You get out of bed in the morning after a long weekend of reefer chiefing shenanigans with a group of friends and spot a mysterious sore festering up on the side of your lip in the bathroom mirror. At first, you brush it off as a battle wound, perhaps something that happened during an overly ambitious bout with a pepperoni pizza. After all, a hardcore case of the marijuana munchies can sometimes wreak havoc on a person’s ability to eat without causing bodily harm. But after a quick Google search during breakfast, you soon realize that the monstrous lesion turning your mouth into a deleted scene from the Toxic Avenger could actually be a dreaded case of herpes.
Although the herpes virus is considered a sexually transmitted disease, it can be easily spread through the sharing of joints, vaporizers or any other smoking device. It is one of those super foul social hazards on the scene that does not receive the attention it deserves. Most devout pot smokers, even if they are aware of the risks associated with participating in those ever-so-popular communal smoke sessions, typically do not dwell on the fact that the bowl or bong pressed against their lips might be crawling with cooties.
But they might want to start. Some of the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that nearly 50 percent of the American population between the ages of 14 and 49 will have contracted this disease before 2018 comes to screeching halt. The consensus is that it’s not really possible these days to swap spit with too many people before turning one’s mouth into a biohazard.
“If you have oral herpes and a cut on your lip, you could easily spread the disease by sharing blunts or joints,” Dr. Carolyn Cegielski, a gastroenterologist from Mississippi, told High Times.
But never fear. Although the herpes virus should be considered a legitimate threat for those cannabis users who share weed with fish-lipping fiends, this vile disease does not have to cripple the concept of social marijuana use. Now, thanks to the legalization of recreational marijuana in a growing number of states, there is a variety of cannabis products on the market that cater to those individuals who no longer wish to share. These creations were not designed to be passed around the room like a bottle of toilet hooch in a Mexican prison. But rather, they are intended to bring a certain level of class and civility to those interested in living a disease free cannabis lifestyle. Here are three innovative products that provide the highs without the herp.
Toast – For The Smokers
Toast is a cannabis cigarette built for the germaphobe. The company devised these fancy low-THC joints to mimic the experience one might have while sipping on a cocktail. Its Original Slices and Gold Pack contain a 2:1 and 4:1 CBD:THC ratio, which provides the user with around 4-6 percent THC per cigarette. Toast is an “all-natural, mildly potent, 100% Cannabis cigarette,” according to company’s website. “While a Slice is designed to be consumed entirely by you, share your pack with friends for a social experience.”
Keef – For The Drinkers
In the same way that members of civil society do not share their beers with others, Keef Brands has taken this concept to cannabis. The company has a variety of THC-infused soda’s and flavored sparkling water. Each beverage contains 10mg of of the intoxicating compound, so they are perfect for moderating a buzz, sip by sip, without getting too stoned, too fast. It is also the low dose of these concoctions that prevents party leeches and deadbeat friends from gaining any benefit whatsoever by stealing a swig when you’re not looking. Of course, we advise never leaving a drink unattended.
Kiva – For The Chocolate Lovers
Edible cannabis products are a solid purchase for any pot enthusiast trying to catch a buzz without encountering the mouths of others. Kiva Confections has an impressive variety of chocolate bars that, if used properly, can provide the user with a nice, consistent high without risking a lifelong virus. Each bar comes with 100 mg of THC, but they are sectioned off into 5 mg servings — making them very microdose friendly. Technically, these chocolate bars can broken in half and shared with others. But thankfully, no mouth contact is necessary.
Remember — marijuana buzzes wear off, but herpes is forever.