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What’s the Difference Between a Joint and a Blunt?

joint in mouth vs a blunt in mouth, both being smoked

What’s the Difference Between a Joint and a Blunt?

The difference between a joint and a blunt is one of those things that people tend to be a little tentative on the exact details. The terms tend to get a bit muddled and used interchangeably. But knowing the difference means that you can really take advantage of the best traits that each provides. And you’re about to find out exactly how to make that happen.

What is a Joint?

rolled joint sitting ontop of a big cannabis bud
A joint is cannabis and a filter rolled up with cigarette paper.

You know that feeling when you’ve rolled what feels like the perfect joint? When the paper is so thin that it feels like it’s hardly even there. And the cannabis is just perfectly nestled within? You might not have realized it when you were taking a moment to admire the work that went into the joint. But that paper is exactly what defines a joint.

Weed can be wrapped up in a lot of things. But to qualify as a joint the rolling material needs to be thin paper. But that’s still a broader definition than you might assume. For example, some of the most common rolling paper alternatives that people grab in a fit of desperate ingenuity are thin enough to qualify as a joint. A regular joint is made from your typical cigarette paper, you add ground cannabis to the white paper and roll it up to make the classic joint.

What is a Blunt?

cannabis on an unrolled tobacco leaf
A blunt is cannabis rolled in tobacco leaf paper but can also be done with hemp paper (known as a hemp wrap).

A blunt typically has some extra weight to it. Both in a literal and figurative sense. The actual material used for a blunt is usually pretty thick. Tobacco leaf paper is easily the most common material. But hemp paper, and many other options, have been rising in popularity. The extra material tends to add some weight to the feeling provided by a blunt. You’re also getting an extra rush from the nicotine if it’s been made with tobacco leaf. Some other types of rolling material also have additional experiential qualities. And it’s not unusual for blunts to have extra concentrates manually added in to provide some extra complexity to the experience.

Essentially a blunt is a big joints with cigar paper used instead of rolling papers. The term comes from the Phillies Blunts brand that became popular to use due to the strength of the leaf, they could be emptied of their tobacco content and repacked with weed. 

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What’s the Difference Between Blunts and Joints?

So we have two items that are essentially cannabis wrapped in a smokable material. They certainly have more similarities than differences. But like a soft-shell taco and a burrito, the definition and joy are in the details. It generally just comes down to the choice of wrap.

Roll your cannabis in thin paper and you’ve got a joint. Pack it into something thicker, especially tobacco paper, and you’ve got yourself a blunt.

Of course, differences go a lot deeper than just the mechanical elements. Part of the fun of both is that they can deliver a significantly different feel. It’s a bit like enjoying a fine wine or a craft beer. The subjective elements go beyond any sort of chemical analysis. And everyone’s own preferences will ultimately define the experience for them. There’s a rich interplay of different elements that take joints and blunts beyond just the cannabis within them. They might seem like they’d be essentially the same thing since the main distinction comes down to wrapping material. But that seemingly small element can drastically change the smoking experience. It influences everything from how long your bud will burn to what kind of effect it’ll have on you. While there are a lot of different elements, the following are the most significant differences to keep in mind.

blunt being rolled between fingers
Blunts hold more quantity of weed that a typical joint.

Blunt and Joint Differences


The material inside a joint and blunt might be exactly the same. But a blunt is usually bigger than a joint. That size difference translates into a blunt having 1 to 2 grams of material while a joint usually has about 0.5 of a gram to 1 gram.


The thin paper in a joint is usually meant to just fade into the background so that you can enjoy your strain’s uniquely complex flavors. While a blunt’s thicker material usually carries a flavor of its own, it is this change in ratio of cannabis to paper that plays a part in the taste. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Some of the rolling papers for joints are designed to add extra flavor. And many hemp cones are designed to give you the extra cannabis of a blunt while not getting in the way of its flavor.


In addition to a blunt’s difference in flavor it also usually provides a little nicotine. The nicotine, especially for people who don’t smoke cigarettes, can give a bit of an extra kick that’s not present in joints.


The thin paper in a joint tends to burn faster. And the smaller amount of cannabis in a joint also means that you’re going to be working through it faster. While a blunt has a slower burn and more material.

Types of Blunts

There’s a wide variety of blunt options out there. But there are a few that deserve special attention. One of the best is the backwoods blunt. This is a great option for people who like to keep their smoking all-natural. It’s a blunt rolled with plain, natural, tobacco leaves.

The cigarillo takes a different approach to nicotine. It’s made by splitting open a cigar, emptying it out, and replacing the tobacco with cannabis. Though totally nicotine-free options have also been gaining in popularity. Especially hemp blunts. These are blunts rolled with a hemp leaf or hemp-based paper. You can think of hemp blunts as essentially backwoods blunts that swap out the tobacco leaf for hemp.

blunt being rolled between fingers on a glass table
Blunts burn slower than a joint so are great for longer sessions or for sharing with a lot of people.

Types of Joints

You’ll also find a wide variety of joints to choose from. The classic is, of course, a classic and one you’ve probably seen a million times. It’s a joint rolled a little smaller than a cigarette and then twisted at both ends to seal in the goodness. You might also see this concept tipped off with a, well, tip. The tipped joints have a filter so that you can smoke it all the way through without risking burns. Some people like to go a bit more compact than the already slim norm. The pinner is the answer to their prayers. It’s a smaller, even more thinly rolled, joint. And people who like a bit of nicotine do have an option with joints – the spliff. It’s a joint containing a mixture of cannabis and tobacco inside the normal paper.

weed joint being rolled between fingers
The paper used in a joint is very thin and therefore has less affect on the flavor of the smoke than a blunt does.

Blunt Wrap Alternatives

Just like there are joint options for people who want nicotine, there are blunt options for those who don’t. The previously mentioned hemp blunts, also known as hemp wraps, provide all of the good of a tobacco wrap but without nicotine. The hemp wrap gives the same thick texture as cigar wraps. And that thick texture means it also has a refreshingly slow burn. There are also some adventurously different options like banana leaves that can provide you with a lot of excitement without any nicotine.

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Which is Better?

There’s a lot of subjectivity to any discussion of blunts vs joints pros and cons. And a lot of people are understandably passionate about their favorites. It’s similar to wine connoisseurs and their drink of choice. But when people want to separate fact from subjectivity they typically turn to science. And a recent study has in fact been performed. And the results might come as a surprise.

Participants were blindfolded and given either a blunt or a joint. Of course, the subjects would normally be able to tell the difference between them by touch. So the researchers used a plastic cigarette case to hide the tactile cues. While the subjects smoked they were quizzed on a number of different factors. This included the feel, taste, and even gustatory cues.

Amazingly enough, the subjects were generally unable to distinguish whether they were smoking a joint or a blunt.

It’s important to keep in mind that the experience of smoking at home in a relaxed setting, and doing so while a researcher is keeping his eyes trained on you, can be a very different experience. But the study does highlight an important point. The differences between a joint and a blunt are important. But they’re also variations on a common theme. It’s two different takes on the same amazing plant. So why not keep your options open and see what each has to offer?

girl holding a lit blunt out in focus of the camera
When a blunt is made from tobacco leaf you get the added hit of nicotine in each draw.

Matching Options and Events

The differences between these two forms of cannabis are more important than many people might assume. You can get a vastly different experience by honing in on the benefits provided by either option. And now that you know what to look for you can start really appreciating the best versions of each.

lit joint being held up in front of people
A filter is always used with a joint as it allows you somewhere solid to hold and to be able to smoke all of the flower.

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