Does marijuana “blunt” smoking contribute to nicotine exposure? Preliminary product testing of nicotine content in wrappers of cigars commonly used for blunt smoking

Erica N. Peters, Gillian L. Schauer, Zachary R. Rosenberry, Wallace B. Pickworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction An increasingly popular method of consuming marijuana is through the smoking of “blunts,” cigar products in which some or all of the tobacco filler is removed and repacked with marijuana. Even if all tobacco filler is removed from the cigar product in the process of making blunts, nicotine may be present in the wrapper of the cigar product. This preliminary analysis quantified the nicotine content in wrappers of cigar products commonly used for blunt smoking. Methods Five cigar products (3 large cigars, 2 cigarillos) were tested, yielding physical characteristics of cigar length, diameter, weight, and wrapper weight. Nicotine concentration in the wrapper of each cigar product was analyzed via gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Total nicotine content in the wrapper of each cigar product was computed as the product of cigar wrapper weight and nicotine concentration in wrapper. Results Depending on the product, the cigar wrapper contributed between 8 and 18% of the weight of the entire cigar article. Total nicotine content in the cigar wrapper ranged from 1.2 to 6.0 mg per cigar. Discussion All 5 tested cigar products had wrappers that contain quantifiable levels of nicotine, indicating that users of blunts may expose themselves to some degree of nicotine, the addictive component of tobacco. Future experimental studies that examine the efficiency of nicotine delivery from typical blunt smoking, as well as surveillance studies that quantify the number of blunts smoked by an individual per day, are needed to evaluate the contribution of blunt smoking to nicotine dependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-122
Number of pages4
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume168
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Blunts
  • Cannabis
  • Marijuana
  • Nicotine
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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