You heard right, fellow blazer. Chemicals in your rolling paper can be harmful to you, so check out the info below before you settle down with Mary Jane.
I see you over there… yeah YOU. The smoker who has a story to tell. The one who has gotten creative on a rough day and smoked the ganja out of an apple or used some magazine paper to smoke a fatty.
That is what some residents of Vanuatu do pretty often. They roll their tobacco in banana leaves, newspaper, and copybook paper. Gold stars for creativity for you both, but 0 for being the sharpest tools in the shed 😉.
Because according to a study in 2017, these Vanuatuan individuals had a significant reduction in lung functioning compared to professionally manufactured papers. They even compared the damage to their lungs to inhaling biomass pollutants like coal…COAL (7).
Ehhh, it happens to the best of us sometimes.
But wait, this does not mean that all manufactured papers are created equal.
In some cases, the type of rolling paper and not the smokables determine your exposure to toxic elements. Really! A study looked at 52 different brands of smokes and found that the type of rolling paper increased the smoker's exposure to pollutants more than the actual tobacco product itself. The papers with worse health concerns were the fast-burning, bleached, and flavored papers that contribute to higher levels of these pollutants (8).
There have also been some claims that different types of material used in rolling paper can make a difference, like hemp versus wood pulp versus rice paper. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of genuine research to argue the difference between these materials in terms of your health, but wood pulp is by far worse for the environment when compared to hemp (2).( Check out Raw’s Hemp Cones here.)
So you are saying that I should stop using rolling papers?
No, but you should look for unbleached, slow-burn papers that are minimally processed.
This is why the green blazer's RAW cones are an excellent choice for cannabis smokers. They are unbleached rolling papers with no chalk or dyes and don't contain any additional burn additives. They also use a patented criss-cross design that ensures a slow burn.
Unsure how to use pre-rolled cones? Check out our blog post HERE and learn how.
The Green Blazer's recommendation: The Ferrari of RAW cones
RAW's black cones are the thinnest rolling papers sold by The Green Blazer. They are made in Spain, where humidity is optimally low. In addition to the patented criss-cross design for a slow burn and no added chalk, dyes, bleaches, or chlorines, the RAW black is extremely thin, allowing you to have an extra slow burn and all that hit of flavor. Talk about a top-shelf kind of night!
Okay, but what about all of us cool kids who like to vape? That has to be healthier than smoking burning paper….
Not so fast you "cool kid".
Some vapes use chemical flavorings such as Diacetyl to give the vape pen flavors, and this can lead to a painful condition where tiny air sacs in your lungs become scarred and narrowed (6, 4). In addition, those vapes you smoke may also contain benzene, a chemical that can damage the cells in our lungs (6). There are even studies that have found bacteria and fungus in e-cigarettes that can cause a variety of health issues (4).
Not only do you have to worry about manufactured vapes, but you also have to be careful about receiving counterfeit vapes called "Dank" vapes that contain chemicals as a filler product (Such as Vitamin E Acetate) (4)
These have contributed to the CDC's 2,807 cases of lung damage (called EVALI), of which 68 died.
Am I saying that vaping is worse than smoking?
Based on the current research, vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking cigarettes, but the jury is still out on marijuana smokables (1, 5). Because cigarettes contain various toxic chemicals and addictive nicotine, it makes sense why vaping is a "less" harmful alternative.
But! There is limited research on cannabis smoking versus cannabis vaping, so…
We here at The Green Blazer always want you to smoke safely, so if you vape or smoke, make sure you get authenticated product and smoking devices every time you decide to put your feet up and smoke your reefer.
- Cahn, Z., & Siegel, M. (2010, December 9). Electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction strategy for tobacco control: A step forward or a repeat of past mistakes? - journal of public health policy. SpringerLink. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/jphp.2010.41
- Gibson. (2006). Hemp: A Substance of Hope. Journal of Industrial Hemp, 10(2), 75–83. https://doi.org/10.1300/J237v10n02_07
- Jonas, & Raj, R. (2020). Vaping-Related Acute Parenchymal Lung Injury: A Systematic Review. Chest, 158(4), 1555–1565. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2020.03.085
- Microbial contaminants found in popular e-cigarettes. (2019, April 24). ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190424083419.htm
- Nutt, David J, Prof, King, Leslie A, PhD, & Phillips, Lawrence D, PhD. (2010). Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis. The Lancet (British Edition), 376(9752), 1558–1565. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61462-6
- Vaping: What the Hell is Going On?! | Science Vs. (n.d.). Gimlet. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://gimletmedia.com/shows/science-vs/n8hw5a
- Weitz, Olszowy, K. M., Dancause, K. N., Sun, C., Pomer, A., Silverman, H., Lee, G., Tarivonda, L., Chan, C. W., Kaneko, A., Lum, J. K., & Garruto, R. M. (2017). Rolling Tobacco in Banana Leaves, Newspaper, or Copybook Paper Associated With Significant Reduction in Lung Function in Vanuatu. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, 29(3), 180–188. https://doi.org/10.1177/1010539517696552
- Zumbado, Luzardo, O. P., Rodríguez-Hernández, Ángel, Boada, L. D., & Henríquez-Hernández, L. A. (2019). Differential exposure to 33 toxic elements through cigarette smoking, based on the type of tobacco and rolling paper used. Environmental Research, 169, 368–376. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.11.021