Cannabis Etiquette: 6 Unwritten Rules of Cannabis Smoking You Need to Know

Cannabis Etiquette: 6 Unwritten Rules of Cannabis Smoking You Need to Know

It’s sort of funny. Smoking cannabis began as a rebellious act, something outside the norm. But, it now has a lot of rules.

Over time, smokers have established a whole system of behaviors, an etiquette, if you will. If you are a new smoker, you may find you’re not following the rules. So, here are six unwritten rules and habits of cannabis you need to know.

#1 – Making the pass.

No one knows how it started, but you are expected to defer to whoever rolls the joint. The roller gets to light the spliff, take the first hit, and pass it clockwise at will. Whenever it gets to you, you take your two puffs maximum, flick the ash, and pass it clockwise again.

The social circle expects everyone to share alike, so you don’t want to bogart (commandeer) the treat. If you break the clockwise passage by telling a long story or joke, you will upset the circle. And, whatever you do, don’t talk about anything depressing because everyone’s there to chill.

#2 – Don’t slobber.

Everyone wants their share, so you should handle the smoke gently. You should not reshape it or squeeze it. And, you surely don’t want to slobber all over the mouthpiece. It’s not sanitary, and it will destroy the carefully rolled joint.

If you are a new smoker and don’t know how to handle the passing and the puffing, you should make everyone know. They’ve been in your shoes and are very happy to coach you. Marijuana smokers have a firm community willing to help you join.

Don’t join the circle if you are sick. The others will understand and appreciate your not passing your germs. They’ll be okay with you smoking a private pipe if you just let them know.

#3 – Share the load.


Abby Hutmacher, writing for the Colorado Pot Guide, makes the point that it’s only fair to share the cost in some way or another. You can contribute a bud to the party. But, if you can’t you can bring some munchies or beverages, something worth about $5 as a polite gesture.

If you’re smoking someone else’s stash, it’s another reason not to consume the joint that’s being passed. It’s also good reason not to complain about the selection or quality of the strain. If you could do better, you should do it and not blame your provider.

Sometimes, sharing means not participating. If some of the people in the gathering don’t want to smoke, that’s their choice, and you should not bad mouth them either.

#4 – Be respectful.

If you are a guest at someone’s home, you should respect their house. This means taking care not to burn, ash, or trash the furniture, carpeting, or décor.

You don’t blow smoke in someone else’s face. You don’t share with pets, and the group should really hold off their fun until any children are out of the picture.

If there are novice smokers in the group, you want to make everyone comfortable, especially since they might experience some anxiety. And, it behooves you not to con guests, experienced or not, into super strains that produce paranoia.

Respect also means not spitting, so it you’re are tempted, you should leave the room for the bathroom. And, most marijuana smokers do not welcome cigarette smokers to the circle, so if you smoke tobacco, you can smoke outside. In any case, The California Aggie recommends that you don’t want to walk off with anyone else’s lighter.

#5 – Smoke and stay.

It’s rude to smoke and leave. If it’s a smoking circle, you should leave time for some relaxed conversation, for a movie, or for some music. This shares and extends the experience.

If you’re smoking after dinner, it’s only courteous to remain for talk. Marijuana is likely to make you chatty in the first place, but it also draws people together with a few less inhibitions. And, that’s what makes community out of a group.

The key purpose in the smoking is the desire to chill. Of course, how you chill means different things to different people. For the dedicate pothead, chill means couchlock and video games. But, the occasional users want smart and intelligent conversation or a chance to enjoy the view or listen to the music, whatever it takes to make a shared experience.

#6 – Be good to your dealer.

If your only option is the black market, it pays to treat your dealer well. You want to control the situation; otherwise, you’ll find yourself skulking around the edge of danger.

Always travel with a companion to the designated area for exchange with someone you haven’t dealt with before. It’s smart to drive a non-descript vehicle and drive carefully but calmly.

Try to work with a dealer who you can meet someplace less suspect than behind a Dunkin’ Donuts at 3:00 in the morning. And, if the dealer is delivering, you might offer an invitation to enter, enjoy a snack, or share the smoke.

If you live and buy in a state where weed is legal, you’ll want to be polite with your retail store budtender. They deserve thanks and appreciation for their service and expertise. Well-trained, they are positioned to advise you on purchases and coach you on your next steps in your cannabis selection. You can share your experiences with other strains and ask for help in making better or more suitable future choices.

Follow the “club” rules

Cradi Jordan of Lady Bud defines etiquette as “a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. And, according to Emily Post, it is a method of ‘treating people with consideration, respect, and honesty. It means being aware of how our actions affect those around us’.”

Most weed smokers are not lone tokers. They will form or join a smallish group of friends or co-workers in a pattern of behaviors surrounding their purchase and use of cannabis product. In time, you’ll find the specific group will establish its own code of behavior, including some rules not listed here. And, that’s okay, but these six unwritten rules and habits of marijuana smoking you need to know will help you get a comfortable start.