History of Blunts

Anyone who’s enjoyed a puff and pass in the last few decades has heard about or experienced a blunt. It’s an enduring symbol of cannabis culture filled with folklore, tall tales, and a lot of great songs. 

But what exactly is a blunt? Traditionally, it’s an oversize joint filled with weed and wrapped in cigar paper. This, however, has changed in recent years as cannabis brands are finding ways to make safer, smoother blunts that don’t contain any harmful or addictive tobacco products. We recently joined the movement with our own line of blunts, which you can check out here.

In the meantime, we want to take a quick dive into the history of the sacred blunt. It’s vibrant, colorful, and filled with many fun stories for you to share with your buds the next time you’re enjoying some Old Pal flower. So read on and get buzzed on the history of blunts.

From the Silk Road to the Caribbean  

To start, we must take a quick dive into the origin of cannabis to understand the blunt. Although archaeological studies have found that cannabis plants had been cultivated for thousands of years before this, around the fifth century B.C. is when cultures in Central Asia began burning cannabis as incense.  

As the world grew more connected, cannabis proved itself to be an incredibly useful and enjoyable plant. Basically, it became a commodity like tea and spice. Travelers spread it via the Silk Road and other trade routes to other parts of Asia, Europe, and the rest of the world. 

Eastern India was notable among these trade destinations, as it was home to many indentured servants that were eventually sent to the Caribbean as workers. According to Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana, these captive folks brought cannabis with them to the Caribbean in the 1800s. 

Fun fact: people in the Caribbean adopted the Hindi term “ganja,” which translates to “hemp” in English. Thanks to them, “ganja” has become a vital part of our cherished cannabis vernacular to this day.

It’s unclear exactly why blunts became so popular in the Caribbean, but there are a few cloudy theories. One suggests blunts became popular out of necessity because pipes, bongs, and rolling papers simply weren’t available. Of the many crops grown in the Caribbean, tobacco was easily one of the most prevalent, and therefore tobacco leaves were easier and cheaper to get a hold of than pipes or rolling papers. 

Another theory suggests Caribbean people liked cigar wrappers because of the strong smell they emitted, which helped disguise the smell of weed (which was questionably legal-ish at the time).

The third theory comes down to simple science: a big fat blunt lets more people smoke more weed at once. Honestly, if you’ve ever smoked a blunt alone or with just a few people, you know this is true. More weed, more potency, and way more fun. Catch our full guide on how to roll a blunt and you’ll be a pro in no time.

And while these Caribbean origins are fun to hypothesize about, the blunt’s iconic imagery and impact was many, many years out. It wouldn’t be until the 80’s and 90’s that the blunt would lift itself up the cannabis ladder to become a cultural norm in the U.S., in particular New York City.

Blunts, Rhythms, and Life

During the mid 80s and early 90s, the U.S. saw an influx of people immigrating from the Caribbean–including Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and Jamaicans. Many of which landed in New York City, bringing with them their beautiful cannabis culture and traditions. And it was around that time, the first modern “American” blunt was rolled and smoked. While it’s unclear who rolled that first blunt, it’s impossible to deny the impact it had on cannabis lovers everywhere–in particular, rap and hip-hop culture. Since that time, music and blunts have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship that’s unlike any other cannabis offering.

So who started the blunt revolution? Some might argue the initial surge in popularity began with Big Daddy Kane, the Brooklyn-based rapper whose 1988 album long live the kane features a song called “Raw,” with the line: 

“Try to front, perpetrating a stunt. When you know that I’ll smoke you up like a blunt.”

That same year, Compton rapper King T drops an album called Act a Fool with a song called “Flirt” that includes the line:

“I diss a stunt after smokin’ a blunt. Catch a real fly girl cause they think I’m a hunk.”

And the references to blunts in rap continued onward, with artists like Biz Markie, A Tribe Called Quest, Redman, and many more rapping about blunts and smoking pot. Oh, and let’s not forget Snoop Dogg, who (according to folklore) was given his first blunt from Tupac Shakur at the Poetic Justice wrap party. It should be noted that Snoop himself says the Geto Boys rapper Bushwick Bill was the first person to introduce him to the blunt. Whichever is true, they’re both great stoner tales that attribute to the mythic wonder of blunts and music.

Blunts in Suburbia and Hollywood

As the 90s rolled on, rappers continued to push blunts and weed culture through their songs and lifestyles, reaching the suburban outposts of America they probably never thought possible (then again, maybe they did!). Head shops start popping up selling blunts, blunt wraps, pipes, and bongs–and yes, those blacklight posters we still love so much. Brands like Daddy Rabbit and Wild Willie start cropping up to compete with big companies like Swisher Sweets, Backwoods, Dutch Masters, and Phillies with flavored offerings. As the reach expanded, so did the unique flavor around each region, with cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles creating distinctive blunt styles that stood out with unique wrap-and-weed combos that were equivalent to wearing your favorite team colors. It was a badge of honor drenched in a gloriously thick cloud of smoke.

In the 2000s, blunts jumped from the headphones to the big screen, as movies like How High with Redman and Method Man incorporate a bevy of blunt smoking with all the stoner laughter you could ask for. In fact, they probably smoke more blunts in that film than many of us will enjoy in a lifetime. 

The Blunt Goes Mainstream

As we rolled further into the 2000s, the blunt grew in popularity with stoners everywhere–in particular teenagers and people in their 20’s and early 30’s. An academic study titled “Bongs and Blunts: Notes from a Suburban Marijuana Subculture” found that many see the blunt as a “more labor-intensive to roll, but more relaxing once the process of smoking has begun.” If you’ve ever had to wait for a friend to roll a blunt, you know how methodical the process can be, but for many of us the reward is worth the wait.

The Pre-Roll Revolution

While we think it’s pretty cool that Snoop employs a full-time blunt roller, we here at Old Pal wanted to find a way to give you all the joys of a high-quality blunt without the tedious rolling process (or harmful tobacco). Our line of 2g blunts provide a full-bodied, long-lasting experience that’s both potent and delicious, filled with nothing but Old Pal’s finest flower. Wrapped with the highest-quality hemp paper, our blunts are perfect for hangs with friends or epic stoner solo sessions with your favorite blunt-inspired tracks. Check out the full range now and enjoy being part of a new stoner history.

Available in Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid

Whatever your vibe, our pre-rolls have you covered – whether you’re chilling with Hybrid, energizing with Sativa, or embracing the blissful euphoria of Indica. Welcome to the shareable revolution with Old Pal pre-rolls.

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