Weed Etiquette: How To Be A Responsible Smoker

Weed etiquette - how to be a more responsible stoner
December 12, 2019

With easing legal restrictions, the perspective on cannabisis gradually shifting. Gone are the days of stereotypes and false assumptions. Nowadays, the use of this wondrous substance for both medicinal and recreational purposes is on the rise. As a result, a new generation of weed citizens is densely populating the community.

Smoking sessions are best enjoyed in social circles. However, with the surge of novice users, sessions are bound to be disrupted if proper decorum is not observed. Inexperience, while openly welcomed, comes with limited knowledge of the etiquette of weed smoking. In addition, learning these codes of conduct could prove to be difficult as there are no guidelines etched on stone. Most of these are merely unified agreements learned from experience and often, mishaps.

The Unspoken Protocol

With such a long and erratic legal history, misconceptions and false assumptions about cannabis are bound to take root. Moreover, decades of anti-marijuana campaigns and stereotypical depictions on media have significantly skewed the collective perspective on this substance. Consequently, many of the proper practices of smoking weed have been kept discreet in fear of judgment and incrimination. However, with less legal restrictions, these etiquette are gradually becoming universally accessible knowledge.

Woman Smoking Weed

In General

Weed etiquette is a social agreement on the dos and don’ts of smoking. Hence, these protocols may vary across specific situations depending on the location and traditions of the circle. Nevertheless, there are lots of generic courtesies that can be upheld in most circumstances and venues.

1. Know The Legalities

When dealing with cannabis in any form, it is best to know its legal status in the place where it is being used before actually consuming it. With no consolidated basis for legal judgment, it is better to be safe than sorry. For instance, recreational use may be permitted in one state but not for others. Therefore, know the legalities of its use so that a pleasant smoke session won’t turn out to be an unlawful activity.

2. Share The Greens

One of the essential practices of cannabis smoking is sharing. This euphoria-inducing substance often serves as a means of fostering social bonds. Not only does it make for a good conversation starter, but it also makes an individual more conversational than usual. Therefore, sharing it is a better way to relish its effects. After all, a bowl of greens is best enjoyed when shared with great company.

3. Offer Weed To The Host

The B.Y.O.B (bring your own bud) principle is a practice that must be observed in any social gathering. It is no secret that cannabis is an expensive commodity. Hence, freeloading on another person’s stash is incredibly impolite. Essentially, it just boils down to a give-and-take relationship within the circle.

4. Dose Properly

With the continuously increasing levels of THC contained in various strains, it is imperative to know the potency of the substance before consuming it. If the individual already knows the THC level of the product, warning others of its potency is a kind gesture. Doing so will prevent oneself or others from overdosing which often results in a bad trip and an irksome weed hangover.

5. Remember To Pass

This one is a common courtesy that is often forgotten. The mind-altering compounds in cannabis can indeed make a chatterbox out of an individual; so much so that passing the bowl or joint easily get forgotten in the midst of an interesting storytelling. Be wary of this mistake as it disrupts the flow of an otherwise pleasant session. Puff, puff, pass, and tell the story – that is the proper way to go.

6. Pass It In The Right Direction

It is common knowledge that smoking impairs motor skills and memory. Hence, remembering who smoked last and who will smoke next is a recurring issue in any circle. That is why it is crucial to follow the rotation rules to keep the session flowing smoothly. As the band Musical Youth sang in the cannabis anthem, “pass the dutchie on the left-hand side.”

7. Don’t Contaminate

Since cannabis is often shared and inhaled orally, anyone carrying a virus or bacteria runs the risk of infecting the whole smoke circle. Hence, notifying people of such ailments or better yet, not sharing the puff at all is a gesture that will surely be appreciated.

8. Filter Out The Stems & Seeds

Typically, only the cannabis flower is smoked – be it in bowls or rolled joints. As such, it is imperative to segregate the stems and seeds out of the stash. This is because smoke from burnt stalks are incredibly harsh and unpleasant to inhale whereas seeds popping due to heat are equally dangerous as it can get inside the eyes.

By Method

Cannabis is incredibly versatile. It can be consumed in different ways – smoking, vaping, dabbing, or even ingesting through edibles. Thus, the rapidly progressing weed culture must keep up with the set of rules that should be followed when consuming cannabis in specific methods.

1. Joints, Blunts And Spliffs

Cannabis Joint

Typically, the difference between the three lies in the contents and materials used for rolling. That aside, these three cannabis rolls are quite similar, especially in terms of the etiquette that must be observed when using it.

  • Puff, Puff, Pass. This famous one-liner is the central code of conduct in all smoke circles. This translates to “take two hits, then pass to the left.” Don’t be greedy and let the others get a hit too. Inhale more than necessary, and don’t expect an invitation to the next session.
  • Keep It Dry. Nobody likes a saliva-soaked filter. Handing a damp, or worse, wet roll to the next person is utterly offensive. Thus, exerting efforts to keep the roll dry by keeping the salivation to a minimum is a gesture of respect for the next user.
  • He Who Rolls It, Sparks It. As the principle clearly implies, the person who rolls the joint, spliff, or blunt must be given the privilege to light it. While this does not really have any advantageous or preventive purpose, it is a tradition by right. As with any culture, carrying out a tradition is pivotal to the harmony of the circle.

2. Glassware

Different types of Cannabis Pipe, Wooden Pipe, Metal Pipe, Glass Pipe

Be it bongs, pipes, or any other paraphernalia, as long as it is made of glass, it will surely offer flavorful and unaltered hits. As such, glassware is one of the most favored paraphernalia in smoking. It can be quite costly, too. So, it is usually only brought out during special or intimate sessions. Hence, when introduced into a smoke circle, it is vital to know the guidelines on how to handle these fragile instruments. After all, even a slight mishap can cause friction between the best of friends.

  • Handle With Care. Proper handling of the glassware equates to treating its owner with respect. When passing the paraphernalia in circles, be sure to hold on to it properly until the receiver has gotten a full grip on it to avoid letting it slip through. Remember, these apparatuses are delicate and expensive.
  • Corner The Bowl. When lighting the bowl, it is polite to burn only a corner or a small portion. Doing this ensures that everyone in the circle gets a fresh hit of greens. Under no circumstance is it acceptable to ignite all the herbs as it is unpleasant to smoke charred buds. Use a hemp wick to corner with ease.
  • Clear The Chamber. Being passed a cashed bowl is a universal pet peeve in smoking circles. Nothing is more disappointing than taking a hit and inhaling ashes instead of fresh buds. Moreover, in the absence of a screen, these grey leftovers usually slip inside the paraphernalia and soil an otherwise clean bong water. So, remember to clear the chamber or notify the circle when a bowl is already cashed.

3. Edibles

The Best CBD Edibles To Wipe Out Pain And Stress

Cannabis-infused treats are delectable alternatives to those who want to experience euphoria but are not inclined to smoke. Akin to any other method of intake, it comes with its own set of guidelines.

  • Label The Treats Accordingly. This is an utterly serious responsibility that canna-bakers must practice all the time. Sweets and other edibles must be labeled with the THC potency, THC to CBD ratio, and the cannabis strain it contains. Doing so will prevent an unsuspecting and potentially unwilling party-goer from getting ahold of this canna-treat’s psychedelic experience. Likewise, this will allow novices to know beforehand how potent the effects will be.
  • Check The Expiration Date. Like all food and substances that enter the body, edibles are also perishable goods. Hence, expiration dates must be duly taken note of. It is incredibly impolite to offer canna-goodies that are well beyond its expiration date. Not only will it taste terrible, but it can also cause digestive problems.

By Location

The location is pivotal to any smoke session. An open venue can cause unwarranted paranoia and wayward glances while close, dim rooms may illicit unwanted intimacy and awkwardness. Thus, it is essential to read the atmosphere before deciding which place to settle for the session.

1. In Social Functions

Party with a Lot People
  • Ask For Permission. As with any social setting, it is common courtesy to ask permission from the host if it is acceptable to smoke cannabis in a given area. Not only does this prepare the crowd for the session in store, but it also allows them to raise legitimate concerns, especially those relating to the legalities of its use in a certain state.
  • Read The Atmosphere. Even if permission to smoke was granted, it is essential to read the atmosphere in the room. If anyone is averse to smoking, then, discreetly ask the host if it is all right to move into a secluded place. Unless, of course, it is a very conservative crowd, then, it may be best to hold off and postpone the session. Remember, cannabis should not be a reason for causing tension in a social function.
  • Be Inclusive. Make sure to welcome and include anyone who may want to join the session. Do not isolate the circle from the rest of the party. After all, why smoke at a social function if the intention is not to share?
  • Don’t Pressure. Nobody likes being pressured into something they are not willing to voluntarily do; much less, being cornered into taking an unknown mind-altering substance. For this reason, make it a habit not to offer cannabis to someone more than once. Remember, once is polite, while the second time around is subtle pressuring.

2. In Public

Man smoking weed in Public

Smoking cannabis in public used to be a significant risk. However, in places where it is legal, this is now a common sight. In fact, it often gets mistaken for cigarettes. However, for those unversed in the protocols of public smoking, guidelines must be followed to ensure safety and public order.

  • Assess The Situation. It is crucial to assess the situation and people present in public venues before smoking weed. For instance, children or conservative groups could be offended by the deed. So, make sure to check the surroundings for any grey areas to avoid causing unnecessary tension.
  • Smoke In Designated Areas. Not everyone is fond of inhaling second-hand smoke. It is, in fact, harmful to the respiratory system. Hence, it is imperative to be considerate of others by smoking only in designated areas.

3. At Home

Woman smoking weed at home

Home is a safe place where smoking cannabis can be enjoyed freely. However, for those living with other family members, roommates, or partners who do not share the same interest in smoking, discretion must be practiced.

  • Contain The Smell. While the distinct smell of cannabis may be pleasant to some, it may come off as pungent to others. Fruity notes that can be perceived as moldy and musky scents by others may linger in the room longer than intended. In this regard, investing in dehumidifiers or sploofs will best address this concern.
  • Be Mindful. When living in a space with non-smokers, remember to be mindful and respectful of other people’s preferences. Like in public locations, be discreet and assess the situation. And, in cases of shared common areas, keep the session within personal confines.

On Being A Good Weed Citizen

In the face of a rapidly growing cannabis community, guidelines of ethical behavior must be common knowledge because its practice is pivotal in attaining a harmonious balance within social circles.

Responsible Cannabis User

While proper weed etiquette takes time to master, respect and common sense should come naturally to most people. And, as with any situation that calls for social interaction, it only right and just to act with respect and consideration for others. Doing so will avoid inciting unwarranted friction between members of the group. After all, smoking cannabis is all about strengthening social bonds, radiating positivity, and having a good time while basking in weed-induced euphoria.