Depending on your personal, you can choose to smoke (or inhale) weed through a bong or a vape pen, consume edibles or lather your skin with full cannabis extract, a type of oil or concentrate. Sometimes though, nothing beats a joint. Which raises another question.
To roach, or not to roach. And it’s a question that continues to divide among casual smokers and cannasseurs alike. The act of filtering a cannabis joint is an absolute necessity to some and sacrilege to others. But should it come down to personal preference, or are there stronger pros and cons to the argument than that? A joint filter (a.k.a. a crutch, and in some places, a roach – although others argue the roach is merely the mouthpiece end of an unfiltered spliff) can make a big difference to your smoking experience, but purists argue filtering isn’t necessary.
While some may worry that certain filters filter out tiny molecules, such as THC or CBD, this depends on the type of joint tips used. Let’s look at why you might want to put filters at the end of the paper.
Filtering Your Joint is Less Harmful
If you don’t filter your joints, you will get a much harsher inhale. You’re dealing with a burning object here, and when the smoke hits your lungs, chances are they’ll protest loudly. You’ve seen movies where someone takes a hit and immediately hacks that hard cough – you’ve probably even experienced it yourself. It’s unpleasant and kicks you deep in the chest. If you filter your joints, that harshness is immediately reduced – and you want to give your lungs and you don’t filter your joints and smoke it raw, you get a much harsher inhale.
You’re dealing with a burning object here, and when the smoke hits your lungs, chances are they’ll protest loudly. You’ve seen movies where someone takes a hit and immediately hacks that hard cough – you’ve probably even experienced it yourself. It’s unpleasant and kicks you deep in the chest. If you filter your joints, that harshness is immediately reduced – and you want to give your lungs any protection you can, right? Smoking cannabis should only be a pleasurable experience, never a painful one. This alone is reason enough to filter your joints – but there’s more.
Filtering Your Joint Stops Stuff Coming Through
If you’re someone who usually filters their joint and have been caught short with no material to make so much as an impromptu filter – or, you’ve been smoking in company and accepted a pass of an unfiltered spliff, you’ve possibly experienced the misery of loose herb, or even tobacco, in your mouth at some point. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s pretty unpleasant. A filter stops that from happening.
Using a Filter is Better for the Joint Overall
Filtering helps the joint keep its integrity. Whether you smoke alone or you pass, the end that goes in your mouth will get nipped over and probably somewhat soggy, leading to tighter, more difficult, and frankly, wetter and more disgusting puffs.
While there are dozens of joint rolling methods and numerous ways and means of filtering a joint, it can be argued that a filter helps the rolling process by giving you a solid cylindrical shape to work from when rolling, streamlining the joint and ensuring one less end for weed to potentially escape from. Master rollers will disagree, of course.
Filtering Joints Reduces Risk of Burning and Helps the Airflow
You can smoke the whole joint without burning your lips or fingers. A filter gives you something to hold and keeps the burning material safely away from your mouth until you’ve smoked down to the filter. Speaking of burning, filtering a joint improves the airflow, making it burn better and giving a better and more even flow of smoke thanks to the holes at either end of the filter. You won’t have to suck furiously on the thing just to get a decent draw.
Filtering Joints is More Hygienic
It’s more hygienic as the filter is solid and won’t get covered in soggy saliva (I know, it’s a disgusting thought, but I had to go there). We’ve all got that one friend who has no control and ends up slobbering all over the end of the joint – that guy becomes known as ‘Last-pass Larry’, and he has to wait until everyone’s had a hit before being handed the dying embers.
How To Filter Your Joints Step by Step
You can simply take a small piece of card, like a business card, and roll it over and over in an accordion shape to make a filter that will pop nicely into one end of your joint. It’s free and easy, and some packs of rolling papers even include perforated strips of card ready for you to easily nip off for this purpose. It’s a great bonus when to get along with your papers.
As with rolling joints, some people are just artists and take filter-making to the next level. A quick search on YouTube will lead you to some fancy-looking homemade filters, from the easy to the advanced, almost like origami. Is there any difference in the effect of these?
They all do pretty much the same essential job, and it’s up to you whether you want to master them or not. As with every aspect of smoking, there’s also a decent market for manufactured filters, which are available in many designs. You have plenty of options in terms of materials, price, and benefits if you want to go down that road – and many people do. If you’ve never used these kinds of filters, it’s worth your while trying a couple of different sorts to see how it can improve your smoking experience.
You can choose from a host of materials, including glass, ceramic, cotton, paper, silicon, and even corn husk – with the latter type offering the benefit of cooling down the smoke with every inhale and available in varying flavours to boot. All of that being said, it doesn’t matter how well rolled your joint is if your cannabis strain isn’t worth it!
If You Don’t Filter Your Joints
That’s okay – you do you. The beauty of smoking is that everyone has their preferences and methods.
Going filterless is a hardcore approach, and one with its challenges. It’s got health implications, for one, and everything mentioned above. Some people quite simply won’t have it any other way, however, and that’s fine. If you do go down the filterless route, it’s best to get a roach clip to hold the end of the joint without burning yourself. The non-filtering smokers will tell you there’s no need for a filter if you know how to roll a joint properly, and if you know how to smoke properly – meaning you shouldn’t be sucking the joint so much it gets soaked. Ultimately, though? Protecting your health and your lungs is the main reason why you should filter your joints.
Next week we’ll discuss the pros and cons of different types of filters, like glass filter tips, using a cigarette filter and pre-rolled filters. We’ll compare filtered joints to vaporizers and get into detail on different rolling tips for the perfect joint. Stay tuned!