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cannabis hacks 
Cannabis 101

Five easy cannabis hacks everyone should know

Gregg PadulaOctober 11, 2021

The typical portrait of a stoner is one of disarray - slow to think and react. This is certainly true in some cases, but in other instances they can be some of the most ingenious minds on earth...when it comes to anything weed. 

True MacGyvers of the trade, I've seen weed enthusiasts pull off feats so incredible, they should be employed by NASA. Here's a handful of notable “weed hacks" I've picked up over the years.

How to remove resin or concentrates from your hands

Anyone who's ever made the mistake of handling viscous concentrates like live resin or distillate without gloves knows the incredible difficulty of removing it from your skin.

The adhesion of melted concentrates or pipe resin gets worse and worse as you try to battle it with soap and water. This is because you are fighting an oil which is non-water soluble. The answer - butter. It may sound bizarre, but when you look at the simple science of it, it becomes an “ah-ha moment." Fats like butter can break up these oils with absolute ease. If you don't believe me, try it out for yourself: Get started with concentrates here.

How to fix *most* vape cartridge issues

This is a weed hack that comes up a lot - or rather a cartridge hack.

Did your cartridge and battery setup suddenly start malfunctioning? If you've checked the battery using another cartridge and it worked, then it's a simple issue of the cartridge not making proper contact with the battery's flat conductive surface.

First, check to make sure there's no excess oil caked in between the cartridge's metal conductive end and the battery that's obstructing contact. If you spot unwanted residue, use alcohol and a Q-Tip to wipe the surfaces clean. If the cartridge is still malfunctioning, the metal plug found in the bottom of the cartridge may have been pushed too far into its rubber housing and can't make contact with the battery. In this case, you'll need to adjust it.

To do this, simply take a pin and lift the little plug up until it's at a level that can make contact with the battery when reattached. This is a hack that's going to work more times than not – and if not, we got you covered.

How to roll a joint if you don't have a tip 

If you find yourself with fresh bud and fresh out of tips (i.e. crutch, filters), there are a number of different everyday household items you can sub in its place. 

The best sub is stiff, uncoated paper – think an index card, cardstock, origami papers, traditional file folders. Anything that can be easily rolled, but able to hold its shape. Trim to size and proceed to follow these instructions to fold and construct your filter. 

Don't want to go through all the trouble? You can also use a piece of dry pasta - rotini or penne works best - the shape of the pasta allows the air to flow through, with added benefits of not becoming a hot, soggy mess. And if it's a mess in the end – you have pre-rolls for that.

How to control your munchies

If you've been smoking weed regularly for most of your life, you already know the space between self-control and destroying every piece of food in your kitchen in a virtually auto-piloted feeding frenzy is scarce. And, once it begins, nothing is safe.

If you do find yourself in the throes of a cupboard crushing trance, it's best to find something that you can eat a lot of without packing on unnecessary weight which will inevitably make you feel bad about yourself. Even though the following foods aren't particularly healthy, they're a lot better than many alternatives:

- Popcorn

- Freeze pops (Preferably make yourself with sugar free juice)

- Sugar-free lemon drops or sour candies (helps prevent cotton mouth) 

- Chewing gum/mints

- Grapes

- Water with a lemon slice

Another simple, yet detrimental error many stoners make is going grocery shopping directly after getting blazed. Never do this. The outcome will be the same every time - awful food decisions driven solely by the areas of your brain seeking sugary, unhealthy treats.

If you absolutely must do your grocery shopping, eyes ablaze from a joint puffed moments before hitting the aisles, make a list of the things you need before heading into the store with absolutely no direction on where to begin. Following this list may be the only thing to help keep on track without deviating too far into the candy aisle.

How to hide the smell of weed

It's almost impossible to mask the odor of resin-caked, skunky nose burning strains like Sour Diesel or Trainwreck.

When it comes to shedding all traces of terpene-packed buds, you must attack it from several angles. Ideally, it's best to take a proactive approach. Smoking in an outdoor area is a must if you're even going to attempt a seamless re-entry into a space inhabited by non-friendlies. If outdoors isn't possible, make your own sploof by securing a regular dryer sheet around a toilet paper or paper towel roll, and exhale through the roll to diffuse the smell. The dryer sheets will mask any odors and the heat of the smoke will leave your room with that fresh, clean laundry scent. Letting cloves, cinnamon and an orange peel with ¼ c of water on your stove can also help mask any smells while enhancing your experience – especially if your cannabis is high in citrus-flavored terpenes like Limonene. 

One of the biggest faux paus is the simple handling of buds. Avoid getting any resin on your hands and body, this is where the odor lives. Use disposable gloves if rolling a joint or grinding up buds for a pipe or vaporizer and don't let any buds touch your clothing.

After smoking, it's important to wash your hands, especially if you have touched any weed. Next, you'll need to either brush your teeth or gargle with mouthwash. Last, change the shirt (sweater, hoodie, t-shirt) you're wearing if you think any resin could have touched the fabric.

Follow these suggestions and you may just make it out of an unwanted inquiry regarding the room's sudden skunk explosion. And if that doesn't work – there's always odor removing air fresheners and sprays.

Gregg Padula
Gregg Padula
Gregg Padula is a cannabis columnist with industry roots reaching back to Humboldt County, CA in the early 2000’s – and later as one of the first cultivators in Massachusetts’ medical cannabis industry. This unique vantage point is explored in much of his work for Gatehouse Media and