Not all cannabis terms are interchangeable. Joints, spliffs, and blunts are slightly different from each other in ways that can make big impacts on your smoke session. So which one is the best? Read on to find out the differences between a spliff, blunt, and joint so you can decide which roll will meet your smoking needs.

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The Difference at a Glance

Contains Cannabis
Contains Tobacco
Paper Wrapped
Leaf Wrapped

What is a Joint?

A joint is rolled with cigarette papers and contains only cannabis. You can usually fit up to a gram of weed in a joint. 

What Does a Joint Look Like?

marijuana joints and buds on hand iStock / sutiporn
Because there are a variety of rolling papers available for purchase, a joint can look like anything from a white cigarette to a rolled up hundred dollar bill to a 24K stick of gold. Joints are typically about the size of a cigarette. 

How to Roll a Joint

Rolling a joint can be tricky. You might have to practice a bit before you get it right.

  • First, prepare the cannabis. You should grind your bud to break it up without turning it into powder.
  • Second, prepare your rolling filter. You just need a small piece of cardboard for this—a torn off corner of a business card will do the trick. Roll it into a tube and place it on one end of the rolling paper. Make sure you’ve placed it on the paper’s glue strip. You can also purchase a filter in advance.
  • Third, gently tap your cannabis onto the rolling paper. Try and keep it in an even line. Make sure that there’s about half an inch of paper left on the end that is opposite of the filter so you can properly close the joint when you’re done.
  • Fourth, carefully roll the cannabis into a tube. You’ll have to keep the filter in position while you do this. Lick the glue on the paper and fold it over the tube.

For the daring who want to experiment with more creative ways to roll, check out these ideas

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What is a Spliff?

Like a joint, a spliff is wrapped in cigarette rolling papers. Unlike a joint, spliffs contain a mix of tobacco and cannabis. People smoke spliffs mainly for two reasons. It’s cheaper and it provides the dual experience of cannabinoids and nicotine.

Depending on where you live, cannabis can be expensive or hard to find. In those cases, it might make more sense to you to stretch out your cannabis stash by mixing it with tobacco. Some consumers enjoy the combined sensation of euphoria from cannabinoids and the buzz that comes from inhaling nicotine. Spliffs are common in Europe, especially the United Kingdom. 

What Does a Spliff Look Like?

Spliffs look identical to joints. So if you are avoiding tobacco, make sure you ask what is inside a roll before you share it with someone. 

How to Roll a Spliff

Rolling a spliff is exactly like rolling a joint, with one difference. Instead of filling the paper with cannabis, you will use a mix of tobacco and cannabis. You can decide what the ratio is. A lot of spliff smokers will use a 50:50 ratio of cannabis to tobacco. 

What is a Blunt?

Blunts only contain cannabis. Because of the size of the papers they are rolled in, they can hold more cannabis than a joint or spliff. Depending on whether they are made with a cigarillo or cigar wrap, a blunt can hold up to 2 grams of cannabis. Their size make blunts a good smoking option for social smokers who enjoy sharing. 

What Does a Blunt Look Like?

Like cigars, blunts are wrapped in papers made with tobacco or hemp leaves. There is not nearly the amount of aesthetic options when it comes to rolling a blunt, but the rich brown color of a blunt wrap is appealing all by itself.

Woman lighting up a blunt Source: iStock
In addition to their look, blunt wraps are thicker than paper wraps. This produces a slower burn than joints and spliffs. Blunts are about the size of a cigar. They are longer and thicker than joints and spliffs. 

How to Roll a Blunt

Rolling a blunt takes practice. If you’d rather not, you can always buy a pre-roll.

  • First, prepare your weed. Grind it so that the buds are broken up. Don’t turn it into a powder, but make sure there aren’t any large chunks.
  • Second, prepare your wrap. If you purchased a cigar or cigarillo, use scissors or a blade to carefully cut open the wrap. Empty the contents. Once the wrap is empty, moisten it. You can use your finger and water to do this. This will make it easier for you to seal the wrap when you’re done.
  • Third, gently tap the contents of your grinder into the wrap. Keep it in an event line.
  • Fourth, roll your blunt into a cone shaped tube. Keep one end of the blunt tighter to make this shape. As you roll, dampen the edge of the wrap with your finger and water to seal it closed.

To finish the seal, run a lighter the length of the blunt without letting the flame touch the roll. This is just to dry up excess moisture. 

Joint, Blunt, or Spliff—Which is Best?

The choice to smoke a joint, blunt, or spliff depends on what you value most in your smoking experience. Spliffs are the most economical choice because they require less weed. If you live in a place where high-quality weed is hard to find, rolling a limited amount of pot with tobacco can save you money. We’d be remiss not to mention the huge caveat that comes with smoking spliffs. And that’s tobacco. Tobacco is highly addictive and causes a whole lot of health problems including various cancers.

So if health is important to you, blunts or joints are a better option. You can pack more weed in a blunt than a joint, making it the best choice for sharing. If you enjoy the social experiencing of puff, puff, passing, blunts are ideal. They won’t come with the same health risks as spliffs if they are wrapped in hemp rather than tobacco. If you like the experience of smoking rolls but don’t want to smoke a ton of weed at once or share, a joint is the best of the three options for you.