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How to Smoke Weed Safely: Risks & Best Practices

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how to smoke weed, best way to smoke marijuana, potheads, Beth Cohen

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. (420CanNews) — For many potheads, lighting up that green goodness should come with finesse and flair, not a crash landing. So, for those wondering how to smoke weed while avoiding negative health effects, best practices can provide a guide. After all, the only thing every cannabis enthusiast wants is to enjoy the herb in its full glory, with the flame igniting a positive experience rather than “torching” one’s health and well-being. 

Background: 420 vs. Tobacco–A Shift in Perception

A recent study in JAMA Network Open indicates a shift in public attitudes about the safety of smoking marijuana vs. tobacco. Researchers surveyed over 5,000 people (average age 50) in 2017, 2020, and 2021, asking them to compare the risks. In 2021, only 25.5% deemed tobacco safer than cannabis, while over 44% believed marijuana was somewhat or much safer than cigarettes. Over time, the public perception of marijuana’s risks has declined dramatically, while views on the risks of tobacco have become more negative.

Unfortunately, some of that positive perception toward 420 is misplaced, particularly with regards to combustible delivery methods. “When you burn something, whether it’s tobacco or cannabis, it creates toxic compounds,” explains Dr. Beth Cohen, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. This is because combustion releases tar and irritating chemicals that can damage the lungs, even if the source plant has health benefits when consumed differently.

She explains that the combustion process is the problem, debunking the misconception that burning and inhaling cannabis is harmless because it is “natural.” As an expert in her field and as the lead study author, Cohen urges individuals to make informed decisions and understand that smoking weed carries potential health risks.

How to Smoke Weed Safely: Best Practices

For potheads seeking safer methods of consuming marijuana, experts advise prioritizing harm reduction. Smoking cannabis exposes the body to toxins and carcinogens, but there are steps potheads can take to make it a safer experience.

  • Use a vaporizer instead of concentrates, which is considered a less harmful option. 
  • Opt for glass bongs or pipes over plastic ones.
  • Use FDA-approved rolling papers to minimize potential risks. 
  • Keep smoking accessories clean.
  • Avoid sharing mouthpieces or passing joints to reduce the risk of infection. 

However, considering alternative consumption methods like edibles or tinctures may be even healthier choices.

Smoking Weed Protocol

Cannabis use has a lengthy history in social contexts. This element of the 420 experience may be as significant to some people as smoking itself. Cannabis etiquette is rather straightforward. For instance, don’t smoke a joint around sick people, and don’t force anyone to participate if they don’t want to.

Thus, cannabis etiquette dictates that the person who rolled the joint should also light it. Pass the joint to your left after taking one or two puffs. After that, the person after them smokes and moves on, going clockwise. Keep from blowing smoke in anyone’s face when it’s your time. Be sure to keep saliva and any ash buildup off the mouthpiece.

Keep in mind that there are no strict guidelines on how to smoke weed; cannabis etiquette is not usually observed and may vary by country. There is no right or incorrect approach to taking when using cannabis for the first time. Everyone is unique. However, if you take it easy, do some study, and lean into the unknown, you should be alright.


While the debate on the best way to smoke marijuana continues, Dr. Cohen’s message remains consistent: “I am not anti-cannabis; I just want people to make informed decisions.” 

The public increasingly sees cannabis as a safer option compared to tobacco. While this perception is gaining momentum, medical experts continue to advise careful moderation for those who choose to use it recreationally, especially teens and young adults. The debate continues around marijuana’s health effects and appropriate regulations. Some individuals may be interested in learning about the techniques and methods of how to smoke weed as they explore the world of cannabis consumption to elevate their 420 lifestyles.

— Story Filed By 420CanNews Staff

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