The drug culture legend of inhaling human cremains in honor of the deceased and the possible consequences it could have on one’s health.

Roll me up and smoke me when I die, and if anyone don’t like it, just look them in the eye

“Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” was a chart-topping song for country music legend Willie Nelson in 2012. Nelson sang alongside other famous stoners Snoop Dogg, and country musicians Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson. Nelson’s lyrics continue “And if anyone don’t like it, just look them in the eye” addressing the social stigma surrounding the macabre idea of inhaling human cremains. Could this alternative gesture of respect also have a detrimental effect on one’s health?

inhaling cremains

WHAT ARE CREMAINS?

Although the term “ashes” is used often, the proper term is “cremated remains”. What is left after the cremation process is pulverized bone fragments, not ashes. All that remains of the body after the cremation is part of the skeletal structure and small amounts of salts and minerals as all other organic material is incinerated. The remaining skeletal material is ground down into a fine, grainy powder that has a coarse texture.

THE OUTLAWZ CLAIM THEY SMOKED 2PAC’S ASHES

“Cremated, last wishes niggas smoke my ashes”

Tupac Shakur was shot dead in Las Vegas in 1996. After his murder members of the hip-hop collective, the Outlawz took the lyrics to his track ‘Black Jesus’ seriously. They mixed his cremains into a cannabis joint and smoked it in his honour.

KEITH RICHARDS CLAIMS TO HAVE SMOKED HIS FATHER’S ASHES

In a 2007 NME interview, Keith Richards was asked what was the strangest thing he had ever tried to snort. Richards replied by saying he had snorted a mix of cocaine and his father Bert’s cremated ashes. He told the NME: “My dad wouldn’t have cared, it went down pretty well, and I’m still alive”.

ASHES TO ASHES AND DUST TO DUST

Snorting cremated remains could cause irritation in the respiratory system. There are diseases and conditions that can occur from getting small particles in your lungs. Cocaine is a water-soluble substance and can be absorbed through the mucous lining of the sinuses. Cremated remains would pass straight through the nose and into the lungs. Although harmful effects usually develop after repeated exposure. For instance, Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), also known as the black lung is caused by long-term exposure to coal dust.

ROAST A BONE (SMOKE A JOINT)

This rock n’ roll homage probably didn’t cause any detrimental effects. What is more concerning would be the health effects of chaotic lifestyles, illicit drug use, and addiction.

Would you inhale your loved one? Let us know in the comments below!