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A joint (IPA /dʒɔɪnt/) is a rolled marijuana cigarette. Rolling 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. 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 liquorice and other flavoured varieties.
A joint can vary in size, 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.
Variations and terminology
Although joints by definition contain cannabis, regional differences have been noted. In Europe, in certain Commonwealth nations, and more recently in North America, joints, or spliffs, 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, 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.
Etymology and synonyms
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.
There are many slang terms synonymous with the word joint. The term 'spliff' is a West Indian word of Jamaican English origin which 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 frequently used term is 'doobie.'
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- e.g., in Jamaica: The Rastafarians by Leonard E. Barrett p. 130.
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- 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."
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- "Online Etymological Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- "Spliff". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2011-04-20.