What is a Spliff and How to Roll It
Before I teach you how to roll one, let’s first understand what a spliff is. While the term spliff is used in variety of ways, it most commonly refers to a cannabis cigarette (joint) mixed with tobacco. Spliffs tend to be more common in Europe as smokers are accustomed to consuming cannabis with tobacco. Americans on the other hand, typically consume joints filled purely with cannabis. These cultural differences are likely attributed to the distinctly different attitudes regarding tobacco use in the respective regions.
Ultimately, the debate between joints and spliffs comes down to personal preference. There is no doubt that straight joints are the healthier option, and any purist will scoff at the inclusion of any tobacco in their precious joint (even the smallest amount of tobacco will be noticeable to these people). However, many enjoy the pleasurable head buzz induced by the tobacco in a spliff. The inclusion of tobacco can also help a joint filled with sub-par cannabis burn more consistently. That said, not all spliffs are created equal – some taste like a nasty cigarette, while others have an added depth to the flavor profile. There are several factors that go into the rolling process; in this guide, I will help you master the art of rolling the perfect spliff.
Choose the correct tobacco
Similar to cannabis, there are a variety of quality tiers for tobacco. Your classic pack of cigarettes will rank among the lowest from a quality standpoint, whereas a mild blend of rolling tobacco will be of superior quality. It may not come as a surprise, but if you roll a spliff with the tobacco from an emptied cigarette, its probably going to taste a lot like that same cigarette (which has a lot more chemicals in it than just tobacco). Alternatively, rolling a spliff with high quality, aromatic loose-leaf rolling tobacco, can be delightful from a flavor perspective. Fresh, high quality rolling tobacco will retain some moisture; it should not be bone dry like the little flakes that come out of a cigarette.
Mix at the right ratio
Let’s set the record straight, a spliff is a ‘cannabis cigarette mixed with tobacco’ not a ‘tobacco cigarette mixed with cannabis’. That said, there should never be more tobacco than cannabis in your spliff. The right ratio will depend on the type of tobacco used, the size of the spliff, and your personal tobacco tolerance. As a general rule of thumb, spliffs with low percentages (5-10% pictured left) of tobacco still retain the favorable qualities of a joint, while spliffs with high percentages (25%+ pictured right) of tobacco begin to take on the characteristics of a cigarette. Europeans & Pacific Islanders typically lean toward a heavier split, some even go so far as to roll 60% cannabis and 40% tobacco. My preference is more like 90% cannabis, 10% tobacco.
How to incorporate
The tobacco is best incorporated during the grinding process. Mixing the tobacco with the cannabis ensures a smooth, even burning spliff. Tempting as it is, simply sprinkling the tobacco on top of the ground cannabis will result in an uneven burn as the tobacco and cannabis burn at different rates. I recommend putting the cannabis buds and loose-leaf tobacco in the grinder together for a seamless blend.
From here, just roll the ground cannabis and tobacco mixture up the same way you would any other joint. If you need help learning how to roll a joint, check out my step-by-step how to roll a joint with pictures for beginners.
Make sure you have all the key elements for rolling great joints: weed grinder, crutches, papers, and a lighter at the bare minimum. Although many steps in the joint rolling process are largely preference based, there are several tips that require the above items if you want to improve your smoking experience.