Smoking out of Cans: DDIY – Don’t Do It Yourself

smoking out of cans is bad

 

Everyone gets in a jam from time to time. You have bud and a lighter, but you don’t have anything to smoke out of. In a fit of desperation, you decide to make a pipe out of a soda can. You may want to think twice before you start lighting up. The chemical makeup of the can may lead to effects that are really bad for you.

Basically, the can is trying to harm you in several different ways. There really isn’t a single thing used to make a can that is suitable for smoking.

The Inner Lining is Trying to Harm You

All modern aluminum cans have an inner lining / coating. This lining is a polymer. What’s a polymer? Well, it’s a whole bunch of different plastics bonded together. Sometimes they use BPA. Yeah, the stuff studies show may cause cancer. These studies are from people drinking from a BPA container. Who knows what smoking BPA could do to you.

For this reason alone, you should stop smoking out of cans.

The Paint is Trying to Harm You

The paint used on the outside of the can is either Thermoplastic or thermoset. They both contain plastic as a base material. Yup, the inside and outside of the can is coated in plastic. Who would have thought that the most dangerous parts of an aluminum can is all the plastic it contains? Don’t smoke plastic. For real.

Now the question that everyone has been waiting for…

Does Smoking Out of an Aluminum Can Cause Alzheimer’s Disease?

Probably not.

Let’s talk about where this idea came from. Throughout the 60s and 70s some medical scientists believed that aluminum could cause Alzheimer’s. This led to many people freaking out, and becoming suspect of everyday objects like foil, pot and pans, and drinking cans.

Given the prevalence of weed during that time period, I could imagine how this myth could become popularized, and engrained into weed culture.

However, the Alzheimer’s Association states,

“Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.”

This certainly doesn’t mean that smoking out of aluminum isn’t bad for you. It just means there is not viable scientific proof that smoking out of a can causes Alzheimer’s disease.

These studies didn’t look at people who were using aluminum to smoke. Heating up the aluminum and inhaling directly could certainly increase the toxicity of the can.

My Thoughts

After reading this I hope you would stay away from aluminum cans. I know they’re convenient and come through in a pinch, but there are better ways. Try making an apple pipe or starburst pipe instead.

12 Comments

  • Doug says:

    This is why the Roll Uh Bowl was invented. It is a foldable, portable water pipe that you can take with you anywhere you go. It is indestructible and made of grade VI medical silicone right here in the US.

  • Rodolfo says:

    Glad I found your website.
    I have a friend who has been smoking from a can for the past week and I have been warning him without knowing the real dangers.
    Now I can show him this webpage.
    Thanks for the information.

  • andrew says:

    So what about smoking out of a tin foil pipe? I have found myself using and making those quite a bit when in a jam at a buds house when nobody brought any pipes or papers.

    • Mary Jane says:

      I don’t recommend using tin foil. It’s actually aluminum which has a tendency to off-gas when heated. With that said, we’ve all been there. Sometimes you just gotta work with what you got. Cheers!

  • Alphakry says:

    so a follow up question… is the damage done from smoking out of a can a reversible/recoverable situation?

    I did it for a while, never stopping to think just how bad it could be. I have since stopped but fear I may of done some serious damage to myself – and would be interested in methods of reversing said damage.

    • Mary Jane says:

      Human lungs have an amazing ability to heal themselves. Sometimes it takes time, but your body will repair itself. If you’ve already stopped then you should have nothing to worry about. Cheers!

  • Akay says:

    i wonder what kind of beer that is…

  • I used the can trick a bunch of times when younger, and agree it’s a terrible idea even for the desperate. Another way to make your own bowl is with straight-up aluminum foil and nothing else. Not sure how harmful it is in terms of chemical interactions, but at least aluminum foil comes from pure billet aluminum, without the paint, lining and so-forth you get from a can. Take a sheet of aluminum foil, roll it around a long, thin, cylindrical object like a straw, pencil, pen, etc. This forms the pipe stem, then you can just slide out the object you used to form it. Leave some extra foil hanging off one end of the object that you rolled it around so you have a length of aluminum foil at the end of the tube that is just sort of splayed-out. With your fingers, form the loose end of the newly-shaped aluminum tube upward so the hole things looks essentially like an L, and spread it into a primitive bowl-shape. What you end up with should look like a Sherlock Holmes tobacco pipe, that is if Sherlock Holmes lived in the ghetto and couldn’t afford a real piece. Add marijuana and blaze up. I haven’t been without a smoking utensil since I was a teen, but back then it happened pretty regularly and I found this aluminum foil trick to be the most effective of many different make-shift designs I tried out.

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