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Blunt vs Joint vs Spliff: What’s the Difference?

The cannabis industry is full of heaps of terms and language that can be hugely confusing for someone entering the space for the first time or those returning from a canna-hiatus. Some of the most common terms are blunt, joint, pre-roll and (less often but still relevant to this topic) spliffs. For many people, it can be difficult to tell the four apart from one another. We’re going to break them down for you here, so you know exactly what each term means.

Blunts, Joints, Pre-Rolls and Spliffs

The Similarities

Blunts, joints, pre-rolls and spliffs are all similar to each other in that they contain ground cannabis flower that has been wrapped in some sort of paper and is intended to be smoked. The differentiators are the types of paper used and whether the ground flower is accompanied by anything else, such as tobacco.

The Differences


A blunt is a roll of ground cannabis flower wrapped inside tobacco paper (like those used for cigars) rather than standard rolling paper. This is the key difference between joints and blunts. Many people opt for blunts because of the added effects that come from tobacco, which makes them heavier hitters than standard joints. Blunts are typically larger and longer burning than joints.


A joint is a disposable smoking option made by rolling ground cannabis flower in some sort of non-tobacco paper (i.e. hemp, rice or bamboo paper). They are smoked just like blunts are and get their effects through the combustion of the ground flower.


Pre-rolls are an aptly named delivery system in that they are joints that have been pre-rolled for you. Most pre-rolls contain crutches, which are paper filters that add stability to the roll and allow you to smoke to the end without letting the heat reach your fingertips. These are great for novices who may have never rolled a joint before, or for individuals who suffer from ailments like arthritis that renders them unable to roll a joint themselves.


Though they aren’t as common in the U.S. as they are in countries across Europe, there is a fourth type of roll that is similar to joints and blunts called a spliff. Spliffs are effectively joints that contain some sort of a mixture of tobacco and ground cannabis flower together inside a rolling paper. The composition of the mixture is dependent on the person rolling it, so you can have a 1:1 ratio or a ratio that is predominantly one over the other. They also usually contain a crutch, just like pre-rolls do. People who enjoy the effects of both tobacco and cannabis may opt for a spliff.

*Note: Just like their driver’s seats and steering wheels, European terminology is opposite that of Americans. For them, a joint is what we refer to as a spliff (think: a joint combination of tobacco and cannabis), while a spliff contains only cannabis. Keep that in mind if you travel across the pond!

If you have any further questions about the differences between these four delivery systems, feel free to reach out to one of our expert Muses. Education and accessibility to the cannabis space are hugely important to us and to the industry, so feel free to come in and learn from us!