Since 2007 there has been a worrying trend amongst large scale growers whereby they increase the weight of their yield by spraying the flowers with glass frosting spray, sugar or even micro contaminants. Whilst it is impossible to tell if micro contaminants have been used upon inspection; it is possible to check for glass frosting or sugar.
When you get your bag of weed there are a couple of things you can do to check its quality. OK I know we all look for that wonderful frosty bud, however this can mean that you are getting something extra for your money that you definitely don’t want. If cannabis looks extremely frosty there are ways to check that it is ‘clean’ of unwanted additives. Run your finger round the plastic bag it came in or brush it across the flowers themselves (gently). Then place your finger in your mouth and rub the crystal around your teeth. If it is free of additives the crystal will just dissolve. If that happens nothing to worry about! Sit back and prepare your lovely (hopefully fairly weighed out) herb and think nothing more of it. If however you get a ‘snap crackle and pop’ sensation you can safely conclude that the deal is contaminated with glass. If it tastes overly sweet you have bought cannabis sprayed with sugar.
If unfortunately you have bought contaminated cannabis DO NOT SMOKE IT. I understand that getting a refund from a street dealer is nigh on impossible and lets face it not always safe, however the tight chest, headache, sore throat and other nasty side effects just aren’t worth it. Scientists are still unsure as to the long term effects of smoking ‘grit weed’ as the size of the glass particles varies which means in some cases this could cause damage to your lungs. As always the long term effects of pulmonary damage can take some time to manifest – in short it is a waiting game and one that is definitely not worth playing. It has been proven by scientists such as Tashkin et al that cannabis use, even when heavy and prolonged does little to no lung damage at all. However this ‘grit weed’ is not safe and was not featured in this research at all. Do you really want to be inhaling hot glass, iron or sand filings.
One way to check for micro contaminants is to check the quality of the ash in your spliff or bong. I had cannabis once that was not something I would have classed as ‘grit weed’ as it passed all the above tests. However the ash left in the bong was greasy and would smear up your hand rather than just disintegrating. When tried in a joint the ash went solid and stuck to the end of the rizla failing to drop off the end into the ashtray as you would expect of high quality unadulterated flowers.
Please be careful, this cannabis is still in circulation and is still causing problems for people’s health. If you have any doubts –don’t smoke it. If you don’t feel safe to get a refund or even complain, vote with your feet. The more this sells the more unscrupulous growers will use glass and other contaminants to gain even more money from their yield than they already do. Alternatively follow the link below for guidance on growing your own for £4.20 a week.
By Beccy Gardham