Getting high on cannabis can make you feel like your head is in the stars. But what would happen if you actually smoked weed in outer space? We know that NASA astronauts are not allowed to smoke or drink while they’re working up there. Smoking would create a major safety hazard, after all, and cannabis is still illegal in most of the U.S. But exciting new research is showing us it may be a possibility after all! Especially if we do decide to colonize Mars.
Smoking in Space
Just try to imagine how dope it would be to be floating around among the sun, moon, and stars, observing the galaxy, all while enjoying a peaceful smoke sesh. With a Mars colonization looming on the horizon, some scientists think it’s totally possible, especially on the long journey to the Red Planet.
“You laugh now,” scientist Ivan Soltesz told ScienceBlog, “but on a long trip to Mars, recreation and medical marijuana use will likely become a highly controversial issue.”
Soltesz did a study “just for fun” on the effects of space travel on our body. His conclusion? Cosmic radiation in space may mess with our brains a bit. The sun keeps pumping out these high-energy protons. In space, there’s really no protection from them.
Specifically, cosmic radiation could affect our natural endocannabinoid receptors, which work to control important things like our sleep, mood, appetite, and energy levels. When you smoke weed, these receptors are activated, and you get a great boost throughout your body. So if you’re in space and get high, it could create some strange effects. Or it could just kill your high altogether before it even starts. Either way, we’re going to have to do a lot more weed-related research before we try it out.
The Path to Mars
Getting to Mars could take years. When (and if) we do create the technology to safely arrive, NASA says we’ll need lots of people to help grow crops, handle recycling, and build support systems on the planet. The first trip is predicted to take place in 2030, and is estimated to be around 115 days. And yes, you could be part of it!
Since the trip is long and potentially dangerous, we imagine having some weed on-hand would help a lot with the journey. Not only would it help to kill time, it would likely also help with any pain, discomfort, or anxiety travelers are facing. It’s hard enough dealing with jet lag crossing the world. Imagine the lag from an outer space adventure!
Lighting a small fire in a spaceship or shuttle could be risky, but hey, there’s always vapes. You’d just have to be really, really careful not to drip any juice on the equipment. Even then, it wouldn’t necessarily be reliable. Current vape pens would not work well in low gravity. But who says they can’t be invented?
Of course, you’d always have to be wearing a spacesuit or be inside a spaceship while you toke. If you actually tried to smoke out in space itself, well, you’d run out of oxygen and never get back down.
Hopefully by the time it comes to colonize the Red Planet, weed will be legal for all, and scientists will have invented special space smoking technology. Until then, there’s always the possibility of space edibles. Powdered cannabis-infused milk, anyone?