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Don’t Bogart that Joint! The Social Norms of Toking

Published: January 31, 2024

Whether you’re a seasoned cannabis enthusiast or just dipping your toes into the world of legalized cannabis toking (inhaling), it’s essential to understand the unwritten and sometimes unspoken rules that govern the social dynamics of smoking weed. Just like any social activity, there are norms and etiquettes that, when followed, can help you avoid awkward moments and strengthen your bonds with your toking buddies. 

In addition to making sure you follow the rules of smoking weed with your buddies, there is an additional layer of laws that you must be aware of before embarking on a cannabis journey anywhere! Recreational, adult-use cannabis is NOT legal at the federal level, and not every state has made it legal. So before you get started, make sure you know your state’s cannabis laws. 

How to Smoke Weed: The Art of Sharing

Human beings have been smoking cannabis for more than 25,000 years. In that time, we have used cannabis and hemp for rope and material, for medicinal purposes, and for spiritual rituals. Even before the terms we currently use were invented, sharing the peace pipe had numerous unspoken rules that communities developed and used to share this cultural experience.

Weed Culture & The Puff, Puff, Pass

When sharing a joint, pipe, or vaporizer, the cardinal rule is “puff, puff, pass.” This time-honored ritual ensures everyone gets a fair chance to partake without monopolizing the session. Take two gentle puffs and then pass the smoking implement to the person beside you. This practice keeps the session flowing smoothly and evenly, ensuring everyone enjoys their fair share of the high. This rule is kind of an unspoken generality that everyone seems to know. Occasionally a newbie comes along and gets a gentle nudge to pass the joint, but they catch on quickly.

When Smoking a Joint, Respect the Rotation

When it comes to the rules of smoking weed, maintaining a rotation is crucial to the social balance of a toking session. If you hold onto the joint or the smoking device for an extended period, you might unintentionally signal that you’re not adhering to the group’s rhythm. Always be mindful of the pace and pass the joint promptly to the left or right, as established by your group’s tradition. Plus, it’s just uncool to hold the group up. Getting distracted easily while high is common, and sometimes people genuinely forget to pass the pipe or joint. On the first infraction, it’s totally acceptable to tell that person to wake up and hit it or pass it.

Rules of Smoking Weed: Read the Room

Again, there are many variables regarding what is acceptable socially and what is legal where you are located! The state’s stance on legalized recreational cannabis will dictate whether you can smoke or not, but it’s absolutely essential to find out every detail for the state you live in. This will not only spare you social embarrassment but also save you from possible legal repercussions like a misdemeanor or even a felony offense in some states. Know the rules of any room or place you decide to go before you arrive!

Toke or Not to Toke: Gauging Interest

Like any social gathering, not everyone is in the mood to partake. Always be observant and respectful of the cues your friends are giving. If someone declines when offered the joint, keep them from joining. Likewise, a simple “no, thank you” suffices if you’re declining – there’s no need for elaborate explanations.

Smoking Etiquette: Cannabis Conversations

Cannabis conversations are often a significant part of toking sessions. Engage in topics that interest the group, but be mindful of your tone and volume. Avoid dominating the conversation or launching a heavy debate that might kill the relaxed vibe. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the experience together.

Sharing Supplies and Gratitude

Pre-rolled joints, or pre-rolls, are great for taking to a social gathering. They are self-contained with everything needed for a good time among friends, plus there is nothing to accidentally leave behind, such as a beloved pipe or your favorite bong.

If you choose to bring a pipe, bong, or dab rig, allow it to circulate equally and clean it properly between each person. 

BYOB: Bring Your Own Bud

When joining a toking session, it’s generally appreciated if you contribute to the stash. Bringing your own weed ensures enough to go around and takes the burden off a single individual. It’s a small gesture showing respect for your toking buddies’ efforts to organize the session.

The Art of Gratitude

Expressing gratitude is always a good practice, and toking sessions are no exception. A simple “thank you” after passing the joint or sharing a laugh can create a positive atmosphere. Acknowledging the efforts of the host or the person who rolled the joint shows that you value their contributions to the group.

Minding the Environment

Every social situation is unique, so make sure you are aware of the vibe of the environment before you go. For example, it might be a friend’s house who loves listening to heavy metal and loud guitars when they smoke cannabis, or likewise, perhaps it’s a group of mature individuals who prefer a quiet experience. Either way, you gotta know the vibe before you go. If the toking opportunity is not a good fit for you, it’s okay to sit it out! 

Location, Location, Relaxation

Selecting the right setting for your toking session ensures a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Whether you’re gathering with friends in a cozy living room or venturing into the great outdoors, the ambiance you create sets the tone for the entire session.

When opting for a private space, it’s essential to prioritize the comfort and safety of all participants. Take a moment to arrange seating that encourages easy conversation and relaxation. Dimmed lighting, comfortable cushions, and soothing background music can elevate the atmosphere, making it conducive to open discussions and shared laughter.

If you choose to take your toking adventure outdoors, respect local laws and regulations governing cannabis consumption. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in a public space, and keep noise levels in check to avoid drawing unnecessary attention. Opting for a more secluded spot can provide privacy, allowing everyone to feel at ease while embracing the natural beauty around them.

Cleanup: Leaving No Trace

Being a responsible toking buddy extends beyond the session and into the aftermath. As the session draws close, be sure to make the space as pristine as you found it. Properly disposing of trash, whether rolling papers, snack wrappers, or empty containers, demonstrates a shared commitment to respecting the environment and the space you’ve enjoyed.

Moreover, ensure that all smoking implements are fully extinguished before departing. Safety is paramount; a thorough check to ensure nothing is smoldering or poses a potential hazard goes a long way. By cleaning up after yourself, you’re showing consideration for the environment and leaving a positive impression on those who may encounter the space after you’ve moved on.

Toking is a social activity that thrives on mutual respect, shared experiences, and camaraderie. By mastering the unspoken rules and social norms of smoking weed, you can contribute to enjoyable and harmonious toking sessions. Remember to maintain the puff, puff, pass ritual, read the room, share your supplies, express gratitude, and be considerate of your environment. 

One of the best ways to observe the rules of smoking cannabis and make sure you maintain positive smoking etiquette practices is to plan your own sessions at home. It’s safer and more intimate, and no one has to worry about driving or going anywhere. 

Call a smoke sesh, order some amazing top-shelf cannabis from a delivery company like Doobie, and sit back and relax. The pros at Doobie will bring the party right to you. 

Find out if Doobie delivers to you at If so, get a recommendation and have your questions answered at Doobie’s Cannabis Concierge at (888) 8DOOBIE. Happy, safe toking to you!

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