Put Down the Tobacco—We Have Surpassed the Need for Spliffs

If you don’t mix tobacco in your weed and none of your friends mix tobacco in their weed, right on, you’re killing it, this one isn’t for you. 

The way we smoke weed has gone through some pretty rapid changes over the past few decades—dabs, pre-rolls, vape pens, and plenty of USB-C charged devices that will instantly vaporize your favorite flower or concentrate. So why are you still mixing tobacco into your joints?

Weed is too good to fuck up with a heavy sprinkle of American Spirit and you’re lying to yourself with every attempt to justify the outdated blend. It’s time to move beyond spliffs. 

People have been smoking spliffs—joints rolled with a mix of cannabis and tobacco—since the first documented instance of weed being rolled in Guadalajara, Mexico circa 1856. The tradition continued across the globe, with hash frequently mixed with tobacco and rolled for easy consumption. These days, spliffs are still popular across the U.S. Sure, it’s more prevalent in some places than others, but I know heavy stoners from New York to L.A. and plenty in between who keep a pack of cigs or pouch of loose leaf in their smoking kits at all times.

Times change though, and as we barrel headfirst into 2023, the excuses left for spliffing your weed are growing thinner than a king size rice paper. 

The most common reason I get when I ask people why they still add tobacco to their weed is that it “burns better,” and to that, I say this: learn how to roll better joints. If your joints are burning unevenly without tobacco, that’s a you problem, not a weed problem. Try packing it a little tighter, try pulling on it a little lighter, roll practice joints over and over until your fingers turn green and every single one looks, lights, and burns perfectly—it will be worth it, I promise. 

Next, spliff smokers will say that tobacco helps save them weed and therefore money. But weed is cheaper than it’s ever been and only getting cheaper while tobacco is only getting more expensive, with many cities and states adding higher and higher taxes for cigarettes and loose leaf. It might make some slight economic sense, but unless you’re spliffing top-shelf flower (we’ll get to that) you can probably afford to roll without tobacco; try buying shake or pre-ground weed if you need to make your bag stretch. If you’re really looking to make your favorite strain last, mix in some shake or mids with your exotics—just think of it as spliffing your joint with more weed.

What about the argument that adding tobacco to your weed gets you higher? First, I don’t believe that smoking less of the plant that does get you high and replacing it with the plant that doesn’t get you high will result in you getting higher. You know what will definitely get you higher? More weed. Don’t trust my back of the napkin math? Here’s a peer-reviewed study that says the same thing. 

Funny enough, I have also heard the opposite explanation, that weed alone is simply too intoxicating, and that tobacco helps to ease the effects. In that instance, I simply recommend smoking less weed.

Most importantly though, stop spliffing your weed because it completely changes the flavor of your flower. 

Decades of arduous, focused, illegal cannabis breeding have created a plant that is potent and flavorful with a constantly evolving menu of unique varieties. Tobacco and weed mixed just fine in the flavorless days of brick weed and densely packed black hash, but the way weed smells, tastes, and smokes in 2023? It’s a thing of art. Why dilute that experience?

I have slightly more patience for blunts, mainly because they do not disguise the presence of tobacco like a spliff does, and because they don’t ruin the flavor of the weed quite as much, but at the end of the day, sacrificing any amount of terp profile for the sake of a nicotine buzz is still kind of a bummer in my book. 

I’m not here to judge your tobacco consumption, smoke 10 cigarettes right before we smoke a joint and another half a pack after, all good, I’m just here to defend weed. 

You might need tobacco, but weed doesn’t. 

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