Smoking weed with tobacco doesn't improve the high, according to new research conducted by University College London. This study counters the long-held stoner myth that a drop of tobacco will somehow magnify the effects of the cannabis. However, it's not all bad news: The study found that the combination may actually reduce the damaging effects cannabis can have on memory.
In the first study of its kind, scientists examined the effects of the two substances when combined and inhaled, and subsequently debunked the popular myth that it increases or impacts the high. Their research suggested that improvements to memory could be down to the fact that nicotine has been proven to sharpen the mind.
As for the negative impact of combining the two, don't fear: UCL also looked into those. Smoking a mixed tobacco and cannabis joint can also temporarily increase blood pressure and heart rate, which doesn't sound so positive.
The investigation involved 24 people smoking various kinds of joints, either with tobacco or a placebo. The participants were then subjected to memory tests and had to recall passages of text they had heard pre-smoking. In addition to this, the group had to complete a given task to assess another side of their memory.
As for the physical effects, the volunteers had their heart rates and blood pressures measured before and after, while their experiences and moods were noted too.
Chandni Hindocha, lead author of the experiment and a researcher at the university's clinical psychopharmacology department, told the Daily Mail: "There's a persistent myth that adding tobacco to cannabis will make you more stoned, but we found that, actually, it does nothing to improve the subjective experience. Surprisingly little research has been done on how tobacco might alter the effects of cannabis."
This research is particularly relevant to the UK. According to the latest Global Drug Survey, up to 90 percent of European cannabis smokers add tobacco. On the other hand, research indicates that US counterparts are more likely to smoke it on its own.