KNOW WHAT YOU'RE SMOKING?
What is Gritweed ?
'Grit Weed' has become the colloquial name for a general form of contaminated herbal cannabis that has been treated with a variety of unknown sand / grit like substances which appear to have been added to the plant prior to harvest in order to increase the weight of the plant’s yield.
The first reports of this so called gritweed in the UK dates back to Spring / Summer 2006 when a handful of localized cases were identified. Since then the supply of this contaminated "skunk" appears to have increased dramatically, infiltrating all levels of the supply chain throughout the British Isles. Regular cannabis users now report that this gritweed is predominantly the only type of herbal cannabis available to them - a situation that many feel is a direct result of the police's recent wave of crackdowns on UK based cannabis growers which has had a marked effect on both the levels and quality of supply.
Currently it seems there are four main types of contaminant grit-weeds flooding the UK market, these are:
- Large Glass Particle Contamination
- Industrial Etchant Spray Contamination
- Sugar or Sand Contamination
- Micro Contaminants (stealth grit)
Unconfirmed reports suggest that smoking cannabis that is contaminated with any of the above has been linked with complaints by users of sore mouth, mouth ulcers, chesty persistent coughs, and a tight chest lasting a few days after use.
Fortunately, identifying most of the contaminated gritweed varieties is fairly straightforward. In most cases the weed will, at a glance, look of a good standard but it will not smell very strong at all. On further inspection the gritweed may seem like it is covered in what looks like THC crystals however these could be the contaminant glass / silica particles so a more detailed examination is required.
The surest method seems to involve testing the weed by placing a very small amount in your mouth and running it over your teeth / tongue. If you feel a gritty sand like residue when you clench your teeth together then chances are you are dealing with gritweed (probably the silica or road paint contaminant variety). If you don't feel any grit-like substance between your teeth but the weed tastes very sweet (sugary) then chances are it has been dusted with sugar to bulk out the weight.
Please note that the above 'grit test' will not work with the new wave of so called micro comtanimants as these are undetectable without the use of a standard microscope. To date we are unaware of any other method to test for these new forms of micro contaminant gritweeds apart from a detailed microscopic analysis.
If you suspect that you have acquired some grit-weed then we strongly advise that you cease smoking it immediately as it is a potential serious health risk. For further information please read our summary of health implications or the UK Department of Health news release.