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A narrow screened single-toke midwakh (shown here) or kiseru provides low-temperature 25 mg servings, avoiding the health risk of hot-burning cigarette papers.

Cannabis smoking There are many slang words that refer to cannabis smoking including "shopshons" refers to the process of getting high. Smoking Cannabis involves inhaling the vapors released by the combustion of the flowers and subtending leafs and stems of the pistillate Cannabis plants, known as marijuana. Alternatively, the cannabis plant flowers may be sifted releasing trichomes, containing high amounts of THC and other cannabinoids, which are then pressed and baked into solid cakes known as hashish. Cannabis is consumed "recreationally" to produce a feeling of relaxation or euphoria, for medical reasons (such as to relieve stress or suppress nausea), or by artists or inventors for creative inspiration.

Smoking releases the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is absorbed into the bloodstream via the lungs. It then mostly targets the brain, where it binds to cannabinoid receptors. The immune system also contains cannabinoid receptors and may modulate its function.[1] The cannabinoid receptors receive the THC and other cannabinoids, setting off a chain reaction, leading to the feeling of a mental "high," which varies strongly by person. Studies have also found that the heating of cannabis (which can be achieved without the health hazards of combustion by means of a vaporizer) results in the production of additional THC from the decarboxylation of the non-psychoactive Δ9-tetrahydrocanabinoid acid (THCa)[2].

While cannabis can be consumed orally, the bioavailability characteristics and effects of this method are different from smoking. The effect takes longer to begin, is typically longer-lasting, and can sometimes result in a more powerful psychoactive effect.[3]

Cannabis can be smoked in a variety of pipe-like implements, including bowls, bongs, chillums and one-hitters, or by rolling it into a cigarette-like "joint" or cigar-like "blunt".[4]

Contents

Smoking implements

This one-hitter-style pipe, with dug-out storage carrier, mimics a commercial cigarette for users to smoke unobtrusively.

Pipes

Commercial large-bowl Glass pipe.

Smoking pipes, sometimes called pieces or bowls, can be made of blown glass, wood, ceramic, borosilicate, stone, or metal fittings. Blown-glass pipes and bongs are often intricately and colorfully designed, and can contain materials that change color or become more vivid with repeated use. A screen is often added to prevent small particles from clogging the channel.

Bong

A hand-blown glass bong

A bong is a pipe with a small water-chamber known as a "bubbler" [5] through which the cannabis smoke passes prior to inhalation. Users fill the bong with water in order to cool the smoke and filter out particulate matter, sometimes also adding ice or using substances such as brandy in place of water. Ash Catchers, Diffusors, Percolators, and Carbon Filters are being seen more and more in modern glass bongs. [6] Bongs may have a hole which is covered with a finger during inhalation and then uncovered to clear the pipe of smoke; slang names for this include: carb (short for carburetor), rush-hole, choke, "clear hole" or just "clear", shotgun, and shotty.

Joint

A joint or sometimes called a "hooter", "spliff" or a "doobie" is created by rolling up cannabis, either manually or with a rolling machine, into paper, forming a cigarette-like product.

Blunt

A Blunt, sometimes known as a "Gar", "rillo", or "L" is ground cannabis rolled with a cigar wrapper (tobacco leaf).[7] Blunts are usually rolled using low quality cigars or blunt wraps. [8]

Volcano Vaporizer. After filling with vapors, the balloon (top) is ready to remove and inhale from.

Vaporizer

Since the delivery of THC occurs through heating rather than combustion, it is possible to "smoke" small servings of sifted cannabis without ever igniting the herb, through the use of a "vaporizer." This maximizes consumption of active cannabinoids while minimizing the harmful and irritating effects of actual smoke. [9]

At least one study has shown that using a vaporizer results in reduced tar and carbon monoxide inhalation compared to smoking the same amount of cannabis.[10]

"Spots"

An alternative vaporization method, known variously as spots, spotting, dots, hot knives, "knifers", or blades, is to compress a small amount of cannabis between two heated metal blades and inhale the resulting vapors through a tube or chimney ("spottle").[11]

Shotgun

A shotgun (also known as a backfire, shotty, brainer, charge, powerhit, super, or blowback) refers to one user taking a "hit" of a joint, blunt, pipe or Bong, turning it around so the lit end or bowl is inside the mouth, and blowing the hit out through the piece into the mouth of another user, who sucks it in. It can also mean to take a hit and blow it directly into the other person's mouth.

Mixing with other herbs

Often cannabis is combined with tobacco (also known as "Spinning", "Batching", "Webacco", and "Amsterdam Style") or alternative smokable herbs[12], such as hops flowers, peppermint leaf, etc., in a joint or spliff.

Mixing with tobacco is more common in Europe and the Middle East than in the Americas. For some users this practice is said to have an instant and more intense effect than smoking cannabis by itself, but at least one source has suggested that it can lead to nicotine dependence[13]

Health effects

Lung cancer

A major 2006 study compared the effects of tobacco and Cannabis smoke on the lungs.[14][15] The outcome of the study showed that even very heavy cannabis smokers "do not appear to be at increased risk of developing lung cancer,"[15] while the same study showed a twenty-fold increase in lung cancer risk for tobacco smokers who smoked two or more packs of tobacco cigarettes a day.[14][15] It is known that Cannabis smoke, like all smoke, contains carcinogens and thus has a probability of triggering lung cancer. THC, unlike nicotine, is thought to "encourage aging cells to die earlier and therefore be less likely to undergo cancerous transformation."[15] Cannabidiol (CBD), an isomer of THC and another major cannabinoid that also grows on cannabis, has been reported elsewhere to have anti-tumor properties as well. However, in that report, some cellular abnormalities were documented showing an increase in lung cancer risk in very heavy users.[16]

See also

Links

  1. ^ http://lupus.webmd.com/news/20030415/cannabis-may-suppress-immune-system
  2. ^ Verhoeckx KC, Korthout HA, van Meeteren-Kreikamp AP, Ehlert KA, Wang M, van der Greef J, Rodenburg RJ, Witkamp RF (2006-04-06). Unheated Cannabis sativa extracts and its major compound THC-acid have potential immuno-modulating properties not mediated by CB1 and CB2 receptor coupled pathways. International Immunopharmacology. PMID 16504929. 
  3. ^ http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis_effects.shtml
  4. ^ United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2006), World Drug Report, 1, pp. 187–192, ISBN 92-1-148214-3, http://www.unodc.org/pdf/WDR_2006/wdr2006_chap2_annex1.pdf, retrieved 2007-11-22 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ http://www.nida.nih.gov/infofacts/marijuana.html
  8. ^ http://www.drugabuse.gov/PDF/PARENTS_Marijuana_brochure.pdf
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ DI Abrams, et al. (2007). "Vaporization as a Smokeless Cannabis Delivery System: A Pilot Study" (pdf). Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 82. http://www.maps.org/media/vaporizer_epub.pdf. 
  11. ^ "Cannabis use in a drug and alcohol clinic population", McBride A. J. 1994
  12. ^ http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Smoking_Cessation#Herbal_alternatives
  13. ^ Australian Government Department of Health: National Cannabis Strategy Consultation Paper, page 4. "Cannabis has been described as a 'Trojan Horse' for nicotine addiction, given the usual method of mixing cannabis with tobacco when preparing marijuana for administration."
  14. ^ a b Boyles, Salynn. “Pot Smoking Not Linked to Lung Cancer,” WebMED Health News. May 23, 2006. (Retrieved 2009-09-05.)
  15. ^ a b c dStudy Finds No Link Between Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer,” American Thoracic Society. May 2006. (Retrieved 2009-09-05.)
  16. ^ Armentano, Paul. “Cannabis Smoke and Cancer: Assessing the Risk,” NORML: Working to reform marijuana laws. No publication date. (Retrieved 2009-09-05.)







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