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Blunt Bling Blight

No-one is more dope than that one friend who rolls woods with their eyes closed. Gusts of wind and downpour are no match for the homie who flicks his wrist and the blunt is ready. Humming and tapping his foot in anticipational joy, he sparks the log right as Nipsy (RIP) begins to reverberate through the circle. But why do Backwoods capture such an allure?

In the media, joints and woods capture most of the attention. Seldom are spliffs mentioned, and when they are, they usually are dissed rather than praised. While frontos sometimes receive the spotlight, the narrative of cannabis complimented by nicotine often falls solely within the backwood brand of leaf-wraps. While inherently different from processed wraps such as Zig Zags, Swishers or Dutchies, Backwoods are not the sole player in the leaf-game. Introductions to the market such as Game’s Leaf line directly compete, if not outperform in regards to “natural” blunt wrap offerings. While a large part in the coming to fame that Backwoods have garnished revolves around its frequent prop-ups within both past and current music, the mass allure of backwoods also stems from their position within the tobacco market as a more natural alternative to accompany your cannabis. While true in the sense that their product consists of tobacco-leaf rather than processed and re-shaped tobacco-pulp, often the bad-ass pleasure of rolling a leaf in combination to its complimenting buzz stops consumers from really thinking further about what Backwoods really are. While tobacco is now known as inherently bad for one's physical health, certain forms are more or less harmful than others. Since the 1950s and through the 70s a vast shift in smoker-tendencies happened wherein non-filtered cigarettes became a thing of the past. And while most smokers now experience tobacco through a filter, reducing carcinogens and potential cardiovascular and respiratory health, backwoods enthusiasts forgo filtration entirely. In addition, certain additives, whether for flavor or to increase the nicotine experience are present in each puff of a wood. However, the allure of woods is there for a reason and the experience is not all bad. I praise the experience for its slow burn and differentiated flavor, while others cant forgo the notorious full-body buzz.  While certainly there are potential health risks, especially compared to rolling papers, water filtration or vaporization, measures can be taken to reduce potential harm. Washing your leafs has become a recent trend, arguably started by Snoop Dogg, known for washing residual matter off his woods, then famously putting them in the microwave to help with the burn. By doing so, I find that the flavor of a wrap is less overpowering and more complimenting of the cannabis and while I also find the nicotine buzz to be far more “light” and “clean”. Many times individuals will feel nauseous from Backwoods. Washing the leaf can remove additives that lend this feeling on users. A more natural leaf on the market to many is the fronto although the rolling process is entirely different, and to some, the lack of being able to roll a wood inherently detracts from the overall consumption experience. Whether you smoke out of a pipe, prefer joints or favor dabs you can acknowledge the wide-spread popularity and acceptance that Backwoods (and to a lesser extent other leaf-wraps) have garnered. I personally love an occasional backwood and use to prefer these more than any other mode of smoking. However, as silly as it may sound, many forget that backwoods are tobacco, and unfiltered at that. Wash your woods or diversify your methods of medication. But really, the whole point of smoking is to free your mind and soul, so do whatever the hell you want. Ignore the rappers, ignore the marketing and smoke what makes you want to smoke.

- Tom

Maine Potcast Contributor

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