The recreational use of cannabis is now legal in eighteen U.S. states and decriminalized in thirteen others. Legalization has led more and more people to begin using marijuana, according to a 2021 Gallup poll, which found almost 50% of American adults have tried it. These new users are faced with far more ways to consume marijuana than any previous generation. Knowing where to start can be difficult, especially because there’s so much disagreement on the subject. New and old smokers alike debate the best way to consume cannabis, leading to the debate: blunt or joint? Here, we’ll explore all sides of the argument, delving into the specific features of each method in order to determine a winner. Keep reading to find out what our celebrity experts said!
What is a Blunt?
Blunts are a fairly new invention in the world of cannabis. The name comes from a mid-19th century slang term for a cigar. The modern blunt didn’t come about until the 1980s, coinciding with a period of increased immigration from the Caribbean to New York. Hip-hop legend Big Daddy Kane, based in Brooklyn, was the first to mention blunts in his 1988 single "RAW," and their popularity increased from there.
Blunts are traditionally made by cutting open a cigar, emptying it, and using the wrapping to roll marijuana into a blunt. This leads to a product that’s a mixture of both weed and tobacco. However, unlike a spliff, which is a joint made with tobacco, blunts are very large and have cigar filters. Blunts taste different than joints, as tobacco often masks the distinct flavor profile of marijuana. The combination of nicotine from tobacco and THC from cannabis creates a more energized high.
Instead of emptying cigars, you can also buy blunt wraps made with tobacco. These wraps often have a higher nicotine content than you would get using the traditional method, so the effect tends to be more intense. However, if DIY isn’t your strong suit, there’s no need to worry. Blunts are also available to purchase in packs of one or two at most smoke shops and corner stores depending on the state.
What Is a Joint?
The first recorded use of a joint predates blunt usage by over a hundred years. Cannabis cigarettes were immensely popular in 19th century Mexico and were even sold commercially. They were brought to the United States in the early 20th century by refugees during the Mexican Revolution.
A joint is made by filling a thin piece of paper, called rolling paper, with marijuana and rolling it into a thin cigarette. To make a spliff, tobacco can be added to the mixture. Joints are much smaller than blunts – a cigarette as compared to a cigar. Rolling papers come in many sizes, however, from small to king-sized, and are available in a number of different flavors and colors. White paper is most common, but hemp, rice, and flax are also materials commonly used to make rolling papers. Because joints are so simply made – with only very thin paper and marijuana – the weed’s flavor takes center stage in the smoking experience. Given their long history, joints have become the most iconic way to smoke weed.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Blunts and Joints?
There’s a lot of debate between the proponents of blunts and joints. Blunt fans stand by them, while those who prefer to smoke joints think theirs is the best way to consume marijuana. By looking at the pros and cons of both options, maybe we’ll find a winner.
Pros of blunts:
Blunts are much larger than joints and burn slowly, which means they last much longer than their thin counterpart and provide a more intense high. Their size also makes them an excellent option for sharing with friends. Blunts tend to be a smoother smoking experience due to their cigar casing, the filter of which is much better than the makeshift ones typical of a joint. Smoking a blunt is much easier on the throat and lungs for those unbothered by tobacco, which is an important consideration for frequent smokers. The traces of tobacco in a blunt also offer smokers a different high than they would get smoking a joint or spliff., Blunts can be a good middle ground for those who want a nicotine buzz, but not the stronger effects a large dose of tobacco might have. Additionally, tobacco can help disguise the scent of weed, making blunts, despite their size, a discrete option post-smoke.
Cons of Blunts:
Blunts are an expensive way to smoke, whether you roll your own or buy them pre-made. Both cigars and blunt rolling papers are pricey, not to mention the much larger quantity of weed you have to buy to fill them. They’re also much more complicated to roll than joints and can be quite messy. Despite this complicated construction, blunts often can’t be smoked all the way without burning your fingers. Blunts lack the iconic, seductive quality of a joint, and their taste does not help the aesthetic. Tobacco often masks the flavor of cannabis and many don’t find the taste of cigars pleasant. Although there are some flavored options for blunt rolling papers, the market for flavored joint papers is much larger. Blunts also can’t be enjoyed without consuming tobacco as well as marijuana, which makes them inaccessible to those who react badly to nicotine or are trying to quit it.
Pros of joints:
Unlike blunts, joints are small and thin. This means they’re portable and discreet. Even if you choose not to travel with a joint, their simple construction makes them easy to roll wherever you are. All you need to make a joint or spliff is rolling paper and marijuana, whereas blunts are more complicated and much more expensive. Though their filters aren’t as refined as those on blunts, they can be tied to avoid burning your fingers, which is a problem that often arises when smoking a blunt. Uncompromised by tobacco or the taste of a cigar, joints offer smokers a purer flavor, unlike blunts, where the taste of the marijuana is often masked. Alongside the flavor, joints let the smoker savor the unique effects of the strain of cannabis they’re consuming. The weaker high allows you to experience all the positive effects of marijuana, while still maintaining the presence of mind to notice them.
Cons of Joints:
Joints burn quickly and don’t last very long, because of their small size. The high they provide is weaker than the high from a blunt, even more so if you make a spliff, where the marijuana is cut with tobacco. Smoking joints often can hurt the throat and lungs, due to their insubstantial filter, which is only a folded piece of paper. Because the high isn’t as powerful as that of a blunt, it’s likely you’ll smoke a joint for a longer period of time, which compounds their harshness on the respiratory system.
Blunts and joints are both popular ways to consume marijuana. Each has unique benefits that make choosing a winner difficult. A blunt pairs perfectly with crowds and a lively atmosphere, when energy and shareability matter more than flavor. Joints are ideal for a more chill smoking experience, either alone or in a small group, and can be made quickly and transported just as easily. These differences make blunts and joints difficult to compare because both are good options depending on the situation and the smoker.
Blunts vs. Joints - What the Experts Say:
Unable to find a winner through the pros and cons list, we at Honeysuckle have devised a different way to settle the debate: a popularity contest. We called on artists, writers, and titans of the cannabis industry to act as judges, offering up their own arguments for each side. Our experts here at Honeysuckle Media also shared their thoughts. The results were surprising.
Ricky Williams, Founder, and President of Highsman, prefers Joints over Blunts
Highsman is a brand devoted not just to great cannabis, but greatness itself. The brand works to promote cannabis research and perfect original strains that elicit Highsman’s founding principles. Its Founder and President, former NFL running back Ricky Williams, weighed in on our debate, saying, “I prefer smoking joints over blunts. Don’t get me wrong, I love a blunt every now and then, but joints always give me the best experience. When I say experience, I’m talking about flavor – for me it all starts there.”
Berner, Rapper, CEO of Vibes, Founder and CEO of Cookies, chooses Joints
Berner, rapper and CEO of Vibes, a popular rolling papers company and the founder of the pioneering Cookies global brand, agreed with Williams on the importance of taste. His vote was, “Joint, because I want all the flavor. I prefer an organic hemp vibe.”
Actor Alan Cumming: Joints Win
Alan Cumming is an iconic actor, author, producer and activist renowned for his work on stage and screen. The Scottish artist has starred in a wide range of projects from TV's The Good Wife and Instinct to the hit film Spy Kids and groundbreaking Broadway iterations of Cabaret and Macbeth (not to mention Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical). On the issue of blunts vs. joints, he said, “I am a joint man. While not completely averse to a blunt, I find the cigar part gets in the way a bit, making the taste too strong and impeding what is my favorite bit about smoking in general – the sensual inhalation and expiration of the fumes!”
Woop Dogg chooses Joints over Blunts
Hip Hop artist Woop Dogg, who has approximately 145,000 followers on Instagram and dedicated his single "That GKUA" to Lil Wayne's GKUA Ultra Premium cannabis brand, brought up the aesthetic element of the competition: “I prefer smoking joints over blunts, because it’s so classic and a lot smoother.”
Tree Coleman, Honeysuckle Editor and Writer, prefers Joints
Honeysuckle Editor and writer Tree Coleman brought up the important role tobacco plays in differentiating the two smoking methods: “I prefer joints because I have a history with nicotine issues, so I try to avoid blunts!”
Sam C. Long, Honeysuckle Creative Director, prefers Joints over Blunts
Honeysuckle's Creative Director Sam C. Long said “I prefer joints to blunts. My consumption tends to be sips savoring the flavor and unique subtlety of the flower’s effect. I feel like if I roll up my sleeves and go blunt deep I’m just going to be super high and not enjoy what that specific strain has to offer.”
Stu Zakim founder and CEO of Bridge Strategic, says: “A joint 100%. I don’t like how the tobacco takes away from the flavor of the weed. I also am an ex-smoker and feel I get high off the nicotine v the THC.”
The Final Verdict-The Winner is Joints!
Sifting through pros and cons did not bring us any closer to bringing the blunt vs. joint argument to a close, but the answer could not have been clearer when we began talking to people. Joints won by a unanimous vote – seven out of seven! The deciding factor appeared to be flavor. Almost everyone interviewed described the superior flavor experience brought on by smoking a joint. Another important factor for our interviewees was the nicotine content of blunts. Tobacco both compromises marijuana’s flavor and alters the high. Blunts can’t be separated from tobacco, which makes them inaccessible for those who don’t like its taste or effects. For those who are fans of the combination, anyone rolling a joint has the option to make it a spliff. Customizability is another point against blunts. Lastly, our subjects spoke of the superior sensuality of joints. The combination of their classic style and five-star flavor makes a joint the preferred option for novices and longtime smokers alike.
Though joints may have won this debate, there is nothing wrong with those who prefer blunts. For every majority, there is a minority and that is no less valid. As we saw above, blunts have many merits. Marijuana is highly individualized. People react to it differently, consume it differently, and prefer certain strains over others.
For this reason, there is no definitive victor in this debate and there likely never will be. Even the biggest fan of joints may occasionally prefer a blunt, and vice versa. The right choice is the one that feels right to you, so go for it. Experiment and let us know who your winner is: blunt or joint?
Want to continue the conversation? Connect with our Interviewees below!
Sam C. Long