Rolling Spliffs Easier and Faster
One of the most beautiful things about cannabis is that it can be combined with other herbs, terpenes and even tobacco to enhance one’s experience. Spliffs are a way of doing just that.
So what exactly is the difference between a joint aka marijuana cigarette and a spliff?
While the rolling process of a spliff is not much different from that of a marijuana cigarette, spliffs usually have some tobacco mixed in with the pot before rolling, while joints just contain pure cannabis flower. Interestingly, spliffs in places like Europe or Asia are what people in North America call joints (only weed).
But why smoke spliffs?
There’s a few good reasons. For some, the kick one gets from nicotine is enticing enough to go with spliffs for some, with the extra energy and stimulation making their high just a little better. There’s also when someone goes dankrupt (too broke for dank!) and needs to ration their loose leaf where this could also come in handy. Tobacco can also help improve the smoke-ability of a spliff, depending on the quality and moisture level of your weed as well as help tone down the pungent odor of cannabis.
Is a spliff a weed joint?
Rolling a spliff is not much different from a joint in how it’s rolled. In terms of materials, you will need a good grinder, some high quality rolling paper, carton for a crutch, your favorite high quality dry herb cannabis and some tobacco (or herbal smoking blends). Except cannabis, most of these accessories can be bought in your favorite head shop, tobacco shop and even some convenience stores and gas station nowadays.
Most people mix the pot and tobacco together before rolling, some put the tobacco in their grinder and some keep it as is, although you could also keep most of it at the top or bottom of the spliff if you so prefer this style.
Step 1: Choose and grind your cannabis
The first step before you start rolling a spliff is that you’ll need to choose and grind your preferred cannabis strain first. Most dispensaries have a decent selection of dry flower buds that range between high THC for energized, intense highs and those with higher CBD for mellow and relaxing highs.
Once you’ve chosen your cannabis, put it in a grinder and crush it for a few seconds. Don’t crush it for too long as the loose leaf will become too fine and kief-like, which can impact airflow and create a rapid burn or the dreaded side-burn effect when powder burns faster than the herb. Make sure you remove any stems and seeds that might be there as well if it's your first time, as they might puncture your rolling paper and cause you to either re-roll it or patch it with another paper's glue strip.
Step 2: Mix your tobacco with your bud
Tobacco is once again a personal preference with regards to strength, flavor and smoke sensation and you can customize and choose your tobacco of preference. Once you’ve got a hold of it, mix the cannabis with the tobacco in your preferred ratio, keeping in mind that the Nicotine in tobacco gives an extra boost to the perceived effect of cannabis due to the headrush sensation you might get with a full inhalation. Most tobacco comes in long flakes and strands, so the easiest way is to make sure you break it up and mix it for a smoother smoking experience.
Protip : Replace Tobacco with Nicotine-Free Herbal Rolling Fillers
Gone are the days of being stuck diluting your precious weed stash with ripped open cigarettes, or being stuck to mixing your hash with tobacco in the rolling papers. Unless you're a cigar aficionado and you can afford to mix your weed, hash or kief with premium cigar tobacco, usually the cheap chemically boosted tobacco found in cigarettes completely overwhelms or ruins the taste of cannabis.
If you prefer a more controlled smoking experience, both for your wallet and the effects on your body and mind, be sure to try out different herbal smoking blends to find out which kind of recipe is the best for your tastes and rolling preferences, as it's all a matter of personal preference. Note that there are various intensities, from almost undiscernible to intense aromas that complement various terpenes, so that everybody can find the right fit for their smoking habits and palate.
Step 3: Make a crutch for your spliff
A crutch is similar to a cigarette filter, and is placed at the end of the joint to help with handling, the shape of the spliff and with airflow. If you’re purchasing quality rolling papers from a shop, you should be able to get a small booklet that acts as crutch paper, although it is increasingly common for rolling paper brands to include pre-cut filter tips already.
Paper used in a crutch should be thicker than the rolling paper but be careful not to use a plastic-laminated piece of carton like a pack of gum or cigarette for example, as the heat from the combustion of the spliff can make you inhale some very, very toxic chemicals. Rolling papers that include pre-cut crutches or crutch packs are always uncoated and safe to smoke, but if you're looking for a more travel-friendly format you can try our Organic Pre-Cut Crutch Cards that look like business cards so can stay in your wallet at all times, and are made out of hemp pulp and use food-grade soy ink, so you're sure to limit your intake of toxic compounds to a minimum.
To make a crutch, make several folds into an “M” or “W” shape. Once that’s done, roll the crutch into a cylinder and your crutch is ready! The M or W shaped folds are not entirely necessary, but a counter rotation system like this one usually allows your crutch / filter tip to stay more compact and won't open up in your rolling paper when you release it.
Protip : How to roll a spliff without a filter?
Not everyone likes smoking with a filter, and Bob Marley was one notorious for this practice, to the point where rolling a joint or spliff without a filter tip is called Rolling a Bob in some cultures.
Although our preference is always to have a filter tip for our joints, the only real downside to this technique is that you'll either waste the last few hits of your spliff because it gets too close to your mouth, or try to get as much as possible and burn your lips a bit with the roach.
Do note that using the no-filter technique is a great pro tip when you're on-the-go and have to speed run rolling a spliff or want to roll a small size pin-head spliff, but it also makes it a bit harder for beginners to give their spliff a nice cone shape because of the lack of a solid starting point.
Our personal spliff rolling trick : use a filter, it's just so much more convenient and allows for smooth draws without stressing of inhaling a piece of bud, and just makes the whole thing more enjoyable.
Step 4: Choose your rolling paper and put the dry herb mix in it
Rolling paper is available in a variety of sizes (Regular, 1 1/4th, and King), quantities, and materials (Hemp, Rice, Wood Pulp, Tobacco). Popular materials include hemp paper, rice paper, wood pulp and tobacco leaves aka King Palm / Blunt / Backwoods.
Once everything is ready, place the crutch at one end of the rolling paper. If you’re unsure about how loose or tight the joint might be, place the crutch in a way that it sticks out a little, so you can pack the crutch into the spliff if loose. Start putting some of the dry herb mix of cannabis and tobacco (or smoking blends!) into the rolling paper. Ensure that the adhesive side of the rolling paper is facing up.
Take the other end of the paper and fold it towards itself with your index finger to ensure the dry herb gets into a cone shape (for added swag points). Add or remove some dry herb if necessary.
Step 5: Roll the perfect spliff
Once you’ve got the amount of dry herb right, start rolling the open end of the paper into where the pot and tobacco mix ends and roll the open end of the paper over. Start rolling it further until it becomes cylindrical. An important part of this process if you want it to be tighter : either use a spoke or a thin object like a pen or rice straw to pack it in, lightly tap the base of the spliff on a flat hard surface or pinch the top and shake the spliff to shape the dry herb perfectly. It should ideally be cone shaped or cylindrical.
Be careful though, if your spliff is packed too tightly you'll have trouble inhaling and keeping it lit, and if your spliff is packed too loosely it will burn quickly without you getting the most of it.
Once it’s ready, lick the sticky end of the paper or the blunt and stick the adhesive side over the spliff. For the end that has no dry herb, pinch it together or take it off if you like. That’s it! You’re done with the roll!
Step 6: Smoke the spliff!
Once your spliff is ready, it’s time to smoke! Don’t worry if the joint doesn’t look the most shapely or if there’s some sideburn as long as it smokes and gets the good vibes going! There’s a few other ways to enjoy cannabis as well, like in the form of edibles or vapes/vaporizers. Vaping can be better in many ways including customizability and control over the entire experience and the lack of smoke. Bongs are also a great way to smoke up and can be a more efficient way to smoke compared to joints or spliffs.
The specifics don’t matter as much as long as the end experience is a pleasant one! There’s many simple ways to enhance your highs as well! Drinking green tea or having mangoes, for example, which are rich in terpenes similar to THC, gives a little boost to the high. Some people are about to have a lot of mangoes in a munchies induced stupor.