The pros and cons of a communal pot-smoking session

Published Apr 16, 2021 09:00 a.m. ET
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Almost immediately after learning how to smoke a joint, we start to pick up on common stoner etiquette, expectations, and misconceptions. Toking is generally viewed as an experience that is best when it’s shared hence the infamous mottos, ‘puff puff pass to the left’ and ‘sharing is caring’, but is a communal smoking session really just the free, laid back atmosphere that we know and love, or are there more sinister concerns that lurk deep?

Even the most introverted cannabis enthusiasts have stories to tell about the biggest smoking circles they’ve had the pleasure of being a part of, but how integral is it really to the culture, and are the risks worth it? Here, we’ll answer all of these questions and more with an ultimate list of both the benefits and drawbacks of a shared cannabis experience.


The benefits of taking part in a regular or even out of the blue stoner circle are vast, that much is for certain, as it is why things have evolved around the vast sense of community that is felt by consumers. They are the driving force that has kept many users maintaining this long-established ritual despite fears surrounding the pandemic, and for a lot of us, it’s so important that it feels like a part of us only really comes alive when we’re surrounded by other like-minded individuals.

A sense of community and belonging
Everyone who is part of a communal toking session supports those who have a passion for the green, something that is rare to find anywhere else in life.

Less fear over public use
There is a significant amount of power that can be drawn from large numbers.

Some cannabis consumers rely on the routine that is provided by these regular social interactions, and you can’t really blame them because of our next point.

Much of the fun that cannabis users have comes from joking and hanging around with other consumers.

Try new things
A communal toking session typically involves each person bringing something to offer, which means that the more people you add, the more likely you’ll get to try new strains or products that you haven't even heard of or considered yet.

An ice breaker
When you enjoy a person company, but you aren’t quite sure of what to say to keep up a consistent conversation just yet, a stoner circle is a perfect place to invite them because the simple act of smoking weed gives everyone room to breathe, alleviating some of the social pressure.


Sharing joints or bongs might seem like some light-hearted, innocent fun and in many cases, it is. Still, there are a few small risks that you should know about, and though we are definitely pro-cannabis here at, we’re here to give you the low down on all of them so that you can make more informed decisions moving forward.

You will be exposed to germs from smoking weed
When you’re swapping spit, be it on a joint or a bong, you’re bound to come into close contact with viruses and germs that come from the others in your stoner circle. In most cases, this isn’t much more than a simple cold, but when there’s something a tad more dangerous in the air, it might not be a risk worth taking.

Some participants might want to take more than they give
Even if you live by the motto that sharing is caring, there are limits to how far we’re comfortable with stretching our generosity and the one place where this frequently becomes an issue is in communal cannabis sharing situations. When one or two people never do their part, it can get frustrating, so don’t get taken advantage of if you do continue with this ritual.

Not all cannabis users have similar personalities
Though you might like to hope that sharing a love for a plant could be enough to hold your stoner circle together, it’s not uncommon for differences to shine, especially when we feel more at ease and willing to divulge.

Adverse effects are more likely
Gatherings that include several people all smoking away on cannabinoids at once tend to be filled with a countless number of joints that make their rounds. It’s normal to lose track and to overconsume in this situation, which is something that is very important to stay aware of if you want to avoid these discomforts.

Is it safe?

For most people who have a healthy and well-developed immune system, germs from smoking weed should be too much of a concern, but that isn’t always the case. Every consumer should weigh both the pros and the cons when making this kind of decision. However, for most the camaraderie, sense of connection and a deep feeling of being at home is enough to make this activity a savored and favored pastime.

How to reduce the risk associated with sharing cannabis

You don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach, as stoner circles can be fun and safe if you follow a few simple rules along the way.

  1. Invest in a personal joint holder that only touches your lips.

  2. Avoid using bongs or pipes that might be full of bacteria as well as germs.

  3. Don’t share with anyone who is showing symptoms of being ill.

  4. Limit the number of people in your circle to reduce germ exposure.

  5. Opt for a safer alternative such as edibles instead.

Reasons why everyone should try getting high at least once


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