#LeadSafeSmoking, 420 friendly

Now that cannabis is legal in several states, many people are experimenting with different ways of enjoying it – with smoking still being the most popular. People exploring this often search for the perfect vape, water pipe, bong or other “tools of the trade”. Some folks like sticking with a more traditional “smoking pipe”, and if that’s the case, here are some tips for making your smoking experience less toxic.

  • Avoid metal screens in your pipes! They often have plating or other coatings (and/or substrates) which can be toxic (they may include cadmium, zinc and lead) when heated and inhaled! (I haven’t tried (nor tested) the glass daisy screens (pictured here), but I’d be interested in checking them out!
  • Avoid metal pipes! They can also be made of toxicant-containing alloys, have toxic platings or coatings, and are therefore less likely to be inert when heated (compared to glass).
  • #SaferChoices for pipes include: blown borosilicate glass pipes (choose pipes with fewer colors  – and more clear glass (mixed in with just a bit of color), to have fewer potential toxicants); these are generally among the safest choices. [Glass pipes may have traces of cadmium or other metals in the colorants, but given the colors are contained in the glass (and usually present at very low levels) they are not likely to leach or cause issues with the amount of heat used in normal use]. Some natural, unfinished wood pipes (not made with glues or metal or painted/dyed components) can be a good choice- though these can burn (and frankly wood pipes are really hard to find without plastic, glues, dyes or metal components), and burning wood smoke is not something you generally want to inhale either.
  • Smoking Safety Tip: Don’t draw from a pipe while using a lighter — if you do that you will be inhaling butane fumes – which is probably one of the most toxic methods of THC and/or CBD delivery! Instead, consider lighting an organic beeswax candle or (even better) a piece of organic unbleached hemp wick (yes, that is something you can buy…see links below!). If you use a small natural candle, you have to be careful not to drip wax into your pipe (it’s not a good idea to inhale burning beeswax either!) but a beeswax candle can be a good second choice if you can’t find some natural bare hemp wick (there are several options for sale on Amazon!) For the bare wick method, you just keep a foot or so of it with your pipe (or wrapped around your lighter as shown in this pic!), and use the lighter to light the wick (instead of your pipe directly), and then use the wick (which will stay burning much longer than a match) to light your pipe!
  • Finally, a really good vape – which provides controlled heat sufficient to vaporize the volatile elements (THC/CBD/terpenes) in the cannabis, rather than burning the weed – can be a great (safer) alternative to smoking (but that’s another post!)
  • (& an important P.S. … always buy organic weed if you have the option! Non-organic/ illegally farmed weed can be grown with leaded pesticides that contaminate our forests and rivers, as well as contaminating the plants themselves! I wrote about that years ago.. link here.)

Amazon Affiliate Links:

Plus something new I am going to test: Glass Daisy Screens: http://amzn.to/2CRwIPs

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.


Tamara Rubin

Links on this post are Amazon affiliate links are set up so that if you purchase something after clicking on one of my links Amazon gives me a referral fee at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

3 Responses to #LeadSafeSmoking, 420 friendly

  1. chrisg January 13, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

    Most cannabis flower has heavy metals like Cadmium, Arsenic, et al. The plant is notorious for soaking up heavy metals in the soil. Even a lot of “top shelf” “top quality” bud has significant heavy metals. I highly recommend using quality co2 or (purged) butane hash oil, as it should have almost no contaminate.
    If you told me this when i first started smoking i would not have cared. Well, 10 years later i have very high cadmium and other metals. It slowly adds up and will make a difference. Your high wont feel as nice if you’re physically ill!
    take care

  2. Sora August 13, 2018 at 2:48 pm #

    what about the pricey Grasshopper vaporizer? it’s a supposed to be a healthier device, but how safe are the materials in it? https://www.grasshoppervape.com

    • Tamara August 13, 2018 at 3:06 pm #

      I’m not familiar with that product. I think since the industry is fairly new, a full survey of vaping products really should be done.

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