Does anyone else smoke spliffs?
A spliff is a joint made from a blend of tobacco and cannabis with a long history in weed culture.
It has been the subject of drama art, movies, and countless songs, most notably the Bob Marley song “Easy Skanking,” which was released in 1978. The song begins with “Sorry while I light my spliff”.
However, the popularity of the beloved spliff in American culture has declined over the years.
Why this? Will this symbol of weed culture disappear on the path of the lava lamp or a cockroach clip?
Or will spliffs continue to be popular with weed smokers even if they are darkened by new technologies like vapes, CBD oil, concentrates, gums, and other foods?
What is a joint, a spliff, and a blunt?
Before we get too detailed, it’s a good idea to double-check our terminology as it can be a bit confusing.
What is a joint
Joints are the typical and most common way of consuming cannabis. It’s small, portable, and easy to roll and smoke anywhere. Wherever cannabis is legal. It is cannabis rolled up in rolling paper like a hand-rolled cigarette, but with cannabis. The papers come in a variety of sizes, colors and even flavors to add value to the novelty. Joints often end up with a filter. This is often just a rolled up piece of thick paper or cardboard on the end called a roach. It supports the joint and is something to hold while smoking. You can also use it to smoke the joint without burning your lips.
What is a dull one?
A blunt is a roll up of cannabis in a cigar or blunt wrap. These wraps are made from tobacco, which gives your cannabis high a nice buzz and some energy. They’re usually thicker and longer than joints like mini cigars. They’re a bit like cigarillos, you know, those thin cigars you see smoking in the spaghetti westerns.
What is a spliff?
A spliff is like a joint, but not just cannabis, but also tobacco and cannabis in the rolling paper. This is usually more tobacco than a blunt one, but the exact tobacco to cannabis ratio will vary based on preference. A spliff also has a roach like joints and for the same reasons.
The above is accepted US terminology, and therefore the one I will be using in this article. In Europe, however, the names are reversed. A joint is a roll up of cannabis and tobacco, while a spliff is all cannabis.
Why do people smoke spliffs?
The popularity of the spliff in stoner culture is well deserved. The high of cannabis with the crisp hum of nicotine creates a caffeine-like high.
Relaxed, yet vigilant, which is what many casual weed smokers are looking for.
There were many times in my youth where I relaxed with a touch, knowing that I wasn’t going to get so high that I would be unproductive later on.
I think, like me, many spliffs found the ideal way to enjoy pot without worrying about getting too high to handle the rest of the day.
For those who already use tobacco and weeds, combining them goes without saying, and a large part of the world’s population already smokes.
Beyond the clear high, rolling spliffs made a lot of sense in the days leading up to legalization when cannabis didn’t come around like that.
Adding tobacco to the sticky buds will make the joints more even and easier to roll.
The tobacco also creates air bubbles in the joint, which means you get a cleaner hit when you smoke.
Not only is spliff smoking a better connection, it’s also a convenient way to add to the weed supply. This comes in handy when unexpected drought supplies arise.
How common are spliffs?
The decline in spliff smoking is an overall American phenomenon, and here’s why.
According to the 2014 Global Drug Survey, more than half of Australian weed smokers use a mixture of tobacco and cannabis.
For many European countries, smoking spliffs is almost the only way to enjoy cannabis on the continent.
For Italians, spliffs are the first choice to consume weed. 94% of citizens who smoke cannabis put tobacco in their pot.
When I lived in the UK, spliffs were the most common way we smoked weed. This is in large part because we often found that the only weed that was easily and readily available was a skunk.
Skunk is a cannabis strain from the 1970s, a cross between mountain hashish strains from Afghanistan and Pakistan with strong sativa cannabis from Central and South America. This very adaptable and potent plant was ideal for indoor growing and got its name from the pungent aroma. This made it ideal for Northern Europe where it was introduced to Amsterdam (from California) and from where it found its way to the UK.
We rolled skunk mixed with tobacco into spliffs, partly because of its potency, which was natural since we all smoked cigs back then. It also allowed our weeds to go further, an ideal outcome when we were poor students with little disposable income.
On the other side of the Atlantic the picture is very different.
The obvious difference between spliff and dull excitement comes from two important but related factors: location and history.
Until recently, Europeans in the UK were more likely to source cannabis in the form of hashish or skunk.
From Spain to Switzerland, Europeans smoke just as much hashish.
Ounce for ounce, as they are flowers.
Cannabis is imported into Europe mainly from North Africa, and historically this was hashish.
This concentrate is stronger than marijuana flower and offers more bang for your buck.
The gold, brown, and black resin stones are also easier to smuggle into the continent than large bales of cannabis flowers. Since it is almost impossible to roll this thick concentrate into a joint and make it harder to hold on to light, adding tobacco is required. This tradition had formed a strong habit that continues to this day, whether it is hashish or flower in the joint.
Spliffs and tobacco use
In the United States, cannabis has always been available in the form of dried flowers from local producers in countries like Canada, Mexico, and California.
That’s why smoking spliffs is a choice rather than a necessity rather than just dulling with weeds. In addition, the tendency to smoke is higher in Europe than in the USA.
In Europe, more than a quarter of people over the age of 15 smoke every day. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking rates in the US fell from nearly 21 percent in 2005 to less than 16 percent in 2016.
In the same decade, the number of smokers ages 18 to 24 in the United States fell by one-third, the largest decrease of any group. Fewer people who smoke cigarettes mean fewer people who have a cigarette on their hands to stick in a joint. The anti-tobacco stigma means fewer people want the harmful tobacco smoke in their lungs, so they would go for cannabis-only roll-ups instead.
The change can also be attributed to an increase in cannabis diversity. With the advent of more and more cannabis strains, each with their own effects and strengths, smokers do not need to add tobacco to lessen or increase the effects.
This also increases the availability created by legalization. Even outside of the states where prices are constantly falling, it is easier to buy and weed weeds so that you don’t have to get rid of your weeds by pruning with tobacco.
There are many more smoking options too. With glass bongs, grinders, dry herbal steams and pre-rolls, fewer people have to fill a joint.
With all that said, it turns out that you can’t beat the classics.
A Civilization and PSB survey of 1,600 North American adults found that old-fashioned joints, or blunt joints, are still the most popular way to ingest cannabis.
In the US, 52 percent of those polled put grouts and blunts at the top of the list, compared with 45 percent who favored pipes.
In Canada, joints and blunts were even more popular. 68 percent of respondents said they were their first choice.
Smoking Spliffs in the United States
So it seems for now, at least, that Spliffs will stay here.
One day, spliffs may only be remembered in songs and pop culture of the past, but it won’t be anytime soon.
The Venn diagrams of tobacco and marijuana smokers have always overlapped, especially in college.
It must be emphasized, however, that tobacco has many adverse effects. So if you stick to cannabis only, you’ll thank them later.
look at that Instructions on how to use marijuana if you are looking for the healthiest way to enjoy weed.