If you're new to cannabis culture, you probably already know what joints and blunts are, but you may never have heard of a spliff.
Here you will learn what a spliff is, how the spliff got its name and the possible pros and cons of smoking a spliff.
Like a joint rolled in white cigarette paper, a spliff has the same look, but with an extra twist: it contains both cannabis and tobacco mixed together. Blunts, which are usually rolled in brown cigar paper, also contain tobacco, but spliffs have much higher concentrations. Spliffs can therefore be considered as hybrids of joint and blunts.
The strong tobacco infusion often leads to a more energetic buzz for users. Spliffs are especially popular outside the United States, especially in Europe, where many users enjoy a combination of tobacco and marijuana for their smoking experience.
Basically, spliffs are cannabis cigarettes with a tobacco twist.
Why is it called a spliff?
The word has a West Indian origin and may have been coined in Jamaica. In Jamaica, however, a spliff refers to a cigarette that contains only marijuana, not tobacco. The term is often used in Jamaican English slang to refer to a joint that can be particularly large or powerful.
The exact meaning of “spliff” is unknown, unlike the meaning of the word joint, which is derived from the French verb joindre, which is translated “to participate”.
Should I roll a spliff?
Rolling your own spliff has several advantages. First, you can determine the ratio of tobacco to cannabis, make the ingredients equal or choose one to dominate the other, depending on the effect you want.
You can also select the type of paper you want to use, with flavored and unflavored options to choose from. Tobacco paper is generally sweeter than hemp paper, so you can choose the paper based on the flavor profile you prefer. Tasting paper flavors come in many varieties, including banana, honey, green apple and watermelon. Rolling is easy and if you know how to roll a joint, you can also roll a spliff.
Advantages of spliffs
Spliffs offer a number of advantages that joints and blunts may not have. Here are the three main advantages of spliffs:
- Easier. While the ease of rolling a joint depends on the texture and quality of the cannabis, spliffs have the advantage of acting as a buffer. Tobacco tends to make a roll more workable and consistent, which means less preparation time and more time to enjoy.
- More subtle. If you've ever rolled and smoked a joint at home, you know the smell can be overwhelming and last for hours if not days. Spliffs, on the other hand, are more discreet because they smell more like tobacco cigarettes than stronger smelling marijuana. Of course, for many people the aroma of marijuana is more desirable than the smell of cigarette smoke, so you may not care about this benefit if discretion is not an issue.
- Smoother. Unlike a joint, where one side can burn faster than the other or extinguish completely, a spliff provides a smoother experience without these interruptions. From start to finish, the tobacco in spliffs ensures consistency, whether you roll or smoke.
Does a spliff make you “higher”?
Spliffs have many benefits, but it won't get you "high" anymore. Especially not if your idea of getting high brings a sense of relaxation. Joints contain significantly higher levels of cannabis, often with a full gram of marijuana versus half that amount in a spliff.
Plus, because of the tobacco content, the stimulant nicotine plays a part in the comparison. If you normally feel more energetic during your high, this can be an advantage. But if you prefer to calm down with your smoking products, joints may be the better choice. Whatever you smoke, cannabis strains with higher THC concentrations are essential if you're looking for a psychoactive experience.
Disadvantages of spliffs
The most obvious drawback to spliffs is that they contain tobacco, a known carcinogen. On the other hand, cannabis has been studied for its potential anti-cancer properties. Research has shown that cannabis can inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer tumors. Some cancer patients also prefer cannabis to opioids to manage pain. The chemicals in a spliff can cancel out or at least reduce potential health benefits of cannabis.
In addition, for many taste buds, marijuana tastes better than tobacco. The same principle applies to fragrance, since a hint of caustic cigarette smoke can be offensive to some people, while marijuana is often more inviting. But as noted earlier, smoking a spliff can emit a more subtle overall scent than smoking a joint, so it ultimately comes down to your own preference.
One way to get around these drawbacks is to limit the amount of tobacco you roll into a spliff. For example, instead of mixing a 50/50 ratio, try mixing 80% cannabis with 20% tobacco. But if health and aesthetic issues are an issue, you may want to stick to pure joints with weed.