Author’s Note: This piece was written by a germaphobe.
Forget about the illegal vapes that are putting Americans in early graves, there is another serious health issue taking place across the United States right now that cannabis users should be concerned about. Call us paranoid, call it propaganda, hell, stop what you’re doing right now and call the godforsaken CDC.
There is now evidence showing that all of those communal smoke sessions that stoned society has taken part in all of these decades is really no different than if we dragged our tongues across the business end of a toilet seat. All sorts of vile contagions linger on those bongs and bowls that most of us pass around all willy nilly and they could quite possibly infect the masses with a vicious zombie plague that threatens humanity with extinction. Or maybe we’re just being overly dramatic.
But that’s not to say we aren’t concerned about how these social smoke circles that have become so prevalent among the cannabis scene are setting us up for more sickness. What’s more is these illnesses, such as the common cold and flu, are avoidable if we’d just exercise a bit of caution.
A study from the folks at California-based Moose Labs shows that marijuana smoking devices actually contain 50% more bacteria than a toilet seat. Let that sink in for a minute. Considering some of the crappers we’ve come across in our time, this statistic is concerning, to say the least.
“An astounding level of bacteria was found on cannabis pipes, vaporizers, and joints; significantly higher than what was initially expected,” the study reads. “In fact, it was difficult to find a neutral object in daily life that was as contaminated as a cannabis pipe.”
Sure, we understand that not all bacteria is evil and determined to infiltrate the human body to wreak havoc in such a way that spawns a vicious outbreak unlike any we’ve ever seen in the movies. But there is no denying that there are some germs out there whose only mission in their disgusting existence is to turn people’s systems inside out and make them feel like a heaping pile a dog crap.
And these little critters are hanging onto our pot paraphernalia for dear life.
Not only are these tiny beasts gathering as a result of the people we share our bongs with, but there can also be dangerous bacteria in the weed itself, in our bong water, and, well, you’re just going to have to excuse us a minute while we go vomit up a lung. How we’ve all managed to avoid being quarantined is beyond us. Marijuana might be safer than a lot of things, but how we consume it just isn’t.
So it stands to reason that we must do everything in our power to protect ourselves from these microscopic orgies of destruction. But what can we do to keep these gnarly varmints from making us ill?
There are a plethora of ways to smoke marijuana safely without exposing yourself to foul bacteria.
For starters, just stop smoking weed with other people. We live in a time where legal marijuana dispensaries carry a variety of pot products designed for personal use. This is not freaking 1973. There should never come a time when 10 people are sitting around a room taking hits off the same joint, bowl or bong.
Repeat after me, BYOW — bring your own weed!
The cannabis trade is always talking about legalizing marijuana like alcohol. Well, we’ve got news for you, folks. People who drink do not sit around passing a single bottle of Coors Light to each other until everyone in the room gets a swig. Unless they are in a back alley someplace and desperate as hell, everyone usually has their own bottle because — wait for it — swapping spit with strangers (and even people we know) in pursuit of a buzz is just gross. Like way beyond just running the risk of catching the yacks!
Did you know that smoking weed with other people can spread herpes? HERPES. Come on tokers, aside from catching a cold or the flu more frequently than most — “Gee, I wonder why I’m sick all the time” — there is always a chance that you could end up with sores sprouting from your lips that are destined to ride it out with you until the bitter end. Being stoned is pretty great, but it is not worth risking looking like a deleted scene from one of those “Sex and You” videos they used to show teens in health class.
No way, no how, no, thank you!
Fortunately, there are some options out there for those among the old school who just flat out refuse to stop smoking weed with others. Moose Labs, god bless them, has created a line of safe smoking accessories that can be used to help prevent the spread of bacteria and disease. They have something called the MouthPeace, which allows a person to take a hit off a bong without putting their lips where others have been before. There are also bong condoms that work similarly to traditional prophylactics in the sense that they protect the body from being infected with creepy crawlies.
But we’ve never seen anyone use these safety products before. Maybe that’s just because most folks didn’t realize they existed. Still, we don’t feel confident that these smoking attachments are going to save high humans from all of the coughing and wheezing they have endured over the years due to this careless behavior. And we’re absolutely positive that it’s not going to prevent people from having to explain to their significant other that it was the bong, not another person, that actually gave them an STD.
Unfortunately, there is some progress that needs to be made with respect to the cannabis scene these days, and it starts with weed connoisseurs being less Cheech and Chong and more Howard Hughes.
TELL US, are you scared of germs when it comes to toking with others?