If there’s one thing we can say for sure about mankind, it’s that we’re a superstitious species. Pretty much since the dawn of time, humans have held a literally incalculable number of beliefs and theories on almost everything to do with both life and the unknown. You only need to look back to say Egyptian Times to see just how weird and wonderful superstitions have been over history – most of which by today’s standards of course looking a little on the silly side.
But when you think about it, perhaps it’s actually even odder when you take a look at things as they stand today. Here we are, in an era of science, logic and unprecedented education, yet we still perpetuate so many strange superstitions. Maybe you’re the type that throws salt over your shoulder if you spill any. You probably do your best to stay away from walking under ladders. Or you might dangle the foot of a very unlucky rabbit from a keychain, having bought into the idea that it will bring you nothing but luck.
Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that for the time being at least, we’re not going to delve into the debate as to whether luck itself is even a thing. We’ll leave it up to you to argue that one out. Instead, we thought we’d talk about a few of the most common cannabis-related superstitions, of which it becomes clear after doing a little research that there are thousands! Indeed, stoners seem to be just as superstitious as everyone else, albeit in slightly different ways.
So ask yourself – what kinds of habits and practices have you fallen into, which you now stick to religiously for superstitious reasons? When you think about it, chances are there’s a least a couple in there.
Puff, Puff, Pass
First of all, this particular ritual blurs the line between superstition and etiquette. Chances are that if you’re a social stoner, you’ll play by the rules when it comes to puff, puff, pass. That being, you’re permitted to take two sensible hits on the joint, before passing it on to the next person. Realistically, this is a practice that happens for the sole purpose of ensuring that not only does everyone get their fair share, but also that nobody is waiting too long for another hit. As such, mess up the rotation or take more than your fair share you’ll be on the receiving end of a verbal bashing from your buddies. After all, sharing is caring. But there are also those who take things one step further to genuinely believe that bogarting the joint is to actually welcome bad luck and misfortune. Or worse still, actually missing somebody out of the rotation entirely is apparently pure evil as far as karma is concerned.
Pass to the Left
It’s a very similar situation when it comes to the importance of passing to the left, too. Given the fact that the stoner’s circles is a sacred place, it needs to be approached with the same kind of thought, focus and care as anything else of a religious nature. And when they say passing to the left is a rule, you better believe it’s a rule you need to follow. As for superstitions, the truth is you’re actually guaranteed bad luck if you mess things up. The reason being that you’ll be ridiculed and hounded by those around you, perhaps throwing away your invite next time around. As for where it all started, there are endless theories surrounding hippie circles in the 60s, but some also suggest it could have come from the Victorian era. During these times, those lucky (and rich) enough to have butlers or servants would always have their plates, trays and drinks served to them at their tables from the left. Which is a rule that continues to be followed in elite dining circles today – ensuring that all food and drinks come in from the left means avoiding overcrowding the diner and ensuring they know which side the goodies will arrive from. The theory therefore states that this eventually rubbed off on elite cannabis circles and has remained the rule ever since. Still, it’s a rule to be followed to the letter or brace for inevitable consequences.
Never Hit a Bowl First if You Load It
In some countries, pouring yourself a shot of vodka before pouring for your guest(s) represents both the height of bad manners and very bad luck. In other, those with any real dignity would not turn up to a social or business meeting without a very specific gift, chosen in accordance with the recipient and the event. Suffice to say, acts of generosity as a means by which to avoid bad luck are both universal and timeless to say the least. And for those of us in the cannabis community, we have the act of never being ‘that guy’ who takes the first hit after loading a bong or pipe. The simple fact of the matter is that regardless of whether it’s your stuff, whoever it is you happen to be smoking with and whether or not you’re a big fan of the guys around you, it’s the height of bad manners (and supposedly very bad luck) to blaze the bowl you loaded yourself. It’s the perfect way of immediately outing yourself both as an amateur that doesn’t know what they are doing and a serious tightwad. And as with so many, it’s the kind of mistake you only have to make once to leave a permanent sour taste in the mouths of others.
For reasons that really require no explanation, 420 has become the single most important three-digit combination in the lives of millions of stoners. They see it as some magical time when all the stoners of the world are somehow united on a much higher level – the actual date itself also being a day of magic and mystery. It’s now used all over the world as not so much an excuse, but more of a motivation to grab some weed and smoke at 4:20am or 4:20pm. Legend has it that you’ll find yourself experiencing a much greater level of peace and satisfaction while doing so, perhaps also going on to prosperity and success in your everyday life. Right at the other end of the scale, some fear that to miss 420 in the morning or afternoon is to inevitably suffer some kind of stress throughout the rest of the day. As for those who make the most of the date itself, 420 smoke-outs are supposed to be more than sufficient to guarantee good luck for the rest of the year. Whether or not you buy into it, this is still a superstition with a simply massive army of followers worldwide.
The White Lighter “Curse”
One of the slightly more sinister of common cannabis superstitions, there are millions of stoners the world over who will not touch or go near a white lighter. Why exactly? Well, the exact origins of the superstition are heavily debated, but the most common theory is the way in which Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin were all left-handed, all died at the age of 27 and all had a white lighter present at the scene of their death. Suffice to say, 27-year-old lefties who also happen to be smokers can often be found avoiding white lighters like the plague. Of course, cannabis was in no way related to any of the deaths and nor were the white lighters a contributing factor. Nevertheless, white lighters have earned a reputation for bringing along the kind of bad luck that results in broken pipes, cracked bongs or even an unwelcome visit from a friendly local police force. Whether it’s all true or pure BS, it’s probably best not to take the risk!
Choking on Your Hit
Last but not least, there are plenty of stoners worldwide who believe that choking on a bong, pipe or joint hit represents the epitome of bad luck. Which to a certain extent it really does – especially if you follow the rules of some rather rough and rugged veterans from years gone by. In the simplest of terms, there’s an old and well-followed rule which states that if you choke when taking a hit, the person sitting immediately next to you has the right to give you a dead arm. It’s pretty much the same as with the travelling game called ‘Punch Buggy’ from the 1960s, where the first person to spot a VW Beetle while out on the road can deliver a nice friendly punch to another of the car’s occupants. They say that choking on a hit opens the door for bad luck, but to be honest getting punched while trying not to cough up a lung sounds bad enough on its own!
Do you have any superstitions that need to be followed before a hit? Tell us below!