Joint (cannabis)

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"Spliff" redirects here. For other uses, see Spliff (disambiguation).
A burning joint.
A joint prior to rolling with a paper filter at left
A joint with filter.

A joint (IPA /dʒɔɪnt/) is a rolled marijuana cigarette. Papers are the most common rolling medium in industrialized countries; however, brown paper, cigarettes with the tobacco removed, beedis with the tobacco removed, receipts, and newspaper can also be used, particularly in developing countries.[1] Modern papers are manufactured in a range of sizes from a wide variety of materials including rice, hemp, and flax, and are also available in liqorice and other flavored varieties.[2]

A joint can vary in size,[3] typically containing between 0.25 to 1 grams net weight of cannabis (joints have been rolled with 2 or more pounds, but this is not a common practice). Tobacco may or may not be used in the rolling process.[4]

Variations and terminology[edit]

Commercially prepared American medical cannabis joint.

Though all joints customarily contain cannabis,[5] regional differences have been noted. In Europe, certain Commonwealth nations, and more recently North America, joints, or spliffs,[6] typically include a bit of rolled cigarette packet cardboard or business card in one end to serve as a mouthpiece.

The term "spliff" is sometimes used to distinguish a joint prepared with both cannabis and tobacco,[7] as is commonly done in European countries, where joints containing only cannabis are rarely smoked. However, in the West Indies where this term originated (especially Jamaica), a spliff is simply a marijuana cigarette, normally containing no tobacco.[citation needed]

A Dutch company started manufacturing e-joints. They are basically e-cigarettes that use cannabis extract.[8]


Herb grinder for cannabis used to prepare herb for rolling into a joint.

Etymology and synonyms[edit]

The word joint ultimately originated from French, where it is an adjective meaning 'joined' (past participle of the verb joindre), derived in turn from Latin iunctus, past participle of iungere ('join'/'bind'/'yoke'). By 1821, 'joint' had become an Anglo-Irish term for an annexe, or a side-room 'joined' to a main room. By 1877, this had developed into U.S. slang for a 'place, building, establishment,' and especially to an opium den. Its first usage in the sense of 'marijuana cigarette' is dated to 1938.[9]

There are many slang terms synonymous with the word joint. The term 'spliff' is a West Indian word of Jamaican English origin but has spread to several western countries, particularly the UK, and many countries in Europe. Its precise etymology is unknown, but it is attested as early as 1936. 'J' or 'jay' can be used as an abbreviation for a generic joint. Another term frequently used to refer to this would be 'doobie.' [10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ e.g., in Jamaica: The Rastafarians by Leonard E. Barrett p. 130.
  2. ^ "Roll Your Own Magazine - Winter-Spring 2008". Retrieved 2011-04-20. 
  3. ^ "Dope activist to smoke 1m long joint". 2006-11-26. Archived from the original on 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2012-01-28. [dead link]
  4. ^ World Health Organization: Division of Mental Health and Prevention of Substance Abuse (1997). Cannabis: a health perspective and research agenda. p. 11. WHO/MSA/PSA/97.4. 
  5. ^ "Joint". Retrieved 2011-04-20. 
  6. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2011-04-20. 
  7. ^ Australian Government Department of Health: National Cannabis Strategy Consultation Paper, page 4. "Cannabis has been described as a 'Trojan Horse' for nicotine addiction, given the usual method of mixing cannabis with tobacco when preparing marijuana for administration."
  8. ^ "World's first e-joint given its debut by Dutch firm, says it's selling 10,000 a day", The Independent (retrieved December 8, 2014)
  9. ^ "Online Etymological Dictionary". Retrieved 2011-04-20. 
  10. ^ "Spliff". Retrieved 2011-04-20. 

13. How To Roll A Joint, A Stoners Guide To Marijuana