How to Roll the Perfect Joint
Apprehensive about rolling a joint? Have no fear; our concise step-by-step guide will teach you exactly what to do, with tips, tools, and recommendations to make the process easier.
For maximum enjoyment of a prime strain of cannabis, knowing how to roll the perfect joint is key. For a smooth smoke, it should have a shape that allows it to burn evenly. Rolling a good one takes skill, but we will gladly show you how to get the hang of it. Additionally, we have some useful recommendations for rolling papers and tools to make it easier. By following our step-by-step guide below, you will master the art of rolling joints in no time.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO ROLL A JOINT
Before we get started with the instructions, here’s a list of what you’ll need:
• Your favourite strain of weed
• Rolling papers
• Pen or similar object, to pack the joint
• Rolling tray
STEP 1: BREAK UP YOUR MARIJUANA
If you are using high-grade cannabis such as ours, simply feeling it between your fingers will begin to release its sweet smell. Although you could go at it with your hands, we recommend breaking your bud up into a suitable size using a quality grinder. This method saves time, plus it will prevent your fingers from getting too sticky to roll the paper later. You want to render your bud down into small particles, but not into dust. This will allow for optimal airflow and burn rate.
STEP 2: CREATE A CRUTCH FOR THE JOINT
A crutch is basically a mouthpiece for your joint, also referred to as a filter or tip. Some smokers may say a crutch is unnecessary or optional, but we strongly recommend it. A crutch:
• assures the end of the joint remains open
• prevents you from burning your fingers or lips while smoking
• prevents anything from falling out of the joint
• keeps the shape of the joint sturdy
• makes smoking easier by increasing airflow through the joint
You can make crutches out of thick paper or thin cardboard, like most business cards are made of. For long rolling papers, a piece of approximately 5.5 x 1.7cm will suffice. You can also buy special crutch paper, and many rolling papers already come with some.
While a lot of people simply roll the crutch paper into a cylinder, this method leaves a hole that might let weed fall through or get pinched closed while smoking. Therefore, it’s better to make a few accordion folds at one end before rolling the rest completely around it. Make as many folds as you want the width of the final crutch to be.
STEP 3: FILL UP YOUR JOINT
There are many types of rolling papers—have your pick. We recommend our organic hemp papers because they’re thin yet sturdy, assuring your joint burns evenly and the aroma of your strain is unaffected. Moreover, they come with filter papers as well.
Take out your rolling paper and hold it so the glue side is facing your feet and the fold is in your direct sight. Fold the paper gently in the opposite direction and roll it between your fingers gingerly until it retains the shape you need.
Place the cannabis in your paper with one hand, distributing it in such a way that there is less at the end where the crutch is going to be. You want to end up with a cone-shaped joint later. Straight joints are easier to roll, so for your first attempts, this is fine too. Ultimately, a cone-shaped joint will offer a way smoother smoke.
STEP 4: ROLL YOUR JOINT
Holding your paper containing the cannabis, start rolling it gently as you move your fingers from left to right to distribute the particles evenly. Insert your crutch from Step 2 into one end of the paper and then get to rolling. Make sure your fingers are near the filter. The closer together they are, the better.
Roll the paper back and forth to ensure the edge of the paper crosses over the crutch. You’re on your way to the perfect joint now! To make things easier, you can use our handy wooden rolling tray. It’s the perfect size for rolling joints and will catch any cannabis that might fall out. This way, you won’t need a table as you can just sit the tray on your lap.
STEP 5: LICK AND SEAL YOUR JOINT
Once you’ve rolled back and forth enough for the shape of the joint to appear, it’s time to close and seal it. Continue rolling between your fingers until the paper is pulled tight and the edge can be easily folded in with the tip. Roll until the glued side is just tucked slightly underneath the unglued side. Then, lick thoroughly through the outer layer to hit the glue layer, sealing up the sides and leaving the end open.
Make sure you do the tucking and sealing along the length of the joint slowly and gently. To prevent smoking too much paper, you can burn off the excess after sealing it. You don’t want to seal it up too tight, as it will be very hard to draw in smoke and take a hit. If it’s rolled too loose, though, it will burn unevenly or too quickly.
STEP 6: PACK YOUR JOINT
To ensure a smooth and even burn, you should now pack the joint. Use the pen (or any other object that will do the trick) to carefully press down the cannabis through the open end. You can also put back in anything that fell out earlier, or simply save it for another time. While holding the joint upright from the filtered end, gently tap it on a flat surface to compact the cannabis and push the crutch in for reinforcement.
STEP 7: TWIST THE END OF YOUR JOINT
Seal the open end by twisting the extra paper so it resembles a candle wick. This way, there is no possibility for any weed to fall out. You can keep your joint stored away like this if you are not going to smoke it right away. Once you are ready to smoke, the twisted end will be your lighting point.
STEP 8: LIGHT AND ENJOY
At this point, you are ready to indulge in your smoke. Now there is nothing between you and the sweet cannabis you just rolled. All you have to do is light it and enjoy. Your joint tastes the best the first time it’s lit. Therefore, try to smoke it all at once and not relight it. Relighting is bad for the taste, and we want you to enjoy every single puff so you get the most from your buds.
STEP 9: SHARE YOUR JOINT
For an even better experience, share your joint with some friends. Not only will it prevent you from having to relight it later, but you will have the chance to really take in its aroma and effects while you are waiting in-between turns. Lastly, it’s just a lot more fun to enjoy the high with your mates. Good times ahead!
If you want to learn how to roll the perfect joint, follow our step-by-step guide for tips and tricks to make the process as simple as possible.
Beginner Tips for Rolling Better Joints
Saturday February 9, 2019
U sing our handy step-by-step video guide, anyone can learn to roll a good joint, but some who’ve tried their hand at rolling come away dissatisfied. “Why doesn’t my joint look like the one in the video?” they wonder. While rolling a dried herb into a paper tube may sound like a simple task, the devil is in the details. If anyone element is wrong, it can hinder the smoking experience and ultimately waste your cannabis – and nobody wants that. As such, many who find joint rolling difficult are hesitant to devote the resources to perfecting the craft. Never fear though, the PotGuide team is here to help!
Common Beginner Joint Rolling Problems and How to Fix Them
We receive a lot of emails from readers looking to improve their joint rolling skills. Before moving onto the tips below, if you haven’t already viewed our video on how to roll a joint, take a few minutes to watch it and familiarize yourself with the basic technique. From there, use the tips below to refine your skills and become a joint rolling master!
Keep reading to learn some of the best trouble-shooting tips to help up your joint game and get to that next level of rolling perfect joints, every time.
Many new joint rollers are timid with handling the paper, and err on the side of a loose roll in order to avoid tearing the paper. Until you get a feel for the tensile strength of your chosen papers (and different materials will certainly have different strengths), accidentally ripping through the thing like the Hulk wrapping a Christmas present is a common occurrence.
To overcome a loose roll, practice your skills with a stronger rolling paper before moving to more delicate papers.
Zig-Zag Kings are a durable alternative, with a lot of paper to work with for inexperienced hands (the least amount of paper possible is the preferable way to roll, but consider this training wheels that can be staged down over time). Another creative option is to learn on JOB Crystal rolling papers. A cotton-mallow clear paper, these have the appearance of clear plastic, and are very sturdy. The transparent paper also allow you to see the bud inside and to better understand other defects in your roll. JOB Crystal papers are a bit rare to find these days, so you might need to consult a specialty smoke shop or look online. Any similar cotton-mallow papers will also work.
A bump in the middle of the joint with two divots on either side, commonly referred to as a “burrito,” is the telltale sign of a neophyte roller. This is where the thumbs’ range of motion ends, resulting in an uneven tuck. The most basic way to combat this is to be aware of it, and be sure to adjust your grip when packing and prepping for the roll step, focusing on keeping an even shape.
As most people roll their joints crutch to tip (though not the only way, roll however works for you), it is natural for flower to push towards the end. You’ll also want to make sure your cannabis is evenly spread inside the paper before you begin your rolling motion.
Many people struggle to keep tips or crutches in place and may avoid using them altogether. However, rolling with tip/crutch is always recommended, as it mitigates heat and keeps flower in place. Most hand rollers favor the zig-zag crimp; reliable to hold flower back from even heavy drags, and easy to adjust to size. When rolling the joint, hang half to a third of the tip out of the end, and proceed to roll the joint as usual. After the joint is rolled, simply push the tip flush into the joint to create a well packed seal. It really is that simple, and will make a world of difference.
Keeping It All Together
The hardest part of joint rolling is perfecting the roll motion, the moment of closure. This is the hardest part to acquire proficiency in and will rely the most on dexterity. Our first suggestion here is to go slow. People tend to rush at this stage, because the process is almost over. Remember to take a breath; you can do the roll as slow as you like, paying attention to each stage to make sure it’s going how you want it.
Got a bad start? Don’t commit to it, go back and try and adjust the tuck to your liking. It’s always a good idea to practice this step without finishing the joint (licking and sealing it). As you grow more comfortable with joint rolling, you’ll realize they are fairly stable and durable. Gently pulling outwards on the ends of the paper as you go can help maintain a taut roll.
A small twist at the tip of the paper can help compact the bud and seal off a joint. However, those new to rolling tend to get a bit overzealous on the twist, and wind up with a bulging, flower-packed end that will burn a good amount of product to ash before giving a good draw. This also has a tendency to make the joint run. If you find this a common problem with your joints, the Pacific Northwest has taken to solving this issue with the divot tip. Instead of a large twist, pinch the joint paper together, give a small turn, then compact the excess paper into the end of the joint. Pressing in just slightly to make an indentation. This should take a light touch, so as not to bend the joint. When lit, this will form a more even cherry with a smooth draw. If divot tips aren’t working for you, fill in the joint with more flower before twisting it off, or to cut the paper to size, and focus on keeping the twist small and symmetrical.
Of course, joint rolling takes practice. At the end of the day, it’s better to waste rolling papers than to waste flower. So, if you roll a joint you’re displeased with, don’t hesitate to rip that sucker open and start again. Many times, the general shape of the joint will remain intact, and is easily transferred to a new paper. You can add flower to bolster parts that need it, or fluff the whole mess up and start again. It’s also important to remember that there are many different ways to roll an effective joint and that everyone has their own techniques. Feel free to use the tips above as guidance for your joint rolling journey, but if you find other methods that serve you better then by all means use them!
As you progress in your skill with joint rolling, the key factor to nicer joints lies in improving the final rolling action. Work on getting down a smooth, controlled movement that feels even throughout. If you find this step difficult to control, try adjusting your grip until you find a more stable hold that works for you. It will come in time. Until then, addressing any minor flaws along the way can elevate your beginner efforts into things of pride, eager to be shown off and shared with others. Happy smoking!
Do you have any tips for beginner joint rollers? Share them in the comments below!
Matt Mongelia holds an MFA in writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has worked in the cannabis industry in various roles for 4 years, from dispensaries, production and retail to events, content and marketing. He is a writer for the comic Dark Beach, and has previously covered music and cultural content for SOL REPUBLIC.
Looking to improve your joint rolling skills? Then look no further! We've put together some of the best tips for getting better at rolling cannabis joints. Check them out and hone your skills to become a joint rolling master!