Joints are one of the most popular ways to use cannabis. They provide fast-acting results, and they’re pretty user-friendly. However, you might not always be able to finish a joint once you light it. Sometimes it only takes a hit or two to get the effects you’re looking for. Or there may be times when you need to cut your session short.
Whatever the reason, the inability to finish a whole joint presents a dilemma. You don’t want to waste it, but you also don’t want to try to smoke the whole thing at once in a rush, as that could lead to some rather unpleasant effects. So, what are you to do? Believe it or not, you can totally extinguish your joint and save the rest to finish later.
What Happens to Weed When You Light It?
When you ignite a freshly rolled joint, you actually trigger a chemical reaction. As crushed buds burn (a process known as combustion), the heat produced decarboxylates the cannabinoids within the plant matter, transforming them into active compounds. Without this process, THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids would remain in their acid forms (THCA, CBDA, etc.), and they wouldn’t be very effective. In other words, lighting up activates the flower in your joint, allowing it to produce the desired effects.
The Impact on the Weed Remaining in a Half-Smoked Joint
The chemical changes that take place once you light your joint occur quickly. Putting out a half-smoked joint stops most of them. However, combustion isn’t the only thing that affects your ground buds. Time, exposure to air, and other factors can alter them, too.
Here are some of the things that can happen to the weed left in your half-smoked joint:
- Moisture loss
- Loss of potency (for instance, THC can begin transforming into CBN)
- The remaining cannabinoids and terpenes may exist in different concentrations
All of these factors can affect your smoking experience when you relight your joint. For instance, moisture loss can result in harsher smoke. Alterations in the concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes can affect the flavor of your joint and the effects you feel.
How to Extinguish a Half-Smoked Joint
After you smoke the desired amount of your joint, you’ll want to stop the combustion process. There are several ways you can do this:
Snuff Your Joint With a Joint Extinguisher
One of the easiest ways to put out a joint is by “suffocating” it or snuffing it out. In essence, you’re cutting off its access to oxygen, which means it can’t burn anymore. You can do this with a joint extinguisher. Placing the lit end of your joint into the snuffer gently and safely extinguishes it, allowing you to store what’s left for your next session. As a bonus, this tool helps you avoid making a mess.
Use an Ashtray to Stub or Graze the Joint
Stubbing and grazing are similar techniques for extinguishing joints. When you stub a joint, you press the lit tip against a hard, flat, fireproof surface, such as an ashtray. If you choose this method, stub gently to avoid bending or breaking the leftover portion of the joint. Grazing involves gently scraping the lit end against a solid surface.
Knock Your Joint
Alternatively, you could knock your joint against the edge of an ashtray. Doing so knocks out the cherry, separating it from the rest of the plant matter that remains. Again, be careful to avoid using too much force. Otherwise, you could end up damaging the rest of your joint. You may also create a mess if you hit the edge of the ashtray too hard.
Cut the End of the Joint
Cutting the end of the joint off is another quick and easy way to extinguish it. While you could use a pair of sharp scissors or a knife, you might also consider a specialized joint cutter. It’s a small, purposefully-designed implement that will fit perfectly in your cannabis kit. Plus, you won’t have to worry about using your kitchen scissors.
Drown the Joint
You could use a small amount of water on the lit end of your joint to extinguish it. You’ll want to be careful with this method, however. If you get any other part of the remaining joint wet, you may not be able to relight it when you’re ready for your next dose.
Blow Into the Joint
You might not expect this one to work, but you can put a joint out by blowing into it. Sending air in the opposite direction isolates the cherry from the remaining plant matter and makes it burn faster. These factors essentially force the end of the joint to consume itself, putting itself out.
Tips for Saving a Half-Smoked Joint for Later
After extinguishing your joint, storing it properly is essential. Here are a few methods you can use:
Use the Right Container
One of the easiest joint savers for your weed is the same one you might use to store fresh bud — a glass mason jar. Glass doesn’t absorb odors, and the lid creates an airtight seal. You could also use what’s called a “doob tube,” a cylindrical container designed specifically for storing new and half-smoked joints.
Other options to consider include titanium tubes and resealable cans. While convenient, avoid using plastic bags. Plastic does nothing to protect joints. It can also create a static charge that pulls precious trichomes off of your remaining bud.
Avoid Elements that Can Affect Cannabis Quality
The same factors that affect the quality of buds before you grind them can also impact what’s left of your joint. To preserve the remainder of your joint, avoid exposure to:
The right container, such as a mason jar, can help avoid air and moisture exposure. Keeping the jar in a cool, dark location, such as a high pantry shelf away from large appliances, will prevent degradation from heat and light.
Don’t Let Your Joint Sit Too Long Before Relighting It
While you can store and relight a properly stored half-smoked joint several days later, you don’t want to let too much time pass. The longer you wait to relight your joint, the greater your risk of harsh smoke, poor flavor, and less potent effects.
Find Additional Joint Tips and More at VidaCann
While some people might look down on the practice of putting out a joint and saving it for later, smoking a whole one in one go may not always be possible. If you can’t smoke it all at once, properly extinguishing and storing your joint can help it stay at the best possible quality until you’re ready to spark it up again.
Are you looking for more information about smoking joints or using forms of cannabis? VidaCann has plenty of tips and recommendations to share, as well as an extensive selection of some of the highest quality cannabis products on the market. You can also visit any one of our dispensaries in person to speak with one of our knowledgeable budtenders.