Smoking Etiquette: Who gets the first hit?
Everyone wants the first hit. We have all been there, looking around in anticipation of who’s going to get things started when one member of the group puts the joint in between his or her lips and takes the first drag. Why did they do it? Did I just get robbed of the sacred initial toke? No, because in reality the choice is not up to us, for there are unspoken rules and regulations of who gets “greens.”
When smoking a joint, a general rule of thumb is whoever rolls it, hits it first. Why you ask? Remove the person who rolled it from the picture and what are you left with? No joint. It’s likely that whoever rolled it contributed the product within it, so at the rollers discretion, he or she is allowed to offer the first toke to another member of the group. However, if someone else threw down for the joint, it is customary to offer him or her right of way before other members of the group, after the roller takes their hit. Otherwise, if you didn’t roll or help contribute, sit back and wait until the joint is passed to you.
As for a bowl, the first hit traditionally goes to the owner of the piece. When smoking from a bowl, it is a common courtesy to “corner it” on the first hit. This is when you place the lighter on one side of the bowl and manage to only singe a small amount of the fresh bud, thus leaving the next person a fresh area of product. If the person providing the bud is different than the person who owns the bowl, the provider should receive the first hit on the 2nd packing of the bowl. If there ends up being a third or fourth packing of the bowl, the first hit of the new bowl goes to the last individual who did not get a hit.
The same rule of “owner of piece gets first hit” applies to bubblers and bongs as well. Although, as is the case with many large smoking devices, you will find (at least I find) that one packing of the bowl is usually only enough for one person to hit it. If the 2nd hit is going to be nasty and hash, do not pass the piece; rather take another small hit and finish that bowl, then proceed to refill the bowl and pass left. If the bowl is still filled enough, pass the piece to your left and enjoy.
First hit etiquette is quite simple. Here is rank precedence for each way of smoking.
Joint Bowl Bubbler/Bong
1. Roller Piece Owner Piece Owner
2. Bud Provider Bud Provider Bud Provider
3. Friend that is mooching bud and never contributes to anything
The bottom line is that those who provide, hit first. If you never contribute any bud to the group, and never have a piece to use, sit back and wait for your hit. Nothing is more awkward or irritating when someone who hasn’t thrown down asks for the first hit or takes the liberty of lighting up a joint. And remeber, he or she who has first priority may delegate the first hit to anyone they choose.