Joint vs. blunt vs. spliff: How do they differ?


Please note: all information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. The article only describes the possible uses of cannabis flowers, provided that these flowers do not contain more than 0.3%THC. It is in no way intended to entice, encourage or incite anyone to abuse any substance. The article is not suitable for persons under the age of 18.

What's a joint?

A joint is a cannabis cigarette, which consists of a smaller sized paper and is filled exclusively with cannabis. All you need to roll a joint are the herbs, papers and a filter or crutch, called a mouthpiece or tip. Filters are also sold pre-packaged.

The filters are at the end of the joint and serve to keep the material out of the mouth. They also give the joint more stability and help it to smoke to the very end. The filter also prevents the smoker from burning their fingers.

Each rolled herb has two main parts. The first is the paper that holds the herb and gives the rolled flower its shape, and the second is the filling itself, the cannabis. Sometimes users add other ingredients, such as tobacco or terpenes. If tobacco is added, it is called a spliff.


Pre-packaged joint - cannabis cigarette filled with cannabis

What is a spliff?

Spliff combines a joint and a blunt to some extent. It is made by wrapping the herbs and tobacco in the paper of choice, just like a joint. And the tobacco is the reason it's called a spliff, not a joint. The mixing ratio of herbs and tobacco is a matter of smoker preference. However, spliffs usually contain more tobacco than blunts.

What's a blunt?

The filling of a blunt is similar to that of a joint, usually containing only cannabis. Blunts are rolled into tobacco leaves or wraps, which is a major difference from joints and spliffs. Wraps are made from dried and preserved tobacco leaves. Empty cigars or cigarillos can also be used instead of wraps. The empty wrappers are then filled with flowers by the user. Some smokers roll a fronto leaf, which is a natural dried tobacco leaf that holds the largest amount of flower.

Normally, blunts are larger than joints and spliffs, and last much longer. Usually a blunt is rolled into a conical cylinder to accommodate more herbs.

Rolling blunts can be more challenging than joints, especially if the user is working with emptied cigar/cigarillos wrappers. These must first be cut open and the contained tobacco carefully emptied to avoid damaging the paper. It then needs to be sealed, and this is done by running a lighter along its length.

One more interesting fact, the original blunt cigar was filled with tobacco and first appeared in the 19th century, in Philadelphia.

Table: Comparison of joint vs. spliff vs. blunt

Material to roll

Method of scrolling

Content of flowers

Tobacco content


Flower content in grams




Thin paper

Rolling with the filter





  • Small and portable
  • Easy ignition
  • Rolling requires experience
  • It's not discreet


Thin paper, but usually larger and thicker than a joint

Rolling with the filter





  • Small and portable
  • Easy ignition
  • Rolling requires experience
  • Smoking tobacco can be harmful to health
  • Tobacco can spoil the taste of flowers


Tobacco leaf, wrapper, hollowed out cigar/


Tougher, cigar wrappers and wraps


In packaging only


minor 1-2


cigarillo 4-5


large cigar up to 7

  • Portable
  • Easy ignition
  • Different flavours
  • Packing takes practice
  • Smoking tobacco can be harmful to health
  • Tobacco affects the taste of flowers
  • The packaging can be flavoured

A little better content?

We have already mentioned that some smokers add terpenes to enhance the taste and aroma of a joint, spliff or blunt. Terpenes are natural compounds that give plants their characteristic aroma and flavour. The cannabis plant produces hundreds of phytochemicals such as flavonoids, terpenes and terpenoids. Scientists have been able to discover around 220 terpenes in the plant, with each variety containing unique types and mixes of terpenes in different concentrations.

Common natural terpenes include myrcene, caryophyllene, linalool, pinene, humulene and limonene.

Terpenes are added by users not only to enhance flavour and aroma, but also for possible therapeutic effects. It is thought that terpenes interact with cannabinoids and may give them specific effects, a phenomenon known as the 'entourage effect'. The entourage effect is essentially the combined (synergistic) effect of the compounds. Scientists believe it arises from interactions between individual cannabinoids, and between cannabinoids and terpenes.

While some studies suggest that terpenes have no effect on cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system in the human body, others suggest that terpenes such as myrcene may enhance the effects of both THC and CBD.

Table: Terpenes and their taste, aroma and therapeutic potential




Therapeutic potential

Varieties of cannabis


Slightly sweet earthy, reminiscent of red grapes

Herbal, spicy, earthy and musky notes

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Sedative, calming and relaxing properties
  • OG Kush
  • White Whidow
  • Critical Mass
  • Blue Dream
  • Grape Ape


Spicy, resembles rosemary

Distinctive spicy, pungent aroma, so-called peppery aroma

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Potential to alleviate symptoms in certain diseases (e.g. anxiety and depression, diabetes, colitis)
  • NorthernLight
  • Sweet ZZ
  • Royal Jack Automatic
  • Bubba Kush
  • Sour Diesel
  • Gelato


Flowery, reminiscent of finely chopped herbs

Floral lavender aroma with a slight hint of spiciness

  • Sedative and calming properties
  • Possible analgesic and antiepileptic properties
  • Amnesia Haze
  • Special Kush 1
  • Fat Banana
  • Strawberry Cookies



Aroma reminiscent of pine or fir

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Local antiseptic properties
  • Most Skunk varieties
  • Haze Berry
  • Pineapple Kush
  • Bubble Kush


Woody, earthy and spicy, reminiscent of hops

The so-called hop aroma, reminiscent of basil, cloves, ginseng, hops and sage

  • Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties
  • Super Sour Diesel
  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • Super Lemon Haze



Citrus aroma

  • Antibacterial properties
  • Used to relieve depression and anxiety
  • Lemon Kush
  • Lemon OG
  • Silver Haze
  • Green Gelato
  • Sour Diesel
  • Wedding Cake
  • Strawberry Banana


Terpenes can be added in several ways. Some users add 1-2 drops of terpene oil per 1 gram of herb. Another option is to add a little oil to a grinder or mincer and then grind the flowers.

Terpene oils and smoking accessories can be purchased, for example, at the Canatura e-shop.


What is the difference between a joint, blunt, spliff

Even the paper matters...

When it comes to papers, their choice has a significant impact on the smoking experience. Not only should the user choose the right size and material according to the amount of flower they want to smoke, but they should also select the buds based on ease of rolling and functionality.

The papers can be small, medium or large. Common sizes include Single Wide (short),

1 ¼, 1 ½, Double Wide, and King Size, the so-called hundred size. Paper sizes vary according to manufacturers, with the most noticeable differences being in the Double Wide size.

Approximate dimensions:

  • Single Wide (regular): length 68-70 mm, width 34-37 mm
  • 1 ¼ (medium): length 76-78 mm, width 45-48 mm
  • 1 ½ : length 76-78 mm, width 60-62 mm
  • Double Wide: length 76-78 mm, width 63-88 mm
  • King Size: length 100-105 mm, width 55-60 mm
  • Cones King Size: 110 mm

Papers are sold in different thicknesses - thin, ultra-thin and thick. Thin paper is not as noticeable for its taste, but it burns faster than thick paper.

And of course they are not all made of paper, they are also made of rice, hemp, natural plants, flax, wood pulp and cellulose (the most popular), all usually unbleached. These paper variants burn relatively quickly. The sticky papers are made mostly from natural gum Arabic, which ensures that they always stick to number one.

Another option are flavoured papers in a variety of flavours, for example with fruit flavours (grapes, orange, apple, strawberry, pineapple, banana and others) or with a hint of cola, popcorn, cotton candy or biscuits. While some are drawn to certain brands because of their unique flavors, others perceive this to detract from the flavor and aroma of the flowers.

Last but not least, there are paper rolls, which are colloquially known as "endless papers". They get their nickname from the fact that they look like rolls and can measure several metres.

Some white papers may contain chemical elements (chlorine or calcium carbonate) that serve to slow down the combustion. However, most solid brands nowadays produce papers without chemical materials and unwanted treatments.

The choice of paper is entirely up to the smoker. There are also palm leaf wraps available on the market that are tobacco-free and 100% natural. Flavors like strawberry, mango, banana, melon or flavorless can be found in mini or king size.

To keep things running smoothly, the best papers are those that don't tear, close easily, feel good in the fingers and burn evenly. Some even have the corners cut off to make them easier to roll.


The main difference between a joint, a spliff and a blunt lies in the content (either only flowers are used, or a mix of flowers and tobacco), and the material from which they are packaged. Joints are the only ones that do not contain tobacco, whereas in the case of blunts the tobacco is contained in the wrapper. Both joints and spliffs are wrapped in paper, while tobacco leaves, wrappers and hollowed-out cigars are used for blunts. Pre-rolls, i.e. pre-packaged joints, are also sold on the market.

Traditionally, joints have been one of the most well-known ways of consuming cannabis. Sometimes users add other substances to the contents, such as terpenes and live resins, which add flavour, aroma and possible therapeutic benefits. Terpene oils and smoking paraphernalia can be purchased, for example, from the Canatura or Buds For Buddies e-shops.

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Original text: Patricie Mikolášová, translation by AI



Photo: Shutterstock

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