Study Finds That 90% Of Rolling Papers Have Heavy Metals In Them

Some Rolling Papers Found To Have Dangerous Metal Levels Higher Than State Limits

If you use rolling papers or blunt wraps regularly, you might want to take caution before you light one up.

A recent study on over a hundred popular brands of rolling papers found plenty of alarming discoveries—including the fact that 90 percent of paper brands contained at least one metal component.


Months ago, technicians for California-based SC Labs suspected that something might be wrong with many rolling papers on the market. SC Labs has licenses and approval from several state agencies and governing bodies as a cannabis-testing facility. Thus, they began their study.

They ultimately found that most products contained some amount of toxic material, and some contained a significant amount. But what does this mean – and do these products pose any real danger to users? Writer Chris Roberts wrote about the findings for Forbes, and we’ve broken down both the study and his analysis below.

Here’s What The Study Actually Found

Specifically, SC Labs tested 101 products for heavy metals and 112 products for pesticide contamination. 90 percent of the rolling paper products contained at least one heavy metal. 8 percent contained a heavy metal in concentrations that exceeded what is legally allowed in California.

Pesticides were found, too: 16 percent of the samples were found to have pesticides, while 5 percent were over the allowable action limit.

Consumers Should Take Note

Should you worry about the products you choose? Roberts explains that there are two notable takeaways from the study. First, he explains, “rolling papers and other products used to consume cannabis aren’t currently subject to any kind of state safety limits for harmful additives.”

Roberts also adds that cannabis consumers should be somewhat cautious, though not all findings are as scary as they sound. Products containing minimal amounts of the toxic material pose “little to no threat to most marijuana consumers,” he explains.

Josh Wurzer of SC Labs explained in an interview that the quantity of hemp may be responsible for some of the failed tests:

“They’re thicker, and that seemed to be the issue,” Wurzer said. “But that being said, the findings of the study don’t support too much alarm—this certainly isn’t a, ‘Raise the alarm bells now, we have to stop and test all papers.’”

Consider The Metals In These Products


When we say “heavy metals”, we’re not talking about the music genre. The term is actually used to identify a set of, particularly dense metals. The list includes cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and lead. According to a 2013 study, exposure to metals can trigger neurotoxicity, cancer, and kidney problems in the human body.

In the study on rolling papers, lead was, by far, the most commonly detected metal.

For more information about the study, check out this analysis from SC Labs – and smoke safe!