We've reached peak sniffle season in Colorado, when a third of your office mates sound like their sinuses are more clogged than the toilets at a Chipotle. And even though we're not supposed to, many of us are still smoking cannabis and tobacco during these bouts with the flu, colds and other common contagions.
It's usually a good idea to take a break from smoking while dealing with throat and respiratory issues, but people aren't full of good ideas. To protect you and others from hacking germs all over each other during your next session, follow these six rules of cannabis use:
Do it Alone
This may seem obvious, but I've seen way too many people sniffling and hacking up lungs after one or two puffs in a blunt circle. Not only are you spreading your germs via the blunt, but you're also putting everyone in the circle at risk by coughing in the open air or on your hands. Smoking cannabis is social, but keep yourself quarantined until you're no longer contagious.
Wipe Down Pipes
You might see this done at cannabis cup events and lounges that allow social pot consumption via community bongs and dab rigs, but it's a smart tactic to follow at home, too. A quick scrub with an isophoric rubbing alcohol wipe kills a large portion of any bacteria on the mouthpiece, and it takes less than a minute — although it's also wise to wipe mouthpieces down with a wet towel to clear off any alcohol flavors before lighting up. We know that's asking a lot of someone who is stoned, lazy and distracted, but try to stay disciplined.
Buy an Attachment
Even if you do wipe down your pipes, bongs and rigs, there still might be some germs lingering around, according to pipe accessory company Moose Labs. Those claims deserve a grain of salt, considering the personal pipe mouthpiece Moose Labs sells, but the attachment is still worth considering if you spend regular time at social pot lounges or cannabis events with a lot of other stoner mouths.
Don't Puff Until the Session Ends
Her's another seemingly obvious suggestion, but one too often overlooked, based on personal experience. Hitting the end of a joint or blunt is much like getting the last swallow at the bottom of a soda can, but beggars can't be choosers. Tell your friends you'd rather puff at the end of the session, and ask for more than just a roach to kill the joint by yourself.
Check Your Weed, and its Growers
Cannabis contaminated with yeast, mold, pesticides and even bugs was around long before we started covering the recalls hitting Colorado's legal pot industry, but allow those to serve as a warning: Even if you check your buds for mold, bud rot and other marijuana no-no's, they might not be clean, as many contaminants aren't detectable by our eyes. Make sure wherever you're getting pot from gives a shit about your lungs. That might be easier in Colorado than states without dispensaries, but it's always worth getting to know your grower.
Check Edibles Dates
So many stoners need to hear this: Just because a brownie has pot in it, doesn't mean it has a longer shelf life. That weed brownie your friend gave to you two months ago probably isn't good any more, even if you kept it in the back of your fridge. Marijuana edibles expire just as regular food does, so always check production and best-buy dates
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.