Take a hit and the high hits you immediately—you know what you're getting as soon as you smoke it—and maybe it's my millennial attention span, but the instant results are a key reason the joint reigns supreme over edibles. Unlike dabbing, which also involves an incredible amount of work and expensive materials, joints can get you high without getting you too high. But then again, everyone has a different experience.
A friend of mine recently told me, "A joint is like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat and that's what I like about it." You can roll a small joint for the Stoner's Nightcap™ (trademarked by me, right now), or a big, fat J for a group hang. If you're one of those extremely fancy rolling experts you can turn joints into flowers or crosses or airplanes or Starbucks cups or a fish or a giraffe or a shark. If you are 17 and looking to impress, you can roll a joint out of a Bible page because you think it's edgy. But most of us are happy to roll simple joints that require no introduction, even to the absolute weed newbie. A teenager can smoke a joint; so can a grandmother. You can smoke one walking down the street and toss it on the ground and leave no trace beyond a smell. "You can smoke a whole joint and still have a hit or two for later," VICE staff writer Emerson Rosenthal said when I asked people to talk about joints to me.
"Also, it's a great way for regularly useless people to suddenly become invaluable. If you can roll a really great joint, you're in the crew. I know friendless people who have made friends through their ability to roll a joint." Vapes and increasingly outlandish types of edibles are growing in popularity, and by the time you finish reading this there will likely be a new way to get high, some new crystalline compound with a slightly purer percentage of THC, but the joint, an undeniably analogue method, is still number one. The joint is beautiful in its unpretentiousness—all you need to make one is some paper and some bud. According to one of VICE's resident weed experts (and Noisey social media editor), Trey Smith, a joint is "one of the most convenient and easy-to-share methods of consuming weed. You learn more about the weed you smoke through a joint than probably any other smoking medium. Congrats to weed in general for all it's accomplished over the years." "Spliff should've won, but joint is the next worthiest winner so congrats to joint," Smith added. Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily. S moking a joint with friends is practically a rite of passage for cannabis consumers. But with this shared rite comes some rules of the road. As it turns out, over the 5,000 plus years of humans consuming the herb, cannabis has evolved and today claims its own unique slang, language, humor, literature, music, art, and etiquette. And nowhere is that etiquette more pronounced than when it comes to rolling, smoking and sharing a joint. So, whether you’re partaking by yourself or with friends, here are some pro tips on how to smoke a joint. Whether you’ve rolled your own joint or opted for a pre-roll, the first step in lighting up is to “roast” your joint. Unlike a cigarette, where you light and inhale at the same time, joints should be roasted before inhaling by holding the flame to the end of the joint. Then rotate the joint to make sure it’s evenly lit all the way around. Roasting the joint first also helps to prevent canoeing (AKA running) or an uneven burn. You may also want to consider adding a homemade filter or tip, also known as a crutch, which holds the end of the joint open, keeps plant matter out of your mouth, and protects your fingers and mouth from getting burned as you work your way down the roach. A crutch is really simple to construct and can be made with just about any kind of stiff paper (think about the thickness of a business card). Now that you’re ready to start puffing, take a steady hit, then exhale slowly. If you are new to smoking, you’ll most likely cough, which is really normal. Drink some water between hits to soothe your throat and remember, smoking a joint is not like smoking a cigarette, where you smoke the whole thing down.
Pay attention to how you’re feeling, and take a break if needed. Smoking joints with friends is where the rules of joint etiquette really apply. One of the first rules of smoking with friends is that the person who rolls the joint sparks it. However, the roller is, of course, allowed to pass the privilege to another. After lighting up, the most important tip for smoking with friends: Puff, puff, pass. Take two reasonably-long puffs without hogging the joint, and pass to your left, unless house rules specify otherwise. When you exhale, make sure that you don’t blow your smoke into someone else’s face, which is, at the very least, inconsiderate.
This way, ashes won’t fall on your friends’ floor, furniture, clothing or skin (not cool, and ouch). Speaking of hogging the joint, don’t hold onto it during your turn, also called “babysitting,” or “bogarting.” This usually happens when the holder is sharing a story, but regardless of how enthralling that tale might be, people don’t want to wait and watch the roach burn down while you hold court. There are a few other tips to help you unlock Emily Post status in your smoking circle.