Don't Bogart That Preroll! A Beginner's Guide to Smoking Etiquette

07 October, 2022
Don't Bogart That Preroll! A Beginner's Guide to Smoking Etiquette

Entering the world of cannabis for the first time can be rather intimidating. Perhaps you've always felt like the odd one out in your friend group, sitting outside the circle as your peers pass the pipe or preroll. Well, times are changing, and you're finally ready to take a puff yourself. But because you've been observing on the outside for so long, you may be a bit nervous to smoke socially. After all, you haven't had the experience yet. How do you make sure you're not committing a smoking faux pas? Well, don't you worry, because that's why we're here. This is what you need to know about smoking etiquette.

Respecting the Circle

Proper smoking protocol can be subjective to a degree, but there are general guidelines you want to adhere to. For starters, the person who brings the cannabis is generally considered the leader of the group. That person should be the one making the hard decisions, like who gets to smoke after them, the amount of consumption that will take place, and how the product will be smoked. If others in the collective bring necessary tools like paper, a pipe, or a grinder, responsibilities can be divvied up between those who are contributing to the group effort.

When consuming from a bowl, the quality of a product degrades every time someone inhales. Because of this, those who bring the cannabis and the means to smoke it should go first. If a new pipe or bowl is used, the owner might get first dibs over the one who brought the flower. Those who are in charge may decide to defer the inaugural puff to another member of the circle. If you wind up with that honor, you would earn major bonus points by surrendering it to someone else in the group. After all, cannabis consumption is all about community, and you want to be considerate to your community members.

You should always honor the circle. Understand that it's tradition to hand the product to whoever is on your left so that each person gets their fair share. Why's that? It's just an easy way to keep track of distribution. If your neighbor to the left is finished, you can pass it to the person to their left.

When handing it off, don't forget to make sure you pass the lighter over along with the cannabis. And as a courtesy to the host, shake excess ash into an ashtray, plate, or another empty container before sending the cannabis down the circle.

What if someone sitting to your left doesn't want to join in? If this happens, respect that it's their right to abstain. All are welcome in the circle, including those who don't consume cannabis. If anyone turns down a puff, you shouldn't question their reasoning or try to convince them otherwise. They have their reasons and that's good enough. 


Lighting It Up

When your time comes, your approach will depend on the device. If you're smoking from a pipe, only light up a small amount of the cannabis so you don't burn all the contents. To do so, hold the flame over a corner of the packed flower and avoid the center.

If the group is smoking a preroll, grab it by the end and not the segment containing the cannabis, or else it could tear. To get the ball rolling, ignite the lighter, carefully hold the end into the flame, and rotate it in order to achieve an even burn. When the preroll has an orange glow, you have what is known as a "cherry." From there, you can keep it burning by inhaling. As the cherry diminishes, you can light it up again, though you don't want to breathe in while the lighter is doing its thing. If yours is the last significant puff and the cannabis is all burned out, do the group a favor and put it out. 


Inhale, Exhale

When consuming from a pipe, you'll want to light it up and inhale once. You may breathe it in one more time if the cannabis is still burning after that first go, but beyond that, you should pass it along. For prerolls, you can take in the smoke two to three times before passing it to your neighbor. It's all about ensuring there's enough quality product remaining for each person to equally enjoy. 

Speaking of ensuring everyone gets their fair share, your time to smoke is not a time to chat. You want to keep things moving so that the product doesn't burn out. As soon as you're up to bat, put your story on pause and get your fill so you are handing it off in a timely manner. You can resume telling everyone about the time Dave found that cat in his kitchen after.

Now what about exhaling? Well, nobody likes smoke in their face, right? This is why you either tilt your head up or down to let out the smoke.


And Finally...

Be sure to keep community in mind when smoking with others. Because you are joining a smoking circle, you're enjoying the benefits of cannabis for free and out of the kindness of someone's heart. The day will come when it's your turn to supply the cannabis, and when that day comes, you'll want to invite all of your friends to share. Also, it's a nice gesture to keep the first person who shared with you in mind and make sure they get an invite.

There may come a time when you're leading the circle. In such a scenario, new members could join who are where you are now. Should this happen, you'll want to guide those newcomers and ensure their experience is as comfortable as possible.

If you're summoning friends for a smoking session, creating the right mood is a great way to make everyone feel welcome. This is achieved with a mellow playlist, plenty of room to stretch out, and lots of tasty snacks at the ready.

In the meantime, don't be afraid to ask for guidance! We're all friends here, and if you're new, no one will think any less of you. A seasoned member of the group will happily offer pointers so your first shared smoking experience will be a positive one.

Now that you've had a quick rundown on proper smoking etiquette, you're ready to jump in, puff puff pass, and enjoy the ride.