What’s thick, long, and makes you feel good?
A blunt of course.
Slow-burning, buzz-assuring bliss all wrapped up and ready to get lit; a well-rolled blunt is a welcome sight to many cannabis aficionados. The act of rolling and smoking a blunt can be ritualistic for some people, involving concentration, skill, and finally a smokey reward. So what is a blunt? A blunt is essentially marijuana rolled up in a tobacco or hemp leaf.
Sure blunt wraps are more expensive than rolling papers for joints, but stoners praise blunts for their large capacity (you could fit multiple grams of marijuana easily) and their discreet appearance (they look like cigars). When compared to a joint, blunts typically burn better and longer due to their thicker wrapper and are less likely to burn out. This gives blunts an edge up in a variety of situations, like group sessions, hikes, and outdoor concerts.
This cornerstone of cannabis culture comes in a myriad of shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. When visiting your local smoke shop or convenience store, all of these options can be overwhelming, but are certainly worth exploring…
The Evolution of the Blunt
“I love it when they call me Big Poppa. I only smoke blunts if they rolled propa”
- The Notorious B.I.G.
Back in the 1800s, manufacturers began making cigars with a single rolled outer leaf that had a round, blunt tip. Hence the name, “blunt”. This wrapper was created from homogenized tobacco, which is ground up tobacco mixed with water into a pulp, then rolled and stretched into a large sheet. A machine wraps this tobacco sheet over a tobacco filler, which nowadays is commonly thrown in the trash and replaced with a greener, more desirable filler.
These “blunts” were a bit different than what today’s stoners are familiar with as they were intended solely for tobacco consumption. The first company believed to offer these “blunts” was White Owl, although shortly after Phillies Blunts popularized the term with their Philadelphia-based product.
In the meantime, Caribbean nations, that were far more familiar with cannabis than their northern neighbors, began laying the groundwork for the modern blunt. As the 1900s approached, rolling marijuana into tobacco leaves gained popularity in countries like Jamaica, where one theory states that a shortage of rolling papers and pipes led to the rise in tobacco wrapped weed.
Many credit New York City as the birthplace of the modern blunt. It is believed that the Caribbean community in NYC popularized the smoking mechanism, and there is even data that suggests a strong connection between increased immigration from Caribbean nations and the increase in blunt-smoking in New York. It’s believed that the blunt’s central role in stoner culture began taking hold in the 1980s in The Big Apple, which may sound too recent to some, but older stoners will tell you that blunts simply weren’t around before then.
Blunts: the Role of the Cigar
The blunts that most stoners are familiar with are outer cigar leaves surrounding ground marijuana. Just as different types of cannabis have varying effects, so do the tobacco leaves in a cigar. Cigar enthusiasts know that the wrapper of the cigar is the biggest factor in determining its strength and flavor. The tobacco leaf that is commonly found as an outer-leaf on blunts can usually be placed in one of two categories: Natural or Maduro.
Natural Vs. Maduro Blunt Leaves
Natural cigar leaves are a light gold color and have aromas of cedar and cashews. Many of the most popular blunt brands like Dutch Masters offer a Natural leaf wrapper grown in Connecticut. This state is one of the most in-demand for Natural leaves because of Connecticut tobacco’s high quality and unique spice flavor.
You can identify a Maduro leaf-wrapped cigar by its darker color, ranging from brown to black. These leaves are primarily picked from the highest leaves of the tobacco plant, which gets the most sun. Then they are cured and fermented, sometimes for years, resulting in a robust, sweet, and high-nicotine result.
That’s why rolling a Backwoods, commonly made with Maduro leaves, can lead to a stronger buzz than a Natural-wrapped blunt like a Dutch Palma. The aging process of Maduro also turns the leaves coarse and thick, which could make for a more challenging rolling experience.
While rolling up an aged Maduro blunt can seem tempting, beware of fancy cigars. The homogenized tobacco layer (known to cannabis smokers as the “inner-leaf”) found in most familiar blunts usually isn’t found in high-end cigars. Instead, they’re usually held together by a long complicated quilt of tobacco leaves, requiring meticulous skill from the blunt roller to reassemble after removing the tobacco inside.
Cigar Blunts Vs. Cigarillo Blunts
Full-sized cigars are typically disassembled by the roller in stages, while cigarillos are more simply cut down the middle in preparation for rolling. Make a decision on whether you are going to get a full-size cigar that holds multiple grams, or a smaller “cigarillo” that is better suited for 1-2 grams.
Classic Blunt Brands
It’s recommended you stick with major brands known for their cannabis-friendly cigars like:
- Dutch Masters (the most popular and best-selling machine-made cigars in America)
- Swisher Sweets
- White Owls
- Phillies Blunts
You’ll probably notice that these blunts come in every flavor under the sun. That is unless you’re in a place like California that has outlawed flavored tobacco products. While flavored blunts are immensely popular, many cannabis enthusiasts feel that extra flavoring intrudes on their experience. After all, the terpenes (smells and tastes) of cannabis are an essential part of the marijuana experience.
When masking these natural marijuana chemicals with flavored blunts, the result could be a weakened experience. This is one reason that people who are seeking out the full effects of cannabis alone typically pass on blunts, and prefer bongs and pipes.
Hemp Wraps: blunts with no tobacco
Blunts aren’t for everyone, especially if you’re not used to nicotine. But don’t fret, because you can still get “blunted” while avoiding tobacco. Hemp wraps are gaining popularity as a healthier alternative to the tobacco wraps of classic blunts.
Similar to the familiar homogenized tobacco layer in cigars, hemp wraps are made by blending hemp leaves and water into a pulp which is then shaped into sheets. They are absent of nicotine, and usually contain CBD which is non-addictive and non-psychoactive. The CBD in a hemp blunt wrap can enhance the marijuana experience, introducing a new cannabinoid into the mix.
Hemp wraps feel, roll, and smoke just like the classic tobacco blunt wraps you can find in your gas station. Find a trusted smoke shop and look for these high-quality hemp wraps for your next blunt experience:
- Higher Standards Premium Hemp Wraps
- King Palm Pre-Rolled Leaf Wraps
- Juicy Jay's Natural Hemp Flavored Blunt Wraps
Try Blunts for Yourself
If you’re looking for a special cannabis experience, blunts are a fantastic option. Although they can be intimidating at first due to the endless brands, flavors, and shapes available, as well as a learning curve for the roller, well-rolled blunts are usually worth the extra effort.
Just remember to keep your blunts fresh and humid before and during the rolling process. When a wrap dries out, it can crack and tear, leaving a nightmare situation for the blunt roller. Whether you’re smoking classic tobacco blunts made from gutting cigars, or blunts from cutting-edge hemp wraps, it’s likely that both you and the blunt will get lit and stay lit.