THE ETIQUETTE OF THE SMOKE CIRCLE
By Travis Crane
Welcome to the smoke circle. Whether you’re a longtime dabber or first-time dabbler in cannabis, be aware that certain rules apply. An experienced cannabis lover may know these unspoken rules of the circle, but sometimes they forget to share their wisdom with newcomers about what puff puff pass really means. It isn’t just a saying that stoners say when they’re baked. It’s etiquette rule #1.
Etiquette Rule #1: Puff Puff Pass
The first rule of the smoke circle is to always “puff puff pass”. This means you never take more than two puffs or hits from the joint or blunt before you pass it. Don’t be that guy who takes three puffs, or god forbid four puffs.
The only way to guarantee everybody gets an equal share of the joint or blunt is to puff puff pass. When everyone in the circle takes the same amount of hits, everybody gets an equal amount. In most smoke circles, it is common — if not expected — for everybody to pitch in. So, if there are five people in the circle, five people will contribute their bud to the blunt or joint. If the joint makes the rounds twice, then everybody will get four hits. The smoke circle is all about equality.
Etiquette Rule #2: Left is Law
Rule number two when it comes to the smoke circle directly follows the puff puff pass rule. Experienced circles are aware that one must always pass to the left. Its origins reach all the way back to Rastafarianism, in which the one who lights the joint or blunt would pass clockwise. The exception is in a time of war, during which it is passed counterclockwise.
Luckily, World War III hasn’t happened yet, so we can keep on passing to the left in the name of peace. Always remember, puff puff pass to the left unless you want to spark confusion in your circle.
Etiquette Rule #3: Be a Good Host
If you decide to host your own smoke session at your house, always be prepared. There is nothing worse than an invitation over to someone’s place to smoke, only to have nothing to do afterward but sit on the couch and watch TV.
Always have food on deck, as we all know that’s the first thing most of us want after consuming our favorite strain. If you’d rather be healthy and stay away from the snacks, take some tips on how to stop the munchies.
Next is entertainment. Even if you don’t have any board games or weed games close at hand, just having some music playing to set the mood can make a big difference. If you all decide to explore instead of staying in, plan ahead and look for fun things to do while high in Denver.
Etiquette Rule #4: Don’t Pressure Your Guests
Whether it’s trying to get someone to take a first-time dab or even a big bong rip that they wouldn’t otherwise take, never pressure someone into doing something they don’t want to do. Sure, it can be funny to watch somebody come close to death from the coughing fit that ensues after a big hit. But it can also have negative results like fainting or vomiting. Not so funny.
Cannabis is a wondrous plant with a variety of effects — none of which should be taken lightly. If somebody says no to another hit, don’t be that jerk that embarrasses them to the point that they feel obligated. Just don’t be a dick.
Etiquette Rule #5: Know What You’re Smoking
We are past the point where people will smoke anything as long as it’s weed. With all the new technology and product labeling in the legal cannabis world today, standards are higher. You should always know the strain, concentrate, or edible you are consuming.
Don’t be sneaky. If you decide to surprise your friends with some tasty gummies you just picked up, let them know they are infused. The last thing you want is somebody eating a handful thinking they are just candy, only to find them passed out on the bathroom floor an hour later
When it comes to regular flower, the details given at your local dispensary should be plenty. From THC to CBD and CBN, the labeling on strains tells you everything you need to know. If you’re going to a dispensary for the first time, pay attention to THC, as the higher the percentage, the more potent it is. It may also help to know specific weed measurements so that you can pick up the right amount for your smoke circle.
Etiquette Rule #6: Be Prepared to Share
It’s standard and expected for everybody to contribute to a private smoke circle. But when you are at large and decide to whip out a joint, you must accept responsibility for the smoke circle that will inevitably form around you.
If there is one thing I have learned in my experience, it is that a cannabis lover will smell it across the room and seek out the source. Unless you intend to go hide somewhere to smoke alone in peace, always expect to share with a couple other people.
The cannabis community is generous and kind, and you can almost always expect the favor to be repaid eventually. And if not, at least you get the good karma.
The Puff Puff Pass Principle: Have Fun and Relax!
You have two options when it comes to a smoke circle and its rules. You can stress about the rules and yell at anybody who passes to the right. Or you can just enjoy the experience and hope for a nice long high.
The tradition of the smoke circle isn’t about rules and regulations. It’s about coming together as a group of friends and enjoying each other’s company while celebrating the greatest plant on earth. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the good company of friends while you proceed to get super baked!