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Blunts, Spliffs, and Joints: What to Know Before You Roll Up

The terms blunt, spliff, and joint are often used interchangeably, but they’re not quite the same. To make things a bit more complicated, pot lingo varies from place to place.

Here’s a look at what it all means in the United States.

Blunts are cigars that have had the tobacco removed and replaced with marijuana. They can also be rolled using tobacco leaf wrappers.

As for the name? It comes from the Phillies Blunt cigar brand.

According to various internet sources, blunts originated in New York as a method for smoking pot discreetly, among other things.

What to know

Here are some things to consider before you get out that tobacco leaf or hit the corner store for a blunt wrap:

  • Blunts containa lotmore pot.Cigars are a lot bigger than the average joint, which means they can hold a lot more pot. Smoking an entire blunt is roughly the equivalent of smoking six joints.
  • Cigars and their wrappers are highly toxic. Even if you remove the tobacco, high concentrations of cancer-causing nitrosamines and other toxins created during the fermentation process may remain. And because cigar wrappers are more porous than rolling papers, the burning is less complete, resulting in smoke that has higher concentrations of toxins.
  • You’re inhaling harmful toxins. All smoke is harmful to lung health, no matter what you’re inhaling. According to the American Lung Association, marijuana smoke contains a lot of the same toxins and carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Smoking pot usually involves inhaling deeper and holding large amounts of unfiltered smoke for longer. This exposes you to even more irritants and toxins that damage your lungs and airways.

A spliff is a blend of cannabis and tobacco, usually in cigarette rolling papers.

The word spliff is West Indian and is said to be a take on the words “split” — as in split the difference between weed and tobacco — and “whiff,” referring to the smell of the smoke. Or, perhaps, referring to how adding tobacco masks the smell of the pot.

What to know

Adding tobacco means less pot, which is good, right? Not necessarily.

Both marijuana and tobacco smoke can damage your lungs and increase your risk for several serious conditions. Adding tobacco to marijuana just means you’re getting the damaging effects of tobacco, too.

Here’s what you need to know before getting spliffy with it:

  • Smoking tobacco and weed together can increase your risk for addiction. There’s evidence that smoking marijuana with tobacco increases cannabis dependence symptoms. The two appear to balance out the negative symptoms caused by both. Smoked together, they also seem to enhance the enjoyable symptoms, such as relaxation. This makes a person less likely to notice the ill effects, and more likely to keep smoking.
  • Unfiltered tobacco smoke increases your risk for lung cancer and death. A recent study found that people who smoke unfiltered cigarettes are twice as likely to die from lung cancer and 30 percent more likely to die of any cause than smokers of filtered cigarettes. A spliff may contain less tobacco than a cigarette, but it’s still unfiltered tobacco smoke nonetheless.

Joints are the simplest of the bunch. They’re just ground marijuana rolled in cigarette papers. Sometimes people roll them with a crutch, which is basically just a stiffer bit of paper to hold the weed in place.

What to know

Unlike spliffs and blunts, which contain tobacco, joints contain nothing but cannabis and the paper it’s rolled in. The upside to smoking joints is that you’re not exposing yourself to tobacco or nicotine.

Still, they’re not much better for you:

  • Marijuana smoke can be just as harmful as tobacco smoke. Smoking marijuana irritates the lungs. People who smoke it often have the same breathing issues as tobacco smokers, such as chronic cough and frequent lung infections.
  • Smoking marijuana may cause air pockets in the lungs. According to the American Lung Association, smoking weed has been linked to the development of large air bubbles in the lungs and air pockets between both lungs and the chest wall in young to middle-aged adults who smoke a lot of pot.
  • Secondhand marijuana smoke may be more dangerous than directly inhaled smoke.Secondhand marijuana smoke contains a lot of the same toxins and carcinogens as directly inhaled smoke and may even contain more, according to some research.

You might argue that joints are better for you because there’s no tobacco in a joint, but the benefit is minimal.

There’s no safe way of smoking anything. Joints, spliffs, blunts, pipes, bongs — they all carry risks.

A blunt can be several things, depending on who you ask. We'll take a look at what it usually refers to and how it compares to a joint or spliff.

The Health Risks You Need to Be Aware of When Smoking Blunts

Every cannabis user has a preferred method. Some prefer to smoke joints, while others opt for vapes or edibles. Still, others favor oils and tinctures. There are benefits and drawbacks to every method of cannabis intake, and it’s important to find the one that’s right for you.

One of the most popular methods is the smoking of blunts. Blunts, or cigars that have been modified to include cannabis, are a favorite of social smokers. They’ve also been popularized through several channels of pop culture.

But do blunts pose a higher risk to the health of the user than other forms of cannabis? And if so, is it really worth it?

Why Smoke Blunts?

If there’s a question of health risks, why do people bother smoking blunts at all?

The answer is mostly because they’re much better suited to being shared among a group than are other forms of cannabis. That’s because they offer a slower burn thanks to their larger size. A blunt can make its way all the way around a smoke circle, usually several times.

Another factor that leads some people to favor blunts is the tobacco content. Some smokers enjoy the taste of the tobacco mingled with the cannabis, while others enjoy the feeling that comes from combining the two substances.

Of course, the tobacco content is the source of the controversy in the first place. Combusted tobacco is widely recognized as one of the greatest threats to public health. Cannabis users who choose to partake of blunts are including tobacco in their cannabis use, and that is not without some serious risks.

The Health Risks of Blunts

Because tobacco is present in blunts, the same risks cigarette smokers face apply. It’s common for cannabis smokers to hold themselves apart from cigarette smokers, but it’s a mistake to do so in this instance. Before lighting up a blunt, read the warning label on the cigar that was modified to make. it. Everything that is written there still applies.

Smoking tobacco is conclusively associated with increased risk of heart disease, lung disease, stroke, and damage to blood vessels, along with many other health issues.

But the risks can actually go further. Tobacco smokers generally exhale right after inhaling, but cannabis smokers hold the smoke in their lungs to allow the high to set in. Engaging in this practice with tobacco smoke could exacerbate the danger.

Smoking tobacco is the number one cause of lung cancer, even with cigarette smokers tending to exhale quickly. Holding the smoke in your lungs can only make increase that risk.

Studies have also indicated that the addictive properties of nicotine might lead to blunt smokers developing an addiction to it, something cannabis users generally don’t need to worry too much about when they use cannabis-only products.

Healthier Alternatives

Want the pleasure of a smoking circle without the risk of a blunt? Consider using a pipe or a bong, both of which will last a considerable amount of time and can be shared around. But be sure to use a barrier method because sharing does spread germs.

Looking to enjoy a relaxing smoke on your own? Health-conscious cannabis users prefer joints to blunts because of the lack of tobacco. By rolling (or purchasing) a joint, you can get relatively clean smoke. Although no smoking is 100% risk-free, you’ll do a lot better to leave tobacco out of it.

Looking for an even healthier option? Turn to edibles or tinctures and protect your lungs entirely from the risks of smoking.

Whatever method you choose, it’s important to know what you’re putting into your body. Talk to a medical professional about making the right choices for your needs.

Many cannabis users smoke blunts. Blunts are modified cigars made from tobacco leaves. They pose a few health risks that you should be aware of. Learn more. ]]>