The cannabis industry has made huge strides in the last few years, and many people believe their direction is clear: away from good, old-fashioned joints and toward more innovative, healthier,and perhaps more effective and precise methods of cannabis consumption.
Are joints endangered of extinction? Or have they become something more than just another means of cannabis intake – a symbol whose downsides are a small price to pay in exchange for the rich cultural heritage and implications it burns with?
It all depends on the consumer.
Joints can pose pretty much the same harmful effects as cigarettes. In fact, combustion causes various toxic by-products which have nothing to do with the actual cannabis compounds. Studies have found that smoking releases over 100 different toxins which are linked to cancer.1
Less Effective, Precise, and Cost-efficient
According to a study by California NORML and MAPS, vaporizers can convert 46% of the available THC in vapor, whereas joints tend to convert less than 25%. 1The belief that vaporizers don’t get you as high is a misconception, and in fact, the high seems to be not only stronger, but purer, as many patients report feeling more “clear-headed”.2
Are Joints Going Extinct?
So, with all those unquestionable downsides, are joints becoming extinct?
Far from it. In fact, despite the growing interest in alternative methods of cannabis consumption, joints still reign supreme.
55 % of Californians’ preferred method of cannabis intake is smoking. Another 5% of Californians resort to pre-rolls, aka joints.
Another survey by Civilized and PBS,which asked 1,600 Americans, found that 52% of them prefer joints and blunts. This percentage only goes higher in Canada – 68%.
In a study from New Zealand, 36% of the respondents stick to joints.
For casual and moderate cannabis consumers, a joint here and there couldn’t accumulate enough health damage for them to consider switching to a different method. Because for scores of people, that’s how consuming cannabis in any way other besides a joint would feel like – a method, not a ritual.
Joints will always be the most social way to enjoy cannabis. Even when consumed alone, there’s an undeniable magic about the rich aromas floating through the air, accompanied by the comforting sound of burning and a mouthful of earthy flavors. There’s the entourage effect as well, and even though there are other ways to take advantage of it, joints for now remain the easiest and most transparent of them all.
Time will tell how joints will hold up amidst the burgeoning cannabis industry and its innovations. For many people, especially the younger generations, new consumption methods might even carry more history, culture, and memories.
However, smoking joints will arguably feel more real than any other means of cannabis intake, and when it comes to flower and its cultural roots, real is synonymous with better.
- Hazekamp et al, The medicinal use of cannabis and cannabinoids—an international cross-sectional survey on administration forms, J Psychoactive Drugs. 2013 Jul-Aug;45(3):199-210.