Joint vs. Blunt vs. Spliff, is there a difference?
Does it make any difference?
Stoned is stoned, right?
When it comes to consuming Cannabis via combustion, it can make a real difference to the experience and your health which method you choose to embrace. However, it is essential to note that inhaling burnt carbon into your lungs, irrespective of the source, is unhealthy, and the adverse effects are exacerbated as you age.
What Is A Joint?
The joint still reigns supreme as the most ubiquitous method of Cannabis consumption. In its simplest form, it is pure Cannabis (flower and leaf), ground up and rolled into paper (generally glued rolling papers designed for the purpose)
Pros and Cons of Joints
Pro: Joints contain only Cannabis (no other mix such as Tobacco) and are considered “healthier” than many other combustion methods.
Con: Anything that is burnt carbon and is inhaled into your lungs has the potential to accumulate and cause long term breathing problems
How Does a Joint Look?
Joints generally look like hand-rolled cigarettes. They can, however, take on many various shapes and sizes. We have included a few ‘how to’ videos below, ranging from the practical (beginners’ advice on rolling a joint) to elaborate ‘origami-style creations (how to roll a tulip).
How To Roll A Joint
Grinding has an essential effect on your joint’s rolling and smokeability. Although most of us grew up learning to grind by hand, the ‘dank’ nature of much of today’s weed requires a good quality grinder to do the job in an even and consistent manner.
You are looking to achieve a grind where all the herb is even in size, and there are no stalks or seeds in the mix.
Roll it out
Size, shape, and quality all depend on personal preferences and ability.
How do you do this?
The same way you get to Carnegie Hall
“Practise, man, Practice.”
Make sure you are rolling with the seal strip gum on the inside. Some people also insert a filter or rolled-up piece of cardboard (AKA Gerrick) at this point.
A rolling machine is also very beneficial for anyone who has Arthritis or joint pain.
If you’ve done it right, you will have a cylinder or cone-shaped rollup with the gum/seal strip along one end; lightly lick with your tongue, or, if you’re anti glue licking, dip your finger in a bit of water and run it along the edge. I recommend the latter if you are sharing the joint with anyone.
Stick the wet end over the dry.
If you haven’t yet inserted a filter / Gerrick, you may do so now. Create your filter, insert, seal up the front end of your joint (so that the weed doesn’t fall out), and shape to your desire.
You don’t need instructions; suffice, you need to inhale deeply into your lungs to get the effect. This is a debate around whether or not to hold the smoke in your lungs for long periods. Older smokers tend to do this as it seems to enhance the effect. However, there is evidence that you do not increase the quantity of cannabinoids absorbed but do feel a little more ‘lightheaded’ from the oxygen intake.
Always obey your body, and take it easy if the smoke is agitating your lungs. Mention the difference between cigarettes and joints. Joints can be lit, smoked, and ‘killed,” unlike cigarettes which tend to burn by themselves. One must keep puffing / inhaling to keep the joint lit/alive.
All things that you burn (combust) and then inhale / taste will leave an acrid carbon after-taste, so if flavor is what you are looking for, please refer to vaping full Cannabis flower or whole herb vaping’ as a preferred option.
Given this caveat, joints provide the best Cannabis’ flavor’ of the three combustible options. The reason is that they are not mixed with Tobacco and are thus closest to the authentic flavor of Cannabis. Different flavor additives and processes in manufacturing rolling papers can also affect the taste. (see Rolling Paper below)
Joint Burn Time
Joints are generally smaller than the other options and thus have a shorter burn time. The burn time, like many things in life, depends on the size, length, and thickness.
Rolling papers come in a plethora of shapes, sizes, and flavors. This abundance of choice is further complicated, considering the inputs and manufacturing processes involved.
What Is a Blunt?
A blunt is made of ground-up Marijuana inserted into a cigar’s outer casing. This casing is generally made from a Tobacco leaf, so those wishing to avoid nicotine consumption should take note.
Pros and Cons of Blunts
Pro: Blunts last longer, can be smoother to smoke and because of their large size, are suitable for sharing in a group or enjoying over a day or two.
Con: Anything creating burnt carbon that is then inhaled into your lungs has the potential to accumulate and cause long-term breathing problems. Blunts add to this by adding the physically addictive component of nicotine (in the Tobacco wrapping) into the mix.
How Does a Blunt Look?
Blunts look like a cigar. You can mix a lot of Tobacco with your Cannabis on the inside, which means that Blunts are favored as a way of disguising the fact that you are smoking weed. Perhaps a good choice for those wanting to be incognito.
How to Roll A Blunt
Blunts are the easiest to ‘roll’ of the three. You empty a cigar casing (or purchase one built for the purpose. Humidity is a significant factor in creating Blunts. If the cigar casing is too dry, it will crack.
Cracked or torn casings will negatively affect the smokeability of a blunt. You should gently ‘steam casings before emptying and filling and practice on cheaper Cigars before using up your best Cuban stash.
Those who appreciate the taste of well-cured Tobacco will enjoy the flavor of a blunt. Tobacco tends to mellow the Cannabis but can also mask any interesting terpenes.
Blunt Burn Time
Blunts usually are larger than joints, contain considerably more Cannabis, and burn for a lot longer. The Tobacco leaf (if thick and correctly humidified) will also enhance and add to the burn time.
What is a Spliff?
A Spliff is a joint made using a mix of Marijuana and Tobacco.
Pros and Cons of Spliffs
Pro: It may get you ‘less high’ due to less Cannabis in the mix. Decreased cost due to lower price of tobacco mix. A ‘smoother’ smoke.
Con: The nicotine in Tobacco is highly physically addictive. Increase in toxins.
How Does a Spliff Look?
A Spliff looks identical to a Joint. Spliffs can only be identified through knowing what was used (Tobacco?) when you rolled it.
How to Roll A Spliff
Rolling a Spliff is the same as the method for rolling a joint with the addition of Tobacco, either pre or post-grinding.
Spliffs’ can be milder in flavor than joints due to the addition of Tobacco. Many spliff smokers also used the ‘mixing’ opportunity to add flavored Tobacco. This, however, is at the user’s risk as it may increase the smoke’s toxicity and antagonize many in the immediate vicinity.
Spliff Burn Time
Tobacco (if taken from commercial cigarettes) has additives that increase its burn rate. However, Spliffs may also be larger than joints and can be enjoyed for longer or shared amongst many.
Tobacco Yes or No?
Tobacco contains nicotine. Nicotine is a highly physically addictive compound. Once addicted, most people have an excruciating time quitting. So our advice is to Avoid.
If you want to avoid the complications of nicotine addiction, don’t share a Spliff, never smoke a Blunt, and only share Joints if you, or someone you trust implicitly, has rolled it.
Alternatives To Smoking a Joint, Blunt or Spliff
Pipes for Cannabis are available in an endless variety of shapes and materials. Your choice depends on personal preference and should consider smoke volume (literally how much smoke is produced through the device), ease of cleaning, and aesthetic appeal.
Again it is important to note that although pipe smoking may be seen as marginally healthier than joints, it will still cause problems from inhaled carbon and may increase lung irritation because of the volume of smoke (much higher through a pipe than a joint)
Bong – Water pipe
Bongs are viewed as the ‘less harmful’ alternative among the combustion methods of Cannabis consumption. When smoking a bong, the smoke is pulled through a liquid which helps cool it and removes some impurities. Smoking a Bong can lead to a smoother smoking experience.
Whole herb vaporizing (as opposed to liquid/oil) is our favorite option. This system entails putting ground Cannabis into a vaporizer, heating it to the degree that doesn’t allow it to combust but does release the essential Cannabinoids and Terpenes. It is a little like inhaling Eucalyptus leaf oil in a Sauna.