This Company Thinks Cannabis Can Make Tobacco Less Harmful

We know that tobacco companies are interested in investing in cannabis. But this is the first time we’ve heard about a company planning to mix tobacco and weed.

Multi-state medical marijuana company Vireo Health International just dropped a press release saying that 'the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a Notice of Allowance for its patent application titled, "Tobacco Products with Cannabinoid Additives and Methods for Reducing the Harm Associated with Tobacco Use.”’ In other words, they’re adding cannabis to cigarettes.

How exactly this will work is unclear, but Vireo has expansive plans for the project. The press release says the patent "covers the use of one or more carefully formulated cannabinoids as harm reducing agents in tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and smokeless tobacco products.”

Of course, anyone who has smoked a spliff knows that cannabis and tobacco can be combined. But that carries certain risks: A 2016 study found that people who regularly mix tobacco with cannabis are more at risk of psychological dependence on the drug than those who do not mix the two."  

The adverse health effects of tobacco are, by this point, well-known and documented. As for cannabis, a report from earlier this year found that long-term cannabis smoking could contribute to bronchitis and chronic coughing. But America’s federal prohibition on cannabis has throttled research for years, so there’s definitely a knowledge gap that requires filling.

For his part, Vireo CEO Kyle Kingsley M.D. had the following to say: "We look forward to collaborating with research institutions and tobacco companies committed to developing less harmful tobacco products.”

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