How to Roll a Joint: A Step
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How to Roll a Joint: A Step

Nov 11, 2023

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Roll up to the function with out-of-this-world rolling skills — with help from an expert.

Although there are plenty of cool weed gadgets on the market, joints remain one of the cheapest — and most timeless — ways to ingest cannabis. Not only that, joints are portable (no need to bring a backpack housing a bong) and an entry-level way to get into weed (no need to know the difference between convection and conduction with rolling a joint).

There are many ways to roll a joint, but this is the standard pinner, or cylinder, method. Keep it up, and you’ll light up the joint with your joint rolling skills.

A joint is cannabis rolled up in a thin rolling paper made of hemp, rice straw, wood pulp or flax. One end of the joint is lit with fire (usually from a lighter) and the cannabis is ingested by inhaling from the non-lit end. Joints are not to be confused with their brethren, spliffs (a roll filled with a cannabis-tobacco mix) and blunts (a roll with cannabis inside of a cigar wrapper made of tobacco).

A filter, also known as a tip or crutch, can be made from a sturdy piece of paper (think thick cardboard or a business card) or bought from a head shop or tobacco store. Reusable crutches are usually made from wood, silicone, glass or ceramic. Filters are optional when rolling a joint, but using one will vastly improve your experience.

“Adding a filter to your hand-rolled joints offers both fashion and function,” says Carolyn Chu, Founder and CEO of GP Cannabis Awards-winner Papers + Ink. “Filters not only improve smokability in maximizing airflow, but they also filter out some of the tar and carcinogens, block any unwanted resin or shake from pulling through, keep your fingertips smell-free and allow for a base to hold so that the tip doesn’t end up being soggy in saliva (a real party foul in smoking etiquette).”

In addition, a filter will make your joint more durable and will allow you to smoke more of it without burning your fingers (or reaching for a roach clip). And while you can make your own, it’s considerably easier to just buy some like these wood pulp filters from Papers + Ink.

Break down your cannabis into an herb-like consistency: think oregano. A good grinder will easily do the trick, but you can also use your fingers or scissors. However, a grinder allows for even consistency, which will lead to an even burn.

“Fold the rolling paper into a slight diagonal with index finger & thumbs. The gumline should be at the top facing you,” says Chu. “You’ll know where this is because there is a slight shine.” Then, place your filter on either end of the paper.

The ratio of weed to rolling paper is usually one-third to one-half a gram of weed to a single one-and-a-quarter-inch wide rolling paper (also abbreviated as 1 1/4, the most common rolling paper size). The larger the rolling paper, the more weed you’ll use. Evenly distribute the cannabis into the rolling paper, making sure not to overstuff it. If you want to make a cone-shaped joint, add less flower toward the crutch and more flower toward the other end.

With the adhesive-coated side still facing you, pin the paper between your thumb and index finger and roll it back and forth to pack the cannabis into a cylindrical or cone shape (roll diagonally for the latter). “Start tucking the paper tightly around the filter first, then follow the tuck throughout the roll until fully rolled,” Chu says.

Lick the gumline to seal the joint, starting at the mouthpiece end. Finally, use a tamping stick, pen, chopstick or something similar (shoelace tip from your sneakers) to pack down the cannabis toward the mouthpiece. If you lost weed while rolling your joint, now is the time to add it back in.

Twist the excess paper at the tip of the joint. Spark up the other end with a lighter and inhale through the other. Enjoy with friends or by yourself.

What Is a Joint?What You’ll NeedHow to Roll a JointStep 1: Grind Your FlowerStep 2: Fold Your Paper and Add Your FilterStep 3: Fill 'Er UpStep 4: Roll Your JointStep 5: Seal and TampStep 6: Finish Your Joint and Enjoy!Tips for Perfecting Your Joint