Puff Puff Pass (or any variation on that theme) is a pretty standard practice among herb smokers. Cannabis culture is known for being generous and inclusive, and the smoke circle is an area where these values shine. Most joints or pipe bowls hold more herb in them than a single person can smoke in one sitting, but they have just the right amount for one to three friends. Blunts, on the other hand, usually have even more weed than a joint, so they can sometimes serve up to five casual smokers.
In a smoke circle, etiquette dictates that the host starts the circle with two puffs and then passes to the person on their left. That person then takes two hits and passes, and so it goes. Following this routine makes sure that everyone gets a little bit of a buzz while enjoying each other’s company.
So what does COVID-19 mean for Puff Puff Pass?
The novel coronavirus has thrown a wrench into pretty much every activity around the globe. There’s a lot of misinformation and uncertain surrounding the virus, how it transfers, and who gets sick. Some activities are not OK to continue, but others can be continued safely with a few precautions. The trouble is, it can be hard to know the difference.
The one thing that everyone does agree on is that the virus generally transmits through water droplets expelled from an infected person’s respiratory tract. The problem with that is that some people are asymptomatic and could be spreading the virus without ever feeling sick.
At the best of times, Puff Puff Pass can lead to germs moving from one person’s mouth to another, but things are even riskier now with this virus that randomly seems to pick who gets sick and how severely. Of course, the safest thing you can do is to stay home and not participate in a smoke circle at all. It sucks, but remember, this is hopefully only a temporary measure.
If you want to get out of your house for a bit and socialize with other smokers (because after all, mental health is important, too), you could try using a cigarette lighter to disinfect a glass mouthpiece between users, but that’s not going to be 100% effective.
Your best option is to skip the passing altogether and have everyone in the (socially distanced) circle bring a personal device that contains just enough weed for one. You have a variety of options in this regard, so even though the protocol is changing to Pass Pass Keep, a smoke circle can still happen if you take precautions and have the right equipment. Let’s take a closer at the needed equipment.
- Dug-outs and one-hitters: A one-hitter is a special kind of pipe that holds between one and three puffs of marijuana in a bowl at the end. It’s a great way to get a hit discretely, and you don’t use (or lose) as much of your stash since you only pack as much as you want to consume at that time. One-hitters come in every design under the sun: wood, metal, glass, acrylic, spring-loaded, twist-loaded, digger-capped, glass-capped, and standard-capped. For convenience in carrying, you might want to bring along a dug-out, which is a special kind of carrying/storing device that holds not only your one-hitter, but also your pre-ground buds. The dug-out makes it easy to perfectly load a hit without needing to manhandle your stash.
- Vaporizers: Vaporizers are another great way to consume exactly enough in a social setting. Most vaporizers heat up the flower using convection instead of combustion, so it’s easier on your lungs while still packing a punch. Dry herb vaporizers come in a variety of different options, so you will need to do a little bit of research to find out what’s best for you. Multi-use can often handle multiple kinds of product, whether it be dry herb, wax, or oils, and you only use as much as you want to use each time you want a hit. You can also purchase single-use vaporizers that provide 100-200 hits before you throw them out. The single-use route lets you try different products without necessarily needing to go through all of the hassle of maintenance and upkeep. Either way you go, vaporizers allow you use as much leaf as you want during a smoking sesh without letting the excess go to waste the way you might with a larger joint or blunt.
- Water pipe (or bong): Bongs and the bowls used can be quite large (and perfect for sharing) or be only a few inches “mini-bongs”, but when you need to keep your germs to yourself, just look for a bong with a smaller bowl or consider updating your bong with a more personal sized bowl.
Remaining socially distant doesn’t mean that you have to cut out all of the fun in your life. Getting together with friends and holding a distanced smoke circle with everyone using their own product is a great way to safely enjoy each other’s company while indulging in some much-needed green.