If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m a blunt smoker. Although I have a small assortment of pipe, bongs, and vapes that I use throughout the day to save my weed, I always prefer a fat, neatly rolled blunt over anything else. I love the effects, and I truly just love the entire experience. Smoking a blunt is an experience in and of itself – from the starting process of rolling it up, to camaraderie of passing around a circle with friends.
Although it does seem that the younger crowd is skipping over blunts in favor of more health-conscious consumption methods (kudos to them), the blunt still remains a favorite among millennials and Gen X’ers. A good blunt is comprised of two simple parts, the flower and the blunt wrap. The flower chosen is very much a matter of personal preference and budget, but picking a brand of blunt wrap can be way more flexible. Which ones are the best? Let’s take a look at some popular options.
The Origin of the Blunt
It’s hard to pinpoint when some of our most historical cannabis trends began, but according to the book Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana, indentured servants from India and surrounding regions brought weed to the Caribbean with them sometime during the 1800s. The term “ganja” which has been strongly associated with Caribbean/Rasta culture for some time, was adopted from Hindi immigrants to the area.
The blunt truly became a staple for cannabis smoking in the Caribbean, especially among farmers and laborers. Although there is no definitive reason for why blunts became so popular in this region, a few theories do exist. The first theory, and probably the most likely, is that blunts were used simply out of convenience and necessity. Because was the most abundantly grown crop in the Caribbean, it was much easier to get tobacco leaves than pipes or rolling papers.
The second theory has to do with discretion. As cannabis was illegal and penalties against it were harshly enforced, some hypothesized that tobacco wraps were used to mask the smell of the cannabis when it was being smoked. This might have been possible with some of the older, more natural varieties that existed back then. But we all know that with today’s weed, it doesn’t really matter what it is rolled in, if it’s good you’ll be able to smell it.
The third theory is one that we can all relate to. Blunts are fun, point blank. Not only do you get extra stoned because you’re consuming more weed in one sitting, but the blend of tobacco adds to the experience and makes it much more enjoyable for many smokers.
Blunts in Modern Culture
Throughout the late 1980s and 90s, there was an uptick in immigration to the United States. A large number of people from the Caribbean began to settle in various parts of New York city, bringing with them many traditional customs and traditions, some of which were related to cannabis use. During that same time, rap/hip hop music started to gain popularity… and we all know rap music is rife with blunt references.
The word is that Snoop Dogg provided us with the first recorded evidence of how important blunts truly were to rap culture, during an interviewer with YouTuber, Nardward. During the interview, Snoop accredited fellow rapper Bushwick Bill for introducing him to his first blunt. Numerous other rappers including Big Daddy Kane, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, and many others over the years have referenced the blunt in their music. According to a report from Complex Magazine, Snoop Dogg even hired a guy to roll blunts for him full time, who he pays $50,000 per year for the record.
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In many ways, blunts are also comparable to spliffs. Although the idea of smoking spliffs is a bit foreign (pun intended) to American stoners, but smoking blunts is kind of similar. Afterall, you are still getting that mix of cannabis and tobacco, and depending on what type of wrap you use, you can get more or less tobacco in your blunt.
Despite the undeniable influence the blunt has had on modern smoking culture, its popularity has been declining over the last decade (not in some circles, but generally speaking). A study (yes, a study/survey was done on the subject) published in ScienceDirect Journal published in 2015 found that only about 20% of cannabis users reported using blunts regularly. As a matter of fact, the majority of people who did prefer smoking blunts were 25-35 years old (I’m 32 to so this fits), or they were teenagers during the 80s and 90s.
Do Blunt Wraps Contain Nicotine?
This, of course, depends largely on what brand of blunt you’re using. Some of the more traditional blunt wraps like Backwoods, are made with tobacco leaves which do contain some nicotine, as it is naturally occurring in most tobacco plants. Pay attention to the packaging, as it will usually say if the product contains nicotine or not.
These days, you can find quite a few healthier brands of blunt wraps (although, technically speaking, no form of smoking is actually safe). For example, King Palm makes their wraps out of Cordia leaves, which don’t contain any nicotine. You can find wraps made from hemp, tea leaves, rose petals, ebony leaf, and many more.
Wraps, Wraps, and More Wraps
Although I’m not covering quite as many different wraps as other reviews I have seen, I wanted to quickly go over a few of my personal favorites, many of which are stoner classics anyway. Below are the six different brands of blunt wraps that I use most often, or ones I have had good notably experiences rolling in the past.
Ah, swishers… a tried-and-true classic. In my experience, most people begin their blunt smoking journey with swishers. It makes sense, they’re easy to find (pretty much any gas station, liquor store, or smoke shop will carry them, which is not the case with many other brands), they come in a huge assortment of flavors, and they are particularly easy to roll.
Lately, I’ve become a huge fan of smoking Backwoods blunts. These OG cigars are made from completely natural tobacco leaves which give provide for a nice, different type of buzz. They come in a handful of flavors (I like banana and Russian cream), and you can roll them really fat! Unlike other cigars that you have to split open and subsequently roll them smaller than the original size, with Backwoods, you unroll the leaf by hand and you can roll it back up either skinnier or fatter than the original size of the cigar. Some people find them difficult to roll, but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty fun.
Dutch Master is another classic brand of blunt wraps that are readily available throughout the US. People love Dutch blunts because they burn well and they’re easy to roll. But, one of the biggest perks of Dutch Masters is the fact that they burn slow, so you can enjoy that blunt for quite a while and share it with friends. Some people are not too happy about the price of these blunts, but that depends on where you live. In Indiana, where I currently reside, they are cheaper than swishers (2 for $1), but in California where I used to live, they cost more.
High tea wraps are crafted from chamomile, mate, and cacao so they don’t contain any tobacco or nicotine. I came upon these at MJBizCon, and while I took them a bit reluctantly (I’m constantly offered papers and blunt wraps at these events that end up going to waste), I was pleasantly surprised. They came in handy when I had nothing else to roll with one night while in Vegas and I found that these High Tea wraps were very easy to roll and they burned smooth. They also were not harsh on my throat and lungs like some of the other, non-tobacco wraps I’ve tried.
The Toad Blunt Wraps (Futurola/Tyson Ranch)
These blunts are a collaboration between Mike Tyson’s brand, Tyson Ranch, and Futurola, a paper/rolling company from Amsterdam. The Toad Blunt Wraps, which are king-sized, are infused with natural plant terpenes for added flavor and enhanced effects. They are designed to burn slow, and coupled with the fact that the wraps are already large in size, that makes for some seriously long-lasting smoke sessions. These wraps are also completely free of tobacco or nicotine.
Juicy Jay’s Natural Wraps
Juicy Jay’s are another well-known brand of wraps in the stoner community. Many people prefer the Classic Natural Wraps, but you can also find many other unique flavors like Strawberry Kiwi, Super Sour Apple, and Red Rum Raspberry. These wraps are made from tobacco, so they do contain nicotine, but the design has remained the same since 1993… so if you’re a fan of Juicy Jay’s, you know consistency is definitely their game.
As the blunt wrap slowly becomes a stoner novelty, we can’t help but appreciate it as a classic symbol of cannabis use, cultural diversity, resilience, and rebellion. Although I personally find that most people prefer vapes and bongs these days, the art of the blunt roll is not lost on any stoner, and a perfectly executed blunt still takes center stage at all smoking occasions.
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