How To Avoid Second-Hand Smoke Exposure When Using Weed
Estimated 5-minute read
We don’t have to tell you this, but lighting up a joint made with your favorite strain of cannabis is one of life’s most humble pleasures. But it can make such a difference in your day if you want to have a good time. This is because, even if nowadays you have plenty of ways to enjoy weed (in edibles, gels, tinctures, patches, etc.), smoking is always going to be the classic way to get you a good hit of cannabis for relaxing during a lazy afternoon. Be it with a simple joint, a pipe, or a bong, learning how to smoke is a rite of passage for many stoners going into this hobby.
However, if you have been a cannabis enthusiast for a while, it may be easy to lose sight of a couple of things that happen when you light up to relax. Namely, the constant and almost omnipresent presence of smoke, which becomes inevitable when you get deep into this hobby.
Today “smoke” is a prominent part of the weed culture and literature. Information on how to hide the smoke, how to clean the smell it leaves behind, and how to learn to inhale it from a pipe or a bong, is both abundant and deep. Smoke, in short, is almost a symbol of stoner at this point, especially as tobacco diminishes in popularity for cannabis as a healthier alternative while smoking. That’s why you probably know very well how to deal with it, but, have you ever stopped to consider the consequences of secondhand weed smoke?
When it comes to secondhand smoke, the first thing that comes to mind is often tobacco. We know that the reason why smoking indoors in public places is not socially acceptable due to secondhand smoke also being equally very dangerous. It causes all sorts of problems for the people around you if you are not careful. And sure, tobacco is a lot more damaging than marijuana when smoked, but secondhand cannabis smoke can be harmful too, which is why it makes sense to have smoke-free spaces. Moreover, the reason why you can’t smoke weed openly (besides legal status or social acceptability) is because, smoke is harmful, but it can’t possibly be more damaging than tobacco smoke, right? Right?
A different reality of cannabis
“The immediate effects of secondhand marijuana smoke are temporary but continued and prolonged exposure can turn short-term problems into long-term ones”, says a recent research project by the American Addiction Centers, looking to understand if secondhand weed smoke is equivalent in any way to tobacco. And the things they found are a little shocking. “Many people mistakenly believe marijuana smoke is harmless. While we’ve heard about the dangers of secondhand tobacco smoke for years, secondhand marijuana has never really been considered a ‘threat’. Now we know.”
The main issue comes from the chemical reactions that happen when you burn plant material to smoke. Whether tobacco or cannabis, the smoke produced can affect the blood vessels, putting the health of your heart at risk. Furthermore, even if it doesn’t look like it, pot smoke can also carry trace amounts of THC even after being exhaled, which can trigger allergies in people in the surrounding areas. In fact, “children exposed to THC are potentially at risk for negative health effects”, according to the CDC. Moreover, you only need to be exposed to secondhand smoke for as little as 60 seconds to have any negative side effects. In other words, a stoner should be mindful of the places they smoke, and be sure to do it around people that consent to it.
So what to do, then? Although research on secondhand cannabis smoke is still ongoing, it’s simply good etiquette to avoid exposing people to smoke in situations they might not be expecting it. Everyone might be comfortable with you lighting a joint during a party, but in a public park, or indoors, the story can be very different. That’s why we want to present you with some strategies today to reduce the amount of exposure of others to secondhand smoke produced by you. As well as some alternatives to smoking that might help if the harmful effects of smoke worry you!
How to enjoy some smoke-free cannabis
1. Make sure you have at least one window nearby.
We know that not everyone has a balcony, backyard, or similar open areas available at home. So, if you share your living spaces with any non-cannabis smokers, smoking near a window is always a nice thing to do. Smoke, regardless of its origin, is always air pollution, so making sure it doesn’t stay trapped indoors is always a good course of action.
2. Seal the room so no smoke escapes.
And no, we don’t mean any hotboxing or anything of the sort. If your cannabis habit started back when you were still living with your family, chances are that you got pretty good at hiding the smoke. Like, covering around the door or the ventilation shafts so nothing could reach people outside of your room. Well, that skill still has its use, but this time to protect people from the effects of secondhand weed smoke. Be especially aware of exhaust fans that your home might have, and use damp towels or clothing for maximum sealing effect, so as to save others from your secondhand smoke.
3. Wait for the air to clear before going out.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but we don’t know the state you will be in after going through a bowl of kush by yourself. So let us remind you to wait for a little while before opening your door. No matter how severe your munchies are, keep an electric fan and an open window nearby, and just make sure no smoke can leave.
4. Use non-smoking alternatives.
Did you know that bongs are the cannabis-consuming method that produces the biggest quantity of secondhand smoke?
If you are worried about what this can do to people around you, then we suggest you opt to use smoking methods that don’t make you look like a Victorian-era chimney, every time you want to relax with a little green. Pipes like the KØL 2.0 by HØJ filter the air while you smoke, greatly reducing the harmful effects of smoke. Hence, they are your best bet if you want to avoid exposing anyone else to your secondhand smoke. And that’s without mentioning how edibles, patches, or tinctures sidestep the issue entirely. oS looking for these alternatives might be a great solution to this particular problem of affecting others with secondhand smoke. Get shopping!
Cannabis is healthier and has a lot more benefits than tobacco when smoked, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be mindful of the people around you every time you smoke. So practice these ideas, and while we know more about the effects of secondhand cannabis smoke, you can enjoy that bowl knowing that the people you care about are not going to be troubled by it in any way. Thanks for reading, and until next time!