What's a Spliff, and Why Do People Still Smoke Them?
Americans are the outliers.
Cannabis culture is gradually evolving and as this is happening, some new things are being forgotten along the way. During the days of prohibition, the need to hide due to victimization helped to protect and preserve many cannabis practices. The emergence of legalization has since meant that some of the conventional practices are swapped for more urban methods. An example of such is that the practice of smoking spliffs is slowly becoming a thing of the past.
Do not be surprised to realize that many cannabis users do not know what a spliff is. Follow us as we talk more about what a spliff is, why people smoke it, and if there's still room for it in the present-day cannabis culture.
What is a spliff?
Simply put, a spliff is a special mix of tobacco and marijuana properly rolled into a joint. This unique blend has been a part of cannabis culture for a long time. This has seen it being incorporated into different types of songs, movies and art used to promote the stoner culture. Easy Skanking, the famous song from music icon Bob Marley comes to mind as he started with "excuse me while I light my spliff".
The advent of new methods of enjoying cannabis such as vaping and edibles has reduced the popularity of spliffs among stoners. Fans of the conventional way are still going strong in their love for the unique blend. The special high that ensues from this blend of marijuana and tobacco can only be described as majestic. The presence of tobacco means the dopey effects of cannabis are modulated to become clear-headed much like that of caffeine. Users enjoy a relaxed yet alert state thanks to the synergy between nicotine and cannabinoids. This effect is what many users are looking for when they roll up a spliff and it doesn't disappoint.
During the days when prohibition was prime, it made sense to smoke spliffs as access to cannabis was very scarce. Likewise, adding marijuana buds to a tobacco joint helps to make a more robust and consistent joint. Those that revel in the art of making joints will appreciate what effects a dungy resin and tobacco leaves will give in a well-crafted blunt. For those who already love each product individually, combining both into a spliff comes easy. Presently, a good population of the world smokes tobacco. This means there's still room for spliffs to survive in this present world.
Are spliffs popular among stoners?
You might be surprised to know that that the waning practice of smoking spliffs is mostly an American thing. A Global Drug Survey in 2014 showed that 50 percent of weed smokers in Australia are known to mix tobacco with their weed. In Europe, there are no signs of slowing down. Ninety-four percent of Italian marijuana smokers consistently add tobacco to their joints. The Finnish also have spliff as a popular cannabis culture as two out of three weed smokers enjoy a spliff along with their weed.
It is glaring that some factors have hampered the development of spliffs as a cannabis culture in some areas. Location and history stand out as the two prominent factors. Europeans are known for the fact that they mostly get their weed in the form of hashish blocks. This has seen many European smokers from Spain through Sweden revel more in hashish over flowers. While hashish was quite popular for being more potent and concentrated than tobacco, it was still hard to keep it lit in a joint. This was why adding tobacco to it became a necessity for Europeans and easily it became a tradition will date.
Americans and spliffs
While Europeans had the tradition to thank for preserving the spliff culture, Americans weren't so blessed. Access to cannabis in America has mostly been through cannabis flowers grown locally and imported from neighboring countries. Farmers in California and flowers imported from Canada and Mexico served the majority in the country. With this, there was no primary need to infuse tobacco with marijuana. This made smoking spliffs more of a choice than a necessity than it was with the Europeans. Hence the popularity of spliffs among Europeans over Americans.
Another factor that has diminished the popularity of spliffs among Americans is the drastic reduction in cigarette smokers in the US. A 2015 study by the CDC shows that a quarter of the people in Europe aged 15 and above are daily tobacco smokers. Comparatively, cannabis smokers in the U.S have dropped from 21 percent in 2005 to 16 percent in 2016. The sharpest drop was seen among smokers aged between 18 and 24. The fewer the number of cigarette lovers in a population, the fewer the amount of those that will be willing to add it to a weed joint.
The presence of different strains of marijuana with varying effects has also increased the waning popularity of spliffs. Most of these strains have special effects and strengths which has reduced the need for users to merge tobacco with weed. With more legal states and prices not being what they used to be, the issue of weed scarcity is not a problem for American smokers. Therefore there's no need for most to mix it with tobacco again. It is now easy to see why the issue of the dwindling number of spliff smokers in America is more of a problem of tradition.
So, do people still smoke spliffs? Yes, they do. However, the number is dwindling seriously in America. Spliffs are a tremendous way to enjoy cannabis and it's advisable that American smokers key into this as well. Notwithstanding, for those that are not keen on tobacco naturally or have not taken it before, the advice is to stick with weed. It's better and safer that way. Hopefully, more young cannabis smokers will get in on this strong pillar of cannabis culture and help to preserve it.