Marijuana Media: Science determines the best way to roll your cannabis


On Marijuana Media this week – Science determines the best way to roll your cannabis, we consider our mental health, and celebrate our small victories!


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Leading the news this week, Science Reveals How to Roll the Perfect Joint. According to a report in Scientific American, researchers used a smoking machine to test the intensity of marijuana rolled into joints. The research showed how much THC or CBD gets from a reefer into your lungs depends largely on the joint architecture.

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Presented at the Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition in Vancouver in June, the research team at Delic Labs, a cannabis and psilocybin research facility in Vancouver, prepared samples of THC- and CBD-dominant strains of cannabis with 1mm, 3mm and 5mm particle size. They made joints from 0.5g of each sample, using standard pre-rolled cones, and connected the joints to a “smoke cycle simulator” machine. Researchers used analytical chemistry techniques to measure aerosol levels from puffs taken at the beginning, middle, and end of each joint. The findings reveal how to roll joints that are more potent or last longer:

The 1-mm particle size delivered the most cannabinoid per puff, while the 5-mm size was less intense but led to longer-lasting joints. Smaller chunks exposed a greater surface area to the flame more quickly, providing a faster and more efficient burn. And regardless of particle size, the highest concentration of cannabinoids per puff came toward the end of the joint. Meanwhile more terpenes, chemicals in cannabis that contribute to flavor but not active drug concentration, came out of the plant at the beginning of the joint. This suggests that a joint will provide the best flavor at the beginning and deliver the strongest concentration of cannabinoids at the end.

Joint architecture is important for dose titration and being in control of your cannabis experience. What else makes a good joint? Listen to the pot-cast to find out! I roll a joint of my prescribed medicinal cannabis bud – a locally-grown indica dominant called Kikuya Peak – live on the show, and we invited listeners to join in the ‘research’. While it wasn’t the first joint to be rolled in the bfm studio, it was probably the first legal one!

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The Spinoff on Wednesday ran Brain chemistry: four stories of drug use and mental health in Aotearoa. Our most commonly consumed illicit drug is of course cannabis, and studies have shown the vast majority don’t experience any problems and for some cannabis can benefit their mental health (for example, PTSD, seasonal affective disorder, insomnia, anxiety, depression, anorexia and ADHD) while it can harm some individual’s mental health. This is sponsored content with The Level and there are some great tips in there (Check in with your state of mind before taking drugs; talk to your doctor if you’re on other meds; If you’re self-medicating, be mindful of your use). One story is shared by a cannabis consumer called Sam:

Sam says they like to smoke right before bed to unwind. They like taking showers, doing chores or admin while high and they also smoke socially on occasion.

For Sam, cannabis helps them manage their insomnia and other symptoms in a way other drugs don’t. As someone who has been on a variety of medication, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication, Sam wishes there were cheaper ways to legally access cannabis as other drugs with similar effects such as benzodiazepines can be addictive, and tolerance to them increases quickly.

“I would much rather be using cannabis medicinally as opposed to [other drugs] because it’s been far more effective for me when used holistically, or mindfully.”

Of course, access to medicinal cannabis is now legal – including for mental health reasons – although it remains unfunded and more expensive than it could be.

Otago Uni student magazine Critic interviewed Chlöe Swarbrick – On Harm Reduction, Landlords, and (still) being the Youngest in Parliament – in which the Auckland Central MP expressed disappointment at being, at the age of 29, still the youngest elected member of this Parliament.

Chlöe also reminded us to celebrate our victories. For the Green MP this includes her Alcohol Harm Reduction Bill, which although it failed at the first reading, parts were taken up by the Government.

While we didn’t win the 2020 cannabis referendum, there are cannabis-related victories we should celebrate:

  • Reduction in cannabis arrests from a peak of 30,000 to little more than 1000 now;
  • Medicinal cannabis legal to prescribe without requiring any special approval;
  • Legal defence for patients undergoing palliation to access and use illicit cannabis (green fairy products)
  • Licensed medicinal cannabis production here in Aotearoa New Zealand;
  • Licensed substance checking services widely available and free to access
  • Nutritious hemp seed foods now legal and widely available;
  • Censorship on cannabis publications being unwound;
  • Prohibitions on utensils relaxed to allow waterpipes, vaporisers and herb pipes.

Cannabis arrests may still be racist and biased, medicinal cannabis is more expensive that it needs to be, licensed cannabis production is held back by regulations, and hemp still not mainstream… but there are victories nonetheless! Keep in mind this election who worked for these, who would revoke them, and how you can help support further progress.

I’m pretty sure New Zealand First will not be helpful. Their recent conference was at Auckland Airport’s Holiday Inn. Stuff reported ‘God defend … Winston’: The NZ First faithful gather for election 2023 in a pitch for “patriots” and “nationalists” they lamely took a jab at the Greens with something about “They’ve insisted the boat be made out of hemp and legalised cannabis. As it sinks like a stone, they won’t notice it because they will be stoned.” Hilarious.

In other news…

Budding grower: Congratulations to August von Reiche of medicinal cannabis company Helius Therapeutics in East Tāmaki, Auckland, runner up for New Zealand’s Young Plant Producer of the Year.

NZX-listed Greenfern Industries has completed the first of two indoor commercial production facilities, with 300 plants now growing at their facility in Taranaki. According to Hemp Gazette the company expects to get 4-5 harvests of approximately 200-250kg kg of bud per room per year. Greenfern Chairman, Mr Marvin Yee said “This milestone marks Greenfern as being one of the New Zealand companies actually producing cannabis in New Zealand.”

Freeze dried cannabis: Food & Drink Business reports a new ‘green’ range of commercial freeze dryers by leading New Zealand manufacturer Cuddon Freeze Dry, aimed at the dairy industry, is now drying cannabis in North America. Freeze drying is especially effective in retaining nutrients, enzymes, bioactivity, smell, taste and flavour of the bud.

Snoop Dogg launches munchies-inspired ice cream range with help from Martha Stewart, reports Newshub. But don’t get too excited, because while the flavours are inspired by Snoop’s preferred flavour ensembles for his post-blaze munchies, there is no actual cannabis in the range.

it’s Dry July and I am still #HighandDry. I have pledged to stay dry, and get high, every day. Fortunately, I have my prescribed medicinal cannabis. But seriously, it’s for a good cause so please donate at Learn how to access medicinal cannabis here.

Coming up

All photos/image credits: Chris Fowlie


Marijuana Media airs every Thursday at 4:20pm on 95bFM, with your hosts bFM Drive’s Jonny and Chris Fowlie from The Hempstore. Stream or download the pot-cast for this show here or hundreds of previous Marijuana Media shows at (or via iTunes / RSS feed). Thanks to The Hemp Store!



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