When people think of ways to ingest cannabis, smoking is often the first method that comes to mind. From a cigarette or by using a tool like a pipe or bong, the smoker lights whole or ground cannabis flower and inhales the resulting fumes to experience the effects, which usually kick-in within minutes.

But despite the vast number of smoking tool options, a lot of people like to keep it traditional with the most common variations of the good old marijuana cigarette: joints, blunts and spliffs. Yet it may come as a surprise to some that these are actually 3 separate things.

So what’s the difference?

What’s a joint?

A joint is ground cannabis that has been rolled in ultra thin rolling paper and formed into a cigarette. Joints are fashioned out of papers made from materials ranging from plant cellulose and fibers like hemp or rice, to 24k gold. While a joint is typically the size of a traditional cigarette, stubby pre-rolls, fat party joints and recordbreakers like these are all considered part of the family.

Most of us aren’t strangers to joints. In fact, despite the undying love I have for my bong, smoking a joint is still my favorite way to take cannabis. It’s a straightforward experience involving the basics, just flower and paper, making it very accessible for newbies.

How is that different from a blunt?

A blunt differs from a joint in that the cannabis is rolled into tobacco paper or a cigar wrap instead of thin rolling paper. Tobacco and cigar wraps have a natural taste that affects the flavor of the smoke, making them as much a part of the experience as the cannabis itself. Blunt wraps also come in tons of flavors that can be really fun to explore (I’m a big fan of peach and grape).

A blunt is generally longer than a joint and can get especially thick if the creator feels so inclined.

The expanded size of a blunt means more cannabis is combusted with each inhale, and that along with the presence of trace amount of tobacco in the wraps can result in a pretty strong high.

If that’s a blunt, what’s a spliff?

A spliff is a cigarette rolled in thin paper just like a joint. The difference is that a spliff contains both cannabis and loose tobacco inside. With a spliff the smoker feels not only the effects from the cannabis but also the buzz from the tobacco, presenting countless opportunities for the smoker to experiment with their high by mixing different strains with the tobacco.

Photo credit: Leafly

Spliffs tend to mimic joints in terms of size but because there’s tobacco and flower, they generally use less cannabis than joints and blunts. Keep in mind however that while a spliff is great for managing your overall weed supply, you’re also smoking tobacco.

Which one is the best?

When it comes to choosing between a joint, blunt or spliff, it’s all about individual preference. The experience of smoking and resulting high varies depending upon the method you choose, and picking a favorite can come come after trying one or all of them.

Because I’m a big proponent of starting low with cannabis, a joint represents an accessible and easy way to get started. From there, the sky’s the limit!


Kaisha is a content writer specializing in the cannabis industry. Judging by her social media, she’s super into cats and Jeff Goldblum.