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How to Roll a Joint

Like a chef in pursuit of perfecting his recipe, or a beer connoisseur chasing the perfect pour, mastering how to roll a joint is an enjoyable part of the smoking ritual for cannabis enthusiasts.

While pre-rolls are fast and convenient and rollers can help simplify the process, there is something incredibly satisfying about rolling the perfect joint by hand. With some practice and patience, your hand-rolled joints are likely to have the tightness and form you desire and be packed exactly to your preference.

In this article, I’ll break down how to roll a joint step by step, and give you my best tips on how to roll a perfect joint each and every time.

Supplies to Roll a Joint

To roll a joint, there are a few items you need to have and a few things that are nice to have.

What you’ll need:

  • Rolling papers of your choice
  • As much cannabis as you desire – or can fit. About half a gram is the standard amount you would use to roll a joint.

Extras you can include: 

  • A grinder (or scissors, if you don’t have a grinder)
  • A filter, which isn’t necessary but can help keep the joint intact. You can buy reusable filters or make your own out of any stiff paper, such as out of the cardboard box your joint papers came in.
  • You can also use a joint roller, which can help make your joint tighter. But, I don’t think there is anything better than a hand-rolled joint done well, and, if you wanted to use a joint roller, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article, would you?

How to Roll a Joint: Step By Step Instructions

Ready? Set? Roll! I’ve created this step by step guide for how to roll a joint, so you can follow along if you have all the supplies.

Step 1: Gather the Supplies

Sure, it sounds obvious, but make sure you have everything you need to sit down before you roll. It’s great to be able to get into the zone and focus on mastering your roll rather than worrying about what you forgot to grab.

Step 2: Break Down the Cannabis

This is an essential step. Because joint papers are so thin, having thicker nuggets of cannabis will make the joint harder to roll and harder to smoke. Taking the time to grind or cut up your cannabis will also ensure your joint burns evenly, giving you a much more enjoyable smoking experience.

Step 3: Grab a Joint Paper

Joint papers can tear easily, so choosing the right type for you is important. For beginners, I recommend using natural hemp rolling papers; they’re thicker and provide a better grip than rice papers, which makes them easier to use. Hemp papers also have a lighter flavor, so they don’t get in the way of being able to taste your cannabis. I find cigar papers such as backwoods the easiest to roll with, but using those will graduate you from a joint to a blunt.

Step 4: Add a Filter (Optional)

When rolling a joint, you can proceed with or without a filter. If you already know that filters aren’t for you, you can skip this step.

Pros of using a filter:

  • Help keep your joint intact
  • Prevent cannabis from getting in your mouth
  • Improve airflow throughout your joint
  • Create space between your lips and the “cherry” (lit end) to prevent burns

Cons of using a filter:

  • An extra step in your rolling process
  • A little less room in your joint for cannabis (although some may argue adding a filter allows you to smoke more of the joint)

If you choose to add a filter, you can use any form of hard paper as your filter material, such as a piece of the package your joint paper comes in. To create the best and easiest filter, I recommend folding the paper back and forth like an accordion into a cylinder’s shape to ensure the filter does unravel.

Step 5: Stuff the Joint

Now, the fun part – stuffing your joint. While you can use as much cannabis as your joint paper will allow, the typical amount is about half a gram. For a bigger joint, you can stick together two joint papers to create more space.

When packing your joint, be sure you fill it evenly across the paper so it will burn evenly. How to roll a cone joint will differ slightly because you’ll want to add less weed close to the end with your filter and more weed towards the end of the joint that you’ll light. Whether you like a joint of uniform thickness or not is a personal preference.

Also, be sure to keep the sticky part of your joint paper on the outside–this will be important when it comes time to seal your joint.

Step 6: Roll the Joint

If you don’t remember anything else from this article, I ask you to remember two words: press and pull. As you roll your joint, press and pull (push) the cannabis to be sure it’s nice and compact in your joint as you roll it up.

Step 7: Seal It

Once your joint is almost completely rolled, it’s time to lick the paper’s sticky line like an envelope to seal it up. You can finish things off by twisting the end of your joint into a stem, which will make it easier to light and help it burn more slowly and evenly.

Step 8: Light It Up

And there you have it, that’s exactly how I roll my joints. The only thing left to do is to light up and enjoy it.

Taking it Beyond the Basic Joint

There are plenty of ways you can kick your joint up a notch, from getting artful with braided rolls, cross rolls, or origami-like filters, all the way to adding an additional substance like hashish. Here are a few of my favorite ways to take your joint to an elevated level:

Flavored Papers

The right flavored joint papers can make a huge difference in your smoking experience. Juicy Jays provides a huge variety of flavored papers, from Peaches & Cream to Tequila and so much in between. My all-time favorite rolling papers, however, are Backwoods. Russian Crème is my go-to flavor and is sure to provide a smooth and sweet smoking experience.

Fancy Papers

Ever heard of Pimp My Ride? Well, it turns out you can also “pimp” your joint. Using a fancy paper such as Shine 24k Gold Rolling Papers is a sure way to turn heads and make you feel like royalty. They’d likely make a pretty cool party trick, too.

Glass Filters

Sure, you can use the package your joint papers came in. Heck, you could even use a pizza box if you really wanted to – but why make a makeshift filter when you can use a glass filter? You can easily order glass filters online. If I ever use filters, I prefer ones like these – they feel luxurious, provide a clean taste, and even come with a cleaning brush to keep things hygienic and feeling fresh.

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