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Puff, Puff, Pass Rule: Understanding the Social Etiquette and Cultural Significance

Puff, Puff, Pass Rule: Understanding the Social Etiquette and Cultural Significance

A significant number of people smoke cannabis. However, only a few conform to the societal norms set in place for it. 

Frankly, the etiquette for smoking cannabis is often overlooked by many. Newbie cannabis consumers simply head to online head shops to buy bongs and accessories, but more often than not fail to learn popular joint smoking etiquettes, creating a mess-up in social settings. 

Well, smoking rules might not apply when smoking privately, but they are fairly important during social smoking. To ensure fairness and fun, you must know a few cardinal rules, one of which is puff puff pass. It’s a quintessential stoner rule, which ensures you are being respectful to your fellow smokers and giving every participant a chance to get high and enjoy the group smoking session. 

In today's blog, we will look at the puff puff pass rule, its history, cultural significance, and more. So, let’s get started!

Origins and Cultural Significance

The puff puff pass rule is deeply embedded within cannabis use, especially the one that occurs within a community. Whether one buys their apparatus from an online head shop or traditional outlets, the rule remains prevalent. In the past, a person with a joint would be told not to “bogart” it, meaning that they should not keep it to themselves for long. However, there is no clear information on where the term “puff puff pass” came from.

However, the term has been widely used to date and it was even simpler in the past. People would often say “puff, pass”. In this case, a person would only smoke once and then pass it on to the other person. 

Now the mantra of puff puff pass is simple. It simply means that you should take two puffs and then pass the cannabis joint or smoking apparatus to the next person. 

Puff puff pass is a form of etiquette especially when smoking in a group setting. It ensures that everyone gets an equal opportunity to enjoy cannabis. Also, having the two-puff limit ensures that no one holds onto the joint for too long. Additionally, it is a symbol of sharing and showing respect to one another.

Experts suggest that music, art, and movies have greatly influenced people to follow this cultural norm. Most iconic films and music videos will depict groups following the puff puff pass rule which has helped reinforce the culture. Also, in some religious and spiritual practices, cannabis consumption is taken as a sacrament, and sharing it is of the utmost importance. It ensures that there is unity, equality, and togetherness.

Understanding The Rule

The puff puff pass rule is pretty straightforward. As mentioned earlier, it is mostly applicable in a social or group setting. So after lighting the cannabis, you should take two puffs, then pass it to the next person. At the end of it all, everyone will have received an equal share of the joint.

The pattern followed in the rule ensures that everything flows smoothly. Also, it ensures that no one is left waiting for their turn for too long. 

In the 60s and 70s, the word bogart was used for someone hogging onto the joint for way too long. Passing it to the person on the left was a rule commonly used by Rastafarians during spiritual rituals. 

Rolling the joint for the purpose of sharing has now been adapted for decades and it now uses the term puff puff pass. This rule was however not coined until after the hippie era.

Also, the puff puff pass rule is more than a gesture of smoking but shows respect and brotherhood. Following this unwritten code signifies the communal nature of the smoking session and consideration for others. Someone holding onto the joint for too long could potentially create tension in the group.

Social Benefits and Purpose

There are many benefits to using the puff puff pass rule. Here are some of them:

  • The rule ensures equal opportunity for everyone involved regardless of background which ensures that not just one person dominates the joint
  • It fosters unity and respect since the rule acts as a social contract which promotes mutual respect among participants
  • It encourages the participants to be more community-minded, therefore discouraging selfishness
  • By sharing the joint, you deepen the friendship between those around you which in return builds trust
  • The whole process emphasizes that cannabis is all about shared enjoyment, not just for individual consumption
  • The sharing process acts as an icebreaker in social settings as the puff puff pass pattern eases interaction, especially among people unfamiliar with each other

Want to experience this? Go to the head shop and purchase the best bongs online and use it to enjoy with your friends. 

Variations and Adaptations

While the puff puff pass rule is commonly recognized amongst people who consume cannabis, it is not universal. Well, it is just a rule and different cultures and regions adapt it differently.

In some places, you will find that the number of puffs a person makes before passing the joint around will differ. In some settings, the participants might not pass at all. Such mostly emphasize individual consumption due to health concerns.

Additionally, the direction in which the joint is passed often differs and it bears significance in some cultures. In some settings, the oldest person or the guest will enjoy the joint first which is a way of showing respect. 

Cannabis is now being used globally therefore it will be important to understand the variation. This ensures respect for regional customs. It is also a great way to maintain harmony through shared experiences.

Puff Puff Pass in Popular Culture

From the silver screen to musicians and comedians, the puff puff pass rule, just like discussions about the best bongs online, is deeply ingrained in popular culture. You might have probably seen it being practiced in songs, movies, and various television shows. You will find a group during friendly gatherings relaxing as they puff puff and pass. 

Additionally, musicians and comedians have also alluded to it which has helped solidify its status. Its use in the media emphasizes the rules' importance. Moreover, it gives insights into society's views on cannabis consumption. 


The "Puff Puff Pass" rule is more than just about smoking. This tradition has been widely used in different cultures and it helps promote sharing, togetherness, and respect. As people worldwide use cannabis, it is important to remember the rule and its value in connecting people and celebrating shared moments. Do not forget to get the latest finds for enjoying cannabis from our head shop Badass Glass - we have the best bongs and accessories to help you enjoy cannabis at its best. Shop now!

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