Spliffs, J’s, refeers, doobies – whatever your term of choice, ‘joints’ have been around since the early days and regarded as the staple go-to method for consuming cannabis.
Back in the early days when cigarettes weren’t available in packs, rolling a perfect cone-shaped joint was an art form in itself and truly appreciated. After all, in every smoking circle, there’s a designated de-facto joint artist – the guy or gal everyone’s rooting for when it’s time for the team to kick back and enjoy a little trip together.
Perhaps it’s time you polished up your joint rolling skills too. As long as you’re armed with the right information and know the best methods for rolling a joint, you really don’t need to be a marijuana joint artist or cannabis rolling magician to craft a slow-burning and satisfying joint.
Whether it’s your first time rolling a joint, or you’re just looking to improve your joint rolling skills, this article more than meets both the aforementioned scenarios.
However, before we explain the easy steps to rolling a joint, the following aspects must be carefully considered in order to make those cannabis smoking sessions as pleasurable as possible for you and your compadres:
Good Joint Smoking Sense
Top-notch Rolling Paper
If you’re still buying Zig-Zags from your local gas station, it’s time we put a stop to it because they are seriously impacting the natural flavour of your joints.
Now, there are three basic types of rolling papers, having their own unique characteristics which have an effect on not only how your joints roll but also how they burn. Wood pulp rolling papers are not the best quality – instead, you want to go with rice or hemp paper. Plus, if you are just learning how to roll a joint, give hemp paper a try as it’s easy to roll and also stays lit quite well.
Seasoned rollers who yearn for a slow and tasteless burn as well as a precise roll should go with rice papers.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Picking the right size of rolling paper is a decision you will need to make based on several factors like how many people will be passing around the joint, how many will you be rolling per session, what everybody’s tolerance level is, etc.
However, the most widely used size is the 1 ¼ inch variety – declared as the ‘standard rolling paper size’ by new and considerably advanced users alike. It’s also perfect for a session between 1-3 users who have a low-moderate tolerance level.
King size rolling papers, also known as King Slims, are ideal for moderate tolerance users in a group of 2-5 users or a high tolerance group of 1-3 users.
Get the Grind Right
A good cannabis grinder isn’t that expensive and irrespective of how good or not so good you are at rolling, we always recommend grinding your cannabis in order to roll the perfect marijuana joint.
Even though metal grinders are more durable and provide the smoothest, most consistent grinding action, plastic or wood ones work almost just as well. So as long as you’re using a grinder, you’re on track!
Consider Using a Crutch
When was the last time someone passed over a joint with a soggy tip that made you go “Oh, for heaven’s sakes”? You don’t have to see yourself or your smoking gang go through the same cringe-worthy experience.
Use a crutch – a mouthpiece made of wood pulp or glass, also referred to as a tip or filter. Just go down to your local store and ask them to point you to rolling tips that can accommodate King Slims or 1 ¼ inch rolling paper.
Crutches serve a number of useful purposes; e.g. they work as a handle to aid in holding and passing joints along to others, while also increasing airflow for an effortless draw. In addition, they work alongside the joint rolling process, helping you make a perfectly symmetrical cylinder in which the rolled marijuana can be easily packed. An added bonus: smoke your joint right up to the last few millimetres!
Take Your Time Arranging the Grind before Rolling
If you’ve ever seen a rolled joint that looks like there’s an elbow poking out from the middle, you know that whoever rolled it did not position the bud properly before rolling it. Take your time with this – a little bit of gentle organisation using your fingertips is all that’s needed.
If you’re smoking with a small group, go with ‘pinners’ where the cannabis is packed tightly together and uniform in diameter from top to bottom. If you’re looking for a more powerful hit from the joint, roll it up in a ‘cone’ style which kind of looks like a small megaphone and also maximises the rolling paper’s size efficiently.
Rolling great joints isn’t possible if the ground cannabis isn’t arranged properly. So take your time ‘driving the cannabis down’ into the rolling paper to create a seamless and aesthetically pleasing tube.
By rolling the paper back and forth gently with your fingertips, the bud inside can be neatly and uniformly arranged. Time for a quick inspection: put it on a table and if it fails to retain its cylindrical shape, back to the drawing board it is for you.
This is important because if you don’t take the time to do it properly, you simply won’t be getting that tight tuck that expert joint rollers strive for.
Paper Tension Starts at the Tip
Even if you’ve done your best to tuck it in properly, you may see a crinkle or two. Not to worry – use one hand to hold the tuck firmly, and gradually shift your other hand to the tip – now pull away from where the crutch is. You’d want to create only enough tension to smooth out the paper.
Good Lighting Sense
Since cannabis joints do not burn like regular cigarettes, they need to be ignited in a specific way. Rotate the joint slowly, all the while increasing direct heat applied to the front tip to create that slow-burning, long-lasting effect. And don’t inhale as you light it up. Let it burn for a few seconds, and then gently take a hit.
Rolling the Perfect Joint
To roll a joint, you’ll need:
- Half gram of cannabis
- Rolling papers
- Cannabis grinder
Step 1 – Break Down the Cannabis
Even though you can do this by hand, we’d recommend a grinder because it makes breaking down the cannabis really easy and saves time as well as energy. However, some strains can be stickier than others, in which case, you’ll need to break down the buds by hand.
Use a metal cannabis grinder to evenly break down your half a gram piece.
Step 2 – Make a Crutch (Tip or Filter)
If you haven’t already bought a crutch – no problem – they can be made at home using thicker paper or thin cardboard sheets.
Some rolling papers, however, come with the same number of filters as the papers, so buying those will spare you a lot of time.
Still, if you prefer to do this yourself, then the easiest way to make a crutch is to fold the first few millimetres of thick paper or thin cardboard sheet 2-3 times and then roll it up in the exact same direction.
This will prevent the cannabis residue from going directly into your mouth, and also aid in passing the joint around more easily.
Step 3 – Fill the Paper up and Pack it
If you’ve ever heard someone say packing joints properly is the hardest part, don’t let them discourage you. Just do this:
- Place the filter on one side of the paper; the sticky part needs to face up and turned towards you
- Place the grinded cannabis in the paper; pack less near the filter and more towards the other end if you desire a cone-shaped joint
- Take the bottom non-sticky portion of the rolling paper and pinch it together with the upper portion
- You can now start to shape up your joint by pressing the packed cannabis down; tug the bottom portion of the paper in a downward motion as well
Step 4 – Roll up the Joint
Press and push down the grinded cannabis with your fingers and roll it up slowly using your filter thumb. Your other thumb needs to travel upward from the filter end, because the bottom portion of the rolling paper needs to be tucked in.
If you learn to do this properly at the same time while rolling the filter in an upward motion, you will get that nice cone shape.
Step 5 – Wrap up the Joint
Use the end of a cigarette filter or a thin ballpoint pen to tap the top open end of the joint so that it is properly packed.
Now wrap the top end by twisting it clockwise with your thumb and index finger.
That’s it! Time to fire up your freshly rolled joint.