In cannabis culture, the relationship between tobacco and cannabis has been long-standing one. Research estimates that approximately 70% of cannabis users commonly use tobacco when rolling blunts or spliffs.
To differentiate between the two, a blunt is when cannabis is rolled in a tobacco leaf or cigar wrap while a spliff is a cannabis joint rolled with tobacco.
So are there benefits to smoking cannabis with tobacco and do these benefits outweigh the risks?
With more in-depth studies releasing new data, we now know the effects of using both substances together.
Benefits of Smoking Cannabis with Tobacco
Generally speaking, the idea of combining cannabis with tobacco is driven by users wanting to get the most of their high. Studies have shown that mixing cannabis and tobacco together in a spliff increases vaporization efficiency by 45%. The study also shows that tobacco increases the amount of THC inhaled per gram of cannabis from 32.70mg/g for 100% cannabis joint to 58.90mg for 25% cannabis joint.
More research still needs to be done for us to better understand the relationship that nicotine and cannabis have on the brain. For example, there is a direct relationship between the hippocampus size and performance of the memory in non-users of cannabis or nicotine. Cannabis is known to have a shrinking effect on the hippocampus which may cause poor memory performance for cannabis users.
However, cannabis and nicotine have an inverse effect on the brain. The smaller hippocampus in tobacco and cannabis users resulted in better memory function. This point suggests that cannabis and tobacco combination deserves a deeper look to know the effects.
Adverse Effects of Smoking Cannabis with Tobacco
According to research, mixing cannabis and tobacco in a joint increases the symptoms of dependence. The study encourages them to smoke these substances individually to reduce harm. In the study on the popularity of consuming different modes of cannabis around the world, they found a link between using tobacco with cannabis and addictive behavior. A cannabis and tobacco spliff has also been found to temporarily increase heart rate and blood pressure.
Since cannabis is less addictive than tobacco, mixing cannabis with tobacco can lower the motivation to quit. Studies have found that those who didn’t mix cannabis with tobacco are more likely to seek professional help for nicotine and cannabis addiction.
Researchers have also concluded that those who mix cannabis with tobacco regularly are at risk of psychological dependence than those who use tobacco and cannabis separately without mixing them. The study also found that mixing tobacco with cannabis was more popularly used in Europe in comparison to other countries such as North America with only 4.4% of US, 6.9% of Mexican, and 16% of Canadian cannabis users combining the two.
Although combining cannabis and tobacco is a great way to give your high a nice boost, it is important to note that mixing it brings its own set of adverse health effects. It is a good idea for cannabis smokers to exclude tobacco from their joints or use alternative forms such as vaporizing.