A Guide to Rolling a Joint
Smoking joints remains one of the most popular ways to consume cannabis—they’re social, convenient, and easily disposable. Despite the advent of pre-rolls, there is something especially satisfying about a hand-rolled joint. Learning to roll a great joint takes time and practice, however, the process of rolling a joint is straightforward, accomplished by even novice smokers, and considered by many as an initiation into cannabis culture.
Collect Cannabis Accouterments
Before you begin rolling a joint, you need to collect a few key items:
Pen, chopstick, or another similarly shaped item to help pack the joint
Rolling tray (not necessary, but helps to make rolling easier and neater)
If you’re just getting started rolling jays, you’ll want to keep it simple—save the king-size and cross joints for when you refine your skills. To roll a classic joint, you’ll want a ½ gram of flower and 1¼ size rolling papers, for example, the legendary orange Zig Zags.
Orange Zig Zags are a long-time favorite, but today’s smokers will find a huge variety of papers available from a multitude of companies and made from different materials, such as hemp, rice, bamboo, and flax. Thin papers are known to deliver a superior smoking experience—they don’t detract from the flavor of the flower—however, they’re notoriously tricky to roll. Beginners are better off opting for a heavier paper that is easier to work with.
How to Roll a Joint in Seven Steps
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary materials to roll a joint, you’re ready to roll.
Step 1: Grind Cannabis
Break your cannabis down to a consistent size using a grinder and remove any sticks or stems. Make sure not to grind it so small that it will pass through the filter when inhaling. Grinding cannabis makes filling joints easier, improves their consistency, and ultimately results in joints that burn better and deliver a smoother smoking experience.
A grinder is the preferred method for breaking down flower. It helps ensure that the cannabis produced possesses a consistent structure, while also keeping your hands from getting sticky which can complicate the rolling process. If a grinder isn’t available, it’s possible to break down flower using everything from your hands to scissors to keys.
Step 2: Make a Filter
After grinding the cannabis, create a crutch (also known as a filter or tip), to place at one end of the rolling paper. A crutch isn’t necessary, but it makes smoking a joint more pleasant by boosting airflow through the joint, making it easier to hold, keeping you from inhaling shake, and preventing you from burning your fingertips or lips.
Pre-made crutches are available from places like your local dispensary, however, they’re easy and inexpensive to make. Start with a thick piece of paper, manilla folder, or business card and cut a rectangle-shaped strip about a half-inch wide. From one end, fold the strip times like an accordion a few times (or, if you prefer, a series of “W”s for weed) then wrap the rest of the strip around the folded part to the thickness of the joint.
Step 3: Place the Crutch and Fill Cannabis
Put the crutch in the rolling paper and fill it with ground cannabis. Some smokers prefer to position the crutch with a little of the end left exposed and push it flush with the edge of the rolling paper when finished rolling. Others prefer to simply roll the crutch flush with the end of the joint from the start. With the cannabis in the rolling paper, start to form the joint using your hands. The goal is to spread the cannabis evenly along its length and avoid overstuffing it.
Step 4: Roll Joint
This is where the magic and the quality of the joint will largely depend on how well you roll. Fold the paper into a taco shape and use your fingers and thumbs to compact the weed, ensure distributed evenly, and give it its final shape. Tuck the non-glue edge of the rolling paper around the ground flower, keeping it tight, as you wrap the rest of the paper around the bud. A well-crafted joint is rolled loose enough that it will burn evenly and not so tight that it restricts airflow.
Step 5: Seal the Deal
Lightly lick the glue side of the paper and seal the joint. Start by sealing the crutch end to give the joint stability, and work your way down the rest of the seam.
Step 6: Pack the Joint
Once the joint is sealed, you can collect any loose cannabis that might have escaped the roll and add it to the open end of the joint. Use a pen, chopstick, or similar item to pack the cannabis gently toward the mouthpiece to ensure it burns consistently. Don’t overdo it—if you pack the cannabis too tightly, it can have the opposite effect and make the joint difficult to smoke.
Step 7: Finish with a Flourish
Pinch the remaining paper at the non-crutch end of the joint and give it a twist to keep any cannabis from falling out of the end and enjoy.
Remember rolling a joint is like any other skill and takes practice to perfect. It won’t be long until you’re rolling perfectly wrapped, smooth smoking joints.
Get Rolling with Bonsai Flower
Although rolling skills go a long way in determining the quality of a joint, you’re going to want to make sure you use phenomenal flower. Bonsai flower isn’t just premium bud, art. Bonsai flower is hand selected and meticulously manicured to ensure it’s of the highest quality—something every joint deserves, whether it’s an expertly rolled or a practice pinner.