A blunt is a cigar that has been hollowed out and filled with ground cannabis. Blunts can also be rolled from scratch with the same type of tobacco leaf papers used for cigars.
More about blunts
To construct a marijuana blunt, consumers can either purchase blunt wraps or rolling papers, or manually empty a pre-rolled cigar or cigarillo (like Swisher Sweets) and replace the tobacco with cannabis. Some companies have begun selling hemp wraps and papers and calling them blunt papers but it's not a true blunt unless it's cigar tobacco paper. A hemp blunt is all cannabis, no tobacco. And don't go thinking you can do the same thing with a cigarette. Cigarette rolling papers are much more thin and won't stand up to being emptied and refilled.
Why is it called a blunt?
The term blunt originated with an American brand of cigars, Phillies, which cannabis consumers began emptying and filling with tobacco for a “best of both worlds” experience. The Phillies brand manufactures a cigar called a Blunt that's wider than a cigarillo but not as wide as a Corona. It's designed to be smoked more quickly than its full-size counterparts. Because of that, and the fact that it's machine made rather than hand rolled, it's also less expensive. That may have led cannabis lovers to choose it when they looked for a more discreet way of enjoying a smoke so it would look like the consumer was just smoking a cigar. The marijuana version of blunts first became popular in cities in the Northeast. Over time, the term came to mean what it does in today's cannabis culture — cannabis inside either a hollowed out cigar or a cigar tobacco paper.
What is the difference between a blunt and a joint?
Not sure what's the difference between a blunt and a joint? There are a few, including:
Perhaps the most noticeable difference between blunts and joints is their appearance. The tobacco leaf wrappers used for blunts are usually dark brown or tan — while rolling papers, which are used for joints, are typically white if bleached or a lighter shade of tan if unbleached.
Combination of tobacco and cannabis
While it's not uncommon for people to combine tobacco and cannabis in a joint that's also known as a spliff, blunts are filled strictly with cannabis. Because there is already tobacco in the cigar paper used to roll a blunt, there's no reason to add additional tobacco.
Do blunts have nicotine?
Yes. Blunt smokers are also smoking tobacco so they will be exposed to nicotine from the tobacco leaf. In a 2016 study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers analyzed the wrappers of five different cigar brands commonly used for rolling blunts. The total nicotine content across the cigar wrapper samples ranged from 1.2 to 6.0 milligrams per wrapper. Cigarettes average 10 to 12 milligrams each.
Amount of cannabis used
Blunt wrappers are heavier, sturdier, and larger than rolling papers. This allows them to hold much more cannabis — often 2 grams or more — than in a joint.
Because of the thicker cigar paper, blunts burn much more slowly than joints, making for a slower burn and longer smoking session. This combined with their larger size makes blunts a popular consumption method for larger groups.
How much does it cost to buy a blunt?
The price of a blunt or blunt wrap varies depending on the brand, the size of the blunt, and the location where it's sold. A recent check of dispensaries in Los Angeles found blunts priced between $17 and $55. You can usually find cigar blunts at a gas station, convenience store, tobacco store, or head shop. Blunt wraps can be found at head shops and dispensaries, including online. The price is usually less than $5 each. Today's cigar blunts are encased in a wrapper made from tobacco scraps and plant fibers pressed into sheets but it's possible to buy whole tobacco leaves online, though they aren't cheap.
Do pipes get you higher than blunts?
Some cannabis consumers may also wonder whether there's a difference in the high created by blunts and other cannabis paraphernalia, such as pipes. The tobacco used in the production of blunts could create a head rush effect in some users, giving them the impression that blunts get you higher than pipes. However, the more realistic reason blunts tend to generate a more potent buzz is because they can hold more cannabis than your average pipe.
How to roll a blunt
Ready to take a shot at rolling a blunt? Here's how it's done:
Step 1: Grind your cannabis
Before you can start rolling a blunt, you need to break down your cannabis. You have two options: You can either grind down your buds in a grinder, or you can break them down with your fingers.
Some people prefer grinders because they break down cannabis more evenly, leading to a more even burn. However, grinding down your weed too much can cause your blunt to burn more quickly. That's why others prefer to break down their cannabis by hand. Either method works; it's just a matter of personal preference.
Step 2: Empty the cigar
(Note: if you purchased a blunt wrap, there won't be any tobacco to deal with, so you can skip this step.)
Use a sharp knife to cut along the edge or point of your cigar or cigarillo lengthwise. Specialized blunt cutters are also available and might be worth it if this is your go-to method of smoking. Once you've made the incision, use your fingers to gently pull apart and unroll the cigar. Then, empty the tobacco from the center of the cigar and throw away or set aside for later consumption.
Step 3: Moisten the blunt wrap
Cigar paper can be challenging to work with, but moistening it can make the paper easier to shape, wrap, and work with. Plus, it can help to seal any micro-tears that may have occurred during splitting and emptying.
If you're rolling the blunt for yourself, you can use your saliva to moisten the entire paper. However, if you're rolling for others or a large group, moisten the paper with a bit of water. Just put a few drops on your index finger and spread across the surface of the paper.
Step 4: Fill the blunt
Add the ground cannabis to the center of the tobacco wrapper, spreading it evenly lengthwise until you've filled the paper with the desired amount of cannabis. While there is no set amount of cannabis to add to your blunt, 1 to 2 grams should be sufficient to fill the paper. YMMV. After adding the cannabis, roll the blunt between your fingers to ensure the weed is packed evenly before sealing.
Step 5: Roll and seal the blunt
Once the cannabis is evenly distributed, it's time to roll and seal. Tightly tuck one edge of the blunt wrap under the other. Then, lick or use your finger to wet the long side of the exposed edge and seal the blunt. If your blunt rips or cracks during the rolling process, use a small piece of excess tobacco leaf paper to seal the tear.
To further seal the blunt and ensure a more even burn, you can “bake” it by running a lighter around the exterior of the blunt. Just make sure to keep the lighter a safe distance from the paper. You only want to use the heat to dry out the moisture and seal it, not actually light the middle of the blunt.
Once you've rolled and sealed it, you can either spark up and start enjoying your blunt or save it for later consumption.
Frequently asked questions
Can you roll a blunt and store it for future use?
Yes, once you've rolled a blunt, you can store it for future use. Depending on how long you're planning to wait, you may want to store it in an airtight container to maintain freshness and retain active cannabinoids.
How much weed do you have to put in your blunt?
Usually, 1 to 2 grams of weed will be enough to fill a blunt wrap. Depending on the size of the blunt wrap or cigar paper, you may be able to add more.
Are blunts addictive?
Blunts wraps and all tobacco products contain nicotine, which is a physically addictive substance, especially when mixed with chemicals normally added by tobacco companies.
In addition to addictive qualities of tobacco products, cannabis use disorder (CUD) — in which an individual experiences withdrawal symptoms when they stop using cannabis, or cannot stop even when it interferes with daily life — is a growing concern as researchers learn more about the benefits and side effects of the plant.
Frequent use of high-potency cannabis at high doses may increase your risk of developing CUD, but it's important to remember that everyone's body is different and reacts differently to cannabis as a result. If you're worried about the risk of cannabis use disorder, consider taking a tolerance break or consulting with a physician or cannabis specialist.
Are cigarettes worse than blunts?
Smoking weed is not without risks. But smoking blunts, especially in moderation, has not been sufficiently linked to any of the major health risks associated with regular cigarette smoking. However, it's important to note that the consequences of long-term marijuana use are not known due to lack of research. Furthermore, the act of smoking marijuana blunts could also result in potential health hazards, and more research is needed to understand the effects of marijuana smoke on the cardiovascular system and the body as a whole.