From joint to blunt to spliff, the act of smoking cannabis has an extensive vocabulary surrounding its various uses and consumption methods.
As an increasing number of Canadians venture to try cannabis for the first time, these terms will inevitably become confounded and confused with one another as weed reaches critical mass.
While joints, blunts and spliffs are widely understood to be the same thing, this isn’t necessarily true. There are a few key differences between the three that make them distinct and set them apart.
If you’ve been misinterpreting a joint as a spliff, want to learn how to roll a spliff yourself or wish to understand why some users find them so enticing, you’ve come to the right place.
Today, we’re taking a deep dive into spliffs to help you understand for yourself whether or not they’re right for you.
What is a Spliff? Is a Joint the Same as a Spliff?
A spliff is a weed joint rolled with a combination of cannabis and tobacco.
Essentially, to put it simply, a spliff is a kind of joint, but not all joints are spliffs. Compared to joints, a spliff, by definition, needs to contain some amount of tobacco.
You might also see spliffs rolled with white cigarette papers instead of brown, hemp rolling papers that many users typically use to roll their joints. This difference is mainly superficial, but it helps tokers differentiate between the two more easily and readily.
In the same vein, some cannabis users will prefer using cigarette filters instead of the usual paper crutches commonly seen in joints. This distinction is another largely aesthetic choice, but it also serves to filter out some of the additional tar that will inevitably come through as a result of the additional inclusion of tobacco.
On the other hand, blunts are a type of joint rolled with cigar papers or tobacco leaves. Like spliffs, blunts can also contain a mixture of cannabis and tobacco. However, they’re most commonly rolled primarily with weed as the tobacco leaves themselves will already contain a considerable amount of nicotine.
For more information on how blunts are different from joints, be sure to read our full guide, “Blunt vs Joint: Should You Try A Blunt?”
What’s the Appeal of Using a Spliff?
For many, the resulting flavour of combining tobacco and cannabis is a significant draw for opting to use a spliff. If you know how to roll a joint, you’ll likely be able to finish rolling a spliff with relative ease.
Tobacco paper, which some people use to roll their spliffs, is also generally sweeter than hemp rolling papers. When used in tandem with weed and tobacco, users enjoy a flavourful combination that many find hard to resist.
Another reason why many enjoy smoking a spliff is because of the different effects and experiences they produce. Tobacco delivers a head rush and “kick” that causes an increase in blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate. For chronic smokers, nicotine can also provide relief from stress and calm the nerves.
When used concurrently with cannabis, these effects are magnified by the effects of cannabis to produce a deeper, more heady high than if one were to ingest cannabis on its own.
Sometimes, cannabis users may not have enough weed to fill their rolling paper. In cases like these, adding some tobacco as filler can help complete the joint and allow them to finish rolling.
In these instances, a spliff provides a convenient method of reaping the benefits of cannabis, even if users don’t necessarily have enough to fill an entire joint.
Nicotine is an intense stimulant. In addition to increasing focus and energy, it’s also known to heighten mood, improve memory and increase alertness. When used in combination with weed, these effects can be enhanced even further.
Depending on the specific strain, the effects from the nicotine may also counteract some of the adverse side effects of cannabis, including lethargy, spaciness and hunger.
Another reason why many, particularly in the United States, might turn to rolling spliffs is that they serve as a cheaper alternative by filling a joint with a mixture of weed and tobacco rather than spending additional money on just cannabis, which is typically more expensive.
Additionally, cigarettes are plentiful everywhere, while cannabis remains illegal in some states and jurisdictions. In this way, gaining access to quality flower might be more trouble than it’s worth. In cases like these, it makes more sense to save yourself the hassle and settle for a spliff instead.
Since a spliff will contain less weed than a standard joint, it’ll also be less potent. This difference in potency is appealing for many users looking for a lighter, more subdued cannabis experience that won’t leave them entirely incapacitated.
The Cons of Smoking Spliffs
The cons of smoking a spliff are grounded in its nicotine content. While a spliff might look like a joint, the inclusion of tobacco makes it more akin to a cigarette. For a refresher on the spliff meaning, it’s literally a joint filled with a mix of cannabis and tobacco leaf.
It would be fairer to describe a spliff as a cigarette with cannabis than a joint filled with nicotine. For users, the appeal is grounded in the nicotine, not the cannabis.
That said, the dangers of smoking a spliff are the same as smoking cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes can lead to cancer and heart disease and increase your risk of stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and many more negative health outcomes. Spliffs, just because they contain cannabis, are not removed from these health risks.
Those who enjoy rolling and smoking spliffs are also more likely to exhibit cannabis dependence and psychosocial problems. This increased likelihood is because nicotine is incredibly addictive. As we said, just because it’s mixed with weed in some rolling papers doesn’t mean it’s any less habit-forming.
In other words, while spliffs deliver a unique experience, it’s recommended to refrain from smoking them if you’re not already a cigarette or tobacco smoker.
The health risks and consequences just aren’t worth it.
For those interested in a similar cannabis consumption experience without inhaling potentially harmful carcinogens, tar and excess plant matter through smoke or developing a dependency on nicotine, vaporizer pens pose a plausible alternative.
As we previously described, smoking, in itself, has the potential to lead to several adverse health consequences, be it through smoking cannabis, nicotine or, in this context, both.
Cannabis vaporizers avoid creating smoke altogether by not actually combusting any of the marijuana plant matter. Instead, it heats it to the optimal temperature to convert it into a vapour that users can easily inhale.
Hooti THC Distillate Vaporizer Pens contain premium, state-of-the-art THC distillate with reintroduced strain-specific terpenes, allowing users to enjoy their favourite cannabis strains without compromising flavour or potency. They’re also effective in helping users protect their lungs from the harsher smoke associated with more conventional smoking methods.
The creation of the spliff is a unique spin on the more classic joint variation while delivering a completely different experience. That said, the health consequences of smoking a joint compared to smoking a spliff are massive.
A joint won’t prove nearly as addicting as a spliff might be, and it also won’t cause close to the same amount of long-term negative consequences.
However, the choice is up to you on whether or not you should try a nicotine-packed joint. Spliff is, by definition, a cigarette packed with weed, so while it might share some resemblance to the word joint, it’s anything but.
Those looking to avoid smoking altogether may find solace in investing in a cannabis vaporizer pen as a portable, discreet and healthier alternative.