Cannabis Culture: The History Of The Joint
4 min

Cannabis Culture: The History Of The Joint

4 min

Smoking cannabis has a long history. Now learn about of one of weed’s darlings, the joint.

Every toker has his or her own story of learning to smoke green. The smoking apparatus scavenged out of plastic bottles and tinfoil … the first bong rip and wondering if you’re doing it right. Friends and music, camping out and staying in, learning who you were and how you smoke.

Somewhere in that story, for most weed aficionados, is the creation of their first joint. It is etched into the history of every smoker’s experience with green.

Wrapped up in enjoying a good smoke, it’s easy to forget that cannabis has a dank history of its own. Even the instruments we use to toke our fine herb have their own backgrounds. It’s time to learn about one of a cannabis connoisseur’s favorite things to smoke … the joint.


Brief History Of Cannabis | Traditional Smoking Intruments

The joint was not among the original methods for cannabis consumption. History shows that marijuana was primarily smoked through pipes and hookahs.

All the way back to 2700 BCE, cannabis has been used for medicinal properties and mystic qualities across the world.

  • India: It is likely people in India used cannabis as early as 2000 BCE. It is associated with Lord Shiva and remains popular during certain religious festivals.

  • Ancient Greece: Hemp was noted primarily for its medical value in ancient Greece, though historians and poets acknowledge recreational use there as early as the 5th century BCE.

  • Asia and Africa: China documents using marijuana as an anesthetic in 200 CE. Medieval Arabia debated the benefits of eating hash back in 1200. Marco Polo reported assassins using hashish, and Ethiopian pipes held marijuana in them as far back as the 1300s.

  • Americas and Europe: In the 18th and 19th century, hemp plantations proliferated in Europe and across the Americas. While it remains unclear how much of that Cannabis sativa was for recreational use, there is strong documentation of hashish and marijuana being smoked by Napoleonic soldiers in Egypt and them bringing it back to France.

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Joint Popularity

The first recorded use of the joint is around 1850 in Mexico. A pharmacist at the University of Guadalajara found that workers in the fields were mixing marijuana with tobacco in their cigarettes. At the same time, a publication in "The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal" suggested a treatment for respiratory problems. They thought mixing cannabis, belladonna and potassium nitrate would allow patients to increase oxygen flow and decrease asthma attacks.

In the 1920s, prohibition of alcohol increased cannabis consumption. Speakeasies were places where people would gather to drink whiskey and listen to jazz. With the increasing popularity of jazz, musicians began touring the country and bringing with them “jazz cigarettes”. Because the legal status of pot was different back then, they would smoke reefer in public and this helped spread the use of joints.

In the 1960s, after marijuana was made illegal, hippies took the joint to a whole new level to make it the staple it is today. They created jewelry and accessories to disguise clips and other paraphernalia; so only fellow tokers would know their smoking habits. Eventually the joint was ensconced in a place of honor, helping shape a lifestyle around marijuana consumption.



What makes the joint such a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the consumption of marijuana? Joint enthusiasts love their rolling papers; it’s what they roll their reefer with that gives the joint its magic. We all know those artists who can roll the best joints; they create masterpieces like crosses, braids, and pitchforks, just to name a few. Or they can create the cleanest classic joints straight or with a filter.

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With the growing popularity of joints, companies began to design a wider selection of rolling papers to appeal to the toker market. Packaging of rolling papers began to be decorated with colorful patterns and pot enthusiast statements. A number of joint connoisseurs have a preference for their wrapping papers to have as little harsh taste as possible. A number of the most popular papers are made with rice, hemp and flax.

Some of the Best Rolling Paper Brands

Juicy Jay’s

Juicy Jay’s papers are flavoured rolling papers designed to enhance the flavours of your herbs. Unlike other similar products, Juicy Jay’s are fully flavoured, not just at the gum strip. Another secret of Juicy Jay’s is that they not only flavour the paper, but also sweeten it for a real supreme taste experience.

Juicy Jay’s papers are available in a plethora of great flavours, which include popular fruit favourites like strawberry, banana, watermelon or cherry, as well as more adventurous flavours like butterscotch, cocoa, tequila, peanut butter, and many more. They always create new flavours, so it’s worth checking out (and tasting!) their assortment. All Juicy Jay’s papers are hand-packed, which adds to an authentic experience, no matter what you like to smoke.


Zamnesia rolling papers offer the smoking connoisseur everything they would expect from premium rolling papers: Our papers are extra thin, have a neutral taste and burn slowly and evenly. Perfect for joints and spliffs, they provide a great smoking experience.

Zamnesia-branded papers are available in two sizes: standard and king, with the king size packs including tips, so you can create your masterpieces right away.

Recently, Zamnesia also added hemp rolling papers to the assortment. They are made from unrefined hemp, burn slowly and won’t go out like rice papers. Smokers love these hemp beauties because they have a slightly sweet hemp flavour that goes perfectly with great cannabis. Zamnesia Hemp Papers are also available unbleached, for an even cleaner and purer smoke. Both varieties of Zamnesia Hemp Papers come with rolling tips included.


RAW have a special place in the hearts of cannabis aficionados due to their reputation for making some of the most popular papers, cones, filters and other smoking accessories. For RAW, it’s all about keeping things as natural as possible and they are considered to have produced the world's first vegan rolling papers.

The Classic RAW Papers are made from pure, unbleached plant fibres and are manufactured without any chemicals. The gum strip is made from natural tree sap. The RAW Organic Hemp Papers are made using organic hemp and the gum strip is also made from organic natural tree sap.

RAW rolling papers are available in various sizes, including 1¼ (which is the size of the first rolling papers ever), single wide, 1½ and king sized slim, plus you can get them with or without tips.

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
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