Marijuana Joint Etiquette: 13 Pro-Tips You Need Now

How to not look like an ass in the smoke circle.

joint etiquette
Photo by PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson/Getty Images

The new year is as good a time as any for a refresher course on joint etiquette. The code of cannabis conduct is pretty basic and easy to follow.



The two main rules are universal to just about any communal ritual:

  1. Just chill out
  2. Don’t be a jerk

If you can’t follow either of these two basic rules, leave the smoking circle immediately and toke up in private. The entire point of sharing a joint is to enjoy friends and soon-to-be-friends.



Once you’ve mastered these two rules, the rest is just as easy. But remember: These aren’t actual rules but merely guidelines to a pleasant experience. Rules sound too harsh.

You Can Always Say “No Thanks”

If you would rather not partake, you reserve the right to say no. Peer pressure? Screw that. If you’d rather just sit there, feel free. But don’t harsh the mellow of the rest of the circle. You won’t be judged. But don’t judge others either. It’s cool to just be cool and not high.

Defer To The Pro Roller

If you are all thumbs when it comes to rolling a joint, admit it and ask someone else to roll. There’s no shame in copping to the fact you are not skilled in this area. If you know someone in the circle is a master roller, kindly ask him or her to do the honors. Most expert rollers are proud to show off their skill. And the rest of the circle won’t have to toke on a sloppily rolled joint.

He Who Rolls It Gets To Spark It

It’s common courtesy to let the person who created the joint to take the first puff — the Green Hit. After all, the person who did all the work is entitled to the first taste. As with rolling a joint, lighting a joint can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’ve smoked a “runner” then you know what I’m talking about.

Generosity Goes A Long Way

It’s always good form to offer up a gram if you’re carrying. Others in the group may have superior bud, so don’t feel bad if your offer is refused. But it’s a kind gesture to make the offer. And if you’re not carrying, bringing a snack or water or post-session breath mints is a nice idea. Don’t be the person in the circle who always takes and never gives.

Puff, Puff, Pass

Take one or two hits off the joint per turn. A third hit is a faux pas. If the circle is larger than four people, one puff per turn is more polite. This is a standard rule that nearly every smoker understands. Puff, puff, pass. It’s basic and universal.

NOTE: If you are in a smaller circle, “Euro style” is OK. This method allows for three or four long drags before passing it along.

Pass To The Left

Another tradition that is universal. To be honest, the direction of the joint is not that important as long as you maintain the order throughout the session. Once the order has been established (even if it is going to the right), keep it that way. This gives everybody a clear sense of when it is their turn. If you’re in the middle of a long story and the joint is headed your way, you have a decision to make.

Don’t ‘Hold The Microphone’

Once you are handed the joint, you have one responsibility: Puff, puff, pass. Do NOT continue the story about your dream or about your ex or whatever the hell it is you’re talking about. This is called “holding the microphone and it is a party foul. Puff, puff, pass. That’s the deal. You are wasting time and cannabis. Waste not, want not.

Pass The Joint, Not The Ashes

If there is a long ash on the tip of the joint, kindly remove it before passing. The embers could do a little damage to a piece of clothing or furniture or fall in a drink. It’s not that hard to flick the ash in an ashtray or your hand if needed.

Don’t Introduce Tobacco To The Circle

Unless you’re smoking a blunt or the entire circle smokes cigarettes, refrain from bringing tobacco into the mix. There are a lot of cannabis enthusiasts who can’t stand the smell of tobacco smoke. If you absolutely need to smoke a cigarette, remove yourself from the circle.

Be Wary Of Wind Currents

Most people prefer not to have smoke of any kind blown in their face. If outdoors, be aware of which way the wind is blowing and exhale accordingly. If indoors, tilt your head upwards and slowly inhale away from the crowd.

If You Use Kief Or Concentrate In The Joint, Disclose Before You Pass It

If you have packed the joint with kief or a little bit of hash oil, make sure everyone in the circle is aware and OK with it. Seriously. It’s called being responsible. Also, if you know your weed is stronger than average, let the crowd know.

If You’re Sick, Just Say No

Do you have that bug that’s going around? Do you have a cold sore on your lip? An annoying cough? Don’t partake. This is the time for you to either abstain or use a personal device like a vape pen.

Don’t Pocket The Bic

This is one of those things that happens. Most cannabis consumers have lost countless lighters. Sure, they’re relatively cheap and ubiquitous. But there is nothing more annoying than that sinking feeling that you don’t have fire when ready to spark one up. If you provided the lighter, ask for it back.

If you follow these guidelines, be chill and don’t be a jerk, you’ll be welcome in most any circle.


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