smoking weed through a filter

Alcohol & Other Drugs

Safer Cannabis Use: Marijuana, hash, hash oil

Reduce your risk of lung problems, mental health problems and legal issues

Author: Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research

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You and safer cannabis use

While using cannabis may be safer than using some other drugs, there are things about using cannabis that can be harmful. Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of harms and bad experiences.

Before you start.

Be sure you trust your source. Cannabis for adult personal use is now legal in Canada. Legal cannabis products are tested for quality in BC, and thus safer to use than cannabis you may get from your dealer or a friend. Avoid using cannabis if contaminants like mold and mildew are visible.

Try a small amount first. Some strains of cannabis may have higher THC content and may have a stronger effect than you were expecting. If you know it’s a stronger strain, you can use less and avoid unnecessary smoke and toxins in your lungs.

When using cannabis.

Be smart. Possessing up to 30 grams of cannabis for your own use is legal in Canada. Cannabis is regulated by the province of BC. You must be 19 or over to purchase, possess or use cannabis or cannabis products. Be sure you know where and when it is safe to use.

Avoid cannabis smoke if possible. Cannabis smoke contains tar and toxins. The safest choice is to use a vaporizer—it delivers the THC in mist form instead of smoke. But they cost a lot of money—$100-700. The second best choice is to smoke it in the form of a joint.

Prevent burns on your lips or fingers. Use a small piece of rolled unbleached cardboard as a filter.

Take shallow puffs, not deep inhalations. About 95% of the THC in the smoke is absorbed in the first few seconds so you don’t need to puff hard or hold your breath.

Leave tobacco out of the mix. Tobacco contains many cancer-causing toxins, so it’s safer to smoke cannabis by itself.

Did you know.

Water bongs are not as safe as joints. Bongs filter out more THC than tars since water tends to absorb THC. This requires you to puff harder, increasing the amount of tar that is inhaled.

Some pipes and bongs give off toxic fumes. If using a bong, avoid those with a plastic bottle, rubber hose or aluminum cone. If using a pipe, make sure it’s made of glass, stainless steel or brass (avoid wood and plastic).

Cannabis and driving.

Stay away from the steering wheel. Cannabis can impair your motor coordination, judgment and other skills related to safe driving. It’s safest to wait three to four hours after using cannabis before driving or operating machinery.

If eating or drinking cannabis.

Take your time. It can be hard to find the right dose when eating cannabis cookies or drinking cannabis tea. You may get much higher for much longer than you wanted to. To prevent this, use a small amount and wait at least one hour to feel the effects before using more.

Things to avoid

Using regularly at an early age. Human brains are not fully developed until early adulthood.

Using cannabis daily or almost daily. Regular habitual use can lead to dependence, meaning you feel you need to use it just to feel normal.

Using cannabis as your main way of having fun or coping with stress. There are healthier ways to enjoy yourself or deal with negative moods.

Using cannabis with alcohol. The effects of cannabis are intensified and may last longer than expected or wanted if you drink alcohol or use other drugs at the same time.

Using cannabis when you are at risk of a mental health problem. Cannabis use may increase the risk of psychotic symptoms for those with a pre-existing vulnerability to psychosis. And, it may worsen the symptoms of psychotic disorders.

Getting help

Self-help tools:

Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service:

604-660-9382 (Greater Vancouver)

For more information on cannabis regulation in BC:

While using cannabis may be safer than using some other drugs, there are things about using cannabis that can be harmful. Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of harms and bad experiences.

Smoking weed through a filter

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What Are Joint Filters & Why Use One?

Joint smoking has been around a couple hundred years in its modern form. Recreational joint smoking was started by Mexican field hands in the late 1800s and brought to America by Mexican immigrants when they started migrating north for more opportunity and a piece of the American dream. Joint smoking really hasn’t changed in the 200 or so years it has been around, but what goes in and on your joint has been majorly overhauled in recent years.

It’s not only the flower that has taken leaps and bounds forward but joint filters as well. Joint filters or joint crutches are little devices that act as a mouthpiece between your lips and joint. Joint filters serve multiple purposes and increase the user experience of smoking a joint.

Reduce “Scooby Snacks” – Scooby snacks are the unwanted scraps of cannabis that stick to your lips and tongue after hitting the joint. Joint filters create a barrier of separation between the flower and your mouth and completely negate the scooby snack phenomenon.

Reduce Tar – While cannabis has numerous medicinal benefits, smoking cannabis can be hard on your lungs. Cannabis smoke releases many of the same carcinogens that are found in cigarettes. I’m not saying smoking cannabis is equivalent to smoking cigarettes, but inhaling smoke into your lungs isn’t great for lung health period. Joint filters can catch some of the extra tar and chemicals found in smoke, reducing bronchial irritation slightly.

Reduce Burns – Joint filters add a barrier of separation between your fingers, lips and the burning embers. Many times the heat from a joint roach will scorch your fingers or lips.

Reduce Coughing – Reducing the tar will also reduce the amount of coughing experienced while smoking. Some users suffer from bronchial sensitivity and are hit with major coughing attacks after just a few hits of cannabis. A good joint filter will help reduce coughing fits, but how much really depends on the user.

Construction – Joint filters add a level of structural integrity to any pre-roll. The filter creates an anchor point when rolling and helps keep the joint intact when it’s being passed between multiple people.

No More Roaches – Joint filters allow you to smoke the entire roach and reduce wasted weed.

Filter420 Joint Filter – Filter420 has taken the joint filter a few steps further. Filter420 has engineered a pre-roll filter that can be used for filtering out toxins. Filter420 joint filters can be bought wholesale or in packs of three for individual use. These devices are constructed out of sturdy sterilized plastic that is safe to breathe through and won’t break when it’s in your pocket.

The device has three sections; the tip, chamber, and mouthpiece. The tip has a bright green color to easily show where the pre-roll is inserted. The chamber is filled with silicon beads that do the majority of the work, catching tar and chemicals in cannabis smoke. The mouthpiece prevents any heat from the embers hitting your fingers or the back of your throat. You visibly see the tar build up through the clear plastic, giving a clear visual representation of the gunk that was kept out of your lungs.

Learn About Joint Filters And Get Tips You Can Use Today to Revolutionize Your Smoking Experience With A Joint Filter Today! ]]>