How To Roll A Joint
Updated: Jan 14
The ability to roll a joint is almost a right of passage in stoner culture. Not only is it one of the more iconic forms of cannabis consumption, but if done right, it can be one of the more enjoyable ways to smoke. In the midst of covid, we aren’t really recommending people share their joints with each other, but that doesn't mean you can’t roll one up just for yourself to enjoy!
Here’s what you’re going to need:
Rolling papers - In the past I would have recommended King Size papers, but since we aren’t really sharing joints right now, 1 ¼ inch papers should get the job done just fine.
Crutches - I know a lot of OG stoners are going to scoff at the idea of using a crutch, but I like them for a couple of reasons. First, crutches help to shape your joint, which if you’re new to rolling, is extremely helpful. Second, using a crutch ensures that you’re smoking all of the weed in your joint without needing a roach clip and burning your lips. Third, crutches keep the end of your joint from becoming a soggy mess with no hole to pull smoke through anymore.
Grinder - Again, some old heads out there are going to argue that weed broken down by hand is far superior for rolling; and if this were a blunt, I would be inclined to agree. However, for a joint, even air-flow but packed airflow is a necessity since joint papers are going to burn faster than a blunt wrap will. Not to mention, grinded up weed is easier to shape, making the joint rolling process easier as well.
Cannabis - You can roll a joint out of any weed, but if you want to actually enjoy your smoking experience, that’s a different story. You want your weed to be fresh and well cured, not too dry or moist. If your weed is too dry, it’s going to taste bad, burn fast, and you run the risk of flicking your weed out of your joint the first time you try to flick your ash. On the other hand, if your weed is too moist, it will keep going out, and every time you have to relight your joint is another opportunity for that joint to start canoeing. Weed that is too moist also runs the risk of clogging your joint with resin, forcing you to throw half of it away because no air can get through.
Rolling tray - this isn’t absolutely necessary for rolling a joint, but chances are if this is your first attempt at the craft, you’re going to be spilling weed. Better to keep it in a contained area so the mess doesn’t spread and you don’t waste any valuable flower.
Step 1 - Grind your weed.
You don’t want to grind it too much or it’ll pull through the filter, but don’t leave your flower too chunky or airflow won’t be even.
Step 2- Make your crutch.
I usually always have a book of filter papers laying around that I use to make my crutch (they’re really easy to buy in bulk on sites like Amazon.) That being said, a lot of things can make due as a crutch - think any paper material that is around card stock thickness, like a thin business card, or the top flap of your book of papers. You want your cardboard/paper for your filter to be a strip that measures about ¾” x 2”. You want to accordion fold one end of your crutch 3 or 4 times (I do it three times because that’s how Wiz taught me) and then you want to roll the rest of the length of your crutch around it so you end up with a small cylinder that has a “W” in the middle of it. This is your crutch, and how wide or narrow you end up making it will determine how thick your joint will be. Remember, your crutch is going to give shape to your joint, so if you want a thinner joint, make sure your folds are thinner, and vice versa.
Step 3 - Get your joint ready to roll.
Grab your rolling paper and hold it hotdog style with the glue strip on the inside of the paper facing you. Put your crutch in the natural fold in the paper, and line it up with the left edge. Pinch the left side of your rolling paper just above the filter tip in order to give your paper a slight boat shape. After that, take your weed from the grinder and put it in your paper. Since you’re a beginner and you theoretically grabbed something to use as a rolling try, don’t worry about overfilling your paper. At this stage, it’s easier to overfill your joint and let the extra weed fall out while you're rolling than it is to not roll enough weed in your joint and have to stuff more in from the tip.
Step 4 - Shape your weed.
Once you have your weed in your paper, it’s time to roll that joint up. Pinch the right end of your paper in the same way your holding the left. Next, rolling the two ends that you have pinch back and forth between your thumbs and pointer fingers. As you do this, the weed that is in the “boat” of your paper should start taking shape inside your paper.
Step 5 - Tuck, Roll, and Lick.
Once your weed has taken the shape that you’re looking for, it’s time to actually roll that sucker and secure all of the green inside. Still holding your joint paper with the glue facing you, tuck the left side of the paper closest to you behind the filter nice and tight (you don’t want the crutch to fall out mid sesh.) Once it’s tucked, fold the rest of your paper (the side closest to you without any glue on it) over the length of the weed, tucking the edge behind the weed across the entire length of the joint. Once that first tuck is made, all that’s left is to roll the joint the rest of the way up until you’re left with a joint that has the glue end sticking up like an envelope. Give that strip a lick, and seal that paper to itself.
Step 6 - Pack your joint.
Until you become a pro at estimating how much weed you need for your joint as well as how big you want it, chances are, you’re going to have loose air pockets in your joint that will affect how it burns. To fix this, take a pen or a chopstick or anything with a similar shape and use it to pack in the end of your joint. Add more weed to the end as necessary. If you’re ready to spark up right then and there, go right ahead. If you need to wait before smoking your joint, give that end a little twist, and your weed should be secure until you’re ready to spark up.