With all the “fake news” and fear-mongering amongst media news outlets, we have just one myth that needs to be squashed.
There is a belief out there that smoking cannabis from tin foil is harmful to our health but we’ve looked into the matter with a keen sense of the truth because our Vpuf Pipe uses a foil liner as part of its design, portability, and charm.
So, where did this myth come from? One theory could be that it is tied to a particular study of Alzheimer’s patients’ brains, in which deposits of plaque in the brain were found to had a high aluminum content. But the practice of using aluminum foil to fashion a portable pipe for medicating with cannabis is not actually tied to Alzheimer’s Disease. Not even if you use the old go-to method of using tiny pieces of aluminum foil to create a pop can pipe.
In actual fact, Alzheimer’s Disease is caused by the sticky, clumpy concentrations of a protein called Amyloid Beta around the brain. The buildups keep brain communications from moving through neural pathways smoothly and eventually leads to breaks in memory recall, problem solving and general cognition. Because the THC in cannabis actually blocks the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) from creating the Amyloid Beta plaque, it’s actually considered a neuroprotectant that helps to keep brain cells healthy and undamaged. In the 2014 research paper, titled “The Potential Therapeutic Effects of THC on Alzheimer’s Disease”, researchers concluded that THC also helps neural cells to protect themselves by creating their own energy.
It could stand to be said then that THC actually flips the assumed negative impact of smoking through tin foil has on the brain. In a 2007 letter to the Wesleyan Argus, a student asks the professor: Do aluminum foil bongs cause Alzheimer’s? The answer is both enlightening and revelatory for those who have been making on-the-fly bongs while camping out, fishing or hiking.
“Perhaps you’re worried that the short-term memory loss, confusion, and paranoia are due to the aluminum? It’s not likely. Aluminum is a fairly reactive metal and on exposure to the atmosphere, it quickly forms a surface layer of aluminum oxide, which protects the underlying metal from further reaction. Any aluminum that winds up in the smoke would be in the form of this oxide.
There is little data on aluminum oxide toxicity, but it appears to be about as toxic as other fine particulates. Additionally, a number of recent studies have indicated that the proposed link between Alzheimer’s disease and aluminum is weak or nonexistent.”
Instead of worrying about the foil factor of a custom smoking device, we should really be looking at some of the other materials that go into piecemeal pipes. Like, what about the hard polymer coating compound, bisphenol-A (aka, BPA), inside of pop cans? This mish-mash of different plastic compounds, when heated, create a caustic burn-off that irritates lungs to no end.
What you may remember in 2008 is the FDA declared that BPA is safe for human consumption, only to re-neg on that claim later because of its tie to brain disorders, behavior problems, and early developmental issues. The findings caused the FDA to formally ban the use of BPA in baby bottles last year. Why? Because the constant heating of the baby bottles caused enough of the BPA to diffuse out of the walls and leach into the contents of the bottle. Yikes! Now that’s something to worry about.
The Bottom Line
Basically, if aluminum foil was a trigger cause for Alzheimer’s Disease, we would be more at risk just by using the material in our everyday cooking and food preservation. Everyone needs to medicate in a pinch, from time to time. Especially if your pain, anxiety or nausea symptoms seem to come out of nowhere some days. Those are the optimal times to have dry bud, a lighter, and a reliable delivery system that hides in plain sight on your person. Aluminum is lightweight, does not greatly affect the taste and cannabinoid profile (more so than the actual lighting of your dry herb), and cools down quicker than pipes that are made exclusively from metal. Foil is totally safe! All we ask is that you think twice before guzzling a sugary, chemical-filled soda to quell your symptoms with a Vpuf Pipe.
Instead, always arm yourself with one of our amazing little wallet sized folding paper pipe with its foil liner that will have you medicated in no time without the risk of inhaling harmful chemical burn-off or residue. We tried many different materials and designs and landed on this one because of its portability, the ease with which it can be assembled and the little, lightweight part that makes the whole thing come together—the foil liner.
- Can Marijuana Treat Alzheimer’s? THC Reduces Brain Plaque Buildup, Herb.co, 20 August 2015
- The Potential Therapeutic Effects of THC on Alzheimer’s Disease, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 29 April 2014.
- Ask a Professor: Do aluminium foil bongs cause Alzheimer’s?, The Wesleyan Argus, 2 October 2007.
- Bisphenol A (BPA): Use in Food Contact Application, FDA, November 2014.
- Updated Review of the ‘Low-Dose’ Literature (Data) on Bisphenol A (CAS RN 80-05- 7) and Response to Charge Questions Regarding the Risk Assessment on Bisphenol A, FDA, 24 May 2011