- 1 Is The Cigarette Filter The Key To A Better Cannabis Smoking Experience?
Is The Cigarette Filter The Key To A Better Cannabis Smoking Experience?
I enjoy smoking weed. However, I am also a realist, as cannabis smoking has been linked to some respiratory problems. So, wouldn’t it be great, if you could both enjoy marijuana smoking more and in turn minimize toxins from reaching your lungs by using something as simple as a cigarette filter for your joints?
This article will answer this question. It will also address the common question of whether a cigarette filter blocks out THC, Kief, terpenes, cannabinoids, and other typical cannabis ingredients.
Unlike filters for joints, cigarette filters have been studied extensively. As a result, this post will analyze if the cigarette filter does make for a healthier smoking experience.
Cigarette Filters 101
Brief History of The Modern-Day Cigarette Tobacco Filter
In the late 1950s, cigarette filters started becoming commonplace. The reason being is that cigarettes were rumored to cause lung cancer in the 40s and 50s. Consequently, in the 50s tobacco companies voluntarily introduced the cigarette filter as means to assure the public that “big tobacco” cared about the smoker, because filters would help eliminate tar and other toxic substances found in tobacco cigarettes. Subsequently, In 1964 the Surgeon General of the United States confirmed that tobacco smoking caused lung cancer.
Just because Big Tobacco introduced filters as a means of damage control, it does not necessarily mean that cigarette filters are not beneficial. So, the question that I will now answer is whether cigarette filters block out the harmful toxins in tobacco smoke
Tobacco Smoke and Toxins
Tobacco cigarettes are filled with hundreds of chemicals (Over 7,000 to be exact) of these 7,000 chemicals, 250 are harmful. Additionally, 69 of 250 chemicals in tobacco have been proven to cause cancer. So, in other words, a cigarette filter has a tough job to do if it is going to filter out the toxic substances found in a typical tobacco cigarette.
Do Filters Remove Toxins?
According to studies, a typical cigarette filter removes some toxins from tobacco. However, any reduced toxins are offset by how they encourage more smoking and deeper cigarette puffs. The following is an overview of these studies
Filters Encourage More Smoking
Filtered cigarettes result in smoother smoke. And when smoking is more pleasurable, you will likely take a deeper puff, and probably smoke more.
Filters and Lung Cancer
Do filters help reduce the chance of smokers getting lung cancer and other health problems that are associated with smoking tobacco?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Filtered smokes do reduce the chance of getting cancer that is traditionally associated with tobacco use. However, adenocarcinoma cancer (Cancer that is located around the lungs) rates increase when filtered cigarettes are used. The death rates of adenocarcinoma and the typical lung cancer associated with cancer are the same.
This switch in cancers was confirmed by the 2014 United States Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco Smoking. This report found that the reason for the cancer switch is that a smoother filtered smoke resulted in smokers puffing more deeply. And more cancer-causing toxins are introduced when the smoke is inhaled more deeply.
Cigarette Filters And Weed
Why Would You Use a Cigarette Filter For Cannabis?
Enjoyment and health are the two main reasons why you would want to use cigarette filters for a joint. First, I will briefly go over the enjoyment reason and afterward, I will examine the supposed health benefits of using a filter for your blunts.
Here, convenience, and not just taste are being factored into enjoyment. Concerning taste, a filtered joint goes down smoother, which will result in less throat irritation and an overall more enjoyable smoking experience. As for convenience, a rigid filter allows for a tighter blunt that is easier and faster to roll. Additionally, the filtered joint also tends to not open up as often as a traditional non-filtered jay.
Do Cigarette Filters Block Out THC?
Using a cigarette filter for your joints would be useless if the filters block out THC, and other active ingredients in weed-like kief, cannabinoids, etc., So, the first question you must ask is: Do Cigarette filters, filter out THC?
Brief History of Cigarette Filters
As there are no studies, that I know of, concerning THC and tobacco filters, the history of cigarette filters, is quite helpful in answering the question of whether filters will block THC.
As I stated earlier, the cigarette filter was voluntarily added to the cigarette in the 1950s when medical studies found that smoking tobacco caused cancer. The first filters worked “Too Well” in filtering out toxins, as these first filters also filtered out the reason that people smoked tobacco-Nicotine. Consequently, after seeing that their filters went too far, the tobacco companies changed their filters. The change resulted in more nicotine and toxic fumes getting through the filter. (To be fair, the second-generation filters did and still do filter out tar and other toxic substances found in weed)
How Does This Apply to Weed?
The above history lesson shows that modern cigarette filters will, to some degree, likely block out toxins found in cannabis. However, based upon the evolution of the cigarette filter, it is not likely that a filter will remove out any noticeable percentages of THC, terpenes, cannabinoids, etc.
I was unable to find any scientific studies on whether a typical filter blocks THC. This is not surprising as cannabis is still illegal federally. Therefore, the only info that I could find was based upon forums. The overall consensus of these forums is that a cigarette filter will not noticeably block any THC.
Will You Get Your THC Fix by Smoking Filtered Joints?
The current cigarette filter barely filters out toxic substances that are found in tobacco. Therefore, based upon the history of cigarette filters, and hundreds of people who use filtered joints, it is highly doubtful that a modern-day cigarette filter will block out any noticeable THC levels.
Health Reasons for Using Filters on Weed
Based upon various studies, marijuana smoke does contain certain toxic chemicals. For example, studies have shown that marijuana smokers have higher levels of acrylamidethe, naphthalene, and acrylonitrile, in their urine and blood.
Additionally, if you are forced to buy your weed on the black market, there isn’t any quality control. Consequently, your weed might have traces of toxic pesticides like Paraquat.
Do Cigarette Filters Block Out Toxic Fumes?
Again, there haven’t been any scientific studies done on whether not a cigarette filter will block out any of cannabis’s toxic properties. So, my conclusions are based upon how effective tobacco cigarette filters are in eliminating toxic fumes. As stated earlier, cigarette filters have not been proven to provide any health benefits over non-filtered tobacco cigarettes. So, based upon this, it would not be a leap of faith to conclude that cigarette filters would, at best, block only a very small percentage of toxic chemicals that are found in cannabis.
You are wasting your time if you are using a filter for health reasons. However, a filter is not a bad idea based upon convenience as a filtered joint is easier to roll. The main reason though for using a filter for your joint is that the cigarette filter will give you an overall smoother and more enjoyable weed smoking experience.
Safer Alternatives Than Smoking Weed Via a Pipe Or Joint
If a cigarette filter does not make smoking weed any healthier, what are the other options? In other words, other than edibles are there any other ways to reduce the toxic properties in cannabis? If you smoke weed, a water pipe (“Bong”) and the vape pen are likely two ways for smoking cannabis that you think is healthier than a pipe or a joint.
Most weed smokers will swear that they have a smoother smoke using a bong. But just because they may have a smoother smoke, it does not mean that using a bong is healthier.
Does a Bong Remove Harmful Toxins Found In Cannabis?
The info on whether bongs can remove toxins is mixed. For example, an article on Health Line concedes that a water pipe will give you are smoother toke than a joint or a pipe. However, they also say that a bong also does not provide any additional health benefits.
The Health Line Article though is countered by a study done by a pharmacologist, Dr. Nicholas Cozzi. Dr. Cozzi, at the University of Wisconsin, examined water bongs and concluded that a bong can work to remove toxic components from cannabis smoke without noticeably removing THC.
Dr. Cozzi’s study seems to be more reliable than the Health Line article. The number one reason is that Health Line was solely designed to compete with WebMD, and it is geared toward the average consumer. Additionally, many of Health Lines’s articles have been discredited by Factcheck.org.
Vape Pens or the electronic cigarette do have quite a few advantages over all traditional means of smoking weed. For example, a vape pen is easier to use, convenient, and you can easily hide its use as there isn’t any secondhand smoke. But is the vape pen or E-Cigarette a healthier way to smoke?
Are Vape Pens Effective In Filtering Out Toxins?
The Vape Pen or E-Cigarette is new smoking technology as Vape Pens were first introduced in 2007. Studies have shown that smoking E-Cigarettes is not safe. However, studies have also mentioned that less toxic chemicals will occur when tobacco is smoked via a vape pen. This statement is backed up by this article from the reputable medical website that states that vape pens will undoubtedly expose you to fewer toxic chemicals than traditionally smoking cigarettes that are known to have over 7,000 chemicals.
Do These Health Benefits Transfer Over to Weed?
Based upon how E-Cigarettes are a safer way to smoke tobacco, you might assume that vape pens are also the healthier way to smoke weed. However, based upon recent events in 2019, this assumption might be incorrect. In August 2019, vape pen smokers were hospitalized with major respiratory problems. In February, 2ooo the total reported cased were 2,087.
Most hospitalizations were cannabis smokers who used, unregulated, vape pens. These vape pens were found to have been laced with knock-off THC and cartridges that contained vitamin E-acetate. Additionally, the CDC did rule out that the problem vape pens were not contaminated with other dangerous chemicals.
The CDC concluded that these damaging vape pens were likely acquired from the black market or informal sources like family or friends. Therefore, I would only purchase cannabis vape pens from a reliable, regulated source, like your local dispensary.