How to Roll a Joint: The Essentials

From dabbing to vaping, there’s a lot of talk these days about high-tech ways to smoke weed. So it’s not surprising that some people are bucking the crowd and rediscovering (or trying for the first time) the most classic method of cannabis use: the joint. Here are the fundamentals of how to craft the perfect joint, plus a few tips for getting creative with your rolls.

What Do You Need to Roll a Joint?

To roll a joint, you’ll need to assemble a few items. First and foremost: the bud itself. The average joint contains around half a gram to a gram of dried cannabis. You might want to start with joints on the smaller side, as “skinnies” are easier to successfully roll. Secondly, you need something to break up the bud with. This could be a grinder, a pair of scissors, or just your hands. Thirdly, rolling papers: these come in a variety of flavours and are available anywhere tobacco products are sold. If you want a filter for your joint, a small piece of cardboard like a business card will do the trick. Optionally, have a pen or something pen-shaped to pack down the end of the joint with.

How to Roll a Joint in 6 Easy Steps

  1. Break up your bud into “shake.” Use a grinder for an even texture that will burn smoothly.
  2. Make a filter (if you’re using one) by accordion-folding one end of a small piece of cardboard and rolling it into a cylinder.
  3. Sprinkle the shake into the centre of the rolling paper and place the filter at one end.
  4. Shape the joint by pinching the paper between your fingers and rolling back and forth to settle the shake into the desired form.
  5. Roll the joint by tucking the unglued edge of the paper behind the packed cannabis, then rolling the rest of the paper around it. Moisten the glued edge and start sticking it down, starting at the end with the filter.
  6. Finish the job by packing down the open end of the joint with a pen or similar object. If you’re saving the joint for later, twist the end closed to prevent shake from falling out.

Filter or No Filter?

Ask around, and you’ll find a slew of strong opinions on whether you need a joint filter, also known as a crutch. But a filter serves a purely functional purpose: it prevents shake from falling out and allows you to smoke the entire joint without burning your fingers at the end. So, do you need a filter? Not necessarily, especially if you’re going to light up right after rolling it and have a roach clip on hand.

How to Make Your Joints Burn Slowly

To really enjoy smoking a joint, you want the experience to last. The secret to crafting a joint that burns at a leisurely but effective pace has long belonged to an exclusive cabal of joint-rolling masters…but in this age of information, that’s no longer the case!

Start with cannabis that is properly cured and not too old or dry. Invest in a grinder that gives you a fine and even grind and take care not to overgrind your buds into powder. Use a quality paper for a smooth burn and roll your joint tightly to get proper airflow. Keep these factors in mind, and you too can master the art of the perfect joint.

Joints vs Blunts

Although people often use the terms interchangeably, joints and blunts are two different animals. While joints are rolled with translucent white papers, blunts are rolled with tobacco paper, which is heavier and dark brown in colour. Joints and blunts are both filled with pure cannabis, as opposed to spliffs, which include tobacco. Have that all straight? Good, because there’s more: in Europe the opposite is true and spliffs are bud-only while joints include tobacco.

Different Joint-Rolling Techniques

If you can get the basics down, a whole world of joint-rolling creativity opens up to you. From giant brown-paper blunts to that Amsterdam specialty, the tulip, there are many ways to experiment with cannabis and a few pieces of paper. Here are a few key terms to add to your joint-rolling vocabulary.

How to Roll a Cone Joint

To roll the perfect cone joint, sprinkle your shake into a long triangular shape with more bud at the far end from the filter. When you’re shaping the joint, start at the filter end and roll the paper at a gradual angle so the cone is wider at the top. Once the paper has formed a smooth cone, moisten the glued edge and stick it down (without crushing your hard work). Chances are, you’ll have extra room at the top of the cone to pour in more shake. Fill the cone with the rest of your shake and pack it down until it’s nice and full, then twist the top closed for the perfect cone joint.

How to Roll a Blunt

A blunt is a little more difficult to roll than a joint as the thicker tobacco paper is trickier to work with. But the sweetness of the tobacco paper makes it worth it, especially for a special occasion. Start with a package of blunt papers, available in a variety of flavours, or go the OG route and slice open a cigar and empty out its contents. A nice fat blunt can accommodate up to three grams of cannabis. Once you toke up your first successfully rolled blunt, you’ll see it was well worth the effort.

Getting Fancy: Roll a Tulip Joint

Now that you’re a joint-rolling pro, turn your sights to something really impressive. An Amsterdam specialty, the tulip joint will wow your friends at your next get-together.

Start by rolling the stem, using several papers so it can withstand being passed around for a while. The stem is traditionally left empty but can be filled with shake like a regular joint for more stability and smoke-ability.

To form the tulip bud, stick together three rolling papers (or two king-size papers) to form a wider rectangle. Position the paper so the unused gummed edge is on your left, then fold the top right corner down to form a triangle.

Moisten the glue under the left side of the triangle and stick it down. You’ve now made your basic cone that will become the flower.

Start filling the tulip by gently packing it with shake. Once the pouch is full, insert your pre-rolled stem and twist the excess paper around it to form the base. Secure the base of your tulip by rolling half a paper into a thin rope and tying it around the “flower,” or use hemp rope. Your Amsterdam tulip is ready for wherever the night takes it.

Joint Rollers

If the perfect joint remains beyond your grasp, don’t sweat it: we’ve got a shortcut for you. Joint rolling machines are both cheap and easy to use, resulting in a fool-proof pinner every time.

Open the machine and sprinkle your shake into the groove. Click the machine closed and turn the bottom roller two or three times in the direction of the arrows to pack the cannabis. Then feed your rolling paper into the machine with the glued edge at the top and facing you.

Once most of the paper is inside the joint roller, moisten the glued edge and keep rolling it into the groove, giving the roller a few extra turns for good measure. Click open the machine and voilà—the perfect joint.

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