What is a spliff?
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- Spliff definition
- Why is it called a spliff?
- Should I roll a spliff?
- Benefits of spliffs
- Do spliffs get you higher?
- Disadvantages of spliffs
If you’re new to cannabis culture, you probably already know what joints and blunts are, but you may not have heard of a spliff.
Here you’ll learn what a spliff is, how the spliff got its name, and the possible benefits and drawbacks of smoking a spliff.
Similar to a joint rolled in white cigarette paper, a spliff has the same appearance but with an added twist: it contains both cannabis and tobacco mixed together. Blunts, which are typically rolled in brown cigar paper, also contain tobacco, but spliffs have much higher concentrations. Spliffs, then, may be considered hybrids of joints and blunts.
A spliff has the same appearance as a joint, but with an added twist: it contains both cannabis and tobacco mixed together. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The strong tobacco infusion often leads to a more energetic buzz for users. Spliffs are especially popular outside of the United States, notably in Europe, where many users enjoy a combination of tobacco and marijuana for their smoking experience.
In short, spliffs are cannabis cigarettes with a tobacco twist.
Why is it called a spliff?
The word has West Indian origins and may have been coined in Jamaica. However, in Jamaica a spliff refers to a cigarette containing only marijuana, not tobacco. The term is commonly used in Jamaican English slang to refer to a joint that may be especially large or potent. The exact meaning of “spliff” is unknown, unlike the meaning of the word joint, which derives from the French verb joindre translated as “to join.”
Should I roll a spliff?
Rolling your own spliff has several distinct advantages. First, you can control the ratio of tobacco to cannabis, making the ingredients equal or choosing one to dominate the other depending on your desired effect. You can also select the type of paper to use, with flavored and unflavored options available. Tobacco paper is generally sweeter than hemp paper, so you can pick the paper according to the flavor profile you prefer. Rolling paper flavors come in numerous varieties, including banana, honey, green apple, and watermelon. The rolling process is straightforward and if you know how to roll a joint, you’ll be able to roll a spliff too.
With spliffs, you can select the type of paper to use, with flavored and unflavored options available. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Benefits of spliffs
Spliffs offer a number of benefits that joints and blunts may not. Here are the top three benefits of spliffs.
- Easier: While the ease of rolling a joint depends on the texture and quality of the cannabis, spliffs have the advantage of tobacco to act as a buffer. Tobacco tends to make a roll more workable and consistent, which equals less time preparing and more time enjoying.
- More subtle: If you’ve ever rolled and smoked a joint at home, you know that the smell can be overpowering and last for hours if not days. Spliffs, in contrast, are more discreet because they tend to smell like tobacco cigarettes rather than more potent-smelling marijuana. Of course, the aroma of marijuana is more desirable to many people than the smell of cigarette smoke, so this advantage may not matter to you if discretion is not a concern.
- Smoother: Unlike a joint, in which one side can burn faster than the other or extinguish altogether, a spliff offers a smoother experience without these interruptions. From start to finish, the tobacco in spliffs provides consistency, whether you’re rolling or smoking one.
Spliffs offer a number of benefits that joints and blunts may not. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Do spliffs get you higher?
Spliffs have many benefits, but getting you higher is not one of them, especially if your idea of high involves a sensation of relaxation. Joints contain significantly higher levels of cannabis, often containing a full gram of marijuana versus half that amount in a spliff. Plus, because of the tobacco content, the stimulant nicotine factors into the equation. If you like your highs more energetic, then this could be an advantage. But if you prefer to mellow out with your smokes, then joints may be the better choice. Whatever you smoke, cannabis strains containing higher THC concentrations are key if you are seeking a psychoactive experience.
Disadvantages of spliffs
The most obvious disadvantage of spliffs is that they contain tobacco, a known carcinogen. Cannabis, on the other hand, has been studied for its potential anti-cancer properties. Research has shown that cannabis may inhibit the growth of certain types of cancerous tumors. Some cancer patients also prefer cannabis over opioids to manage pain. The chemicals in a spliff could cancel or at least diminish any possible health benefits of cannabis.
In addition, marijuana tastes better than tobacco to many palates. The same principle applies to fragrance, as a whiff of acrid cigarette smoke can be offensive to some people, whereas marijuana may be more inviting. However, as already noted, smoking a spliff can emit a subtler overall scent than smoking a joint, so it ultimately boils down to preference.
One way to work around these disadvantages is to limit the amount of tobacco you roll in a spliff. For example, instead of a 50/50 ratio, try blending 80% cannabis with 20% tobacco. But if health and aesthetic issues are a concern, you may want to stick with pure weed joints.
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Blunts, Joints, Spliffs: What’s The Difference?
The language of marijuana is a veritable goldmine of wacky verbiage . From airplane and angola to swag and sticky icky, there’s literally a slang term for every situation. Most of these terms can be used interchangeably as the mood hits, but some common words have very specific meanings and should be used only when the right conditions are met.
Case in point: the terms blunt, joint, and spliff. Along with a few others, they may be the most common words in the cannabis dictionary. But do you know the difference between blunt, joint, and spliff? The answer might surprise you.
Even though cannabis enthusiasts are a pretty laid-back bunch, using the wrong language can be a definite give-away that you’re inexperienced or “unedumacated.” The difference between blunt, joint, and spliff is a prime example. Sure, they both contain marijuana , but that’s where the similarities end. What’s more, there are some pretty distinct differences that set one apart from the other.
To illustrate, it’s like the difference between a car and a truck. Yes, they both have four wheels and an engine, but you’re going to get some pretty strange looks if you point at a Mazda Miata and call it a Chevy Silverado. The terms just don’t mix. The same is true for a blunt, a joint, and a spliff.
Not sure what makes a blunt a blunt, a joint a joint, and a spliff a spliff? That’s why we’re here. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be informed.
What Is A Blunt?
Like a joint, the interior of a blunt is strictly marijuana. Whether it’s a blunt or a joint doesn’t depend on the strain inside, just that it’s exclusively marijuana. A blunt or a joint mixed with anything else is not a blunt or a joint and should be referred to by a different name.
Again, this is where the major difference between a blunt and a joint occurs. A blunt is made by filling a piece of tobacco paper with your choice of marijuana. Alternatively, a blunt can be created with a cleaned-out cigar wrap. Cigar wraps are typically made from compressed tobacco leaf.
And while we’re on the subject of cigars, cigar wraps, and blunts, there’s a huge debate about hand-rolling vs. machine-rolling. Honest Blunts are rolled by a machine. That allows us to ensure that every Honest Blunt lives up to our exacting standards.
And really, it’s not about who or what rolls the blunts. It’s about what they’re made of. We use only the best bud and the best organic-processed hemp-leaf wrappers to build our blunts. Nothing cheap and no fillers. That’s the Honest Marijuana way.
It reminds us of the legend that the best Cuban cigars were hand-rolled on the thighs of virgins. What does that do? Absolutely nothing. The hand-rolled angle was just a way to make that particular cigar stand out. It didn’t contribute to the quality or the taste. What was inside did that.
We’ll put our machine-rolled Honest Blunts up against any hand-rolled blunt out there, and we’ll guarantee that “hand rolling” won’t make a lick of difference in the quality , the taste, or the experience .
Blunts are brown, and that’s all you get. No wacky colors or fun prints. Just the dull brown color of dirt or mud. But really, that’s okay, because the contrast between the brown wrapper (whether it’s tobacco, cigar, or hemp) and the green ganja makes each and every blunt a thing of beauty. You might even call it a work of weed art!
So why is this important to our discussion of blunt, joint, and spliff? Because color sets the three apart. Joints are rarely brown (unless you go out of your way and pay through the nose to get brown rolling paper), and blunts are never white, gold, or — god forbid — polka dot.
Like joints, blunts can range in size. Because they use wrap or paper meant for cigars, they are almost always longer and thicker than the typical joint. While the length doesn’t vary all that much, the thickness can fluctuate depending on the amount of marijuana packed inside.
Some like their blunts packed full so that they resemble a commercial cigar. Some like their blunts packed less than full so that they resemble a drinking straw. Regardless of the size, it’s what’s on the outside — tobacco paper or cigar wrap — that makes a blunt a blunt.
The flavor of a blunt will be affected by the type of exterior wrapping you use. At the most basic, a tobacco flavor will be mixed in with the flavor of the strain you choose. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes it is bad.
It may take some experimentation to find the right strain to mix with the blunt wrapper of your choice (if you roll your own, of course). A better option is to let the professionals construct your blunt for you. That way, you’ll be guaranteed to get the freshest, most flavorful, longest-burning blunt possible.
What Is A Joint?
To help you understand the differences between a blunt, a joint, and a spliff, we’re going to break down the construction into smaller components. We’ll focus on:
This will give you some points of reference for comparison and help you see what makes each one unique.
The interior of a joint is exclusively marijuana. No extra stuff in here, man! It can be whatever strain you choose, but it is always and only marijuana. And just so you aren’t completely confused by all the weird and wonderful weed terms out there, let’s compare the joint to another stoner mainstay — the spliff.
A spliff is similar to a joint (some might say identical), but it contains both marijuana AND tobacco, and, therefore, should not be used to refer to a joint. So when you add tobacco to your bud and wrap it in paper, you’ve transmogrified you’re joint into a spliff.
Tah dah! Bet you didn’t even know you could do magic. But wait! We’re getting off track. We’ll go over spliffs in detail later on in the article. Now, we’ll get back to the topic at hand: blunt, joint, spliff.
This is where the major difference between blunt, joint, and spliff occurs. A joint is rolled in some form of rolling or cigarette paper. These papers can be composed of widely different materials including the classic wood-pulp to the more exotic rice to the “duh, why didn’t I think of it before” hemp .
Each type and brand of paper has different properties including, thickness, size, flavor, “rollability”, and burn length. Brand names include Zig-Zag, Randy’s, Club, Bambu, Elements, Raw and our personal favorite, NoGlu.
Back in the day, joints were always white or light tan. It wasn’t that we were somehow prejudiced against other colors (cannabis has always been a very inclusive culture). That’s just how the rolling papers were made.
We took what we could get because we really didn’t care what the outside looked like—we were going to burn it anyway. It was always about what was on the inside.
Flash forward 50 years, and most rolling papers—and by extension, our joints—are still white or light tan…for the most part. Now, rolling papers come in all sorts of psychedelic colors, so your joint can be gold, gray, polka-dotted, or even clear (for that voyeur inside us all).
Most rolling papers are about 3 inches long. When rolled, they typically resemble a cigarette. That said, they can be thinner or thicker depending on the paper used and how much marijuana you pack inside. As you’ll see when we dissect the blunt in the next section, size does matter (sorry, we couldn’t resist).
The flavor of a joint will come from the strain used to roll it rather than the paper. This is because most rolling papers are flavorless. That allows you to experience the full taste of your Fruity Pebbles without the paper getting in the way.
That said, while most papers are indeed flavorless, some flavored varieties can be found.
What Is A Spliff?
Just like blunts and joints, spliffs contain marijuana. But unlike blunts and joints, spliffs are not all marijuana inside.
Instead, spliffs contain a combination of marijuana and tobacco. Most spliffs — be they store-bought or DIY — don’t contain more than 50 percent tobacco because, really, if you wanted more tobacco than weed, just buy a cigarette.
So with the addition of tobacco into the mix, you can see why it’s essential that you use the correct term for what you’re going to smoke. Imagine this conversation between you and your crush:
You: “Hey, bae. Wanna smoke a spliff wiff me?”
Them: “Nah. That tobacco stuff’ll kill you! You tryin’ to make me sick? Don’t talk to me anymore!”
You: “Wait! No tobacco in my smoke. Just weed.”
Them: “That’s a joint, you tool! I can’t be with someone who doesn’t know the diff b/w a joint & a spliff! I’m out.”
You: “Please don’t go.”
Them: “Too late. Friend zone.”
So sad. If only you’d used the correct term when you had the chance. You’d be high with your crush by your side right now instead of flying solo again. Word choice is important, boys and girls.
While the interior of a spliff puts it squarely in its own category, the exterior of a spliff looks very similar to that of a joint.
That’s because spliffs are rolled in your choice of — wait for it — rolling paper, just like a joint. In fact, joints and spliffs may look exactly alike from the outside, so it’s critical to know what’s inside (and refer to it correctly) before you smoke.
Just like joints, the color of a spliff depends on the type of rolling paper you choose.
Most spliffs will be white or light tan. But there’s no reason you can’t go wild and wrap your weed/tobacco mix in a fancy color if the feeling strikes you.
The size of your spliff depends on the size of the rolling paper you choose. Most spliffs will be about three inches long and the same thickness as your typical joint.
Some sources like to claim that a spliff is (or should be) bigger or smaller than a regular joint and that that’s how you can tell them apart. To that we call B.S. Here’s why.
Let’s say you set out to roll a joint. You sprinkle all the marijuana you want on the rolling paper and are just about to close when you think, “Wait a minute. I think I’d rather have a spliff.” What do you do?
You scoop out some of the weed and replace it with tobacco. Essentially, you’ve got the same amount of ground material on the rolling paper (for your spliff) as you did for your joint. The end result will be the same size regardless of whether it’s a spliff or a joint.
In this case, size doesn’t matter (thank goodness).
The flavor of a spliff will be dramatically different than a joint but quite similar to a blunt.
Remember, the joint is pure Mary Jane, so the strain will dictate the flavor and aroma. The spliff is a mix of Mary Jane and tobacco, so it will taste and smell more like a cigarette than a joint.
You’ll also find that spliffs and blunts taste and smell a lot alike because they both have some part Mary Jane and some part tobacco. In the spliff, the tobacco is on the inside (with the Mary Jane). In the blunt, the tobacco is on the outside (in the wrapper).
What Are The Benefits Of A Joint?
The benefits of a joint are myriad, which is why it has been around as long as it has. Most notably, the size of a joint makes it easy to store and transport. A vast number of them can be stored in a regular plastic bag, stuffed in the back of a sock drawer, or buried at the bottom of a duffel bag.
Ease of rolling is another factor that makes joints a great choice for all your marijuana smoking needs. The papers used to roll joints are designed to be relatively easy to handle.
Unlike a blunt, which many people construct by first dismantling a cigar, joint papers are ready to go. An experienced smoker can roll a joint in two to three minutes, while it might take double or triple (or even quadruple) that to get a blunt going.
Another benefit of consuming your cannabis in joint form is that there’s no other material added. You can be sure that nothing is coming between you and your favorite strain of Mary Jane.
Oh, and let’s not forget about tradition. Joints have been around for a long time and are a tried-and-trusted method for smoking pot. The joint is the most widely recognized way to get marijuana into your system (followed closely by the bong).
When you smoke a joint, you can feel proud that you’re part of a tradition going back many thousands of years.
What Are The Benefits Of A Blunt?
Burn time is a major benefit that can be had by smoking a blunt. The thickness and composition of the wrapper make a blunt burn slower than the more short-lived joint. This is a major bonus for many, especially when smoking in a group. Participants get more tokes because the whole thing lasts longer.
The added material (tobacco) can be thought of as a unique benefit of the blunt. Tobacco can provide a “buzz” similar to the caffeine in coffee. This pleasurable effect often precedes the cannabis high and can make a nice addition to the experience.
Another benefit of a blunt is the quantity of material inside. Blunts are usually thicker than joints and many feel that they get higher from a blunt because of the extra cannabis. Whether this is true in all cases or just a matter of perception is open for debate, but the addition of tobacco may have something to do with it.
What Are The Benefits Of A Spliff?
Aside from the fact that a spliff contains a known carcinogen, there are a number of benefits to smoking a spliff instead of a joint, including:
- Burn rate
- Burn evenness
- Nicotine makes for a more energetic high
- Tobacco reduces the tell-tale pot aroma
Because of the presence of tobacco, spliffs burn slower and steadier than joints (but not blunts). If we had to put blunts, joints, and spliffs on a burn-rate scale, it would be: joint (fastest), spliff (middle), blunt (slowest). That said, a lot depends on size when it comes to burn rate.
Similarly, spliffs burn more evenly than joints. With a spliff, you don’t have to worry about canoeing or some other weird shape because the tobacco makes the whole thing burn at the same rate.
In regard to nicotine, the infamous chemical in tobacco stimulates your adrenal gland (releasing adrenaline) and causes your pancreas to release less insulin (resulting in an increase in blood sugar). Marijuana doesn’t do that.
So those two effects combined, in addition to the effects of marijuana, make for a unique feeling that can’t be found anywhere else.
Finally, tobacco reduces the tell-tale pot aroma. That can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. Good if you don’t want anyone knowing you’re toking weed, but bad because now everything smells like a cigarette.
Tips For Rolling Your Own Blunts, Joints, And Spliffs
DIY is the heart and soul of cannabis culture, so it’s no wonder you’re looking for the best way to roll your own blunts and joints. In this section, we’ll give you all the tips you’ll need to roll the prettiest blunts and joints on your block.
Want to roll your own blunt? Here’s an important tip:
Sure, there are some simple ways to remove tobacco from a cigar wrapper in order to roll your own blunt, but we don’t recommend them.
Second-hand cigar wrappers (those that were once cigars) are brittle when unrolled and can break or crack when you’re trying to get your ganja in. That can ruin your blunt completely and put a major kibosh on your pot-smoking plans.
Don’t let the hassles of DIY-blunt-rolling harsh your buzz. Just purchase your blunts pre-rolled (like those from Honest Marijuana) so all you have to do is concentrate on getting high.
Want to roll your own joint? No warnings here! In fact, if you want to be a real stoner, you should learn how to master this essential DIY skill.
- Always grind your ganja first.
- Include a filter or crutch at the end so your joint doesn’t get soggy.
- Take your time.
- Roll your joint tightly (but not too tightly).
- Use as little paper as possible while still making sure the joint closes.
- Try packing the end of the joint with a pen to ensure an even burn.
- Twist the far end tightly closed to keep everything in.
- Practice, practice, practice.
It may take a while to master the skill of rolling your own joint, but once you get it, you’ll feel like a million bucks.
And if you want to add a hefty kick to your beautifully rolled joint, here’s a handy tip from your uncle HMJ: try adding some kief, wax , or oil to the marijuana before you wrap it up. The added ingredient (don’t worry, it’s still a joint) can provide a powerful kick that can take your smoking experience to a whole new level.
Go back to the section immediately above and replace the word “joint” with the word “spliff,” and the word “ganja” with the words “ganja and tobacco.” The process is exactly the same.
Too lazy to scroll? Fine. You just sit there. We’ll do the work.
- Always grind your ganja and tobacco first.
- Include a filter or crutch at the end so your spliff doesn’t get soggy.
- Take your time.
- Roll your spliff tightly (but not too tightly).
- Use as little paper as possible while still making sure the spliff closes.
- Try packing the end of the spliff with a pen to ensure an even burn.
- Twist the far end tightly closed to keep everything in.
- Practice, practice, practice.
You can even add kief , wax, or oil before you roll and it will still be a spliff (because…tobacco).
Blunt, Joint, Spliff…Which Do You Choose?
Partaking of your cannabis collection via blunt, joint, or spliff is, like choosing a favorite strain, largely a matter of personal preference. The nice thing about this debate is that it gives you the opportunity to try the different methods of consumption and decide for yourself.
Any excuse to smoke some ganja, right?
To determine whether you like the blunt or the joint or the spliff, we suggest purchasing a high-quality, pre-rolled version of each first. This will give you the opportunity to find out which you prefer without letting the construction process sway your decision.
Once you’ve decided based on smoking alone, you can try rolling your own versions and see if that changes your mind.
Unsure about the difference between a blunt, joint, and spliff? The experts at Honest Marijuana settle the debate once and for all.