In the Netherlands, most consumers add tobacco to the cannabis they smoke, but you may have noticed this is not the same for all parts of the world. There are in fact countless different ways to enjoy cannabis. In this blog, we discuss some of the most common methods, as well as the main differences in their effects. Join us as we try to figure out which is better: smoking cannabis with or without tobacco?
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Cannabis And Tobacco
As noted above, smoking cannabis with tobacco is the most common way of weed consumption in the Netherlands. In fact, 89% of Dutch consumers prefer this method, but they are not alone in this. Tobacco use is still deeply rooted in large parts of the European community, whereas in the US and Canada, this is far from the normal state of affairs. This marked difference includes smoking cannabis: in the United States, only 8% of cannabis enthusiasts indicate they add tobacco to their spliffs.
Part of the explanation for the Dutch preference for tobacco is a matter of historical question and demand. Back in the nineteen sixties and seventies, the Netherlands mainly had access to hash, which is not suited for smoking in a reefer, spliff or joint without tobacco. In North America, smoking marijuana flower has always been more popular. This resulted in a Dutch habit of adding tobacco to all cannabis almost by default.
For a long time, it was thought that added tobacco altered the high, making it feel less energetic with reduced psychoactive effects. Recent studies by London University College have demonstrated, however, that this is incorrect. That is probably good news for Dutch connoisseurs; in addition, tobacco appeared able to limit the negative (temporary) effects that cannabis can have on memory.
Still, the news isn’t all good for the Dutchies, though. There are some serious drawbacks to smoking added tobacco. By now, everyone is aware of the harmful long-term effects that tobacco consumption has on the body. In addition, nicotine in tobacco is addictive, whereas cannabis is not. That explains why many consumers feel as if they are addicted to marijuana, whereas their body is actually demanding a shot of nicotine instead. This is why people who quit smoking tobacco often look for alternative ways to consume cannabis tobacco-free.
Pure Cannabis Consumption
For true gourmet connoisseurs, smoking pure cannabis can be a literal breath of fresh air. Whereas tobacco simply the same flavour every time, leaving it out allows for a full experience of terpene content, and optimal expression of a strain’s individual aromas.
There are various ways to consume pure cannabis. Below, we list some of the most common ones for your convenience.
A Pure Spliff
This is the familiar cannabis joint, only without the added tobacco. The rolling paper is filled with either pure marijuana flower, or a mixture of flower and hash. One potential drawback of this method is the reduced ease of burning which tobacco would provide. That is why some connoisseurs prefer to roll blunts using a blunt wrap instead of papers. These can be made of tobacco or hemp leaves; the latter being the more popular choice as the former still involve smoking tobacco. Blunt wraps even come in different flavours for the experimentally-minded. Blunt wraps keep pure cannabis burning, and they allow for smoking without filter tips. They are more difficult to roll, however, since they don’t have adhesive edges. This is why some people turn to blunt cones instead.
Even without the tobacco, however, smoking is not the healthiest way of consuming cannabis. Release of harmful substances is still a factor. It is substantially healthier than smoking weed with tobacco, though. Research has shown that smoking pure cannabis does not come with the risks of cancer or cardiovascular disease that smoking tobacco does. Systematic use does increase the risk of chronic bronchitis, however, but only for as long as consumption continues. Perhaps surprisingly, smoking pure cannabis can temporarily increase lung capacity and boost pulmonary immune responses. This could have interesting implications for medicinal consumers.
Vaping is another highly popular method in the US, based on heating weed without actual combustion. Vaporizing involves crumbling cannabis flower and placing it in a herb chamber which can be set to the desired temperature, somewhere between 140 and 226°. At these temperatures, the active cannabis components are vaporized rather than burned. Vaping takes less cannabis to reach the same effect, since the vapor contains higher cannabinoid concentrations than smoke does. It is also the healthier choice, as vaping does not release the harmful compounds that combustion inevitable produces.
Consumers who like the act of smoking itself may regard the higher concentrations as a negative factor. The act of vaping requires fewer hits, which changes the experience apart from the lack of inhaled tobacco smoke. The taste of weed and hash after vaporization is different too compared to smoke from combustion. The initial costs of buying a vaporizer can also be a drawback, although the investment usually pays off over time.
The easiest way of smoking cannabis without tobacco is probably using a regular pipe. Pipes are available in various materials at vey affordable prices. Consumers can put their flower directly in the pipe bowl or use a mesh pipe screen, usually for hash products. All that is needed to smoke that cannabis without tobacco is a lighter (be sure to put out any flames). Hits can be taken immediately, but in limited quantities due to the small bowl sizes required for practical design.
Bongs lack a regular pipe’s practicality. They are larger and often much more fragile, but on the other hand, they can be real masterpieces of cannabis art and design. Many consumers consider bong hits to be quite intense: a tug or two will usually suffice. Bongs are commonly seen at parties and used by experienced consumers. Their size makes them less suited for outdoor use.
Bongs have a filter compartment filled with water and a separate bowl for hash or weed, without adding tobacco. The cannabis is then lit, after which hits can be taken while the smoke passes through the filtering water. Bongs are less common in the Netherlands compared to many other countries, although some Dutch herb enthusiasts are avid fans. It is still unclear whether water’s filtering capacity makes a bong healthier than other methods. Some researchers claim that it is, but so far, there is no consensus on the matter. Nonetheless, many bong lovers believe it is the healthier choice compared to smoking unfiltered cannabis, either with or without tobacco.
Although some of the more obscure methods of smoking cannabis without tobacco are not necessarily recommendable, they still make some fascinating reading. Chinese evidence for prescription marijuana for medicinal purposes dates back to 2737 BCE, for instance, while hashish has been used in Morocco since the 14th century AD at least. That explains the wealth of old school methods for smoking weed found around the world. Interestingly, smoking tobacco is known to date back at least as far, right down to around 5,000 BCE in the Americas. That leaves the question of whether smoking cannabis with tobacco is as old as the first weed enthusiasts open to speculation.
We do know quite a few ancient methods, however. Examples include using glassware, butter knives, or traditional Indian chillums, which are presently enjoying a bit of a revival. Of course, you can trust the cannabis community to come up with new experimental methods on a regular basis, too, such as with this home-made apple bong for a fruity twist.
Amsterdam Genetics Cannabis With Or Without Tobacco
Here at Amsterdam Genetics, we like to consider alternatives for smoking traditional Dutch cannabis and tobacco joints, too. That is why you’ll find the Weezy in our product range: a clean, slick, and very affordable pipe with all the stylish ease of a Nespresso coffee machine. Its active carbon filters make for a cleaner smoking experience without tobacco while leaving the inhalation effect of a joint intact. Consumers can use the Weezy by filling the accompanying Jack-Pods with their choice of cannabis and then lighting up. That males for a smooth, clean smoking experience.
For the traditional fans of cannabis joints either with or without tobacco, we have Mascotte’s active carbon filter tips. These can be added to joints just like our regular filter tips for active filtration of harmful smoke particles.
As you can see, the community of cannabis connoisseurs has been steadily innovating methods for millennia. By now, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Amsterdam Genetics cannabis no matter your taste and preference, either with or without tobacco.