There seems to be a bit of confusion about spliffs and joints, mainly about what they are and what the differences between them are. In fact, many of us use these two terms interchangeably. Most of us, especially here in North America, simply refers to any kind of rolled paper with cannabis inside of it as either a joint or a spliff. These aren't actually the same things. While both do involve rolling cannabis into something you can smoke, they are technically two separate things. One of these, joints, has just cannabis or hemp on the inside, whereas the other, the spliff, is a mixture of cannabis or hemp and tobacco. Because a spliff is a mixture of tobacco and cannabis or hemp, some people might assume that they get you higher than just a pure cannabis joint. Is this the case? Do spliffs get you higher than joints? This and other related questions are exactly what we are going to answer today.
- Spliff vs Joint – What’s the difference? – The former is hemp or cannabis mixed with tobacco, whereas the latter is pure cannabis or hemp.
- Spliffs may be problematic due to their tobacco content, or realistically, the nicotine content (plus thousands of other toxic chemicals!).
- The word spliff is popular for a tobacco and cannabis joint in the UK, although the words joint and spliff are often used interchangeably in the USA and Canada.
What is a Spliff?A spliff is a special kind of joint, so to speak, that contains tobacco. Specifically, a spliff is generally considered to be a mixture between tobacco and cannabis, or sometimes tobacco and hemp. Usually, the split here is fairly even, about 50% cannabis and 50% tobacco, although the ratio does differ. To be clear, “spliff” is a word usually used in the UK and other countries that use UK English. However, if you hear somebody saying spliff in North America, it could just refer to a regular cannabis joint.
What is a Joint?For the purposes of today's article, a joint is simply a rolled paper with cannabis on the inside. It's just a pure weed joint with nothing else inside of it, no tobacco, and nothing else. In most parts of the world, when people say joint, this is exactly what they are referring to. It's a cannabis or hemp cigarette.
Are Cannabis and Tobacco Similar in Any Way?Most cannabis connoisseurs and experts will adamantly say that cannabis and tobacco are two different things that do not share any similarities whatsoever. Now, in terms of overall health risks and benefits, this is mostly true.
Health Risks vs BenefitsAfter all, cannabis, particularly THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, has many potential benefits. These benefits can be for the human body and the mind. They can be potentially medical and therapeutic in nature. There is a reason why cannabis and hemp have become so popular: cannabinoids are proving themselves to be some of nature's best natural medicines. On the other hand, tobacco has absolutely no such benefits, and neither do the thousands of other toxic and dangerous chemicals contained within cigarettes. Let's just be clear here, THC and CBD may have various benefits for the mind and body, whereas tobacco (and here we are referring mainly to nicotine) has absolutely no such benefits. Tobacco contains not only nicotine but literally thousands of other super poisonous chemicals, many of which cause cancer. Now, we do need to make clear that smoking cannabis may also be carcinogenic. The process of combusting plant matter and inhaling smoke does produce a variety of poisonous chemicals. Therefore, smoking either tobacco or cannabis is not overly healthy for the lungs. However, even if you smoke it, cannabis is still much purer and healthier than tobacco. Tobacco cigarettes contain thousands of added chemicals to make them much more addictive, and they're all super poisonous for you. While smoking cannabis does still produce some toxic chemicals, they generally aren't nearly as bad, or at least not as numerous, as with tobacco. Let's also consider the fact that you don't actually have to smoke cannabis either, which totally removes any danger from combustion in terms of your respiratory tract. You can vaporize cannabis, which is much healthier than smoking. You can also eat cannabis in the form of various edibles, drinks, tinctures, oils, capsules, and more. This means that you can effectively reap all of the benefits of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, without the cancerous risk of combusting plant matter and creating carcinogenic compounds through the smoking process. To summarize, a similarity here would be that smoking either of these substances is not healthy for your lungs because they may cause a variety of respiratory issues. However, the big difference is that tobacco contains countless more toxic chemicals than cannabis, plus cannabis doesn't actually need to be smoked, which effectively removes this problem from the equation.
The Can Change The Way You FeelAnother similarity between the two is that they can both make you feel a little bit better. Of course, cannabis is intoxicating and psychoactive, so it makes you feel very high, which tobacco does not. Furthermore, both THC and CBD may affect the pleasure centers of the brain, mainly by increasing both serotonin and dopamine production. This in turn helps to better your mood, potentially reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and just make you feel better in general. In this way, cannabis may be somewhat similar to tobacco, particularly if we are talking about nicotine. Nicotine also affects the reward centers of the brain. Smoking tobacco with nicotine in it also causes an increase in serotonin and dopamine production, which produces a sense of happiness and euphoria. So, both cannabis and nicotine may produce senses of euphoria, and happiness, and may improve your mood. However, the issue here is that nicotine is highly addictive, and your brain keeps wanting more and more of it. If you stop giving your brain nicotine, you are likely to fall into a deep depression and experience anxiety. On the other hand, if you stop giving your brain THC, although you may also experience mild side effects or withdrawal symptoms, they won't be nearly as harsh as with nicotine. Tobacco and nicotine are considered to be some of the most addictive substances in the world, whereas cannabis is not.
Does Tobacco Potentiate the Effects of CannabisSome people say that they enjoy mixing cannabis with tobacco because it makes them feel higher. However, there is no solid evidence to prove this. There are no indications that putting tobacco in your cannabis makes the cannabis more potent or improves the high. Cannabis does not automatically become stronger because it is mixed with tobacco. For cannabis to be stronger or for you to feel more effects from the cannabis, it would have to contain more THC, more cannabinoids, or even more terpenes to produce a so-called entourage effect. Yes, tobacco may make you feel a bit energetic, it can provide you with a bit of a buzz, and it can also help improve your mood due to the addictive and pleasure-creating properties of nicotine. However, just because you might feel a bit happier and more energetic doesn't mean that the cannabis itself is more potent or that you will feel higher. Mixing the two together won't make you feel more intoxicated than just cannabis alone.
Do Spliffs Get You Higher Than Joints?As mentioned above, there is no real evidence to support the claims that spliffs make you feel higher than joints. Yes, once again, tobacco may affect the pleasure center of the brain, but it's not intoxicating or psychoactive. Tobacco does not make you feel high, and it is not intoxicating. The nicotine’s effects may make you feel a bit more euphoric, but that's about it.
Joint vs Spliff: Which is Easier to Roll?Both of these take a bit of practice to roll, and neither is overly difficult, especially with some practice. Tobacco strands when taken out of cigarettes are fairly long, so this can be trouble for some, but not if you also grind your tobacco. Tobacco is fairly dry, so it can make a mess, but it should be fine when mixed with weed. The rolling process for both is more or less the same. If you don’t want to have to roll anything at all, check out our very own Delta-8 Lemon Diesel Pre-Rolls! In case you don’t know what a pre-roll is, check out this guide. If you’re having trouble with your joints, check out one of the super helpful guides below!
- Guide on how to put out a joint
- Guide on how to hold a joint
- Guide on how to light a joint
- Guide on how to infuse a joint