If you’re new to cannabis culture, you probably already know what joints and blunts are, but you may not have heard of a spliff.
Here you’ll learn what a spliff is, how the spliff got its name, and the possible benefits and drawbacks of smoking a spliff.
Similar to a joint rolled in white cigarette paper, a spliff has the same appearance but with an added twist: it contains both cannabis and tobacco mixed together. Blunts, which are typically rolled in brown cigar paper, also contain tobacco, but spliffs have much higher concentrations. Spliffs, then, may be considered hybrids of joints and blunts.
The strong tobacco infusion often leads to a more energetic buzz for users. Spliffs are especially popular outside of the United States, notably in Europe, where many users enjoy a combination of tobacco and marijuana for their smoking experience.
In short, spliffs are cannabis cigarettes with a tobacco twist.
Why is it called a spliff?
The word has West Indian origins and may have been coined in Jamaica. However, in Jamaica a spliff refers to a cigarette containing only marijuana, not tobacco. The term is commonly used in Jamaican English slang to refer to a joint that may be especially large or potent. The exact meaning of “spliff” is unknown, unlike the meaning of the word joint, which derives from the French verb joindre translated as “to join.”
Should I roll a spliff?
Rolling your own spliff has several distinct advantages. First, you can control the ratio of tobacco to cannabis, making the ingredients equal or choosing one to dominate the other depending on your desired effect. You can also select the type of paper to use, with flavored and unflavored options available. Tobacco paper is generally sweeter than hemp paper, so you can pick the paper according to the flavor profile you prefer. Rolling paper flavors come in numerous varieties, including banana, honey, green apple, and watermelon. The rolling process is straightforward and if you know how to roll a joint, you’ll be able to roll a spliff too.
Does a spliff get you higher than a blunt?
Well, that depends on the ratio of weed to tobacco. If you fill it with more weed than tobacco, you’re going to get quite high. If, on the other hand, you fill it with mostly tobacco, you’re not going to get stoned as much. However, if you are not a smoker, you will feel an energetic effect from the tobacco.
Of course, you should keep in mind that a blunt is larger, so it stands to reason that it’s going to get you quite a bit higher, particularly if it’s only filled with weed. The tobacco paper in a blunt also adds to the buzz as well!
The Benefits of Spliffs
If the idea of mixing tobacco with your weed gives you a bad taste in your mouth (and lungs), you are not alone. Tobacco is a known carcinogen, and most people (especially Americans) understand that using tobacco can cause cancer and bad breath. However, enjoying the occasional spliff doesn’t necessarily make you into a tobacco user. There’s nothing wrong with indulging every so often. The occasional spliff is not likely to give you lung cancer.
Why Smoke a Spliff? As mentioned above, mixing weed with tobacco will give you quite a different high than that of a regular joint. Anyone who has ever smoked a cigarette or cigar (or even tried chewing tobacco) will tell you. Tobacco will give you a pretty significant buzz if you don’t have the tolerance for it. Indeed, this is what draws most back to tobacco before they get hooked on the nicotine. The high is much more of an energetic one than just straight weed. It’s more of a “buzzed” effect, rather than being stoned. If tobacco use concerns you, and you don’t already consume it, don’t make a habit of mixing your tobacco and weed!
There are other benefits to smoking a spliff than just a fun and different kind of buzz. First of all, the smell is less overpowering than the smell of a joint or a weed only blunt. If you’re out and about and want to keep your marijuana use discreet, a spliff will help take care of that telling odor quite nicely.
Spliffs are also great for producing a good buzz while also conserving your supply of weed. You will use about half (or less) the amount of weed than you would use if you were to roll a joint or a blunt. Tobacco is also cheaper to buy in bulk. That’s why spliffs are a great way of stretching a limited marijuana supply.
Easier to Roll
A spliff is also much easier for a novice to roll when compared to a joint. Ground tobacco is designed for rolling into a cigarette, so it is also perfect for rolling into a spliff. Ground weed by itself can be quite tricky to roll into a joint or blunt, even if you usually know what you are doing. If your herb is not sufficiently ground up, you’ll have to worry about your joint not smoking evenly or going out every couple of puffs.
Disadvantages of spliffs
The most obvious disadvantage of spliffs is that they contain tobacco, a known carcinogen. Cannabis, on the other hand, has been studied for its potential anti-cancer properties. Research has shown that cannabis may inhibit the growth of certain types of cancerous tumors. Some cancer patients also prefer cannabis over opioids to manage pain. The chemicals in a spliff could cancel or at least diminish any possible health benefits of cannabis.
In addition, marijuana tastes better than tobacco to many palates. The same principle applies to fragrance, as a whiff of acrid cigarette smoke can be offensive to some people, whereas marijuana may be more inviting. However, as already noted, smoking a spliff can emit a subtler overall scent than smoking a joint, so it ultimately boils down to preference.
One way to work around these disadvantages is to limit the amount of tobacco you roll in a spliff. For example, instead of a 50/50 ratio, try blending 80% cannabis with 20% tobacco. But if health and aesthetic issues are a concern, you may want to stick with pure weed joints.