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Thursday June 25, 2015

By Abby Hutmacher


Marijuana is best used in a community setting; it is a great way to create new friendships and strengthen existing ones. But, like anything that is done in a public or social setting, there are both good and bad ways to conduct yourself.

For those who have been consuming cannabis in social settings for a while, marijuana etiquette may seem very natural. But for the novices in the group, these unspoken rules can get a little confusing. To help you conquer your first marijuana session like a champ, we've outlined some of the most common rules of marijuana etiquette.

1. Bring your own to share

Marijuana is can get pretty expensive, especially when you consider that your purchase will literally go up in smoke. That's why it's important to bring your own marijuana to share with the group. Even if others will have some, it's polite to offer your own, especially if the smoke session was your idea in the first place.

2. Don't hassle someone who doesn't want to consume

Sure, weed is great for a lot of people, but not everyone feels the same way we do. If someone is reluctant to try marijuana (or seems disinterested altogether), then don't hassle them to try it. Respect everyone's decision to either try it or not, but don't be a pusher!

3. Always remove seeds and stems

Unless you're planning on growing your own marijuana, there is really no need to hang on to any seeds (or stems, for that matter). Not only do they taste bad when burned, but they'll cause your bowl or joint to pop and spark. That's why it's best to keep them out of your circle.

4. If you can't roll a joint, be honest about it

Rolling a good joint is hard to do and it takes a lot of practice to improve. But smoking a poorly-rolled jay can be a real downer during a smoking session, resulting in either wasted weed or an unsmokable product. If your rolling skills aren't quite up to par, let your friends know. Someone else will probably offer to help.

5. Whomever rolls the joint or blunt should spark it

As an exception to rule #7, it is okay to light your own marijuana if you've rolled the joint or blunt. If someone else uses your weed to roll, however, they should light it.

6. Offer guests the first hit

This is basic common courtesy, really, but it applies to group smoke sessions, too. If you are the host, make your guests feel welcome by offering the first hit (the "green hit"). The same can be said if you pack a bowl, whether or not it's your place.

7. Don't torch the bowl

The best hit is always a green hit, so don't keep it all to yourself. Instead of burning the whole surface of a bowl, light only a small corner so that the next person (or two) can enjoy a green hit, too.

8. Don't slobber on the piece

No one wants a mouth full of someone else's saliva (unless the mood is right, but that's usually not the case in a smoke circle). So please, be polite and keep your spit to yourself. If it can't be helped, then at least wipe the mouth piece before handing it off.

9. Admit when you're sick

Marijuana has many health benefits, but keeping a person from getting a cold isn't one of them. If you're sick, make sure to tell everyone. Better yet, bring your own one-hitter or cup your hand around the mouthpiece to avoid cross contamination.

10. Puff, Puff, Pass

When smoking out of a pipe, you're expected to take a single "hit" before you pass, but if smoking a joint or blunt, you're allowed to take a few hits before passing to the next person. The common phrase "puff, puff, pass" is therefore nothing more than simple instructions for toking in a group.

11. Pass the Dutchie to the left hand side

What's commonly thought of as a catchy song lyric by reggae group Musical Youth is actually a very common rule in most smoke circles. The benefits of establishing a common direction of rotation during a session (typically clockwise)is especially helpful once a few rounds have been completed and people start forgetting things.

12. Don't hog (AKA "Bogart") the weed

Some weed naturally makes people chattier, but no matter how great the story, it'll probably a lot cooler if everyone has a tasty buzz going on. Instead of hanging onto the piece to finish your story, hit it and pass it; you can finish your story after you exhale.

13. Clear the Chamber

Stale smoke is awful. It tastes bad and causes a mean cough. That's why it's important to clear the chamber of your bong or pipe before passing it on. If you can't clear it, at least blow it out through a carburetor (don't blow through the mouthpiece!).

14. Never blow smoke in someone else's face

Unless you've been invited to shotgun a joint, there is never a good reason to blow smoke in anyone's face, even if they're smoking, too. It's rude and inconsiderate, and could cause bad vibes if not addressed.

15. Don't pass a cashed bowl

It's not always easy to tell when the last hit has been had, but if there's a chance that this is the case, be sure to tell the next person in the rotation about it. Say something like "this might be cashed" or "be careful" to let them know that they may get a mouthful of ash if they try. If you know it's cashed, ash the bowl and pass it back to the owner.

16. "Never throw a bong kid, ever"

Whether it's your piece or a friend's, be sure to treat it with care, especially if it's made out of something fragile like glass. Dante from the movie "Grandma's Boy" understands this, but it can be easy to forget a piece in your lap after the session has ended. If using glass pieces, please be careful.

17. Be gracious

If someone smokes you out, offers their place to do so, or provides munchies and/or drinks, be sure to thank them for it. Better yet, use your cannabis experience to gain a better appreciation for you friends all together. The smoke session is a great time to get to know your friends on a more personal level, so be gracious for it.

18. Make everyone feel welcome

Cannabis is certainly a fun pastime, but it is also notorious for making people feel anxious or uncomfortable. If you've got newbies in your smoke circle, or just someone who seems uncomfortable, make sure to remind them that they are among friends. Be careful not to pass judgement on people in your circle and remember everyone responds to marijuana differently.

Your manners speak volumes about your personality. Make sure they’re saying the right things by practicing proper stoner etiquette during your next social smoke-out.

Is there anything that you would add to the list? Let us know here or on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Corie Bidgood (license)


Abby Hutmacher Abby Hutmacher

Abby is a writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace designed to connect cannabis writers and creatives with businesses in the industry. She has been a professional cannabis writer since 2014 and regularly contributes to publications such as PotGuide and M&F Talent. She is also the Content Director at Fortuna Hemp, America’s leading feminized hemp seed bank. Follow Abby on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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