Here in Brazil, most of the cannabis consumed comes in the form of the famous brick weed. But why does it come to us like that and what are its problems? We’ll tell you all about it!
Cannabis in a brick, no flowers, no visible plant. The truth is that, for most Brazilians who consume cannabis, this is the only way, or at least the cheapest, to find the herb. But why does it get here like this, in such a low quality?
The brick weed we know is yet another creation of prohibitionism, which makes it difficult for us to access quality cannabis and makes it only available through smuggling.
Do you want to know more about it and the reasons why its quality is so poor? We tell you all about it here! Come with us to find out what the brick weed is and where it comes from.
What is the brick weed
Yes, the brick weed is, in fact, cannabis – but its main differences are in the processes of harvesting, handling, storage and transportation, usually done without the minimum hygiene and quality control. Here on the blog, we had a whole series about cannabis cultivation and how it is ideally made. When we talk about the production of brick, the modes of production are vastly different from legal Cannabis farms, like the ones we see in California.
The truth is that the pressed cannabis that we have here in Brazil usually comes from illegal plantations in Paraguay. As Agência Publica says, everything there is done in a rudimentary way. The plants are harvested without much criteria (if they are mature or not), with branches, seeds, leaves and everything that is together. Then, they can spend days in poorly stored bags, waiting for pressing. While waiting, they are exposed to the different weather and insects – such as wasps, flies and cockroaches. That is why so many people usually find them when preparing the joint.
All this exposure is also responsible for the proliferation of fungi and bacteria. When cannabis does not dry as well, it can mold and even decompose. That is why it is so common for some presses to smell like ammonia – a substance produced by the putrefying plant.
But why is cannabis pressed into bricks?
As we mentioned at the beginning of the post, cannabis is pressed mainly because of the difficulties of prohibitionism and the War on Drugs. Because of it, it is necessary to have much more discretion when storing and transporting the herb. In pressed blocks, all of these processes become simpler. Unfortunately, they are also responsible for the lack of quality of what reaches the final consumer.
The press reduces the volume and allows the transport of larger quantities, facilitating logistics. However, there are operations that keep pressed cannabis buried for up to a year, for safety reasons. In that time, the humidity further accelerates its decomposition process.
Since we have no quality control, most of the most therapeutic properties of cannabis are lost, and what remains is something that can harm our health.
What makes it unsafe to use:
- Harvesting cannabis at the wrong time, without proper procedures;
- The drying process is ignored or not done at all;
- Plants are not selected, which leads us to not know their amounts of cannabinoids;
- Improper storage and transportation until it reaches the consumer;
- The herb is pressed with all its parts, and not just the flower, which is what must be smoked;
- Inadequate storage time and place, leading to deterioration.
How to use the brick weed in a safer way
Now that you know how the press is made, you may be asking yourself, “How do I make it smokeable?” or even how to make it safer to be consumed – after all, the reality of flowers is far from many people. The ideal is to keep in mind that not everything will be flowers (literally), and move on to harm reduction strategies.
- First, wash your brick weed
One of the first things you should do is wash your pressed cannabis. This will help you get rid of much of the impurities, and also dirt in it, and, by doing it properly, it will also help you reduce the likelihood of mold and fungi in your herb.
Alert: wash your brick weed using the proper techniques, if you do not dry it properly, it can be a space for the proliferation of mold.
- When smoking, use cigarette tips
The cigarette tips help to reduce the negative effects of combustion, which are the main causes of lung diseases, or problems in the mouth and throat. They help you lower the smoke temperature – so the longer the better.
- Do not smoke the roaches
If the brick weed is far from smelling like a flower, imagine smoking it with all the combustion particles from previous burns? We don’t even need to say anything else, right. Send the roaches to Jah. Better throw them away.
- Store your brick weed correctly
After washing and drying, your cannabis should be stored in a dark, moisture-free place. Thus, the cannabinoids present are better preserved and you don’t have to worry about mold. If you notice that your weed is moldy, don’t consume it! Fungi can lead to numerous diseases, and some can be fatal.
Home growing as a form of self care
Yes, you can plant seeds found in the bricks, the famous “prensado seeds”. In fact, they can help you no longer need to consume this type of herb!
Home growing is not a very easy process, but if you are looking for a more therapeutic cannabis, it is the cheapest and most sustainable way to get it. Here on the website, we have made a guide with everything you need to know to create your own little plant, and you can follow all these steps with the famous prenseeds:
- Why cultivate?
- How to choose your genetics
- Germinating your cannabis seed
- How to choose the ideal soil for your cultivation
- Prenseed: can you use the brick weed seed?
- Indoor cultivation vs. outdoor cultivation: how to choose?
- How to properly transplant cannabis plants
- Photoperiod: vegetation and flora in cannabis plants
- Nutrients in cannabis cultivation
- Step by step: how to make a clone from your cannabis plant
- Topping, pruning and defoliation in cannabis plants
- Harvest time: how and when to harvest your cannabis
We know that, because of prohibitionism, this is not a safe way out for many people. Planting cannabis, here in Brazil, can still get you arrested. If you still want to try, you can check out our interview with the incredible sisters of Rede Reforma, women specialized in users’ rights and the current Drug Law.
Another way to ensure healthier cannabis is to fight against our current legislation, which does not specify differences between user and dealer, and which leaves us at the mercy of the testimony of law enforcement officials. Because of it, many people end up being arrested for carrying small amounts of the herb – which has already made our prison population the third largest in the world. Today, one in three prisoners responds for trafficking – many without proving that they are just users.
So, did you like to know all this? Now, you already know what care you need to take to make your brick weed a little less harmful. If you have any questions or comments, just talk to us!