Sometimes it’s nice to go back to the basics. And when it comes to partaking of hemp or cannabis...there’s not much more basic than the tried-and-true joint

What is a joint? 

A joint is essentially a cannabis/hemp cigarette or pre-roll. Though joint is a slang term, it’s a useful one! Many joints are rolled by hand in specially-made rolling paper. Some joints actually feature both cannabis and tobacco; these joints are called spliffs. 

How are Joints made?

Traditionally, joints were rolled by hand. Once simply took a small amount of cannabis/hemp, ground it up, and placed it in the middle of a rolling paper before rolling things up neatly. Just like a burrito — except with cannabis is the main ingredient, not chicken or cheese. 

A category of joints called pre-rolls uses factory machines to do the work for you. Because everything is so standardized, pre-rolls contain the perfect amount of cannabis and tend to be rolled more neatly than joints made by hand. 

When did Joints become popular?

The term joint has been used as early as 1936. A 1938 article in The New Yorker described cannabis smokers in Harlem smoking “joints” and "roaches" and referring to suspected detectives as "the Man." 

Things may go back even further than that; the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal promoted cigarettes infused with cannabis, belladonna leaves, and potassium nitrate as a solution for asthma way back in 1870! [1] It appears the practice of smoking cannabis joints precedes its actual etymology. 

Cannabis seemed to get more recreational in the 1920s. Perhaps spurred on by alcohol’s prohibition, musicians and other creative types took to smoking cannabis. Jazz players loved the plant for its ability to boost creativity without impairing motor function. These players and their “jazz cigarettes” became icons of that era’s culture. 

But it was in the 60s and 70s that joints really took off. Those decades saw a huge resurgence in cannabis use — and cannabis counterculture. Even American troops fighting in the highly controversial Vietnam war managed to get their hands on cannabis (via discrete cannabis joints, of course). [2]

Why smoke hemp?

Smoking hemp provides your body with all the plant’s goodness, nearly instantaneously. One can get fast exposure to cannabinoids, terpenes, phenolic compounds, and more. 

The experience of smoking hemp is at least as important as the science behind it, though.  Sitting down to enjoy a joint is simply relaxing. Although hemp doesn’t contain much THC, it can still ‘soften’ one’s perception and melt away their temporary anxiety. Smoking a joint or pre-roll is a popular way to end the day; if it contains CBD-rich hemp; there’s no intoxicating high required.