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Choosing Between Spliffs and Joints: A Stoner’s Guide to Understanding the Difference

September 20, 2023 08:30 am ET Estimated Read Time: 8 Minutes
Choosing Between Spliffs and Joints: A Stoner’s Guide to Understanding the Difference

Spliffs and joints, while similar, are different cannabis products rolled up in paper. If you are a seasoned cannabis smoker, you’re probably thinking, “I know the difference, and I have my preference.” But do you know everything about them? Whether you are a seasoned joint smoker, a die-hard spliff aficionado, or a curious newbie, join us as we compare joint vs spliffs, and even edibles. You might learn a thing or two that’ll make you switch sides.

What Are Spliffs?

Spliffs are made up of ground cannabis flower mixed with some tobacco, typically rolled in cigarette papers, with a filter or crutch at the smoking end. The cannabis level, or the ratio of cannabis in spliffs is usually a lot less because of the added tobacco. They’re also a lot cheaper than joints and are consumed more in places where cannabis is either illegal or banned. Some smokers even prefer using blunt wraps instead of traditional cigarette papers for a different flavor and experience.

You can expect the buzzy, energetic effect of tobacco when you smoke spliffs that have a low cannabis concentration. However, you can vary the amount of weed in your spliff based on your preference.

The good thing about spliffs is that there is no standard tobacco-to-weed ratio. Usually, most spliffs contain 50% cannabis and 50% tobacco. Just ensure that you get a ratio that’s right for you. You could have a harsh, unpleasant smoke if the tobacco is too much. And if it’s too little, you won’t get the buzz that comes with the tobacco—so it’s all about finding that sweet spot.

Spliffs are pretty easy to roll and smoke. The tobacco in them makes them burn evenly when smoking. This means you might have a smoother smoking experience with spliffs compared to smoking just dried cannabis.

Some Things to Know About Spliffs

It’s essential to be mindful of these factors if you’re considering trying spliffs, as they combine cannabis with smoking tobacco and may not be suitable for everyone.

What About Joints?

The term “joint” is widely used in the U.S., and it is essentially cannabis rolled up in thin rolling paper. It’s the most popular way to consume weed, and this is why the term is commonly used.

Because joints contain only cannabis, you might need some practice to twist your joints perfectly. The advantage of smoking weed in a joint is that there is no added tobacco or nicotine in them. This is a plus for medical consumers of cannabis. Joints are portable, which is one of their main draws. You can even enhance your joint experience by adding a sprinkle of kief, the highly concentrated trichomes from cannabis buds, for an extra kick of potency.

To prepare your cannabis for rolling a joint, many enthusiasts use a grinder. Grinders are handy devices that break down cannabis buds into a finer consistency, making it easier to roll a smooth and even joint. Joints also have a filter or crutch (some call it mouthpiece) at the smoking end. This helps to make the roll stable, and you can smoke it to the end without getting your fingers burnt.

Rolling papers are available in various sizes, flavors, colors, and prints to spice up your smoking experience. Small, medium, and large paper sizes are available. You can get flavors like cherry, grape, and chocolate. There are also papers with prints like leaves, happy faces, animal faces, and fruits. Just look for what suits your mood and the type of paper that enhances your cannabis experience. If you prefer a slower burn and durability, consider using thick papers for your joints or spliffs.

In addition to traditional rolling papers, some smokers prefer using wrappers, such as blunt wraps, instead of the standard cigarette papers for a different flavor and experience. Wrappers are often made from tobacco leaves and can add a unique twist to your smoking session.

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Some Things to Know About Joints

  • If you are concerned about the addictive nature of the tobacco in spliffs, joints could prove to be a healthier option.
  • The cannabis in joints could still irritate the lungs.
  • Cannabis has a higher concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and because of this, it creates a more pronounced high feeling than spliffs.
  • If your joints are not rolled properly, it can lead to just one side burning. This effect is called “canoeing a joint.”

What Are The Differences Between Spliffs vs Joints?

While spliffs and joints share similar characteristics, they differ in some respects. One major distinguishing factor between both products is the smoking experience. Adding tobacco to weed in spliffs reduces the level of high (THC content) you get from smoking.

And this is a result of the nicotine in tobacco, which counteracts some of the effects of cannabis. Thus, you can expect to enjoy a stronger flavor and more intense high from smoking a joint than a spliff.

Spliffs are more economical than joints. So, if you are a stoner on a budget, try spliffs.

However, while spliffs do not make stoners intensely high, they are not without risk. The nicotine content in tobacco is highly addictive, which might be a concern for those trying to minimize their exposure to tobacco smoke. Its addictive nature could make you spend more than you would on joints, as you’ll tend to smoke more over a day.

If you are not good at rolling up, go for a spliff—as long as you don’t mind the tobacco content. Joints tend to burn on one side if not properly packed or rolled. Spliffs, on the other hand, burn evenly thanks to tobacco leaves in the mix.

Understanding Cannabinoids

It’s essential to note that the cannabis plant contains various chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, which contribute to the unique effects of different strains. THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis, while CBD (cannabidiol) offers therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects. The presence and ratio of these cannabinoids can vary in both joints and spliffs, affecting the overall experience.

How to Make a Choice

If you’re trying to choose the best option between a spliff and a joint, there really is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. Your decision should be based solely on your personal preference and needs. Additionally, if you have access to a dispensary, their knowledgeable staff can offer guidance on various cannabis products and help you explore different options. A visit to a dispensary can be an educational experience for both beginners and seasoned users.

You can ask yourself these questions. If you’ve never tried a spliff before, why do you want to? If you’re consuming medical marijuana, will adding tobacco be safe? If you like the high cannabis gives you, why do you want to switch things up?

Here are some factors you might want to consider:

  1. Combating addiction: Spliffs can be customized to suit your tobacco level preference. You can opt for them if you’re trying to control the quantity of tobacco you smoke.
  2. The weed quality: In places where it is difficult to find high-quality weed, a spliff might be the most available or the most economical option you have.
  3. Your personal expectation: You might want a level of discretion when smoking your cannabis, especially if you don’t know how to talk to your family and friends about cannabis just yet. Spliffs are quite discreet to smoke. People can assume you are smoking a cigarette when smoking Spliffs. However, with its unique smell, it will be obvious to those around you when you’re smoking cannabis.
  4. Cannabis culture and ease of access: Spliffs are cheaper and easier to access, especially in places where cannabis is banned. Spliffs are more common in Europe, but in the U.S., preferences differ by state. For instance, New York is known for its popular use of joints, showcasing the varied cannabis scene across regions.

Wrapping It Up

Joints and spliffs are not the same. While they are both ways of smoking cannabis, they have distinct differences, particularly in their composition. Now you know that joints are pure cannabis rolled in wrapping paper, while spliffs add a blend of tobacco to the mix. Joints also give a more intense high, while spliffs are more energizing due to their nicotine content. And for those seeking an even different experience, there are methods like consuming edibles or using a bong.

Aside from joints and spliffs, there are various other ways to enjoy cannabis. If you’re seeking an alternative experience, consider methods like vapes. Vaping offers a convenient and customizable way to consume cannabis, allowing you to control factors like temperature and flavor for a unique and enjoyable experience.

In the end, neither really outweighs the other, and the choice between both products comes down to personal preference. So choose what works for you, enjoy your smoke sessions, stay safe, and stay lit!

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