Smoking rituals: you know, those things we all do without even thinking about it? How you pass the lighter, how you stand, who gets the green hit: these things all make up stoner culture. They’re as essential as having some bud and a vessel.
In cannabis culture, these customs work something like table manners. It’s smoker’s etiquette and you’ll find it’s easier to make new friends in a circle if you follow the rules. Aside from all of that, however, it’s fun to take a closer look at some of the things we do on autopilot. It’s also good practice to not take yourself too seriously.
So without further blathering, let’s circle up.
Smoking Rituals #1: Pass The Dutchie To The Left Hand Side
Surely Musical Youth wasn’t the first to suggest that the left is the way to go in the circle (nor, The Mighty Diamonds who dropped it first). This song is an anthem for the rule, however. It’s difficult to say for sure where this custom comes from. While some attribute it to Rastafari culture and passing left in peace and right in times of conflict, that proved difficult to source.
Regardless of the reason, if you’re starting out a session with friends, send it left unless that makes no sense given the circumstances. You will find some people who get pretty hostile about the direction the weed is going, but most people will roll with it.
Smoking Rituals #2: Who Sparks?
The answer to this one may depend largely on your crew. Many people believe the one who rolled or packed it deserves the cherry hit. Others see offering the green hit as a way to pay respect or favor on someone. You know, like the characters in the Game Of Thrones series offers the first taste to a guest. If you smoke with someone frequently, like a bestie or roommate, it’s nice to keep informal track of who sparked it last so you can share that blissful first puff.
Smoking Rituals #3: Puff, Puff, Pass
Unless you know you’re with a stingy bunch, it’s customary to puff twice on a joint or blunt before handing it over to your left. Unfortunately, you will find yourself in some situations where someone gets bent about this. Feel free to remind them that it’s customary and if the rules are different in this circle, attendees must be so advised.
However, in the event you’re smoking a pinner or you’re in a large group of friends, it’s nicer to hit once and pass.
Smoking Rituals #4: Keep It Dry
Here’s the thing, we may not mind some of your germs but we do very much mind your drool. If you are hopping into the circle on a blunt or joint and you can’t keep your mouth dry, you should bring your own tip. It’s gross, there is no way around it. This rule may not be as legendary as puff, puff, pass or passing to the left, but it should be.
Smoking Rituals #5: No Ganking
At some point in your smoke session you may feel socially inspired. A hilarious story comes to mind and you have to share. You’re now so engrossed that you don’t realize you’ve been holding on to the bowl (or worse, the joint!) for-ev-her. Don’t be that guy! Try your best to keep things moving while you tell your tale. Otherwise someone will make that stupid ‘talking stick’ joke for the millionth time.
Smoking Rituals #6: The Secure Pass
A secure bowl pass involves some finesse. Ideally, you place the lighter over the top of the bowl to slow down the combustion (and maybe give it a tamp down first if it’s not still rolling), and pass both together in one go. This is open to some interpretation, however. Your main objective on the pass is to pass securely. If the bowl is still rolling, you can hand off without the lighter but keep an eye on your friend if you do so you’re ready to provide some extra fire if they need it. Besides, you’ll have to hand the lighter over anyway so it stays with the piece.
Always keep the lighter with the piece!
And do not put it in your pocket unless it’s your lighter!
Sorry, a couple of pet peeves slipped out there. I’m sure you can relate.