It’s the kind of faux-pas every cannabis newcomer makes at some point or another. You refer to one particular consumption method by entirely the wrong name and find yourself the laughing stock of those who know what they’re talking about.

As far as some are concerned, it really doesn’t matter how you hit it…just as long as you do. For others, the differences between consumption methods are as big of a deal as it gets. Even right down to those classic cannabis wrap-ups, they expect you to know the exact characteristics of your chosen handheld.

The question being – can you separate your joints from your spliffs and blunts?

If the answer is no, don’t feel too bad. Evidence would seem to suggest that most cannabis users pick one preferred word and stick with it, irrespective of how they’re smoking at the time. Some refer to every wrap as a spliff, others prefer the term joint and so on.

Still, if you really want to become a cannabis connoisseur, it’s worth familiarising yourself with this basic terminology. Plus, there’s much to be said for experimenting with different cannabis consumption methods, in order to find the one that suits you best.

So with your next batch of Chemdog Weed or your favourite Honey Bananas Strain, roll yourself a wrap-up and use the following to determine which of the three it is:


The classic and some would say the best, a cannabis joint is characterised by rolling paper packed with nothing but pure cannabis. Traditionally, cannabis joints have been rolled using a single paper, but those rolled with multiple papers joined together still qualify as a joint. One of the biggest advantages of the cannabis joint being the relatively unadulterated hit delivered. Quality rolling papers produce very little taste or smell, allowing the flavours and aromas of the cannabis to do their business. On the downside, rolling a joint with cannabis that’s even remotely dry can be a challenge. Low-quality papers also make the whole job more difficult than it needs to be.


More popular in Europe than elsewhere, a spliff is a variation on a cannabis joint, in which an amount of tobacco is mixed with the pot. The basic premise is identical – one or more skins being used to roll a joint, typically with a cardboard or paper roach at the end. As far as advocates are concerned, the biggest benefit of adding tobacco is stretching your cannabis as far as possible. In addition, adding tobacco can make it far easier to roll-up using dry or over-ground cannabis flowers. On the flipside of the coin, cannabis connoisseurs see the addition of tobacco as pure heresy. Along with diluting the quality and potency of the cannabis, tobacco also produces considerably more dangerous and addictive smoke.


Considered the most prestigious and exclusive of the three, a blunt is created by hollowing out a cigar and stuffing it with cannabis. It’s up to you whether you hollow out the cigar yourself, or buy a pre-made tobacco wrapper ready to be stuffed. In both instances, the beauty of a blunt is its capacity to hold exponentially more cannabis than either of its counterparts. Depending on the size of the cigar, you can easily stuff an entire baggie or two into a single blunt. On the downside, the wrapper is made from pure tobacco. Hence, it brings the above mentioned risks of nicotine-addiction and tobacco-related illness into the equation.

As for which of the three is better, it’s purely a matter of personal opinion. That said, health experts unanimously back the humble joint as the least harmful consumption method of the three. The reason being that any form of cannabis consumption that involves tobacco exponentially increases the associated health risks. Cannabis is considered largely safe for consumption – tobacco is one of the deadliest substances known to man.

Top Tips for Better Roll-Ups

Whichever way you decide to go, it’s worth taking the time to consider your technique. Unless you’re consistently producing works of art, chances are you could benefit from a tip or two.

  1. Always buy quality skins

First up, it’s impossible to roll anything decent if you don’t start out with premium skins. There’s a reason why some rolling papers are practically given away, while others pack a heavier punch price-wise. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but instead just be realistic when it comes to quality. The shoddier the skins, the difficult it’s going to be to produce anything worth smoking.

  1. Use quality cannabis

Likewise, cannabis that’s overly dry or packed with sticks and stems is going to be extremely difficult to roll with. You also need to approach the grinding process with care, as anything too fine only stands to cause you problems. If things get too dry, there are ways and means to effectively re-hydrate your cannabis. You can add a little tobacco if you like, but it isn’t recommended.

  1. Organise the contents

Take the time to meticulously organise the contents of the roll-up, ensuring it is packed as evenly as possible. Don’t simply take a handful of ground bud and throw it in there haphazardly. The more solid and even the distribution of cannabis inside the skin, the easier the job and the more satisfying the smoke.

  1. Take your time

Attempting to rush the job is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. It’s important to remember that practice makes perfect and there’s no need to rush. Take your time, enjoy the experience and embrace it as part of the ceremony. Sooner or later, you’ll get the hang of it.

  1. Invest in a rolling machine

Last but not least – and at the risk of infuriating purists – there’s no shame in reaching for a decent rolling machine. Some would argue that using a machine is tantamount to cheating. A shortcut that only amateurs take. In reality, anything that helps you produce consistently outstanding roll-ups can only be a good thing. So if a rolling machine is needed, ignore the haters and buy one!

By Lisa Kush – LIWTS


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