Joint it? Blunt it? Spliff it?
Difference Between a Joint, Blunt & Spliff
Before we go any further with this, let’s first clarify that a spliff, blunt, and joint are not the same thing. Each one of these has things about it that make them unique onto themselves, but many people mistakenly think they’re the same thing... they’re not.
Another source of confusion around the use of these words is that they have different meanings in different parts of the world... we’re sticking with their North American meaning. We’ll spare you from giving examples of world-wide usage as that’s likely to cause more confusion than understanding. Just know that like there is a difference in the meaning of each of the words, there is also a difference between smoking a joint, a blunt, and a spliff.
What is a Joint?
Pretty much every stoner’s first port of entry into the world of cannabis smoking. A joint is 420 weed rolled into a cigarette like shape usually using a light, translucent paper. Rolling papers for joints have come a long way so along with the classic Zig Zag brand, you can now get speciality rolling papers made from different materials and different flavours.
One drawback to joints is that they have a tendency to run/canoe (ie. one side burns faster than the other) which can be quite annoying. Came across this interesting note in a Huffington Post article: “the word joint originates from the French word ‘joined’. Its first usage in the sense of the ‘marijuana cigarette’ is dated to 1938.”
What is a blunt?
Like a joint, a blunt is also made using 420 cannabis weed. The difference is the rolling-paper. A blunt is rolled using a thicker, darker, tobacco-leaf paper which adds a ‘cigar-like’ flavour to the smoking experience... some potheads like this, some don’t, but it’s really a personal preference.
Because the tobacco-leaf paper contains nicotine, users are initially hit first by the head rush and buzz of the nicotine and this is why blunts are perceived to be more potent than joints and spliffs. It's important to understand that the effects of the marijuana aren’t elevated by the tobacco... smokers are experiencing the effects of the weed and the nicotine working independently and yet synergistically with each other. It’s similar to smoking a joint and having a beer. You’re not more stoned... you’re being hit by the effects of being both drunk and high at the same time.
What is a Spliff?
Think of a spliff as being a hyrid... part marijuana, part tobacco. And that’s the essential difference of a spliff from a joint and a blunt... it’s a mix of tobacco and 420 weed whereas the other two use just weed. A couple of advantages of smoking spliffs are that since a mix of cannabis and tobacco is used, less weed is needed which means your stock of weed will last longer. Spliffs are less likely to run/canoe because the tobacco allows for a more even burn. Another advantage is the tobacco tends to cover the weed stink and so smoking one can be more discreet.
Healthy Herbal Options for Tobacco in Spliffs
Chances are you’ve probably smoked a spliff before but weren’t aware that’s what it’s called. While this method of smoking is popular in many parts of the world, it’s not as popular here in North America. Results of the 2017 Global Drug Survey indicate that only about 8% of smokers in the US say they like to mix weed with tobacco whereas a whopping 94% in Italy and 93% in Greece like to combine the two!
It’s an accepted fact, smoking cigarettes isn’t healthy for you. Smoking tobacco mixed with weed isn’t a good long term habit to get into either. Tobacco and nicotine can have detrimental health effects, so why not find an alternative? There are plenty of non-harmful ways to achieve a slow-burning spliff... don’t be afraid to stop using tobacco and get creative!
Marijuana has been proven to make sensory stimuli more intense and enhance your sex life (which you probably didn’t need peer-reviewed research to know), so why not amplify that? Damiana has been used as an aphrodisiac since the prehistoric days, so roll it with weed for even more fun. Damiana is renowned for its relaxing yet mildly euphoric high, which complements cannabis well.
This is an unusual suggestion, but hear us out. Mix what’s essentially weed for cats with weed for humans... catmint is capable of enhancing the sedative effects of a marijuana high. On top of that, the herb also has stress and anxiety-relieving properties, so next time you get some catmint for your cat, use the leftovers in a spliff... you might be the one that ends up purring (lol).
Maybe you’ve heard of Yerba Mate before... teas containing this herb are popular. Yerba Mate is energizing but won’t dampen the effects of marijuana, making it a good mixer.
This is another herb you probably associate with tea, but it’s also a great flavour for smoking and has a mild aroma. Chamomile has relaxing properties, and will help make your spliff less intense.
Joint it? Blunt it? Spliff it?
It’s your call really. Hopefully you learned enough to be comfortable with whatever weed smoking choices you make... may the ‘joint’ always be with you;-).