In many ways a communal smoke session is a rite of passage and many believe you are not fully indoctrinated into cannabis culture until you have partaken in one. Be it with a group of strangers at an event or with your closest friends, such an affair is one that evokes plenty laugher and deep conversation as well as a multitude of germs on the joint or bong being passed from one individual to another. In this day and age we are more mindful of bacteria than ever and the more individuals who partake, the greater the variety of germs being up for grabs. We polled several cannabis stores, at some of the best online dispensaries as well as those who buy weed in Canada for their tips and tricks and the following is what we have come up with.
Generally, the most effective way to avoid bacteria and germs is to keep your equipment clean. Though stores and online marijuana dispensaries sell recommended products to clean your pipe or bong, perhaps the easiest is to use vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Hard water stains can be removed with vinegar while soaking your device overnight in alcohol will break down the resin and make cleaning easier. Though it may not be feasible to give your bong a deep cleaning in the middle of a communal session, generally it is good practice to keep your glassware sparkling as it will go a long way in eliminating bacteria, not to mention it will improve the overall experience as a dirty piece can influence the flavour of your choice strain.
The best online dispensary in Canada recommends purchasing an accessory that you can use universally with pipes, bowls and vapes. This silicone attachment acts as a tool separating your mouth from the communal piece and not only is it a germ barrier, it also has a built-in filter to help reduce the amount of tar and residue that enters your lungs. This device comes in a variety of sizes making it suitable for anything from the most elaborate of bongs to the simplest joint. Next time you are in your retail cannabis store or are perusing the paraphilia section of your favourite online marijuana dispensary be sure to check it out.
If all else fails, being aware of where and to whom the joint or bong is being passed around is a good last resort. Though it is unlikely people would clean off the mouth piece of a bong or pipe prior to each use, studies have shown that even a wipe with a cloth or a light pass with a flame does not effectively clean a surface. Some people we have asked like to buy cheap weed online to ensure that each participant in the group has their own personal joint, and though some recognize the logic behind this gesture, this “quantity versus quality approach” is not always appreciated. Nevertheless, in this day and age, be mindful of your smoking companions and take the necessary precautions.
Be Mindful of How Many Hits Are Going Around
It’s also important to keep in mind how much bacteria may be present on a particular glass piece, vape pen, or joint.
For the Moose Labs study, for instance, the company set up booths at a couple of cannabis events in Southern California, offering free hits from a dab rig to 200 total participants, half of whom used their MouthPeace and the other half who hit the piece without any device. Despite the fact that this long line of strangers were repeatedly taking hits from the same rig, only about 5% of the participants used the free alcohol wipes to clean the piece before consuming.
It may seem difficult and time-consuming to scrub down a piece after every single hit, but nonetheless, it’s important to be mindful about how many people have put their mouth onto a piece before it ends up in your hands. Whether that be at a cannabis event, a consumption space, or even among a small circle of friends, remember that there’s likely an unnerving amount of bacteria on the mouthpiece area.
“Using a light flame is not as effective as thoroughly cleaning with alcohol, but it does reduce some of the bacteria,” Rush explained. “We tested a lighter pass and T-shirt wipe and both of them reduced bacteria, but not to a sanitary level, more like from 1800 to 1100 bacteria per square inch.”