For those of us who love to burn trees, there’s always been a strong debate in cannabis culture between joints, spliffs, and blunts. We thought it’d be cool to break down some of the histories of each and then decide which one will win… Joint vs Blunt.
Joint vs Blunt vs Spliff
Not so fast! We can’t make this a two-way battle between the blunt and joint experience when the mighty spliff is also in play. This three-way battle all has passionate advocates for each and it will be tough af to declare a winner. Before we can get into all that we should start with a tale of the tape for each of our contestants. We’ll also drop some throwback knowledge and talk about why we are fans of all three!
What classifies as a blunt?
Of all three of our combatants, the blunt is the most controversial. The reason is that there are those who feel that only a cigar wrap filled with weed qualifies as a blunt. But where did blunts come from and did they get so popular?
Hip Hop’s ‘roll’ in the blunt’s popularity
For most of us, we first heard about blunts from hip-hop and movies like How High or Kids. We have to go all the way back to 1988 and Big Daddy Kane for the first time blunt was recorded on the mic: “Try to front, perpetrating a stunt; When you know that I’ll smoke you up like a blunt.” From BDK to West Coast rappers like Snoop and Tupac to East Coast legends A Tribe Called Quest and Wu-Tang, blunts are synonymous with the rappers who first introduced them to us.
What is a blunt really?
A blunt is a weed filled inside a cigar wrap, aka a blunt wrap. It can be sold just as the wrap or it can be removed from most cigars by cutting along the seam. The tobacco in the cigar is usually discarded. The term blunt comes from cities on the East Coast like New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore and may have started as a way to disguise cannabis use against harsh prohibition laws.
What about non-cigar wraps?
For those of us living north of the border, classic brands like Backwoods, Swishers (where the Atlanta fans at?), White Owl Blunts, Dutch Masters, and of course, the legendary Phillies Blunt, may not be available. Especially if they are flavoured, a no-no says our pals at Health Canada. These days if you’re buying cannabis from the recreation or medical system the only blunts you’ll be allowed to buy are made from non-tobacco leaves like hemp.
Type of Blunts
When it comes to the Canadian legal landscape there are plenty of great blunt options. However, since we have those tobacco regs the only ones that are available are hemp. Of course, you’re free to source your own blunt wraps if you’re a diehard. That said there are absolute fire blunts to choose from.
The colour of blunt wraps can vary depending on where you buy them and their source material. Blunts made from hemp are generally a lighter shade of brown than the traditional blunts like Backwoods. Since you can make a blunt out of any cigar – not the expensive ones unless you’re a true baller – the colour can be pretty much any shade from sandy to mahogany.
The size of blunts can vary depending on the leaf being used. Just as cigars come in sizes from cigarillo to grandes so can blunts. Some stoners prefer larger blunts because of the amount of weed than can carry (seven, grams to a blunt) but there’s nothing wrong with spinning up some slim ones for that elegant puff.
Depending on cigar or hemp wrap the flavour of a blunt wrap can range from sharp to smooth. If you’re lucking enough to be travelling outside Canada and can get your hands on flavoured blunts good on ya. Otherwise the blunt flavours will depend mostly on the flavour of the cigar or wrap itself. One way to sweeten it up is to drop in some Gelato33 by Lot420 into your blunt and puff yourself into a blissful haze.
What the people are saying about blunts
The Loud Plug is a brand to watch out for, as exhibited from Twitter here and Reddit here. Ghost Drops also has a wicked line of blunts to check out, social proof here and here.
Why is a joint called a joint?
A joint, aka “rolled cannabis cigarette” according to Wikipedia, is one of the most common ways to consume weed. From one-papers to Ls to Seth Rogan’s famous crucifix roll, the joint is the staple for a lot of consumers. Even the avid dabbers out there have likely smoked a joint or three in their lives. But you may not know that the origin of the term ‘joint’ comes from the French word joindre. By 1821 the word joint was slang for a place especially in the context of opium dens. By the 1930s when “jazz cigarettes” were being passed around music halls and speakeasies, the word joint was first used to describe “the weed”.
Types of Joints
What makes a great joint is up to the roller and the smokers. There are so many different types of joints and ways to roll them that it’s impossible to come down on which is best. Whether you roll by hand, pre-rolled cones or by a rolling machine there are a few common features:
The colour of joints will depend on the rolling paper being used. For the most part the thicker the paper the darker the paper. Don’t be shy in trying out a bunch of brands and styles until you find the one that works best for you.
In general joint rolling papers range from thin papers to classic regular to king size and 1 ¼ as the standard sizes. But you’ll also find a variety of papers for rolling larger joints like this.
Much like blunts, your joint’s flavour will depend largely on the flower inside it. However there are some flavoured papers that you may find in a headshop or online that can alter the flavour. The thicker the rolling paper the more you will notice the paper taste.
Unless you already can roll a joint (or are willing to put in the hours to learn) you’re probably going to rely on pre-rolls. And that’s actually great news since there are so many opportunities to burn fire weed without any labour on your part. Not only is it a great way to try new products without the commitment of an eighth or ounce, it’s also a fun way to try out different formats. From the 1.5g cannons to 0.3g “dog walkers” there’s a lot of variety to sample: like this one + review and this one + review.
When is a spliff just a spliff?
For those who enjoy some nicotine with their THC, the spliff has long been the best way to sprinkle in tobacco mixed with weed. The spliff is just a joint with tobacco. If you have super dank weed a little tobacco (or herbal blend) can keep your joints lit.
Where did the term spliff come from?
The term spliff used to mean a joint with no tobacco. But once it migrated to the UK with immigration waves the spliff became a joint with weed and tobacco. For many European and Asian cannabis consumers, spliffs were and are often the norm. Whether you’re looking for a little nicotine buzz or you’re trying to make your weed burn right a spliff might be for you.
Which is best blunt joint or spliff?
Discrete, easy-to-carry, healthier than blunt wraps or spliffs (no tobacco), and plenty of options for rolling papers.
Unless you’re rolling giant cones or multi-paper joints, a blunt wrap will hold far more weed than the average joint. If you’re used to tobacco in your spliffs, a joint can also be a lot stronger since it’s only weed.
Blunts burn slower, offering a longer time to enjoy. Another huge pro is the cool factor of firing up a fat blunt at a party or concert. There’s something festive and celebratory about rolling, lighting and sharing a blunt.
It can take time and practice to learn how to roll a proper blunt. With the amount of weed that rolling blunts require, an epic fail during rolling could end up wasting valuable resources. To avoid sadness we recommend starting with a pre-roll!
If you’re a fan of the spliff there’s nothing like the balanced high that comes with tobacco or herbal blends. If you have a low tolerance a spliff might help you not to get too high. Another plus is your joints might smoke better without having to be re-lit.
The biggest con is health-related. Unlike smoking straight cannabis, once we add tobacco into our joints we have similar health risks to cigarette smokers. However, there are some great herbal smoking blends that you can use if you’re concerned about the health risks.
And the winner is…
All of the above. Sorry for the fence-sitting but we aren’t going to declare a winner since joints, blunts, and spliffs all have their time and place. Depending on the time of day, the activity you’re doing or the kind of vibe you’re going for, a blunt, joint, or a spliff may be the right choice. Of course, you may find that you want all three for a session!
Until next time…