The classic debate of blunt vs joint still rages on despite all the new, funky, extremely potent ways to consume cannabis. It’s easy to assume that the old ways of smoking – whether through a joint, blunt or a spliff – are becoming last resort options but many users today still enjoy the joint smoke from a blunt or a joint over vapor from a THC cartridge or a vape pen.
Sure, they have disadvantages over vaporizing and ingesting edibles, but the various ways of smoking are far from being the last tool in a smoker’s toolkit. Put another way, smoking cannabis through joints, blunts and spliffs have distinct advantages, and are ultimately here to stay, regardless of what any cannabis futurist has to say.
If you’re just riding in on the wave of cannabis consumption, like millions of others, here’s a breakdown of what joints, spliffs and blunts are, along with they’re distinct differences.
What is a Joint?
The joint definition is wide and varied, given that they come in many shapes and sizes. Often times, a joint can be confused with the likes of a spliff or a blunt since they all share the same conical appearance. To the trained eye, however, the difference between a joint vs a blunt and a spliff could not be any more apparent.
Joints, which are often sold as “pre-rolls,” are the basic, most traditional way of smoking cannabis. All that’s needed are buds, even, trim if you like, that’s broken down into an even consistency, ideally with a grinder, and then packed and rolled often with a single paper. Joints that are ideal for smoking also typically have a filter or crutch at the tip that provides more stability when inhaling, allowing you to get the most out of your experience.
However, joints are a lot more than just broken down cannabis that’s packed into a single rolling paper, as smokers have plenty of room to experiment and be creative. You may have seen “pinners” or straight joints, or even “cone joints” that range from having as little as a quarter of a gram to up to 3.5 grams in cannabis.
The type of rolling papers can also change as they can be made out of hemp, rice, flax and other materials like sisal and esparto, while also varying flavours that greatly affect how your joint tastes and burns.
Which brings us to the overall grading criteria for your joint – that is how it burns. Ideal joints burn evenly around throughout its use; if it doesn’t, you’re left with one side of the joint burning that makes it resemble a “canoe.” To ensure your joint burns evenly, make sure your cannabis is fully dried, broken down to an even consistency, and packed tight.
Joints are classic, and chances are you’ve seen them being smoked in public or being shared around in a sesh or roto. They’re easy to roll, easy to learn how to smoke a joint, and easier to handle than a blunt or a spliff. Joints are timeless, and they’re not about to go away anytime soon.
What is a Spliff?
The only major difference spliffs have over joints is the added ingredient of tobacco, which happens to be the goto smoking-method for tokers in Europe. Given this, spliffs generally have the same attributes as joints — consisting of broken down cannabis, rolling papers and a filter.
They can be made in the same way as well, with the utmost freedom and creativity of using multiple strains, using various rolling papers and coming in different shapes and sizes – all with the extra ingredient of mixing in tobacco with your grounded weed before rolling.
However, in spliffs, cannabis is usually recommended to be more grounded than with joints, as it provides for a more smooth and even smoking experience when the two are smoked together. This brings us to the different experiences that spliffs provide over joints – that is a more heightened psychoactive one.
Nicotine is considered a stimulant, which when consumed with cannabis, can offset cannabis’s sedative effects, thus creating a unique experience. This in combination with tobacco’s head-rush, sometimes soothing effects also make for reasons why tokers might prefer a spliff over a joint.
What is a Blunt?
Blunts are the cigars of the cannabis universe, having the distinct properties of being generally thicker, heavier and potentially a lot more potent, depending on the ingredients used. With a blunt, rolling papers are put to the side, and are replaced with various options, such as “blunt wraps”, cannabis leaves or even the outer layer of tobacco cigars and cigarillos. Also, unlike joints and spliffs, blunts don’t have the typical filter or crutch that helps you evenly take in and burn your cannabis.
Alongside this, blunt wraps and the outer layers of cigars and cigarellos are usually made from tobacco, thus you’re complimenting your cannabis experience with the added mellow, head rush effect, which may not be your preference. This said, blunts can also range in thickness, as you may see them as cigar-like thick, or straw-like thin. Irrespective of the thickness and size, blunts are distinct by their outer layer and more potent effects.
Due to the special papers that a blunt uses to roll, a blunt will offer more of a headrush than a spliff. The difference between a blunt is a spliff – while both have nicotine – is that a blunt will tend to contain considerably more nicotine than a spliff. Blunt papers are nearly synonymous with cigar papers and if you’ve ever seen or smoked a cigar, you’ll know that these papers tend to be thick.
If you’re new to smoking a blunt, be sure to take it slow. The harshness of the blunt paper may be a bit harsh for first time users.
Joints vs Blunts vs Spliffs- The Difference
With all this said, you’re probably stuck on what smoking method to choose for the occasion. To make the selection process easier, here is an overview and some distinct advantages between joints, blunts and spliffs.
Why Choose a Joint?
- Different rolling papers can enhance the smoking experience as they can be organic and come in different flavors, from watermelon to bubble gum
- Ideal for casual and convenient smoking sessions because of the little time it takes to prepare and its simplicity
- Plenty of room to be creative if timing and resources are in your hands, such as with using different rolling papers, different strains, having different amounts of cannabis, and rolling joints into different shapes
- Likely the best smoking method that allows you to truly taste the terpenes (flavor) of your strain, as other ingredients and flavored rolling papers don’t have to be present
- Downside is that a joint can burn too fast, and therefore need to be relitten often – check the density of your rolling or cannabis if this occurs
Why Choose a Spliff?
- Spliffs are identical to joints, aside from the extra ingredient of tobacco, which can be more pleasurable for many
- Nicotine is a stimulant, thus can offset cannabis’ sedative effects, also the mellow-head rush received from tobacco may be a good compliment to cannabis as well
- Spliffs last longer than joints as tobacco ensures spliffs burn more consistently and evenly, thus spliff don’t need to be relitten as often, which can provide a more pleasurable experience
- Spliffs have longer preparation times than joints, however they’re more ideal for social settings as sessions can last longer among friends
- The experience from spliffs can be more mild when compared to joints as less cannabis can be used
- If the smell of cannabis is something you’re trying to hide, Spliffs can also be a good option as Tobacco can alleviate the smell
- One major downside to spliffs is the consumption of tobacco, given it’s addictive and highly toxic consequences
Why Choose a Blunt?
- Are generally are more potent given the higher amount of cannabis used
- Have a lot longer preparation time, but last a lot longer, which make it ideal for special occasions whether social or not
- For those who appreciate and value the smoking experience other than the high itself
- Room for creativity exists as different rolling papers (blunt wraps, cannabis leaves, outer layer of cigars and cigarellos, etc.) can be used, along with different cannabis strains
- Outer layer can be made of tobacco thus providing the added effect of nicotine, while also masking the taste of low-grade cannabis
The conundrum of choosing between joints, blunts and spliffs isn’t a one and done process. This problem has plagued cannaseurs since the dawn of cannabis culture, and will continue to do so regardless of what new concentrates and consumption methods become available in the future.
One major reason why is because each of them are the most pragmatic and simple way to smoke cannabis, allowing for those to have the experience with basic materials and little preparation time, well, at least for spliffs and joints. Blunts on the other hand require more skill, more time, but the reward may be far greater than joints and spliffs.
With the differences in mind, you can now make an informed decision between choosing between the three!