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Scientists Studied How To Roll And Smoke The Perfect Joint

You're smoking them all wrong.

James Felton

James Felton

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

James is a published author with four pop-history and science books to his name. He specializes in history, strange science, and anything out of the ordinary.

Senior Staff Writer

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A cannabis cigarette.

Science says this way is the best.

Image credit: sergiew/shutterstock.com

Scientists do a lot of important work, from tackling Parkinson's disease to trying to figure out when Betelgeuse will go supernova. But sometimes they also try to figure out how to roll your joints in order to get you highest, as was the case from one team who presented their findings at the Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Vancouver recently.

While the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the cannabis itself is of course important, the team found that the amount of THC which makes it into the smoker's system is highly variable depending on how the joint is made. The team, from cannabis and psilocybin research center Delic Labs, put various spliffs to the test on a machine that could inhale and test the chemical composition of the resulting smoke, USA Today reports.

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Cannabis, any stoner will tell you, needs to be ground up before you make a joint in order to help it burn. The team tested what level of grinding was better, 1-millimeter (0.04-inch) particles or 5-millimeter (0.2-inch) particles, as well as determining which part of the spliff delivers the most THC. 

According to the team, joints made from weed that had been ground smaller burned faster and more efficiently, giving the smoking bot more THC than the 5-millimeter grind. However, the 5-millimeter grind lasted longer, despite not delivering as efficiently. 

This probably comes as no surprise to any experienced weed smokers. However, there was one interesting piece of information that came out of the test, which may upend the stoner etiquette of "roller's rights", or the idea that they who rolled it gets to go first. According to the experiment, the best part of the spliff to get you high – where more THC and CBD are delivered – is at the end of the joint. This was true regardless of the size of the particles.

However, if your goal is to get really high, other research suggests the most efficient way to use your cannabis is by vaporizing it, rather than burning it. In a simple study, volunteers were given weed containing 0 milligrams, 10mg, or 25mg of THC, without being told what dose they had received and asked to vape or smoke it. They were then asked to report how stoned they felt, while also performing a series of physical and cognitive tests, and having their medical stats monitored.

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While the higher doses got everyone super high regardless of whether they vaped or smoked it, vaping was the clear winner.

"Vaporized cannabis produced significantly greater subjective drug effects, cognitive and psychomotor impairment," the team wrote in their study, "and higher blood THC concentrations than the same doses of smoked cannabis".


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