In space, nobody can hear you scream—but can they smell your loud?
Traveling through space is an isolating and perilous adventure for the select brave men, women, and dogs who have been able to transcend the breadth of earth’s atmosphere and sail out into the final frontier of the cosmos. During these expeditions, have any of these modern pioneers tried to light up a joint in between the hours of monotonous data collection? Let’s explore what we know about weed in space—the myths, the facts, and the future of interplanetary pot smoking. Blast off in 3, 2, 1….
Did Astronauts Sneak A Bag Of Bud Onto The International Space Station?
Chris Hadfield, retired fighter pilot and astronaut, made the journey into outer space on three separate occasions and has spent more time traversing the universe than any other Canadian. His Twitter feed, which has more than 2 million followers, is known for its informative posts and light-hearted banter with T.V. spacemen such as William Shatner. He even released an album of folksy space-themed songs that he recorded while onboard the International Space Station.
However, recently Chris has been going viral for another reason. An image has been circulating social media showing the Canadian space hero holding what appears to be quite a large vacuum-sealed bag of pot with his finger to his lips, signaling marijuana’s secrecy, while floating through the International Space Station.
Fans of both space travel and cannabis will be disappointed to learn that the photo of Chris Hadfield with weed in space was, in fact, doctored. The original image, posted for easter, depicted a bag of pastel-colored eggs instead of sticky cannabis buds and featured the caption, “Don’t tell my crew, but I brought them Easter Eggs :).”
So far, there hasn’t been a single astronaut who has smoked weed in space.
Can You Smoke Weed In Space?
There are several reasons astronauts don’t smoke cannabis in space.
For one, there’s a lot that can go wrong on a mission into the cosmos. One mistake can be fatal and cost more than just one life, so it’s important that the crew maintain a clear head. However, the thought of sparking up while observing the natural curvature of the earth and the city lights glistening off the planet might convince your everyday cannabis enthusiast to do something different.
An even bigger concern for a would-be stoner space explorer is the oxygen-rich environments found on shuttles and space stations. According to Neal Degrasse Tyson, sparking up inside could result in a massive explosion. It’s why combustion materials such as lighter are banned from the International Space Station.
Better to just take an edible or maybe have a slice of space cake.
The Future Of Cannabis In Space
While the photo of Chris Hadfield’s bag of dope was fake, there may actually be cannabis plants onboard the International Space Station soon.
The agri-tech company Front Range Biosciences out of Colorado will be teaming up with Elon Musk’s company Space X to send coffee and hemp cultures to the International Space Station. However, the astronauts may be bummed that coffee’s not for drinking and cannabis not for smoking.
The low-THC hemp is being sent as part of a larger goal to determine the effects of space travel on agriculture. Both the coffee cultures and cannabis will spend a month in orbit, before returning to earth where scientists can study the cosmo’s effects on the plants.
Learning how to grow crops in space will be one of the first and most important steps towards Musk’s ultimate goal of colonizing Mars.