The title may strike some people as strange, but there has to be a reason why most people in Europe, the Caribbean, and South America choose to mix their cannabis with tobacco. Most Americans simply can’t fathom why anyone would do such a thing, but there must be some good reasons for it. Right?
Having been born and raised in the UK, there was nothing more normal or enjoyable for me than a nice spliff rolled in a paper with the contents of a whole Marlboro Red inside and a sprinkle of cannabis on top. I estimate that the ratio of tobacco-to-cannabis in those joints was about 80/20 and it was typical to roll and smoke up to six of these during a sit-down evening session with some mates. At the time, mixing cannabis and tobacco was just a way of life.
Due to the small amount of cannabis inside, it could take two or three joints until you really felt the effects of the cannabis but there was just something uniquely pleasurable about the taste, aroma and slow, long-lasting effects of smoking in this way that was as normal a part of life as tea and scones at 4pm.
After moving to another country at the age of 19, I met Americans for the first time and was shocked at their cannabis etiquette and practices. For me, taking a gram of ground cannabis, rolling it pure into a joint and smoking the whole thing between two or three people was a bizarre concept. I even laughed out loud when I witnessed it for the first time and thought that my new buddies from across the pond just didn’t know how to smoke cannabis properly. How wrong I was, despite arguing blind for years that mixing cannabis and tobacco was necessary when smoking.
While long joints packed with tobacco have been the norm in Europe, The Carribean and some countries in South America for decades, mini joints have traditionally been the standard method among North Americans. This means that European Cannabis smokers need to smoke around four cigarettes worth of tobacco to ingest the same amount of cannabis that you get in a mini joint smoked pure.
Back in the day, cannabis wasn’t so easy to come by and was always expensive. Perhaps this is why many in the UK and Europe mix their cannabis with tobacco to make it last longer. Then again, all of the people I knew (including myself) who smoked cannabis regularly, were also moderate-to-heavy cigarette or rolling tobacco smokers.
So yes, one of the benefits of smoking cannabis with loads of tobacco is that it certainly lasts longer. There’s also a certain sensation that one gets when taking cannabis into the lungs with a filterless cigarette mixed in. Apart from that, mixing cannabis with tobacco is a terrible idea and can lead to lung cancer and a whole host of other serious health issues. Fast forward a few years to the advent of vaporizers and tobacco became a thing of the past for myself and my cannabis-smoking mates.
These nifty devices ensured that one didn’t have to smoke cannabis with tobacco, or even pure, as it could be heated to the perfect temperature in the oven inside the device, releasing only the right cannabis compounds in vapor form. This method is far healthier than smoking as inhaling combusting plant material into the lungs is never a good thing. Even if cannabis is not directly associated with lung cancer, and could even counteract it, vaping is a much healthier method for consuming cannabis, especially for regular users, according to numerous studies.
While many in Europe and other places in the world still mix their cannabis with tobacco, there’s an increasing trend to smoking it pure and/or vaporizing as people become more health conscious and more aware about the damaging long-term effects of smoking tobacco; even if it’s mixed with your favorite cannabis strain.