Study: mixing cannabis flowering top with tobacco is most common method of consuming cannabis

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A small study of seized joints showed that mixing cannabis flowering top with tobacco is the most common method of consuming cannabis, with just nine of 202 joints inspected containing only cannabis flowering top and no tobacco.

The study by researcher Peter Collins was based on an analysis of 202 unsmoked randomly selected cannabis joints recovered by police between September 2015 and August 2018 (91% were recovered in 2017 and 2018), either from seizures or from amnesty bins at festivals within the UK.

Collins also found that it is common for joints with cannabis mixed with tobacco to contain in the  region of 200 milligrams of cannabis flowering top, meaning one gram of cannabis flowering top would be able to make five joints

Collins says because it was not always possible to remove absolutely every single piece of cannabis from the tobacco, the cannabis content would be very slightly more than the figures quoted.

Home Office data on cannabis seizures in the UK report all cannabis (except plants & resin) as  herbal cannabis with no distinction between flowering top and bush. Flowering top and bush were counted together as they were hard to distinguish. As  a guide, within the Avon and Somerset Force area during the financial year 2017/2018, seizures of cannabis flowering top amounted to more than 95% of seizures in weight, as opposed to 4.9% being identified as herbal cannabis (bush). Based on this, all cannabis (except resin) is be referred to as cannabis flowering top.

Of the 202 joints inspected, 172 of them contained cannabis flowering top (CFT) mixed with tobacco. The average weight of CFT in these 172 joints was 207.93 milligrams.

The below chart shows all joints plotted against their cannabis flowering top content and their tobacco contents.

Of the 172 joints with cannabis flowering top mixed with tobacco, 85% of them contained between 10 milligrams and 300 milligrams of CFT. The below chart shows all joints with a mix of cannabis flowering top and tobacco in groups based on the content of CFT in milligrams. For example, there were fifteen joints that contained between 10 milligrams and 50 milligrams of CFT.

Of the 202 joints inspected, 19 contained cannabis resin mixed with tobacco. The average weight of cannabis resin in these 19 joints was 202.84 milligrams.

The below chart shows all joints plotted against their cannabis resin content and their tobacco content.

The study’s findings are not particularly surprising but they beg several questions. For instance, how much ‘cannabis addiction’ is actually tobacco addiction? Would a regulated market improve the purity of cannabis and therefore undermine the tobacco industry? Would a regulated market improve the health of cannabis consumers?

Vaping has been found to be healthier than smoking precisely because it eliminates tabacco. It gets you higher, too. UKCSC clubs promote vaping for this very reason, and Brighton Cannabis Club, with 1,000 members is the first in the UK to be smoke free.

3 thoughts on “Study: mixing cannabis flowering top with tobacco is most common method of consuming cannabis

  1. Been smoking cannabis since 1994 and I’ve always mixed it with tobacco (green and resin) I prefer smoking with menthol cigarettes. Its purely pesrsonal choice after having a major whiteout smoking green neat.

  2. After reading the closing comments of this article I wanted to share my recent personal experience. About a month ago I switched from smoking a mixture of cannabis and tobacco to vaping cannabis flowers only. Within a few days I found that not only am I using less cannabis per session but my recreational cannabis usage is becoming less frequent. Where I previously would have had 1-3 sessions per day, I’m now at 1 or fewer sessions per day.

    Tobacco addiction is nothing to be scoffed at. I would like to see more research in this area.

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