While we’ve already established the ways you can go about acquiring cannabis, let’s move on to the more important stuff: consumption and good manners. It’s likely you’ve already heard at least a few of these, or blundered a few of them during your own sessions; without a doubt, this song might’ve taught you at least one. Welcome to Cannabis Etiquette 101. Class is now is session.
There are more ways now than ever before to enjoy your favorite flower, which means that there are just as many ways bad manners can quickly kill everyone’s buzz. Whether you’re a novice user or an old skool stoner who still calls it “grass,” the follow-up to my introductory summary will make sure you don’t end up chazzing the banger on your best friend’s rig.
- Exhale your smoke and vapor away from others when smoking publicly. As with tobacco, cannabis users can be prohibited from indulging in their homes, making exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke a greater likelihood for the general public. If you’re in a crowd, tilt your head and aim your plume upward. Excluding supers, nobody likes having smoke blown in their face.
- That said, if smoking in an appropriate setting where secondhand smoke is unavoidable — say, packed together in the audience at a concert — it’s usually a good move to offer them a courtesy hit anyway.
- As far as cannabis etiquette in other people’s spaces goes, this one is crucial. Sparking up in someone’s home or vehicle without asking their permission is trashy. Don’t be that guy. Always ask your host for permission before you light up. If the answer is no, don’t push the issue. Respecting the boundaries of others should always be top of mind.
- To add to the above, don’t pressure a novice to partake if you’re smoking solo. It goes without saying: peer pressuring others makes you look like a total wanker. Show some respect for others (and for yourself) — having a good time shouldn’t depend on everyone getting high.
- Learn what strains and dosage work best for you, introducing newer ones over time so that you can maintain a consistently positive experience. Every strain has its own unique effects, and different methods of intake can amplify or dampen them.
- Edibles, for example, deserve your respect. Never double-down on a more of an edible cannabis product if you haven’t noticed it hitting you yet. Have some patience, will you? It may hit you much sooner — and much harder — than you think.
- Label edibles you make yourself clearly for the benefit of yourself and others, especially if they’ll be spending any time in a common area. Mark them clearly to avoid accidentally dosing someone.
- You owe it yourself, and your guests, to keep all of your tools clean: freshly cleaned pipes, glassware, and vaporizers will always make your next experience nice and smooth. There are some detailed do’s and don’ts around cleaning your tools to come, but a great rule of thumb to start if you’re new to cleaning: don’t use any chemicals or materials you wouldn’t ingest directly.
Sharing Is Caring
- For joints: two hits, then pass. Blunts: three hits, then pass. You can take less than your two or three, but any more is definitely taboo.
- Always pass clockwise. Experienced circles know well the rule that one must always to the left, but not many realize that it goes back to Rastafarian origins, which dictate whoever lights the joint passes it clockwise. Fun fact: the only exception to this rule would be during a time of war (in which case you’d pass counterclockwise).
- Never bogart, camp or otherwise hold on to the cannabis for too long. Sharing any flashes of brilliant insight that occur to you in the session is fine, but loosen your grip on the green beforehand to keep the cipher going.
- Clear any of your own smoke from the chamber before passing to the next person. Call out last hits and spent bowls.
- If partaking in concentrates (ie. dabbing), pay attention to the owner’s rules around using and heating their rig which is likely expensive. Don’t ‘chazz the banger’ — or, in other words, overdo it and scorch the rig’s heating element. Remember, when in doubt, just ask.
- When smoking from a shared bowl you should always ‘corner’ it when it’s your turn. What the hell is cornering, you ask? Pull the flame of the lighter in while you inhale to lick the outer edge of a packed bowl, saving some green for the next in rotation. Torching the whole bowl— called “mowing the lawn” or leaving “scorched earth” in various circles — is the height of poor smokesmanship.
- In regards to someone’s glassware: you break it, you bought it. Cannabis etiquette also includes the basic tenant of ‘you break it, you bought it’.
- Don’t be an idiot. Never blow your smoke in a pet’s face, whether yours or someone else’s.
It pays to remember good smoking etiquette whether on your own or in a group. These guidelines are not only a great way to stay aware of your surroundings or to avoid smoking behaviors which the community deems unacceptable. Ultimately, observing them goes a long way to stop the reinforcement of bad stereotypes surrounding cannabis use – we have come too far for that. With that in mind, you’re fully well on your way to being a sought-after guest in all of your smoking circles. Keep sharpening you cannabis etiquette and you’ll be a well sought after curve in the circle. Just one thing: did you remember to give back that lighter?