Pass grass, not pathogens

Cannabis MouthPeace device makes social smoking sanitary, without killing ‘puff-puff pass’ ethos

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Moose Labs

The social aspect of smoking cannabis has always been one of its most basic virtues. It brings people together — at backyard barbecues, at concerts, out camping or hiking, at home or after work — cannabis is best shared with company.
But a lot has changed in the past year. Where once people passed glass without hesitation, now, after a global pandemic and a year of hyper-health awareness, the mouth-to-mouth element of sharing smoke is less appealing than it’s ever been for many cannabis users.

A study done by Moose Labs, creator of the “MouthPeace,” found that the average water pipe (aka bong) has 49% more bacteria than a public toilet seat. The same study found glass pipes to have 1,304% more bacteria than the average dog bowl; 92% more than the average ATM keypad; and 62% more than the average shopping cart handle.

“You wouldn’t be comfortable drinking out of a glass that clearly hasn’t been washed after the last customer used it, let alone using the same glass as every other person who ate before you,” says Jay Rush, co-founder of Moose Labs and co-creator of the MouthPeace. “Why are we OK with doing this when it comes to cannabis?”

Moose Labs conducted its bacteria study in 2018, using 200 participants and an ATP monitoring system to measure observed bacteria levels. It published the results in 2019, much to the horror of the cannabis world. No one had scientifically tested to see just how dirty pipes or bongs could get when they were shared between different users.

That’s where Moose Labs’ MouthPeace and MouthPeace Mini come in. These activated carbon filtration and bacteria prevention devices offer a solution for people looking to share cannabis with friends, without sharing germs. They come in two different sizes to accommodate glass pipes, bongs and dab rigs or joints, blunts and vape pens.

“We were at the 2014 Denver Cannabis Cup and we heard another booth announce their bong had given out 10,000 hits over the course of the weekend,” Rush says. At first, Jay and his brother Dan thought that was pretty cool; but their teammate and co-owner Maria Testa had a different take.

“She said, ‘That’s disgusting! We need to make something to fix that,’” Rush recalls. “Thousands of mouths had touched that one single pipe over the course of three days. There is no way that’s sanitary.”

So, they set to work creating a solution and they came up with the Moose Labs MouthPeace. Made with high-quality platinum-cured silicone, it creates a sanitary barrier between users’ mouths and their pipe, joint or vape. Which, Rush says, avoids cross-contamination without killing the “puff-puff pass” ethos.

“Since creating the first MouthPeace, our passion has been to ‘fix’ the cannabis industry’s germ-ridden oversharing problem that’s been ignored for decades,” he says. “For something that’s considered medicine in several states, you would think people would have more of a health-conscious mindset around it.”

Beyond being a barrier to stop germs between smokers, the MouthPeace also functions as an air filter, which uses a triple-layered activated carbon filter to remove resin, contaminants and tar from the smoke.

“There is actually about a third of a football field’s worth of fibers packed into each filter,” Rush says. “Imagine each fiber as a little linebacker stopping resin and tar particles while allowing smaller molecules like THC and CBD to pass through.”

Overall, Rush says the Moose Labs study decreases bacteria on smoking appliances by 5,924%. That study got the conversation going, and brought more attention to the issue. However, it wasn’t until COVID-19 hit that the problem was brought into real focus, he says. The pandemic turned their product from a quirky cannabis-health-device, into a necessary tool for making social smoking less of a health risk.

“We encourage everyone to start re-thinking how they share joints,” Rush says. “This is a common courtesy for your own personal health and for everyone around you.”