian government research found 20 times as much ammonia, a chemical linked to cancer, New Scientist said. The Health Canada team also found five times as much hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxides, which are linked to heart and lung damage respectively.

But tobacco smoke contained more of a toxin linked to infertility. Experts said users must be aware of the risks


This photo ran with the article.


Wait. What the fuck is that? Is that the “cannabis” they were testing? It looks like bay leaves and hay. You’d have to smoke a pound to get high. Buy excellent pot and smoke less of it, stoners.

Says Dr Richard Russell, a specialist at the Windsor Chest Clinic:

Tobacco from manufacturers has been enhanced and cleaned whereas cannabis is relatively unprocessed and therefore is a much dirtier product.

Because, as we all know, hundreds of thousands of people die each year from the harmful effects of smoking dirty marijuana but not one from squeaky-clean tobacco…

RSS icon Comments


I fear this news may come back to bite me in the ass, perhaps fatally.

Time to invest in a non-sucky vaporizer...

Posted by David Schmader | December 19, 2007 12:03 PM

Yeah. Not only that, but evolution is just a theory. What do those smarty pants scientists know?

Posted by elenchos | December 19, 2007 12:06 PM
Posted by paul | December 19, 2007 12:11 PM

Looks like someone forgot to tell them that seaweed isn't weed.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 19, 2007 12:12 PM

Mind-fuckingly is my new fave adjective. Thank you.

Posted by NaFun | December 19, 2007 12:18 PM

@ 5, the credit goes to Mr. Schmader. I learned it by watching him!

Posted by Dominic Holden | December 19, 2007 12:21 PM

What I wouldn't give for some stanky marijuana right now.

Posted by six shooter | December 19, 2007 12:24 PM

Yeah as if cigarettes are really clean. I guess that's why government statistics say that they kill 440,000 Americans every year. I haven't hear of pot killing anyone.

Posted by Phil | December 19, 2007 12:31 PM

Plus it would be hard to smoke 20 joints a day, ala a pack a day habit. Tobacco users use far more than typical marijuana users. Without looking at how much typical users consume this study is pretty useless

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 19, 2007 12:35 PM

Christ, do I know how you feel!

What's up Seattle? Why so ... sober these days???

Posted by same here | December 19, 2007 12:37 PM
11 . That's all I'm sayin.

Posted by violet_dagrinder | December 19, 2007 12:45 PM

This post makes me paranoid and hungry

Posted by DJSauvage | December 19, 2007 12:49 PM

Another reason why legal, regulated pot would be beneficial to society.

Posted by Dougsf | December 19, 2007 12:49 PM

@13 - Legal, yes.

But, regulated by our government? How bad would they fuck that up? I guarantee you that government regulated weed would be the schwagiest soil samples imaginable. You'd need a government regulated throat lozenge when you were done smoking.

I much prefer the finely tuned and crafted products available today. I just wish people didn't get thrown in jail for it.

Posted by Mahtli69 | December 19, 2007 12:54 PM

Yes, regulated, by the FDA. That doesn't mean the growing isn't outsourced - the government doesn't grow our food in most cases, farmers do. But unlike now, there would should basic health standards for the product.

Posted by Dougsf | December 19, 2007 1:03 PM

@15 with exceptions for homegrowing

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 19, 2007 1:11 PM

Smoke in the lungs is smoke in the lungs. It's not "healthy" no matter what kind of smoke it is.

Posted by Slogur | December 19, 2007 1:12 PM

Behold, German stoner-engineers have your back:

Posted by Tiki | December 19, 2007 1:25 PM

Well, considering how much auto exhaust the average person sucks in during the course of a typical day, I'm sure it doesn't make a bit of difference to the ole air-sacks whether a little of the green smoke gets down there in addition.

Posted by COMTE | December 19, 2007 1:26 PM

too strong = paranoid buzz.

i liked the stuff i had in amsterdam; "john sinclair". it didn't cripple me, and i didn't feel anxious. i felt mellow & relaxed.

too much of our dope has a harsh edge to it.

Posted by max solomon | December 19, 2007 1:26 PM

What ever happened to hash?

That was always fun to have.

Posted by old timer | December 19, 2007 1:27 PM


Vaporizors have been around for some time now. Please stop commenting on them as if they were something new.

Carry On...

Posted by Hal | December 19, 2007 1:29 PM

Everyone knows that if you have someone else take the hit and blow it into your mouth that you can still get high and none of this even counts.

Posted by Durrr | December 19, 2007 1:37 PM

COMTE, I think it makes a big difference. Breathing in pollutants is of course bad - but those are measured in the parts per million. We're not sticking our faces on the tailpipe of a two-stroke... in most cases.

I support the legalization of pot, though it hasn't been my thing for years, and the same regulation should apply that does other food and drugs. Having you're own garden is fine, but if you plan on SELLING any of that food you grew, you should be licensed. I don't want food poisoning from your baked good, or ammonia and God-knows-what saturated bud.

I've also been a mild asthmatic for the last couple years, and even the whiff out of my neighbor's apartment will make my chest tighten up a little, same a cigarettes. If campfire smoke can kill you, pot smoke sure as hell ain't good for you. not to mention the butane you're huffing.

Posted by Dougsf | December 19, 2007 1:38 PM

@23: You can also get whatever bronchial infection they have, including tuberculosis. This is actually a big problem among the homeless population.

Posted by Greg | December 19, 2007 1:39 PM

@25 - Are you saying the homeless are chronic second-hitters?

Posted by six shooter | December 19, 2007 1:44 PM

17 nailed it.

Someone who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years is going to suffer the same fate as someone who smokes 20 joints a day for 20 years.

Posted by pied piper | December 19, 2007 1:45 PM

For the pot proponents: the article admits "it has also been acknowledged that the average tobacco user smokes more than a cannabis user." But I agree that further comparisons need to be made to clarify the real health risks.

Still, it's hard to argue with their point that "The health impact of cannabis is often over-looked amid the legal debate." Too many pot smokers are uninformed about what they're putting into their lungs. Regular smokers should use a bong or a vaporizer if it's available, and if you're smoking every day (like I used to do) you need to be honest with yourself about why.

And obviously, the stuff needs to be legalized so further research can be done on its health effects. That seems like a no-brainer to me.

Posted by Irena | December 19, 2007 1:51 PM

@27 and 17... according to a big study from 2006, this is _not_ the case... i.e. a pack-a-day of cigarettes will increase your risk of getting cancer while a comparable amount of marijuana will not.

link is @3.

Posted by paul | December 19, 2007 1:55 PM


Irena, don't mislead people. Bongs absolutely do not filter any harmful constituents out of smoke.

I agree about vaporizers though.

Posted by pied piper | December 19, 2007 1:55 PM


Admittedly I am not familiar with that study but even after glazing the article it seems misleading.

"The heaviest marijuana smokers had lighted up more than 22,000 times"

22,000 is only the equivalent of a pack-a-day cigarette smoker for 3 years.
22,000 / 20 / 365 = 3

Posted by pied piper | December 19, 2007 2:01 PM

I wish I knew where to get some weed... unfortunately I am lame.

Posted by Andrew | December 19, 2007 2:26 PM

eh. Lots of things are bad for you in varying quantities. Hell last Sunday I had 6 pieces of bacon, some buttery hash browns, and a couple eggs with cheese. Healthy, no, but oh so tasty.

Would I do that everyday, nope and nor would I smoke pot every day. Just as you can quickly spot the overeater by their bulging waste so to can you spot the pothead by their raspy voice and inability to remember shit.

Its all about moderation people.

Posted by giffy | December 19, 2007 2:51 PM

@30 -- Don't they? They sure reduce the irritation, though, so they must do some good. But I'll take your word for it.

Posted by Irena | December 19, 2007 2:57 PM

@28, @30 - Yes, the water in a bong just cools the smoke, fooling your lungs into allowing a larger hit. All the bad stuff is still in the smoke. I'd say, if anything, a water bong is worse for you than a joint, which would burn your lungs if you took a bong-sized toke from it.

Posted by Mahtli69 | December 19, 2007 3:02 PM

See, if this stuff were legal I could read about this in my B.C. Health Guide, right next to "How to treat nausea" or "Preventing stress" or something.

Posted by Irena | December 19, 2007 3:55 PM

Any fool knows the stuff is better if you eat it, anyway. The trick is to lightly saute' it first, then mix it with something that blends well with strong flavors. Ergo the old standby of substituting it for oregano in marinara sauces...

I can't inhale any kind of smoke anymore, my asthma just goes berserk. Even a candle burning is more than I can take most of the time.

Posted by Geni | December 19, 2007 3:59 PM

"Someone who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years is going to suffer the same fate as someone who smokes 20 joints a day for 20 years."

No they aren't. Pot and tobacco have completely different physiological effects, some of which are directly relevant to lung health and function. For example, tobacco is a bronchoconstrictor and decreases cilial beat frequency. Pot has the opposite effects and actually functions as an expectorant. In fact, research has shown that pot or its derivatives have promise as treatments for asthma. Pot also has tumor suppressive properties that tobacco apparently does not.

Long-term studies of high use pot smokers (some of these studies have users averaging 10-20 joints per day for decades) show that they don't suffer the same fates in terms of lung function, rates of emphysema and lung cancers, etc. as smokers with similar use patterns.

Posted by Bison | December 19, 2007 4:14 PM

@32 - This is how we'll legalize. Enough every-day stoners will someday grow older, start families, and stop smoking regularly. We won't hang out with our stoner friends anymore. We won't have numbers for our stoner dealers anymore. We'll have to choose between a regular habit and absolute abstinence.

Soon enough, we'll demand they sell the shit at 7-11.

Give me convenience or give me death.

Posted by six shooter | December 19, 2007 4:51 PM

@38 - I agree with you regarding the acute effects of tobacco (bronchioconstrictor) vs pot (expectorant). But, I'm not so sure I agree regarding the long term effects of heavy usage.

First, given the illegality of pot, it's very difficult to perform an isolated long-term study on people who smoke massive quantities of pot, but don't smoke tobacco. One group to look at is reggae musicians, which I think, in general, falls into the "high use" category.

There are many famous reggae musicians who have died young. Many of those are due to violent causes, but there sure seem to be lots of "before their time" deaths from lung cancer, throat cancer, and other similar ailments. Of course, I'm only assuming they smoked pot, and they may also have smoked tobacco. But, it makes me wonder.

Posted by Mahtli69 | December 19, 2007 5:00 PM

Bison, who did those studies? I've never seen them cited before -- are they legit?

Posted by Irena | December 19, 2007 5:02 PM


Come to Slog Happy. We'll all be there.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 19, 2007 6:14 PM


I sympathize entirely. It's impossible to find.

Posted by James | December 20, 2007 6:28 AM

@38: Pot smoke still contains free radicals and soot, neither of which is good for your lungs.

Posted by Greg | December 20, 2007 8:06 AM

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