Lifestyle, Research

The Health Risks You Need to Be Aware of When Smoking Blunts

March 25, 2021 11:27 am ET
The Health Risks You Need to Be Aware of When Smoking Blunts

Every cannabis user has a preferred method. Some prefer to smoke joints, while others opt for vapes, tinctures or edibles. Still, others favor oils and tinctures. There are benefits and drawbacks to every method of cannabis intake, and it’s important to find the one that’s right for you.

One of the most popular methods is smoking blunts. Blunts, or cigars that have been modified to include cannabis, are a favorite of social smokers. They’ve also been popularized through several channels of pop culture.

But do blunts pose a higher risk to the health of the user than other forms of cannabis? And if so, is it really worth it?

Why Smoke Blunts?

If there’s a question of health risks, why do people bother smoking blunts at all?

The answer is mostly because they’re much better suited to being shared among a group than are other forms of cannabis. That’s because they offer a slower burn thanks to their larger size. A blunt can make its way all the way around a smoke circle, usually several times.

Another factor that leads some people to favor blunts is the tobacco content. Some smokers enjoy the taste of the tobacco mingled with the cannabis, while others enjoy the feeling that comes from combining the two substances.

Of course, the tobacco content is the source of the controversy in the first place. Combusted tobacco is widely recognized as one of the greatest threats to public health. Cannabis users who choose to partake of traditional blunts are including tobacco in their cannabis use, and that is not without some serious risks.

The Health Risks of Blunts

Because tobacco is present in traditional blunts, the same risks cigarette smokers face apply. It’s common for cannabis smokers to hold themselves apart from cigarette smokers, but it’s a mistake to do so in this instance. Before lighting up a blunt, read the warning label on the cigar that was modified to make. it. Everything that is written there still applies.

According to the American Lung Association, smoking tobacco is conclusively associated with increased risk of heart disease, lung disease, stroke, several cancers, and damage to blood vessels, along with many other health issues.

But the risks can actually go further. Tobacco smokers generally exhale right after inhaling; however, cannabis smokers hold the smoke in their lungs to allow the high to set in. Engaging in this practice with tobacco smoke could exacerbate the danger.

Smoking tobacco is the number one cause of lung cancer, even with cigarette smokers tending to exhale quickly. Holding the smoke in your lungs can only increase those risks.

Studies have also indicated that the addictive properties of nicotine might lead to blunt smokers developing an addiction to it, something cannabis users generally don’t need to worry about when they use cannabis-only products.

Healthier Alternatives

Want the pleasure of a smoking circle without the tobacco risks of a blunt? Consider using a pipe or a bong, both of which will last a considerable amount of time and can be shared around. But be sure to use a barrier method because sharing does spread germs.

Looking to enjoy a relaxing smoke on your own? Health-conscious cannabis users prefer joints to blunts because of the lack of tobacco. By rolling (or purchasing) a joint, you can get relatively clean smoke. Although no smoking is 100% risk-free, you’ll do a lot better to leave tobacco out of it.

Smoking or inhaling cannabis alone, as with inhaling any type of smoke, creates additional free radicals that also carry unclear risks, including chronic bronchitis, and may increase the short-term risk of adverse cardiovascular events, according to the American Lung Association and the Journal of Thoracic Disease. Low-grade research analyzed in a 2019  review may link smoking cannabis to testicular cancer, but overall, the link between cannabis and cancers is unclear.

Looking for an even healthier option? Turn to edibles or tinctures and protect your lungs entirely from the risks of smoking. 

Whatever method you choose, it’s important to know what you’re putting into your body. Talk to a medical professional about making the right choices for your needs.

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Content Medically Reviewed By:<br> Dr. Abraham Benavides, MD
Content Medically Reviewed By:
Dr. Abraham Benavides, MD

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