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Spliff is slang for a cigarette made with cannabis, sometimes adulterated with tobacco. Spliffs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are also commonly referred to as joints. They are sometimes referred to by the non-cognoscenti as reefers; a classic film of moral panic, Reefer Madness, makes this point very adequately.

The customary process for making a spliff is to take three cigarette papers, stick them together such that the long sticky side of paper (a) is attached to the non-sticky side of paper (b). Paper (c) is then stuck to either of the ends of the combined papers (a+b). The large surface area (papers a+b+c) is now set for the introduction of the cannabis and/or tobacco. It is usual to employ tobacco if the cannabis product to hand is in its resinous or oil-based form to bulk out the resulting spliff and to make it more easily combustible. In its leaf and flower based form (grass) it is altogether less desirable to use this unnecessary adulterant. Once the correct mix is applied, the spliff is carefully rolled, and stuck together, a twist in the paper at the end where paper (c) was attached sealing the spliff. Sometimes a rolled up tube of cardboard known as a roach is inserted in the open end to prevent the contents slipping back into the mouth of the smoker. The spliff is then lit and smoked.

There is a whole sub-culture involved with preparing spliffs of different shapes and sizes, from the classic Camberwell Carrot (see Withnail and I[?]) to more esoteric constructions that have a degree of engineering to them. About the only more varied form of smoking implement is the water pipe or bong.

Several songs have mentioned spliffs such as

  • UB40 - Mi Spliff
  • Ziggy Marley - One good spliff
  • Bob Marley & The Wailers - Easy Skanking

Note that the possession and use of cannabis is illegal in many jurisdictions.

Spliff was also the name of a German New Wave ("Neue Deutsche Welle[?]") band in the 1980s.

spliff is also an email-watching program (written in Perl/Tk). It watches your incoming email and displays various header information from your most recent messages.

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