Blunt advice

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

The whole blunt-wrap and flavored-paper industry is getting kind of crazy. You into it?

—Bob the Blunter

First, let me point out that mixing weed and tobacco is nothing new. In Europe, most people smoke their cannabis with a little (or a lot) of tobacco mixed into it. When I first went to Amsterdam, the Dutch people looked at me like I was crazy for smoking a “pure” spliff. I thought they were crazy for ruining perfectly good weed with nasty-ass schwag tobacco. Times have changed. More Dutch folks are smoking pure, and I am down to twist up a hash-and-tobacco doobie every now and again. The buzz from mixing THC and nicotine can be powerful, indeed.

When blunts first started showing up in the early 1990s, it made everyone feel so gangster and cool. B-Real from the rap group Cypress Hill was on the cover of High Times magazine with a fat blunt in his mouth and a how-to pictorial. Back then, the big debate was whether or not White Owls were better than Phillies for blunt rolling.

Now, it seems like everyone is in on the blunt-wrap act. Zig-Zag has a line of wraps, Snoop Dogg has his own line of wraps. Royal Blunts, Phillies and White Owls are still around, and the list goes on.

But why use a flavored blunt wrap, anyway? If you are smoking terrible-tasting weed, I guess a flavored blunt wrap could help, but why sully the flavor of a premium strain by putting a bunch of artificial flavors in the mix? I quote a dude I met at a pick-up basketball game when someone suggested we use a flavored wrap for the post-game blunt: “Why? Weed already has flavor.”

And in case you haven’t heard, tobacco is not good for you. And nicotine is far more addictive than weed. I have a friend that gives me a hard time for smoking cigarettes, but he smokes three to five blunts a day. We probably each consume about the same amount of nicotine, but I’m the ass? Hardly. No one really knows if mixing weed and tobacco is better or worse for you, healthwise. Probably better for tobacco smokers that add a little weed, but worse for weed smokers that start using tobacco.

Plus, I wonder about the flavoring agents used in blunt wraps and flavored papers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate the additives used to flavor blunt wraps, although I’m sure tobacco companies would never place a person’s health in jeopardy by selling them something that could have a detrimental effect on their well-being, right?

I would suggest not using tobacco at all, even though that suggestion makes me a hypocrite. I live by the motto: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” So, I would say cut down on the blunt use, and leave flavored papers alone. But if you do twist up a Zig-Zag cherry-flavored blunt, call me, and I will bring my hypocritical ass over to help you smoke it.