Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: FAQ-Mj-consumption
Distribution: world
Organization: The Lab Rats

Author: (Michael Litchfield)
Subject: Marijuana consumption
Last Update: 6 Jun 91 19:30:02 GMT

    This paper is an exposition on the consumption of marijuana for its
psychoactive effects. Covered will be the two primary methods used in America
today, smoking and eating/drinking, with smoking being the more common method.
There are a whole lot of lies, half-truths, myths, and supposition about the
consumption of marijuana this is an attempt to clear things up as much as


    Smoking is the quickest but least efficient method of ingesting marijuana
and experiencing its effects. Marijuana smoke contains a number of
carcinogens, many of  which can be removed if the smoke is filtered through a
water bong but it will still contains some carcinogens and can be an irritant.
Studies have shown THC has a bronchiodialator effect, which may be effective in
purging the particulates from the lungs.


   Joints, marijuana cigarettes, are the perennial favorite of many people.
They are "shake", marijuana which has had the stems and seeds removed, which
is inside a fold of rice paper and then rolled into a cylinder. This is the
singularly most portable method to smoke grass once the joint has been rolled.

   When a joint has been smoked down to the point that it is difficult to hold
it is called a "roach" and wide variety of paraphernalia exists which are
designed to hold the roach without burning oneself. Collectively known as
"roach clips" they include tweezers, alligator clips, forceps, needle nose
pliers, and ceramic pieces with holes through them. There are a number of
devices available to facilitate rolling a joint. Absolutely essential is a
cleaning tray to remove the stems and seeds from the lose marijuana. There
are a number of papers available with which to roll ones joint, varying in
color, pattern, size, and presence of gummed edges. There are rolling
"machines" which make the process of rolling a joint much less ticklish, but
with practice and skill at rolling joints these tend to hinder more than help.
One of the more intriguing techniques of smoking a joint is taking what is
known as a powerhit. This is accomplished by having an accomplice surround the
burning end of the joint with their mouth, taking care not to allow their skin
to come into contact with the glowing end, and blowing while one takes a hit
from the other end. This can be somewhat dicey, but is one of the more intimate
ways of sharing a joint.

    Etiquette requires one to pass the joint in a circular fashion through
those present. No one is required to take a toke if they do not care to, but
they are expected to pass it on if it comes to them. "Bogartting", hoarding
the joint when it comes to you, is a SERIOUS breach of protocol. People too
stoned to smoke the joint let alone pass it are expected to be skipped over
and a joint can (politely) be removed from someone if they do not seem to be
sharing the consensus reality.


    Bongs, or water pipes if you are in a head shop, pass the smoke through
water to cool and filter it. Grass is put into a bowl on the end of a tube whose
other end is in a sealed container partially filled with water. The end of the
bowl's tube is below the level of the water so that as the smoke exits the
pipe it is bubble through a layer of water. The air pressure in the chamber is
lowered by breathing through another tube that stays above the water level in
the chamber. When the air pressure inside the chamber is lowered, air from
outside the chamber passes through the bowl and its tube and bubbles through the
water. Bongs are not particularly portable, as they tend to be awkward,
delicate, and heavy. Sizes range from the size of a small pill container to
eight foot tall escapees from a mad scientist laboratory. Principally made from
glass, plastic, ceramic, and metal they can be an art form unto themselves. The
principal benefit of smoking grass through a bong is that the smoke is cooled
and several carcinogens are removed without removing the active ingredients.
One can put any number of liquids in the chamber to filter the smoke, and beer
or other forms of alcohol are often used, but this is not recommended. The
active ingredients in marijuana are fat and alcohol soluble and when filtered
through such substances the active ingredients go into solution. In addition
the carcinogens in marijuana smoke are water soluble so that when smoke passes
through some liquid other than water one loses active ingredients and gains
carcinogens in the smoke entering your lungs. One method recommended is to
put ice water in the chamber, the cooled water is not quite as effective at
removing the carcinogens but the additional cooling is favored among
smokers. Carburetors are small openings in the chamber that are covered during
the hit and towards the end opened to allow all the smoke to escape the chamber.
Occasionally one finds a bong designed so that carboration is accomplished by
lifting the bowl slightly and allowing the air to enter the bowl tube.


Pipes are the simplest devices used to smoke marijuana. For the most part
they are similar to pipes used to smoke tobacco but marijuana pipes should be
made of heat resistant materials such as stone, ivory, metal, glass, and
occasionally harder woods. Grass does not tend to stay lit in pipe so
flame constantly has to be applied to bowl which heats it up more than pipes
with tobacco in them typically are heated. A common variant of pipe is the
stash pipe, a pipe where one may store a small amount of grass. Some stash
pipes are constructed in such a manner that the the smoke passes through the
stash area so that the grass inside is bathed in the smoke and acquires a
coating of resin which contains THC thus making it more potent when it is turn
is smoked. There are glass hash pipes which are used to smoke hashish and
hashish oil, the materiel is placed in the bowl as with other pipes but
instead of heat being applied to the top of the substance it is applied to the
bottom of the pipe.


One-hits, or dugouts as they are sometimes called, are a highly portable
method of smoking grass for someone who does not want to smoke an entire joint
at one time. A one-hit is a small metal tube that has a small cavity at one
end and a mouthpiece at the other. One presses the cavity into a small
container of cleaned grass to fill it and then is lit somewhat like a
cigarette and inhaled steadily until the grass is gone. One only gets one
inhalation or "hit" per filling thus it is called a one hit. A dugout is small
wooden container which has a space for the cleaned grass and another space for
the one-hit itself.

Gas Pipes

Gas Pipes are open ended tubes with a small bowl mounted near one end
perpendicular to the main axis of the tube. The end near the bowl is covered
with your hand and the smoke is drawn into the tube until the bowl is burned out
then the hand is removed and all the smoke in the tube rushes into your lungs.
These are usually made from glass, though occasionally one will find plastic

Gravity Bongs

   Gravity bongs are more a style of smoking than a particular apparatus for the
consumption of marijuana. With a gravity bong one uses water pressure to
create the vacuum in a chamber rather then one's lungs as with water pipes and
gas pipes. A gravity bong is made by placing a cylinder that is open at one and
and closed except for a place for a bowl at the other. The open end is placed
in a large  container of water until the chamber of the cylinder is filled with
water. The filled bowl is then attached and a flame is applied to the
marijuana in it. The cylinder is lifted slowly up. As the cylinder is lifted
up the water trapped inside will seek to escape out the open end into the
container due to the force of gravity. This creates a vacuum at the top of
the chamber near the bowl, this vacuum sucks the smoke from the burning
marijuana into the chamber replacing the water. A tube may reach from the
bowl to near the base of the cylinder making it a true bong or the end may not
actually enter the water so that is is similar to a gas pipe. after the
material in the bowl has been burned and the smoke has filled the chamber the
bowl is removed and the cylinder is pushed back down into the container. As the
water re-enter the chamber it forces the smoke out where and hopefully into an
expectant individual. This is the most common form of a water bong but any
number of similar schemes exist which can use the vacuum created by the
exiting water to draw the smoke, and then use that water again to force it out
of the chamber.

Tilt Pipes

    Tilt pipes are pipes which have a heating element built into the pipe at
the bowl, the element heats the marijuana to sub-flammable temperature but
which will activate and release the cannabanoids, or active ingredients, from
the plant material. Most smoking accessories apply an external flame to the
marijuana which vaporizes and breaks down many cannabanoids before they can be
consumed, thus wasting a portion of the active ingredients in the marijuana.
These device tend to be very rare usually only found among connoisseurs. They
are called tilt pipes because one tilts the pipe to bring the marijuana into
contact with the heating element.

Eating & Drinking

    The active ingredients in cannabis are fat and alcohol soluble so they can
be extracted and added to foodstuff entering the system through the digestive
tract rather than through the lungs. This type of consumption of marijuana tend
to be both slower and more efficient than smoking it. Further the noxious
effects of consuming heated smoke are completely eliminated. For these reasons
this is the favored method of marijuana consumption by many people.


    Marijuana must be heated before being consumed to activate the cannabanoids
so one cannot simply eat raw grass. The traditional method of eating it is to
cook it in a brownie, especially when it is in the form of hashish, though it
can be used in any number of things. The recommended method of eating marijuana
is to saute it in butter or margarine over medium heat, then to strain the
remaining solids out and use the butter to cook with. One can use this
marijuana butter to make brownies, cook vegetables, or however else one might
use butter to cook with, one can even spread it on a slice of bread. Many
people will mix the the residual solids in with whatever they are cooking in
hopes of making use of whatever cannabanoids might still be in them, but if
done properly this in not generally valuable. A typical ratio for making the
marijuana butter is one stick of butter to one eight of an ounce of marijuana,
and headed for fifteen to twenty minutes.


    One may extract the active ingredients from marijuana using alcohol and
then use this tincture to make a potent drink. The highest proof alcohol
available should be used, preferably 190 proof grain alcohol, since the water
in the alcohol will dissolve other chemicals in the marijuana that one
wishes to avoid. Some suggest soaking the grass in warm water for a period to
remove those chemicals but that presents a whole host of other and is not
really recommended. One may simply place the marijuana into a bottle of grain
alcohol and let the canabanoids leach out, but this takes 2-3 weeks of time. A
faster method is to heat the alcohol to sub-boiling and stir in the marijuana.
Great deal of care should be taken if this method is chosen as the alcohol is
highly flammable. The resulting tincture, often called "Green Dragon", is a
light to emerald green liquid, which can be drunk straight, but this is not
recommended. Highly lauded is a drink of 3 parts lemon lime soda, 1 part green
dragon and a dollop of honey served over ice.