Weed pairing

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@newsreview.com.

Why do people mix weed and tobacco? I don’t get it.

—Nick O’Teen

Who knows why people do what they do? There are some mysteries that cannot be explained. However: This one is fairly simple. If you are talking about blunts, there are two reasons: A blunt will make your horrible weed taste better. This goes back to the days on the East Coast where good weed was hard to find. The second is that cops can’t give you a paraphernalia charge if you are carrying cigars instead of rolling papers. Once again, this goes back to a time when cannabis was way more illegal than it is now. If you are talking about mixing together a little hashish and some tobacco into a joint like they do in Europe, this is mostly a matter of convenience. Tobacco helps the hash joint burn more efficiently.

The main reason to mix tobacco and cannabis is that mixing tobacco with THC gives you more THC per hit, at least according to a study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. They made a smoking machine (That was my nickname in college, BTW) and tested the smoke from “pure” joints, and joints mixed with tobacco. They found that joints mixed with tobacco increased the vaporization efficiency of THC by as much as 45 percent. So, a joint will get you high, but a blunt will get you HELLA high.

But don’t start adding tobacco to all of your cannabis products just yet. There are many reasons to eschew mixing cannabis and tobacco. The most obvious is that tobacco is bad for you. We all know that tobacco has been identified as a heavy duty carcinogen, as in it causes cancer. That is enough reason to leave it alone. The other is that nicotine is super addictive. According to the NIDA, tobacco is more addictive than heroin, while pot’s addiction rates are about the same as coffee. Mmmmm. Weed and coffee. So enjoy that blunt every once in a while, but if you find yourself craving a blunt or a cigarette mixed with hash (I call a hash and tobacco joint “a Eurotrash”) every day, maybe take a look at your addictions and ask yourself if you really want to be a nihilist or a fatalist for the rest of your life.

Can you light a bowl without a match or lighter?

—Johnny Blazeit

If you are asking me if I am pyrokinetic, the answer is: Not yet. If you want alternatives ways to fire up, there’s always a magnifying glass. Nothing beats a solar hit on a sunny day, bruh. If you never see the sun, maybe you could invest in a plasma arc lighter. They are great for windy days. They are also rechargeable, if sustainability is your thing. Plus, they look cool. It’s like a tiny repulsor ray that fits in your pocket. Enjoy the future!