Ask a Stoner: Does Marijuana Attract Bears?EXPAND
Westword

Ask a Stoner: Does Marijuana Attract Bears?

Dear Stoner: While camping in bear country, one needs to secure all food and toiletry items that have an odor so as not to attract bears. Is the same true of my stash? I’d hate to be maimed — or worse.
Jared

Dear Jared: I’ve never found out firsthand, fortunately. Cannabis has been known to attract dogs, but we couldn’t find any case studies on bears being drawn to the smell. Obviously, edibles are a no-no, but it’s hard to know what bears think of Afghani or Sour Diesel. Colorado Parks and Wildlife didn’t seem thrilled to talk about the subject, nor was the agency particularly helpful; the person we reached would say only this: “We have not tested marijuana on bears. Anything that is edible or smells edible can be an attractant to bears.” But as luck would have it, Backpacker.com actually tackled this question in its aptly named “Ask a Bear” column, concluding that if a bear can smell a dollop of toothpaste in your bag or leftover chocolate on a wrapper, it can easily smell your kush.

But does the bear actually want it? Who knows? Many strains of cannabis carry terpenes found elsewhere in the wild kingdom, such as lavender, pine trees and certain fruits. Myrcene, which is in hops, lemongrass, mangos, thyme and cannabis, is just one example of a terpene that might produce a smell attractive to curious bears. So you might as well secure your stash with the rest of your untouchables, just to be safe.

Have a question for our Stoner? E-mail marijuana@westword.com or call the potline at 303­-293­-2222.

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