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The end of a joint, blunt, spliff, or any rolled cannabis product. An equivalent is the butt of a cigarette. Roach sizes are determined by personal preferences and can be discarded or saved for later.

“I never smoke roaches because you can’t get a good hit.”

“To get the most out of my blunt, I always smoke it down the roach.”

What is a roach?

One of the first written mentions of a roach comes from a 1938 article in The New Yorker, in which the author attended a party where guests were smoking cannabis. Referring to a partially-smoked joint, “roach” may have Spanish origins, deriving from the Mexican song “La Cucaracha”—“the cockroach” in English—which is about marijuana-smoking soldiers in the Mexican Revolution.

The first part of a joint, blunt or rolled cannabis product is usually the best; the flower is still dry and airflow is at its peak, meaning big, flavorful hits. But by the end of it, smokers may already be sufficiently stoned, or the resin coating the rest or saliva may make the end unsmokable.

Should I save my roaches?

Keeping roaches to smoke later is a personal choice. Typically, by the end of a rolled smokable product, the consistent heat from the ember and smoke cause the oils and plant matter to congeal, creating a smoke that is harsher as the joint burns down. Many people roll products with a crutch, allowing them to smoke it down to the end, or use a roach clip, a clothespin-like device that allows you to hold the roach without burning your fingers.