Exploring the Physics and Chemistry of the Joint

 

Cannabis is one of the most popular drugs in the US. According to a study done by National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2012, 7.3% of Americans used cannabis. The research also revealed that most of the people start taking marijuana at the age of seventeen. Most people take it for pleasure, while others for medicinal purposes. Getting a recommendation for medical marijuana from your doctor is important. However, whether you take it for a pleasure of medical reasons, you need to understand the chemistry and physics of the joint.
Why burn cannabis?

Taking marijuana gives you a ‘high’ feeling. However, you will only get this effect after burning it. For the THC in the plant to become psychoactively available, it must undergo decarboxylation. Marijuana produces an acid known as THCA with passive THC. There is a carboxylic group (COOH) attached to this acid, and once it is removed through combustion, THC becomes psychoactive. Burning the cannabis before smoking vaporizes the THC behind the hot spot and the air from the burn is absorbed through the joint.
THC absorbed into the Bloodstream

Research conducted in 1982 by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), indicated that 20% of THC found in marijuana cigarette is delivered to your body after taking a five-second puff every minute. The 80% is lost to sidestream smoke and pyrolytic. Other research indicates that 20-37% of the THC hits the user in mainstream smoke. Whereas 40-50% arises in sidestream smoke, 23-30% gets lost to pyrolytic destruction. Precisely, if an average joint has 700 mg of cannabis flower, it will have 20% THC levels, meaning that each joint has 140 mg of THC. Carrying 20-37% to the lungs is equivalent to 28-52 mg of THC dose. However, you should not compare the joint smoked with edibles because your body metabolizes and reacts differently.

Delivery efficiency: Joint, Vape, and Bong
According to research done in 2007 by Donald Abrams, vaporization is healthier. In comparison to a smoked joint, the volcano produces less carbon monoxide, tar, and other combustion byproducts. At the same time, it delivers indistinguishable blood THC levels. Vape attracts 54% of the THC in the leaf, while joint attracts 20-37%. However, bong delivers less low levels of THC per gram of flower as compared to vape and joint.
Verdict

As a cannabis smoker, you should be concerned about the concentration of THC in your blood. Having a longer toke draws more THC in your blood, which is similar to inhaling huge volumes of smoke. Taking many tokes frequently increases the temperature of the joint. This keeps THC decarboxylation and delivery system in operation. However, allowing the joint to rest for 30-60 seconds cools it, just like the way it can distinguish itself if left unattended for a long time. Thus, the more joints you take, the more THC enters into your bloodstream. Joints are created when you roll marijuana in a partly translucent paper. The choice of this method of delivery is to adapt your smoking behavior that will give you the THC levels you desire.

References

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