Should You Smoke Cannabis Reclaim?
If you have some experience consuming cannabis either the old-school way with bongs or pipes, or with dabbing concentrates, then you’ve probably already encountered a sticky black or brown material called reclaim.
Reclaim is the byproduct of tar, ash, and carbon which results from combustion. This is what you usually see on the surface of your bong or pipe; for dabs, you’ll find it within the dab rig. There are some stoner writers out there who encourage consuming reclaim as a means of saving money on pot, but is it safe to do so?
Why You Shouldn’t Smoke Cannabis Reclaim
Smoking cannabis repeatedly from a device causes the reclaim to accumulate after some time. Seasoned stoners know that this build-up should be removed while cleaning, but others debate that it can be reclaimed – hence its name. But once you remove this residue, it’s time to say goodbye. You might want to stretch your dollar to get more highs out of it, but it isn’t ideal.
Cannabis reclaim is essentially a mix of tar, residual solvents, toxins, heavy metals, and pesticides. Do you really want any of this in your system? There is no way that smoking tar can be good for your lungs or any part of your body. Cannabis is 100% safe, but smoking its burnt-up residue in the form of reclaim is not. Sure, maybe it will still get you high; a feature article by MCR Labs on cannabis reclaim revealed that after testing, reclaim was shown to have high levels of delta-9 THC left. It also contains other cannabinoids, and it said that some individuals even make use of the residue by using it in edibles, while others toss it out because they consider reclaim to be similar in value as cigarette ashes.
A 2008 study in the Journal of Forensic Science revealed that in 452 samples of cannabis reclaim and actual plants confiscated by the British police: “The content of the psychoactive cannabinoid delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) varied widely. The median THC content of the herbal cannabis and reclaim was 2.1% and 3.5% respectively.” On the other hand, another 2015 study, which was published in Psychological Medicine, estimates that the THC levels in cannabis reclaim may actually be nearer the 5% mark, while the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates it to be as much as 20%.
What About Reclaim From Dabs?
Reclaim from dabs may be a little bit safer, but there are some exceptions to the rule. Unlike pipes and bongs, dab reclaims are made of oil which means that the residue doesn’t have any tar. Over time, you can collect this oily substance from your rig and smoke it again. When you do collect it, it’s best to make sure that you store it in the best way possible, ideally a silicon puck.
If your dabs are made from a high quality source, it wouldn’t have the same health risks as smoking reclaim from pipes or bongs. Concentrates that have been made with BHO means that the reclaim is pretty much filled with highly toxic butane gas.
If you’re going to smoke or ingest reclaim from dabs, it should be solventless or at least made using C02. These kinds of reclaim can result in less risk and better quality, and in the end actually do help you save money.
To collect your reclaim, you’ll need to get the residue out of the rig and separate it from water, then scraped off the sides. The easiest way to do this is by using high proof alcohol because regular liquor isn’t strong enough. Pour the alcohol into your dab rig, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. If you have lots of buildup, you’ll want to keep it in there for longer. Cover all the remaining open holes, then shake the alcohol via the rig. Pour the solution into a Pyrex container or another glass dish, then cover it using aluminum foil. Let this mixture sit for a few days until the alcohol has evaporated completely. Once done, scrape it up and store them in a silicon container.
In short, don’t believe people when they tell you that you can save money by smoking cannabis reclaim from bongs and pipes. The money that you’ll save just isn’t worth the health risks involved with putting those harmful combusted substances into your body. Reclaim from C02 and solventless dabs is safer, if times are tough.