What are blunts?

Dear Alice,

What are blunts?

Dear Reader,

What's in a name? Quite a bit, apparently. Blunts refer to cigars that have had the tobacco removed from inside and replaced with marijuana (also commonly called weed or pot, among other names). This method of smoking marijuana is popular among many users as it allows them to have the ability to roll their own product, if they so choose. Curious about the history of blunts and how they became so popular? Read on to learn more!

It's believed that blunts originated in the Caribbean, as laborers from Eastern India brought marijuana with them for personal use during the mid-1800s. While it's not explicitly known how and why blunts became such a sensation in the Caribbean, the few theories out there suggest that using dried tobacco leaves became the preferred method of smoking marijuana either due to its easy accessibility compared to other smoking methods (i.e., using pipes, bongs, or joint papers), its ability to mask the smell of marijuana, or because it allowed the user (or users) to ingest more marijuana in one sitting. At around the same time that smoking blunts started to become popular, tobacco companies in the United States (such as White Owls, Phillies, and Dutch Masters) began manufacturing cigars that had a rounded tip and used one continuous tobacco leaf. Then, during the mid-1980s, as Jamaican, Dominican, and other Caribbean immigrants began to migrate into big cities such as New York, so did the use of blunts. Additionally, the rise in hip hop and rap culture that was occurring at the time also contributed to the rise in popularity of blunts, as many artists would reference them in their songs. Since then, blunts have continued to be a popular method of smoking "ganja." Cigar sales in the United States more than doubled between the years of 1990 and 2007 and, with more states opting to legalize marijuana and cigar companies increasing their variety of flavored cigars, sales have continued to rise. However, given the recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision to pursue a ban on all flavored cigars, it's possible that cigar sales, and blunt use, will fall if the ban passes, as flavored cigars are primarily used and valued by blunt users.

Moreover, when people smoke blunts, they primarily do so in a group setting, as a blunt often contains much more marijuana than an average joint does. In addition to holding more marijuana than other smoking methods, weed isn't the only substance that can be rolled into a blunt. It's also pretty common for blunt users to also include tobacco in their blunts, which is known as co-administration. This method of combining tobacco and marijuana together into a blunt is preferred by some as the stimulating effects from the nicotine in tobacco help counteract the sedative effects that are produced by smoking marijuana. Furthermore, there have been cases where blunts may include crack or phencyclidine (PCP), along with marijuana. So, it's key keep in mind that not all blunts are created equally! There are a number of Q&As in the Go Ask Alice! Alcohol and Other Drugs archives that include more information about marijuana, so you may want to check them out!

Here's hoping that this "blunt" response answered your question. And remember — sometimes a cigar is simply just a cigar!

Last updated Dec 10, 2021
Originally published Apr 04, 1997

Submit a new comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

The answer you entered for the CAPTCHA was not correct.