What is a Spliff? A Cultural Deep-Dive


If you are still in doubt and asking yourself, “What is a spliff?”, then you are not alone.

In short, they are this combination of a tobacco and cannabis product that is rolled in a way that is a little bit different. Spliffs are definitely not new to the world, lighting up conversations as well as joints for many years.

But what is a spliff in fact, and how does this term relate to the rest of the marijuana spectrum?In this, we will be taking a look on the spliff itself, from it’s history, to how to properly roll one.

What Is A Spliff Exactly?

image of a man rolling a spliff

In its simplest definition, a spliff is a joint of tobacco and cannabis rolled in thin rolling paper and is ready for smoking.

It is a dish whose background is as diverse as the components used in its preparation: While it is universally popular in modern society, its history can be traced back to various cultures across the world. The spliff has been a connection between the tobacco and cannabis smokers allowing the two worlds to share something that is unique and has the effects of both nicotine and THC.

A brief history of the spliff and where it came from

The history of the spliff is difficult to pinpoint, but this type of marijuana joint has existed for quite some time. Others think that it began in Africa where tobacco and cannabis were commonly used by native inhabitants.

Some point to Spanish seamen who mixed tobacco and cannabis when at sea to come up with this invention. Whichever may be the origin of the spliff, the latter has now spread throughout many societies and is still in use today.

Spliff Culture Around The World

spliff culture around the world

The term spliffs is not only limited to rolling cannabis and tobacco, anymore. They have their own subculture or rather their own way of doing things, their language, and even their own rites.

In places like Jamaica and India where spliffs are part of the local influence, they hold a lot of cultural and even spiritual significance. But in those places where cannabis remains prohibited, taking a hit off a joint is akin to giving the middle finger to conformity and non-conformity. It is not just a product, a trend; it is an adventure, a lifestyle, and a proclamation.

A Look Into The Culture Changing Language

As with any other subculture, spliffs have developed their own code and vocabulary that might be incomprehensible to anyone who is not a member.

Such phrases as “splifftastic” or “spice up the spliff” might sound rather provocative for those who do not have much experience in the sphere of spliff use. However, to any professional spliffer, these are just but normal sayable phrases in the course of the day. It is all about the comradeship and the moments that are always associated with smoking a spliff.

Rituals And Traditions

For some people in some cultures, smoking a spliff is not just lighting the plant and passing it round. It is not uncommon to have some sort of prelude to smoking a spliff, like praying to a deity or offering the joint to that deity then taking a pull

A Global Perspective

Spliffs are popular worldwide but have a significantly large following in Europe. Due to the cultural tolerance of tobacco smoking in many countries of Europe, the prevalence of spliffs is justified and widely used among consumers of cannabis. However, the legal status of cannabis is different from one nation to another, meaning that the places where spliffs can be consumed legally also differ.

The Blend Within: Tobacco Meets Cannabis

It is this combination that makes a spliff magical. The ratio of tobacco to cannabis depends on personal preferences, taste, and the purpose of cigarette consumption. Tobacco can enhance the stimulant effect of cannabis while at the same time moderating the psychoactivity some might find it too strong for social settings. It also enables the user to smoke for a longer period as the tobacco takes longer time to burn as compared to cannabis alone.

How To Roll The Perfect Spliff

Rolling a perfect spliff takes practice and patience. It's an art form that requires precision and attention to detail. Here are some general steps to follow when rolling a spliff:

  1. Gather your materials: rolling papers, tobacco, cannabis, a grinder, and a rolling tray.

  2. Grind your cannabis and mix it with the appropriate amount of tobacco.

  3. Spread the mixture evenly on the rolling paper, leaving some space at one end for twisting.

  4. Roll the paper between your fingers to create a cylindrical shape.

  5. Tuck in the end without space and roll the paper up towards the twisted end.

  6. Use a bit of saliva to seal the twisted end, making sure there are no holes or gaps.

  7. Light it up and enjoy!

Spliffs vs Joints: The Differences Between The Two

Spliffs and joints refer to the act of rolling cannabis in paper and then smoking it, although there are some differences between the two. The main difference is that spliff consists of tobacco and weed while a joint does not have tobacco. This difference can significantly affect the perception of an individual, and while spliffs are known to give a more mellow and laid back high, this is due to the addition of tobacco into the roll. Furthermore, joints are said to burn slower and more evenly compared to spliffs since the latter contains tobacco.

Comparing The Big 3: Spliff vs. Joint vs. Blunt

However, before proceeding any further, there is a need to differentiate between a spliff, a joint, and a blunt. Despite the fact that they may appear to be one and the same they are not, each has a personality of its own. A joint is pure cannabis rolled in paper, a favorite for those who love their green in its purest form. A blunt takes it a step further by utilizing tobacco leaf blunt wrap instead of paper and thus has a unique taste and combustion.

The spliff, with its cannabis mixed smoking experience, is the middle ground that has elements of both worlds. All three have their own advantages and disadvantages and the choice depends on the person’s preference and the cultural background.

Health Considerations

Though smoking a spliff could be fun to some people, it is also important to consider the health impacts of the activity. Adding tobacco to cannabis brings the nicotine effects such as dependency and cardiovascular problems. There are other methods of consuming cannabis that is healthier than smoking such as vaping, taking edibles and tinctures.

Tips for Rolling the Perfect Spliff

Rolling a splendid spliff is an art form, one that requires patience and practice. Here are a few tips to help you master it:

  • Find the Right Balance: Experiment with different ratios of tobacco to cannabis to find what works best for you.

  • Grind Evenly: Ensure both your tobacco and cannabis are finely ground for a smooth, even burn.

  • Roll Tightly, But Not Too Tight: You want your spliff to be firm but not so tight that air can't pass through. Experiment with different rolling papers to see what works best.

  • Seal It Well: A good lick can make all the difference in sealing your spliff securely. Use your tongue to moisten the paper and seal any gaps.

  • Use a Rolling Tray: A designated rolling tray can help keep things clean and organized, making it easier to roll a perfect spliff every time.

The Evolving Cannabis Landscape

Immerse yourself in the constantly expanding universe of cannabis, in which new products and methods of consuming your highs are being introduced almost daily. Although the traditional joint will always remain close to many people’s heart, new healthy and legally compliant ways of consuming cannabis are changing the experience.

This is a topical issue in the cannabis circles. For some people, the combination of tobacco smoke with cannabis is a tradition, the best of two worlds in one puff. Some avoid it due to its health consequences, but one can hardly argue that the spliff is not a legend in the world of marijuana. It is not just the combination of two or more substances; it is a combination of cultures, tastes, and even memories.

Whether you are a seasoned spinner or a novice to the ways of the spliff, entering into the tale behind this iconic approach can deepen your knowledge and enjoyment of cannabis’s many delights globally.

Leave a comment

Related Products

pink rolling papers
Blazy Susan Pink Deluxe Rolling Kit
Blazy Susan Pink Deluxe Rolling Kit - King Size Slim...
View Product
ocb rolling papers
OCB Rolling Papers Slim King Size
OCB Rolling Papers - 50 Leave King Size Made In...
View Product
raw black rolling papers
Raw Black Papers King Size
Raw Papers Black Kingsize - 100% Organic 32 Leaves Natural...
View Product