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Blunts, Spliffs, and Joints: What to Know Before You Roll Up

The terms blunt, spliff, and joint are often used interchangeably, but they’re not quite the same. To make things a bit more complicated, pot lingo varies from place to place.

Here’s a look at what it all means in the United States.

Blunts are cigars that have had the tobacco removed and replaced with marijuana. They can also be rolled using tobacco leaf wrappers.

As for the name? It comes from the Phillies Blunt cigar brand.

According to various internet sources, blunts originated in New York as a method for smoking pot discreetly, among other things.

What to know

Here are some things to consider before you get out that tobacco leaf or hit the corner store for a blunt wrap:

  • Blunts containa lotmore pot.Cigars are a lot bigger than the average joint, which means they can hold a lot more pot. Smoking an entire blunt is roughly the equivalent of smoking six joints.
  • Cigars and their wrappers are highly toxic. Even if you remove the tobacco, high concentrations of cancer-causing nitrosamines and other toxins created during the fermentation process may remain. And because cigar wrappers are more porous than rolling papers, the burning is less complete, resulting in smoke that has higher concentrations of toxins.
  • You’re inhaling harmful toxins. All smoke is harmful to lung health, no matter what you’re inhaling. According to the American Lung Association, marijuana smoke contains a lot of the same toxins and carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Smoking pot usually involves inhaling deeper and holding large amounts of unfiltered smoke for longer. This exposes you to even more irritants and toxins that damage your lungs and airways.

A spliff is a blend of cannabis and tobacco, usually in cigarette rolling papers.

The word spliff is West Indian and is said to be a take on the words “split” — as in split the difference between weed and tobacco — and “whiff,” referring to the smell of the smoke. Or, perhaps, referring to how adding tobacco masks the smell of the pot.

What to know

Adding tobacco means less pot, which is good, right? Not necessarily.

Both marijuana and tobacco smoke can damage your lungs and increase your risk for several serious conditions. Adding tobacco to marijuana just means you’re getting the damaging effects of tobacco, too.

Here’s what you need to know before getting spliffy with it:

  • Smoking tobacco and weed together can increase your risk for addiction. There’s evidence that smoking marijuana with tobacco increases cannabis dependence symptoms. The two appear to balance out the negative symptoms caused by both. Smoked together, they also seem to enhance the enjoyable symptoms, such as relaxation. This makes a person less likely to notice the ill effects, and more likely to keep smoking.
  • Unfiltered tobacco smoke increases your risk for lung cancer and death. A recent study found that people who smoke unfiltered cigarettes are twice as likely to die from lung cancer and 30 percent more likely to die of any cause than smokers of filtered cigarettes. A spliff may contain less tobacco than a cigarette, but it’s still unfiltered tobacco smoke nonetheless.

Joints are the simplest of the bunch. They’re just ground marijuana rolled in cigarette papers. Sometimes people roll them with a crutch, which is basically just a stiffer bit of paper to hold the weed in place.

What to know

Unlike spliffs and blunts, which contain tobacco, joints contain nothing but cannabis and the paper it’s rolled in. The upside to smoking joints is that you’re not exposing yourself to tobacco or nicotine.

Still, they’re not much better for you:

  • Marijuana smoke can be just as harmful as tobacco smoke. Smoking marijuana irritates the lungs. People who smoke it often have the same breathing issues as tobacco smokers, such as chronic cough and frequent lung infections.
  • Smoking marijuana may cause air pockets in the lungs. According to the American Lung Association, smoking weed has been linked to the development of large air bubbles in the lungs and air pockets between both lungs and the chest wall in young to middle-aged adults who smoke a lot of pot.
  • Secondhand marijuana smoke may be more dangerous than directly inhaled smoke.Secondhand marijuana smoke contains a lot of the same toxins and carcinogens as directly inhaled smoke and may even contain more, according to some research.

You might argue that joints are better for you because there’s no tobacco in a joint, but the benefit is minimal.

There’s no safe way of smoking anything. Joints, spliffs, blunts, pipes, bongs — they all carry risks.

A blunt can be several things, depending on who you ask. We'll take a look at what it usually refers to and how it compares to a joint or spliff.

It might be time to quit blunts, and I’m sad about it

If you’ve been keeping up with the words of Dante Jordan over the past few years, then you’ll know I absolutely love blunts. I’m all about the ritual of rolling up, and I’m all about the long-lasting sessions that come from smoking tobacco wraps. And for these reasons, I believe flower will always be the best method of cannabis consumption.

While I still and will always believe smoking flower is the best, I’m starting to feel less connected to smoking blunts—and I’m sad about it.

There are plenty of advantages and disadvantages to smoking blunts. For one, blunts are long-lasting because of the thickness and chemical makeup of the wrap. And that added pinch of tobaccky definitely adds a little umph to your high.

But overall, the disadvantages of primarily burning big blunts are starting to become more and more apparent to me.

The price of Swishers

This is the single biggest reason that this article exists.

While living in Texas, the price of a 2-pack of Swisher Sweets was a smooth $1.07. However, in Seattle, because of the tobacco tax, them thangs hit you for a cool $2.41. That may be a small number for a one-time buy, but when you smoke at least three times a day, every day, that expense can really kill a budget.

When Swishers start costing more than a theater box of Gobstoppers, it’s time to look at how we’re prioritizing our funds.

The amount of cannabis burned

When rolled properly, the average blunt will use about 0.782 grams of cannabis at the minimum. So if you cop an eighth from the local dispensary , chances are that eighth will be gone in about four blunts—or in a day or two, considering the rate at which I smoke.

That is such an inefficient way of stretching cannabis.

Sure, you can roll skimpy-ass blunts to preserve bud, time, and resources, but the stretching of a little bit of weed through a blunt makes the entire L taste like tobacco. That just brings about endless coughing fits and the thought of I should’ve just put this in a bowl. It’s a very unpleasant experience, especially for flavor chasers like ya boy.

It distorts the taste of your weed

Speaking of flavor: While I’ve always loved blunts, I never said they were the best method for properly tasting the full flavor of your weed. You’re going to taste the wrap when smoking blunts, especially if you’re using flavored wraps (please keep Grape Swishers all the way the fuck away from me).

At a certain point—especially as we learn more about terpenes and their role in aroma, flavor, and the effects of cannabis—it’s becoming more and more important for me to reeeealllllyyyy taste only my flower upon each inhale and exhale.

The tobacco

Last, and certainly not least, as I grow older, I’ve become more health-conscious (because age makes my body hurts). That means I have to be more selective with what I put into my body, especially when it comes to the smoke in my lungs.

Tobacco wraps are a minimal amount of tobacco (unlike spliffs ), but they are still tobacco, which increases the risk of things like lung cancer and looking like you’re 49 at age 28.

Because of this, and every other reason above (especially THE PRICE OF SWISHERS), it may be time for me to walk away from my beloved big boy blunts.

Dante explains why blunts are falling out of his cannabis rotation—and he's real sad about it. ]]>