Cannabis 101: How to Save a Joint

How to save a joint
By Anthony Pellegrino Published April 8th

Fact-checked by Alexandra Arnett, MS

Puff, puff, pass... or wait, is that the end? While smoking remains the king of cannabis consumption, not every toke is created equal. Whether you're a seasoned smoker slowing down your session or a curious newcomer easing into the world of weed, there's a good chance you'll encounter the "half-smoked joint dilemma." 

You've got a perfectly good ember still glowing, but the mood (or your lungs) just aren't ready for another round. So, what happens next? Do you resign yourself to letting that precious bud go up in smoke, or is there a way to preserve your joint for later?

If you're in a similar position and wondering how to save a joint, don't worry. There are plenty of ways to keep your joint fresh and ready to finish smoking whenever you are.

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How to Put Out a Joint

Now that you've decided to save your joint for a later occasion, it's time to master the art of the gentle extinguish. Here are some effective techniques to put out the flame without sacrificing its future potential:

  • The Classic Tap: This tried-and-true method involves gently pressing the burning end of your joint against the side of a clean ashtray. Avoid excessive force to prevent crushing the joint or scattering its contents.
  • The Cherry Drop: For a more hands-off approach, simply hold your joint horizontally over the ashtray and tap it lightly until the cherry (the glowing ember) naturally separates and falls into the ashtray.
  • The Suffocation Method: A small, airtight container can do the trick if you find yourself without a proper ashtray. Simply place your joint inside, seal it tightly, and let the lack of oxygen extinguish the flame naturally.
  • The Damp Surface Technique: In a pinch, a non-flammable surface, like a stone or concrete floor, can serve as a temporary ashtray. Press the burning end against the surface, but be mindful of potential residue and ash.

Water: Friend or Foe?

While water might seem like a quick fix for putting out a joint, it's generally best to avoid it. Water can make your joints soggy and challenging to relight later. It can also wash away some of the cannabinoids and terpenes, potentially affecting its potency and flavor.

Regardless of your chosen method, always confirm the joint is completely extinguished before storing it. A lingering ember can lead to unwanted surprises and potential safety hazards.

How to Save a Joint for Later

Can you save a joint?

So, can you save a joint? The good news is that with proper care and storage, your half-smoked joint might be able to be revived for up to a few days or even a week afterward. However, the quality will degrade over time, so aim to enjoy it sooner rather than later for optimal freshness.

Choosing the right container is key to extending your joint's shelf life. Here are some options, each with its own advantages and drawbacks:

  • Doob Tube: These sleek, airtight tubes are the gold standard for joint storage. They protect your smoke from light, air, and moisture, preserving its aroma and potency. Look for tubes made from glass or odor-resistant materials like aluminum. 
  • Glass Jar: A small, airtight glass jar can also do the trick. It offers good protection but might be less portable than a doob tube. Make sure the jar is completely dry to prevent mold growth. 
  • Ziploc Bag: In a pinch, a resealable plastic bag can serve as a temporary storage solution. However, it's not ideal for long-term storage as it doesn't offer much protection from light and air, potentially impacting your joint's quality. 

Bonus Tip: Regardless of your chosen container, store it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. This will further slow down the degradation process.

3 Best Storage Containers to Save an Unfinished Joint

Choosing the right container for your half-smoked joint is essential for preserving its taste, potency, and aroma. From sleek and portable to airtight and odor-proof, here are the top 3 options to consider:

1. Tightpac Smell Proof TP1 Case (Best Design)

Best Design: The TightPac Smell Proof Case is a go-to for discreet smokers. This airtight and crush-proof container keeps your joints fresh and private with a secure seal and sleek design. Available in various sizes, it easily tucks into pockets or backpacks for convenient, odor-free carrying.

2. Doob Tubes (Best Budget Option)

Doob Tubes are your wallet's best friend. These affordable yet effective tubes come in various sizes to accommodate different joint lengths. Their durable, odor-proof plastic construction protects your herb from light, air, and moisture, while the simple screw-on cap keeps everything secure. While not as sleek as some other options, Doob Tubes excel in value and functionality, making them a perfect choice for budget-conscious smokers who prioritize practicality.

3. Full Stori (Best Quality)

Stori is an award-winning cannabis storage box that harmoniously combines aesthetics and practicality. This collection features a beautifully crafted case, color-coded pods, and tubes and is designed to effortlessly integrate into your lifestyle at home and on the go. Crafted from food-grade aluminum, they keep UV rays out while maintaining an airtight seal to preserve freshness and aroma. While on the pricier side, Stori caters to those who demand the ultimate in cannabis preservation and convenience.

Bonus Tip: No matter which container you choose, consider purchasing a humidity control pack to regulate moisture levels and prevent your joint from drying out or becoming moldy.

Can You Relight a Joint?

Can you relight a joint?

So, you've meticulously stored your half-smoked joint, and the time has come for round two. But can you simply spark it up again and expect the same blissful experience? The answer is that it depends.

Relighting a joint is an art form, and success hinges on several factors:

  • Moisture: The enemy of a successful relight is dryness. If your joint has been sitting for too long or stored improperly, it might be crumbly and resistant to reigniting. While too dry can be a problem, don't overdo it: cannabis that's too moist can lead to mold.
  • Ash accumulation: A clogged joint with built-up ash can restrict airflow and make it difficult to get a consistent ember going.
  • Paper quality: Low-quality paper tends to burn faster and unevenly, making it tricky to relight without scorching the bud.
  • Several relights: Repeatedly lighting the same spot can leave your joint ashen and flavorless, diminishing its potential.
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How Many Lives Does a Joint Have?

In general, one to two relights are the sweet spot. With proper technique and good conditions, you might even squeeze out a third session. However, pushing your luck beyond that can result in a harsh, unpleasant smoke experience.

Now, for the grand moment:

  1. Gently remove any excess ash: Use a small tool like a poker or your fingers to carefully clear the paper of accumulated ash without disturbing the remaining flower.
  2. Look for the ember: Check for any lingering embers nestled within the unburnt bud. A small glow is all you need to reignite.
  3. Apply the flame strategically: Don't just blast the entire tip. Instead, use a gentle touch and focus on lighting the unburnt flower near the existing ember. This helps prevent scorching and promotes even airflow.
  4. Take slow, gentle puffs: Avoid taking forceful drags once you have a consistent ember. Start with slow, gentle puffs to draw the flame through the joint and re-establish a proper burn.

Bonus Tip: Invest in a hemp wick for a cleaner and more controlled lighting experience. The slow, gentle flame of a hemp wick is less likely to scorch your joint and can help preserve its flavor.

Relighting is an art, not a science. Be patient, use light touches, and listen to your joints. If it's giving you resistance, it might be time to let go and embrace the memory of a good smoke session. After all, sometimes, the best part of a joint is the anticipation of the next one.

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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