Love Is In The Air: THC Found In Air Samples
For a long time, authorities have been sneakily trying to monitor what drugs the populace do, in order to get a better understanding of the drug landscape. Traditional methods to achieve this normally involve taking samples from water treatment plants to well… see what’s left over in our pee. By finding the trace amounts present, whole stories can be told about the drug-taking habits of a particular area. Well, taking things a little further, some zany scientists have started analysing the very air we breathe to assess drug content, and what is more surprising than anything, is that it works – well, sort of.
BREATHING THC: EVERYONE DOES IT
The group of scientists are from Italy, and they have successfully discovered trace amounts of illicit drugs in the atmosphere. Of all the drugs, it was THC, and other cannabinoids, that were the most present – even if the amount was too small to do anything. Furthermore, they found the THC content of the air was higher during the Winter (1.3 -21 ng/m3) than in the summer (0.09 -0.25 ng/m3). Of course, there tended to be higher concentrations indoors, which also had higher concentrations of caffeine and nicotine. Drugs like THC and cocaine appeared to spike at the weekends, while other drugs, like amphetamines, tended to remain constant, but were found in greater concentrations near nightclubs. It drives home the idea that cannabis is usually used as a way to relax, after a week of working.
What does this all mean? Not much really, or at least, not yet. This news is more weird and wonderful than anything else. Unfortunately, you can’t get high from the air – the drugs are only present in trace amounts – and you aren’t likely to have the air tested near you anytime soon. This method of assessing drug concentrations in the environment is relatively new and needs much more development. For example, the difference in THC in the air between winter and summer is likely to be caused by physical factors, such as humidity and the wind, and not an indication that people light up more when it is snowing. However, without a doubt, it is cool to know that there are trace amounts of THC in the air we breathe – love is in the air!