Last week, we asked our readers to vote on the best way to get high. We created a March Madness-style bracket with 32 ways to ingest weed—everything from suppositories to bongs—and we have a winner.
Bongs are fun, dabbing is a wild ride, vaping is classy and scentless, and weed capsules are the future. But nothing could beat the iconic joint.
As somebody who enjoys weed on occasion, I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome. This is further evidence for my theory that VICE has the smartest readers of all the websites.
There's something comforting about the warm feeling in your lungs right after you hit a J. Unlike spliffs, which people who don't smoke cigarettes tend to detest, you can share a joint with whomstever. Unlike blunts, there is no thick taste of flavored cigar papers. (Something I kinda enjoy, but I know isn't everyone's cup of tea.) A bowl has to be constantly repacked. Bongs are big and imposing and intimidating to non-stoners. Also, there's no graceful way to take a bong hit. You can look sexy while hitting a J, or you can have a disaster of a coughing fit. The joint is beautiful in its versatility.
The joint, unlike the edible, does not give you an anxiety-filled couple hours of wondering if you took too much or not enough. Take a hit and the high hits you immediately—you know what you're getting as soon as you smoke it—and maybe it's my millennial attention span, but the instant results are a key reason the joint reigns supreme over edibles.
Unlike dabbing, which also involves an incredible amount of work and expensive materials, joints can get you high without getting you too high. But then again, everyone has a different experience. A friend of mine recently told me, "A joint is like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat and that's what I like about it."
You can roll a small joint for the Stoner's Nightcap™ (trademarked by me, right now), or a big, fat J for a group hang. If you're one of those extremely fancy rolling experts you can turn joints into flowers or crosses or airplanes or Starbucks cups or a fish or a giraffe or a shark. If you are 17 and looking to impress, you can roll a joint out of a Bible page because you think it's edgy.
But most of us are happy to roll simple joints that require no introduction, even to the absolute weed newbie. A teenager can smoke a joint; so can a grandmother. You can smoke one walking down the street and toss it on the ground and leave no trace beyond a smell.
"You can smoke a whole joint and still have a hit or two for later," VICE staff writer Emerson Rosenthal said when I asked people to talk about joints to me. "Also, it's a great way for regularly useless people to suddenly become invaluable. If you can roll a really great joint, you're in the crew. I know friendless people who have made friends through their ability to roll a joint."
Vapes and increasingly outlandish types of edibles are growing in popularity, and by the time you finish reading this there will likely be a new way to get high, some new crystalline compound with a slightly purer percentage of THC, but the joint, an undeniably analogue method, is still number one. The joint is beautiful in its unpretentiousness—all you need to make one is some paper and some bud.
According to one of VICE's resident weed experts (and Noisey social media editor), Trey Smith, a joint is "one of the most convenient and easy-to-share methods of consuming weed. You learn more about the weed you smoke through a joint than probably any other smoking medium. It's got everything, folks. Congrats to weed in general for all it's accomplished over the years."
"Spliff should've won, but joint is the next worthiest winner so congrats to joint," Smith added. Even weed experts can be wrong.
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