We all love blunts. We love to smoke them, and we love to smell them. Most of all, we love that powerful heady high they deliver, but have you ever stopped to think about the history of the blunt or why we smoke them? Do you know who smoked the first blunt? It’s time for a history lesson!
First person to smoke a blunt
Before we get into who smoked the first blunt, let’s look at a brief history of cannabis itself. Marijuana use has been around for thousands of years. The ancient Chinese used to burn cannabis as incense at funerals as a sign of mourning and respect for family members who have passed away. Marijuana was cultivated at this time for its use as a textile (hemp). They also extracted oils from the seeds. Hemp seeds are an excellent nutritional supplement if you didn’t already know. As time went on, with the Silk Road’s help, cannabis use began spreading through the rest of Asia.
Fast forward to the nineteenth century, when indentured servants from India brought over cannabis for personal use to Jamaica, which is where the term “ganja” came from. You didn’t know that ganja is the Hindi term for flower? As marijuana smoking became more prevalent throughout the century, historians speculate that people began to combine it with tobacco leaves for their smoking pleasure.
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Around midcentury, American companies began manufacturing cigars made from rolled-up tobacco leaves, known as “blunts.” Despite their early role in American history, blunts themselves were not the most popular way to smoke. That honor belonged to the joint and later on the pipe, bong, and hookah. Blunts would not become renowned until they were popularized by hip-hop culture in the mid to late ’80s.
As to who was the first person to smoke a blunt, we cannot say. We know for sure that the first modern blunt was rolled and smoked in New York City in the 1980s, but it is pure speculation beyond that. It would be easier to ponder who has smoked the most blunts. The answer to that is probably Snoop Dogg, who even has his own personal blunt roller (no, not a rolling machine, a person who rolls him his blunts). Damn, how many blunts does Snoop Dogg smoke a day that he needs a person to roll them for him!?
Blunts and Popular Culture
Though blunts have been around for over a century, the modern blunt did not become popular until the past 35 years or so, when early hip-hop culture began not only smoking them but using smoke a blunt quotes in all their songs. What kind of blunts do rappers smoke? The answer: any with weed, though they probably pay for premium rolling papers.
So, who smoked the first blunt? We know that by 1988 rappers Big Daddy Kane and King T from the east coast and west coast respectively were referencing smoking blunts in their songs “Flirt” and “Raw,” and we can deduce that blunt smoking had already spread across the US in that short period.
From then on, the popularity of the blunt snowballed. In the early nineties, rapper Biz Markie claimed that he made blunts disappear “better than a magician.” Then trailblazing hip-hop artists (pun not intended) A Tribe Called Quest came out with their song “Youthful Expression,” which made reference to smoking blunts with a “boy named Bud.” After that, Redman came out with his legendary “That’s How You Roll A Blunt,” which explains how to roll a blunt in beautiful detail. He also says the words “That’s how you roll a blunt” something like 25 times if you did not get that this song was about how to roll a blunt. Later on, in 1993, the man himself, Snoop Dogg, claimed that legendary slain rapper Tupac Shakur introduced him to his first blunt, though he would later claim that it was hip-hop artist Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys who made the introduction.
In the mid-’90s, artists like Biggie Smalls and Dr. Dre helped the blunt enter mainstream culture, after which came the Jay and Silent Bob movies, Dazed and Confused, Half Baked, How High, and a plethora of classic stoner movies. This is when blunt smoking finally reached white kids in the suburbs, cementing the blunt’s place in stoner culture where it remains to this day!
Related: How to Make a Joint Burn Slower
Joints vs. Blunts (A Quick Guide)
Joints and blunts are structurally similar, but there are still many differences between the two. For one, they are rolled with different types of paper. Joints can be rolled from wood pulp paper, rice, hemp, and even transparent ones made from cellulose. Last but not least, there are flavored papers, which come in every flavor, from banana to marshmallow. Blunt wraps, on the other hand, are rolled from tobacco leaves, as they have been from the very beginning. As blunts became more popular, flavored blunt wraps appeared – just like flavored rolling papers, but they have always been rolled from tobacco.
Those who favor blunts say they are easier to roll than a joint, and those who favor joints claim the opposite. One thing we can say for sure is that it is pretty damn near impossible to roll a blunt with a stale wrap. Unlike packs of joint rolling papers, those blunt wraps do not stay fresh for very long. Your best bet is to roll your blunt the same night you buy your blunt wrap. Not only will your lungs thank you, but you’re also less likely to roll a crappy blunt. As they say, “I only smoke blunts if they rolled proper.”
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Naturally, if one is to have an educated debate on the merits of blunts versus joints, we have to talk about the experience of smoking one! Blunts offer a different high than joints because of the fact that they are rolled with tobacco paper. Anyone who has ever smoked a cigarette even once knows that a nicotine high comes with a wicked head rush. Combine that with a weed high, and you’ve got a delightful combination! It should go without saying that not everyone likes the taste of tobacco. Some think they overpower the taste of your herb, but there are other strains out there that taste like they were made for blunts. As with everything, it’s up to your personal preference.
Does Emily Blunt Smoke? What about James Blunt?
Maybe? Just because someone’s last name is blunt does not automatically mean that they smoke blunts, though they have the last name “Blunt” or “Weed.”
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How to Smoke a Blunt
So, you know how to smoke weed without a blunt, but how do you smoke a blunt? As mentioned above, blunts and joints are structurally similar, but this does not mean that you smoke them the same. To learn how to smoke a blunt, think of one as a cigarette and the other as a cigar. The main difference is – you want to inhale. It’s more accurate to think of a blunt as a cigarillo (funny since it’s quite common to roll a blunt from a cigarillo wrap). You will not need to take as big a puff off the blunt to get a mind-blowing hit as you might off of a joint. This is because blunts are rolled just a tad looser (not too much) than joints.
Conversely, don’t take too small a hit, or you won’t even get high! Follow the same rules that you would with smoking a joint: puff, puff, pass. Instead of focusing on taking in monster hits, try holding in your hit longer than you normally would. This will give you a much more intense and longer-lasting high. Don’t hold in your hit for too long; three Mississippis should do you right.
The biggest mistake newbies make when learning how to properly smoke a blunt is overdoing it. Let’s be blunt (no pun intended) blunts are larger and considerably more powerful than joints. They contain a lot more weed and have tobacco in them. Make sure you are taking it slow. If you are sufficiently high, then it’s a good time to stop. You’re not trying to impress anyone; you’re trying to have a good time. Getting too high is going to ruin your good time and possibly everyone else’s. No one wants to be that person in the smoking circle.
If you are smoking a blunt by yourself (recommended for pros only!) or you’re the one lighting it, be sure to light it carefully. A blunt won’t burn unevenly (aka canoe) like a joint, but you can still torch it if you don’t light it carefully. Inhale deeply as you light it to ensure it gets going and then pass it on. If you want to smoke a blunt but are often smoking by yourself, try learning how to smoke a glass blunt. They smoke great and can easily be put out to be smoked later if need be.
The main advantage of a blunt over a joint is that it stays going once you light it, filling the room with colorful blunt smoke. However, sometimes even the finest rolled joints have to be relit. This is why you should probably not smoke a blunt by yourself, unless, of course, you are Snoop Dogg. If you are Snoop Dogg, please comment below with information on how the rest of us can find our own blunt-rolling personal assistants.
Now that you know most of blunt history, why blunts rock, and how to smoke them, it’s time to smoke one. See ‘ya in the circle!