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Smoking Etiquette: Who gets the first hit?

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.


  1. You are so totally right man! xD

    This site feels like home for every stoner! Good work.


  2. bo0om ,
    my friends also lets not forget bo0om , which is a sound offering to god , thus whoever takes the hit invites the god in him or her to accept their humble trance…

  3. We “seasoned” smokers agree with your “rules”, but the last one (provider’s choice) usually wins out, as pot smoking is very generous and kind (unlike other drug use…). Usually the “host” offers the first hit to his or her guest, and the hierarchy goes from that gesture on…

  4. As someone who hosts, and gets hosted for this lovely activity, usually the guest hits first, save for the bong for some reason. That’s usually owner goes first.
    Though these rules are fabulous and for a hit, I will always comply. Great website!

  5. Usually when I’m smoking in a group it’s the owner of the herb rather than the owner of the parafenalia or roller of the blunt that gets the first cone/drag

  6. This is very true… But I got duece!

  7. what kind of bong are you smoking that gives one hit?

  8. this is very cool. i lvoe this site ! 🙂

  9. Good advice. I would add that with a joint keep it moving is most important. When I am sharing by buds I do not want to start the joint… 2nd half of joint is better.
    With bongs it is possible to do what I call a taster hit to start which is a small “singe” that tastes great and leaves a high quality 2nd toke.

    advice from an old school stoner

  10. i find that if i am toking up with a friend and his old lady , and i am offered the first hit i will offer it to her first. to show respect

  11. This site Is The Shit

  12. I make glass bongs out of all kinds of glass jars and vases and such. I have made small one-hitter bongs. Typical bongs should get a good 4-6 hits before the material is gone. If you grind fine and pack heavy, a bong can go even longer. I follow the rules most of the time.

    Cannabis consumers are by far the most giving of people.

  13. (bong) ive been smoking with a group of 5 or 6 for a year now. our rules are this: no matter who provides what, the one that packs starts, then goes around. wherever the bowl ends, starts again.(usually burns to ash when it reaches the starter). ALWAYS leave the chamber smoke free before passing it. if you knock it over or drop it, you are skipped next go around, Lol

  14. Elllllllaa,Niggaaa.

    Here in Wisconsin, the weed owner packs the bowl or rolls the joint. Always. We never let anyone handle our weed. If we can’t roll a joint, we have someone do it for us but we still get to light it up. It’s then always passed to the right. (:

  15. this site is fuck awsome yall feel the same way i do

  16. I love this site, first of. This article was awesome and the comments are even better. In reference to Wisconsin dudes “your weed, your pack/roll” is exactly what we do on the Steel Valley. Except, for some reason, I can’t roll to save my life and I’ve wasted hundreds of papers trying, it’s just not about to happen. I have my friends roll my weed and I get first hit but I always offer to the roller; the point being that I auto get first hit before I offer it out. But with the bowls, it’s always the owner of the piece and we are usually at home so it would most likely be my weed because if we were at my friends house it would be his weed. I’m all about my wake ‘n bake, then a couple more times and so on and so on throughout the day but I’m not trying to get pulled over for possession. I’ll make sure there is bud where I’m going and where I’m gonna be. The good life 🙂

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