Choosing Between Spliffs and Joints: A Stoner’s Guide to Understanding the Difference
by Mary E.
So you love smoking cannabis, but you’re tired of the same ole rolling papers. Perhaps you recently learned about the potential dangers and risks associated with tobacco blunt wraps and want a healthier option. Let’s explore some rolling paper alternatives that work well for blunts, joints, and spliffs.
While traditional rolling papers are made with wood pulp, there are many other options available. When choosing a paper for rolling cannabis, it is essential that you look for options that are void of heavy metals, artificial dyes, bleach, calcium carbonate, and potassium nitrate, all of which have been found in some rolling papers and many of their alternatives.
Additionally, any paper that is extremely thick should also be avoided, such as construction paper, thick notebook paper, and wrapping paper. Any paper that is dyed or contains ink, such as newspapers and magazines, as well as any paper that has foil or plastic added, should also be avoided.
So what is the best rolling paper to roll a joint or blunt with? The answer is simple: a natural paper that is free of dyes, inks, harmful additives, and chemicals, preferably one that burns smoothly and stays well-lit. In lieu of traditional wood pulp papers, there are many alternatives on the market today, such as hemp, rice, and bamboo papers. There are also other materials that can be utilized as a rolling paper substitute as a last resort.
Next to traditional wood pulp rolling papers, rice papers are probably the next most popular option that has been used by consumers for decades. These natural rolling papers are thin and offer a slow, smooth burn. They are also made with a source that is vegan-friendly and healthier for the environment. These papers tend to be nearly translucent and very smooth in texture.
Hemp rolling papers are a much cleaner natural alternative to wood pulp rolling papers. The industrial hemp plant is also a much more sustainable and renewable crop in comparison to trees, making hemp rolling papers a healthier rolling paper alternative for both the consumer and the environment. Because the bleaching process isn’t used with hemp papers, they retain a natural brown color. These fibrous papers are typically much rougher and thicker than rice papers, which provide a better grip when twisting one up.
Like hemp paper, bamboo rolling papers are also much healthier all around, offering sustainability through a crop that can grow nearly anywhere. Additionally, bamboo, like hemp and rice, is also a vegan-friendly option for rolling papers. Bamboo rolling papers are known for burning slowly and being durable thanks to the bamboo’s strong natural fibers.
Tissue paper—that stuff wedged into gift bags—is a naturally thin paper, making it a great alternative to traditional rolling papers if you’re in a pinch. If possible, try to avoid using tissue paper with ink or embellishments. Due to the lack of natural fibers, this type of paper will burn much quicker, but it will get the job done if needed.
While some gum wrappers are made with aluminum foil, all gum wrappers have a paper sheet, and some are made solely of paper. These papers, when removed from any foil present, can be used if you find yourself desperate for rolling paper. This option, however, will roll a much smaller and shorter joint.
If you have absolutely nothing left to use, you can always use a page from a dictionary or encyclopedia. Like pages from bibles and phone books, dictionary and encyclopedia pages tend to be very thin, making them a decent option for rolling. However, they are covered in ink, which makes them an absolute last resort.
Fortunately, there are many ways to enjoy the herb. Many of these still allow for smoking, just without the wraps or the need to know how to roll. There are also many ways to enjoy the benefits of cannabis without smoking it.
Here are some ways to get high without having to roll a blunt or joint.
Bongs are a tried-and-true method of consuming cannabis flower. These smoking apparatuses come in a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes. Many bongs offer water or ice filtration, which can provide a cooler and smoother smoking experience in comparison to a blunt or joint.
Pipes, like bongs, come in many different shapes and sizes to fit the consumption needs of all patients and consumers. These consumption devices also do not pose the same risks and potential dangers presented by tobacco blunt wraps.
For those who love to inhale cannabis but want to avoid combustion, perhaps a cannabis vape pen is just what you need. These devices come in a variety of forms, from simple-to-use disposable pens to fancy setups with mods, tanks, and various other accessories that can be used time and time again. Not only is vaping potentially safer than smoking combusted plant material, but it is also better for the environment than single-use papers and blunt wraps.
Cannabis edibles are a very popular method of consuming cannabis. This method of consumption does not involve inhalation but rather ingesting the cannabis to reap the benefits and effects that it offers. Edibles are much more discreet, are stronger, and produce effects that last longer than inhalation methods, making them a great substitute for blunts and joints.
In the event that you find yourself in possession of some tasty cannabis flower but no way to smoke it, there are some homemade smoking devices that you can create. Examples are a water bottle bong and an apple pipe. Due to the inconvenience of having to make something and the lack of reliability with devices like this, they are the last resort for most consumers.
As you can see, there are many rolling paper options that don’t come with the risks of tobacco blunt wraps. While natural options, such as hemp and rice paper, are ideal, items like tissue paper and dictionary pages can be utilized as a last resort if you’re in a pinch. Choose wisely and roll up!
This article was originally published on 9/30/20. Updated on 1/31/23.
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