There is no safe way to use drugs. However, there are ways you can reduce the harm to yourself when using drugs. Cannabis is no different. Here at LANDED, we don't condemn or condone anyone's drug use. We aim to tell you the facts in an effort to keep you as safe as possible if you decide to use cannabis or any other substances. This is known as harm-reduction.
In this blog post, we will look at some key harm-reduction techniques that you can use to keep yourself a little safer when using cannabis.
Our main point - don't smoke it in a joint.
In the UK, smoking cannabis with tobacco is the most common way to use it. It's a very unhealthy trend. When you smoke cannabis with tobacco, you are at risk of developing a long list of illnesses, diseases, and even up to 15 different types of cancer. So, using cannabis without tobacco is one of the top harm-reduction techniques that you should adopt. There are many other methods of using cannabis.
Some other methods are:
Plastic bongs & pipes
It is important to take into account the material used to make the smoking device. Avoid plastic bongs and pipes, as there is a chance you could accidentally burn or melt the plastic and consume toxic chemicals. Instead, try to use smoking equipment made from glass or metal. These can be a little more expensive to buy, but it lowers the risk that you will inhale extra nasty stuff.
Rolling papers & roach
The type of papers and filters (or roach) you use is important too. Try to use the thinnest and most natural papers you can find. Also, consider using roach with no ink or glossy finishes on it—for example, a train ticket or cigarette packet.
Cannabis edibles are one of the healthiest ways to use cannabis. However, the danger with these is that they can be powerful, even if you have used cannabis before. Cannabis edibles are even known to knock out users with a high tolerance of THC.
If you decide to use edibles, you should look into the dosage you are taking, and it is important to note that they can have a delayed effect. It can take anywhere between 30 minutes and two hours before you feel any effects from the edible.
So, "start low and go slow".
Don't be a mug, no mixing with other drugs.
Mixing more than one drug together is known as polydrug use. It is safer to stick to one substance at a time. If you mix drugs, the effects can be unsafe and, in some cases, deadly. This website is a great resource if you are interested in learning more about the science behind mixing drugs.
Clean your stuff before you puff.
You wouldn't eat your dinner with a dirty plate and fork, would you? Treat your smoking equipment with the same respect.
Used bongs, pipes, and other paraphernalia can be a breeding ground for nasty bacteria, and even fungus. Make sure you clean your stuff regularly and change your bong water frequently.
The below information comes directly from NHS Inform:
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing or handling any drugs, packaging, papers, filters or tobacco
Make sure any pipes, bongs, vapes and grinders are cleaned on a more regular basis (paying particular attention to mouthpieces)
Wipe down any baggies or other cannabis packaging with alcohol wipes or anti-bac spray and a clean cloth as soon as possible after buying
When you take a toke - don't hold the smoke.
Using drugs with a group of friends is a good piece of harm reduction advice. They can keep an eye on you and lend a hand if something goes wrong. When it comes to using cannabis in a social situation, groups of friends might play smoking games such as killer - AKA, 2DK. Smoking games like these can increase the harm caused by using cannabis. Holding smoke for much longer than normal starves your brain and body of oxygen, and allows more time for the harmful chemicals of the smoke to be absorbed into your body.
It doesn't get you higher, so consider that myth BUSTED.
No green before you dream.
Cannabis is known to cause relaxation, tiredness, and induce sleep; but it is also reported to disturb your sleep, resulting in you not feeling fully rested when the alarm goes off in the morning. More research is needed on how cannabis affects your sleep, however, as some previous studies have been inconclusive. What we do know is that risk of disturbed sleep increases if you are using cannabis regularly, and using it too close to bedtime.
If you are concerned about your cannabis use or someone else's, your doctor can help by linking you to some local help services. Contact your family GP or doctor for further help. Please look at our further information section at the bottom of this blog post for more information.
Have a look at the links below for further reading and information.
You can also read about cannabis on our other LANDED blog posts.
TALK TO FRANK - https://www.talktofrank.com/
WE ARE WITH YOU - https://www.wearewithyou.org.uk/
DRUG SCOPE - http://www.drugscope.org.uk/
KNOW THE SCORE - https://knowthescore.info/
SCOTTISH DRUGS FORUM - http://www.sdf.org.uk/
DRUG SCIENCE - https://drugscience.org.uk/
CHOICES FOR LIFE - https://young.scot/campaigns/national/choices-for-life
LEAFLY - https://www.leafly.com/