The Difference Between a Spliff, Blunt, and Joint

Splif Joint Blunt iStock / Elton Clemente

In the modern marijuana culture of dabs and vapes, the simple satisfaction of rolling a fatty is often overlooked. Rolling up cannabis is a tried and true method still enjoyed by marijuana aficionados across the globe. Even the dedicated dabber appreciates a good joint from time to time. Old-school never really goes out of style.  If you’re new to the world of cannabis consumption, you might want to know that there are three distinct types of cannabis rolls: joints, blunts, and spliffs. Being able to distinguish between the three is good pot knowledge for any cannabis consumer, regardless of their preferred consumption method.

Joints, Blunts, and Spliffs: What’s the Difference?

Joints, blunts, and spliffs can be easy to get confused. Essentially, they’re all just weed rolled up into some paper, but there are distinct differences between the three. Understanding these differences can help you determine which old-school style of smoking is the best for your personal pot preferences. 


Marijuana background. Cannabis joint, bud in plastic bag and hemp leaves on wooden table. Addictive drug or alternative medicine.

iStock / eskymaks

Joints are likely the most popular and widely used of the three. They’re simple, and they get the job done. All that’s needed is dried cannabis flower and a rolling paper. The dry flower is ground up using a grinder or one’s fingers so it’s easier to roll, then placed into the paper, rolled up, and smoked. Learning how to roll a joint is something every cannabis consumer should know how to do, even if it’s not their preferred method of consumption. Trust us, there will come a time when you’re in a pinch and need to roll a joint. Do yourself a favor and learn how.

While joints sound simple (which they are), they’re by no means boring. Papers are typically made out of hemp, rice, or flour and can be purchased in several different sizes and flavors to match your mood. There are even 24-karat gold rolling papers if that’s your thing.

If you’re new to smoking cannabis, you might have the notion that joints are just a simple “weed cigarette”, but they actually go far beyond the typical preroll they’re associated with.

For many, joints are pieces of art. People get creative with them, rolling them into all sorts of shapes and sizes. In the modern world of marijuana, joints are rolled into the shape of tulips, crosses, braids, and more. And if you don’t want to get too high, there’s always the option of rolling a pinner, a thin joint that uses far less cannabis than a regular-sized joint (which is estimated to contain 0.32 grams).


Weed in a blunt, close up


Like joints, blunts also only contain cannabis and a rolling paper…but the paper used to roll a blunt isn’t your typical rolling paper. Instead, blunts are rolled with specialized blunts wraps that are made out of tobacco pulp or by removing the tobacco from a cigar and using the outer shell to roll the cannabis into.

Because there is a slight presence of tobacco in the blunt wrap itself, smoking them can increase the stimulation of your high. Want to get higher than you would off a regular joint? Roll a blunt instead. The tobacco presence in the wrap will offer an extra kick. Average blunt size? Think a half-gram for a “skinny” blunt and up to a full gram or more for a fatty.

Don’t forget that if you want to smoke a blunt without the tobacco, you can always opt for hemp blunt wraps.


Close up of male hand rolling hashish joint

iStock / Photoprofi30

Spliffs are much like joints, with one extra added ingredient. Tobacco. While most Americans aren’t big on spliffs, they’re wildly popular in Europe and typically the preferred way to smoke pot. They’re rolled with any of the wide variety of rolling papers on the market today. To roll a spliff, simply take your rolling paper, add your ground weed, and top it with a bit of tobacco. Keep in mind, the higher the quality tobacco you use, the higher quality spliff you’ll end up smoking.

Why, you might be wondering, would you add tobacco (a known carcinogen) to your cannabis? Well, for starters, spliffs tend to smoke better than joints. Not only do they burn slower and steadier (not too many people canoeing a spliff), but some smokers actually prefer the buzz they get when consuming nicotine and weed at the same time. Mixing tobacco with weed is known to offer more of an energetic high. And if you’re worried about the smell of weed wafting through the air for all to smell, the presence of tobacco in a spliff can significantly cut down on the smell of weed.

Here’s the thing, though. The word spliff means different things in different countries. In Jamaica, a spliff is the same as a joint. And in Europe, a spliff refers to something rolled exclusively with cannabis, while a joint is something rolled with tobacco and cannabis.

“Excuse me while I light my spliff,

Good God I gotta’ take a lift,

From reality I just can’t drift,

That’s why I’m stayin’ with this riff”

-Easy Skanking, Bob Marley

Joints, Blunts, and Spliffs…They All Get You High

Joints can be perfect for those who want to take their weed with…roll a joint and you’re out the door. They’re also great for a quick fix and when you don’t have anything else to smoke out of. You can find rolling papers anywhere, really.

Spliffs are great for individuals looking for an energetic buzz and who don’t mind a bit of tobacco mixed in with their pot. They can be perfect for cig smokers and they tend to burn longer than your average joint. Looking for a long sit down sesh with friends down with a bit of nicotine? Roll a spliff.

Blunts are typically best suited for special occasions…but there are those who prefer blunts over joints or spliffs any day. Blunts definitely take more time to prepare and are a bit more difficult to perfect than a joint or spliff.

When it comes down to it, joints, blunts, and spliffs all have one common purpose. To get you high. What you prefer to roll and partake in all comes down to personal preference and the occasion you’re rolling one up for.

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