Overview of Cannabis Etiquette 101

February 07, 2023

Cannabis consumption has always had a social element to it, whether it was used for religious practices or community interaction. While cannabis has grown in popularity, certain unspoken rules have developed with it. As marijuana continues to be legalized around the country, and more cannabis enthusiasts are able to explore their love of bud, it’s important to be aware of these rules and follow a certain cannabis etiquette.

What is Cannabis Etiquette?

Marijuana etiquette refers to the rules of polite cannabis society that we should all follow when consuming marijuana with friends or around others. There are some nuances to these rules, but in general, be respectful to other cannabis enthusiasts around you, don’t be stingy with your supply, and don’t push anyone into consuming green that they don’t want. Let’s dive into the details of…

Marijuana Etiquette 101

One of the best things about the cannabis community is that it is generally full of likable people who enjoy partaking together. To honor this tradition, and to ensure people invite you back, follow these smoke sesh rules:

1. Pick the Right Location

Whether you are at a friend’s house or a party, choosing the right spot is key to being respectful and not bothering others. If you are unsure of how comfortable people around you are with cannabis, try to find a private spot. Head to the backyard or another room so you don’t offend anyone with the smoke and odor.

You also need to make sure that you find a place where it is legal to consume cannabis. In Colorado, you can legally consume cannabis on private property. It’s also legal to consume cannabis in the designated consumption area at a retail marijuana hospitality business.

Make sure that the spot is safe and calm. There’s nothing worse than getting too intoxicated in a place you don’t feel safe. Make sure you feel comfortable with the group of people you are with to ensure you have a pleasant experience.

2. Be Ready to Share

If you’re invited to a gathering that’s specifically cannabis-focused with adults 21 or older, it’s nice to bring some of your own favorite products along. This may feel like a simple courtesy to you (and a reason to enjoy your favorite flower from your latest dispensary visit), but it will mean a lot to your host and the other people joining you.

If you’re joining a group of cannabis enthusiasts but don’t have any green to bring along with you, offer a little bit of money to chip in for the cost of the cannabis that is provided. 

3. Keep Accessories Clean

This one is probably obvious, but you should never show up with unclean tools. No one wants to share a dubious-stained water pipe or a resin-crusted hand pipe. Give anything you plan to share with others a good scrub before you head out.

The less obvious (to some people) part of this rule is that you should avoid sharing if you aren’t feeling great. You might think it’s just allergies or something simple, but the last thing you want to be is the person that got everyone sick after the get together.

4. Be Transparent

Always be transparent and honest about your cannabis. Know the strain and the THC and CBD levels, and be able to answer questions about your product if anyone interested in partaking asks. This is true whether you’re sharing flower, concentrates, edibles, or any other product. This universal rule is key to everyone having a good time at any party—regardless of whether cannabis is served or not.

5. Pass to the Left

There are a lot of theories as to where the idea of passing to the left came from. In general, when enjoying something with a group of people, be it cannabis or a holiday meal, you pass everything in one direction—so it makes sense that cannabis follows the same principles. Still, some cannabis enthusiasts insist the “pass to the left” adage is directly related to Rastafarian rituals that see the chalice—or pipe—passed to the left. Others swear cannabis is passed to the left because that was an old tradition among sailors to pass the port to the left.

Whatever the origin of the theory, follow the puff-puff-pass-to-the-left rule—and be sure to ash before you pass if enjoying a “joint” or pre-roll.

6. Don’t Blow Smoke in Someone’s Face

Hopefully, you’re not learning this smoking etiquette rule for the first time here. You should never blow smoke in someone’s face, whether it’s a joke or otherwise.

7. No Peer Pressure

Just because you’re at a cannabis-friendly gathering, doesn’t mean that everyone there is interested in partaking. Before consuming your cannabis (especially if using a pipe or vaporizer), check with everyone to make sure they don’t mind if you consume. If they do mind, pop into a different room or outside.

Also, if you’re consuming cannabis and try to pass to the next person, only offer once. If they say “no,” move on to the next person. It’s easy to be a considerate cannabis enthusiast.

8. Chip In

We mentioned this above, but it’s always nice to chip in a few bucks if you don’t have any cannabis to contribute. Some hosts also appreciate it when you bring snacks or beverages. Chipping in isn’t just a polite kindness, it’s a show of respect to your host.

9. Know Your Limit

Be aware of how much you’ve indulged versus your typical tolerance levels—especially if you’re trying a new marijuana product. If you’re someone who only smokes flower, you may be surprised at how quickly you can be intoxicated with a concentrate. If you’ve already consumed an edible, wait until you feel the effects before you consume any more. These tips will help you enjoy your time without embarrassing yourself.

10. Keep It Positive

Come into the circle with a friendly attitude and keep it that way. Everyone wants to feel welcome and relaxed while they enjoy cannabis, so make sure to stay on positive conversation topics. Bringing the mood down can make people feel uneasy when they are intoxicated, and they might not want to partake with you again. So keep it positive and help everyone enjoy the experience!

Answering Cannabis Etiquette FAQs

Following good cannabis etiquette is easy—especially when you know the answers to questions like these:

Do you pass a pre-roll to the left or right?
The general rule of thumb for marijuana smoking etiquette is to pass to the left—just make sure you ash first. 

What should i bring to a smoke session?
There are a variety of ways you can contribute to a cannabis gathering. Of course, you can bring cannabis, but you can also bring food, beverages, music to play, backyard games, and more. Think of it like a picnic or barbeque—with cannabis—and contribute in ways that make sense with your friends and/or family.

How many times should i hit a pre-roll before passing it?
Ever hear the phrase “puff-puff-pass”? You should consume no more than twice from a pre-roll before passing it to the left.

Understanding Cannabis Etiquette

If you are ever unsure about anything, don’t be afraid to ask. The cannabis community is usually filled with compassionate folks who want to help others learn. People will appreciate your question because it shows you care and are making an effort to be a polite and courteous cannabis consumer.
Of course, if you’re looking for something to share at your next cannabis outing with friends, be sure to head over to one of our marijuana dispensaries. Our budtenders are experts at helping you find the right product for you.

Use of Marijuana Concentrate may lead to: Psychotic symptoms and/or Psychotic disorder (delusions, hallucinations, or difficulty distinguishing reality); Mental Health Symptoms/Problems; Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) (uncontrolled and repetitive vomiting); Cannabis use disorder/dependence, including physical and psychological dependence.   Please consume responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.  State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.

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