Of all the ways to consume cannabis, the trusty joint is not only the most iconic, but it’s often the most fun too. A joint is great to share in a session with friends, it’s practical, portable and delivers delicious flavour with a great high. Unlike glass bongs or pipes, there’s nothing to carry with you, clean or worry about breaking. For experienced cannabis smokers, rolling a joint often becomes a ritualistic aspect of getting high and turns into more of an artform than a necessary step. It’s no wonder that the ‘doobie’ is the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of smoking cannabis.
Of course, there’s a learning curve when it comes to rolling a joint because it requires a bit of know how and some skill. Don’t worry though because anyone can master the technique with a bit of practice.
There are many ways to roll a joint, from cones or functional pinners to trick rolls like tulips, helicopters or rolling inside-out. Some smokers like to include filters or carbs, others don’t, but no matter how you roll one up, joints are a cherished part of consuming cannabis.
If you’re new to rolling and smoking joints, you’re in the right place. We’ve sat down with our expert joint rollers and come up with everything you need to know when it’s time to roll the perfect joint and smoke it too.
What Do I Need to Roll A Joint?
A joint is usually a no-frills occasion but there are a few items that you’ll need on hand to roll one up.
Here’s a checklist of the necessities:
- Dried flower cannabis
- Rolling Papers (Hemp or Rice)
- Some type of grinder, a pair of scissors or your hands
- Filter material (optional) (also referred to as a carb or crutch)
Optional luxury items:
- Rolling tray
- Glass beads or other fancy filters
- Coffee grinder for weed
- Hash, Oils, Concentrates or Terpenes to add
- ‘Doob tube’ for storage
Preparing to Roll a Joint
Now that you’ve got your rolling supplies it’s time to get ready to roll a joint.
Step 1 – Grind your weed.
Of course, you could just crumble it up or pull it apart with your fingers, but a grinder or scissors will do a much better job. Use a classic two-piece (or more piece) grinder, chop it up with scissors, crumble it through a credit card style grinder or even throw it in your coffee grinder – it doesn’t matter. Just remember, you want your cannabis to be ground evenly. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a fine grind, medium grind or even a coarse grind, as long as it’s consistent. The dryness and consistency of your buds will often dictate the type of grind you’ll end up with. Once your finished grinding you can move onto the next step.
Step 2 – Get your rolling papers and filter material ready.
When selecting rolling papers, it’s recommended to choose a high-quality variety for the best results (leave the gas station Zig Zags alone). Pay attention to what they’re made from (no chemicals!). Typically, papers made from hemp or rice with a natural non-toxic glue are preferred. Hemp papers have been reported as being the easiest to roll with. Our Indiva Papers are made of 100% pure organic hemp and use a natural Arabic gum for the glue sticky. You’ll also want to match the size of your paper to the amount of weed you’ll be rolling up if possible. You can always rip, cut and stick papers together to make a larger joint, but the option of a king size paper is a nice thing to have around when it comes time to roll that 5-person session cannon.
Many rolling papers brands also come with filter material included. In our opinion, these ‘small pieces of cardboard material rolled into a cylindrical filter shape’ are necessary to make smoking your joint more enjoyable. Without a filter you’ll soon be passing around a soggy joint that may be difficult to smoke. If your papers don’t come with filter material, any cardboard you can roll up will do, use something without dye or lamination though.
Select your filter material and roll it into a cylinder the thickness you want the mouthpiece end of your joint to be. Try to include enough rolls inside the filter to ensure that your ground cannabis won’t be able to pass through into your mouth.
Step 3 – Give yourself space to roll
Even though a joint can be rolled in almost any situation (except underwater?) you’ll always need to prepare your “rolling area”. Ideally this is a nice clear table in your home, but sometimes it’s necessary to improvise. Rolling trays, folded pieces of cardboard, magazines, the back of your cellphone etc. make for emergency rolling surfaces to catch any weed you inevitably spill and a place to keep your stuff until you’re ready to roll it up.
Joint Rolling Technique
When rolling a joint there’s a few things you’re trying to achieve. You want the joint to be the correct size for the number of smokers joining the session, you want your dried flower to be uniformly distributed inside the joint, and you’ll want the joint to smoke as slowly as possible while still providing easy, smoky draws when you puff on it. You’ll also want it to look good but remember in this case function is more important.
Now that you’ve ground up your weed, selected your papers and made yourself an appropriate carb or filter you’re all set to begin rolling. Here’s a basic tutorial on how to roll a joint. Let’s get rolling!
1 – Hold your rolling paper lengthwise with the sticky (glue) on top and facing you. Curve (don’t fold) the paper between your thumbs and fingers to create a sort of “boat”. A common method is to support the paper with your thumbs and middle fingers, while you shape the paper around your index fingers inside the ‘boat’ of the curved paper.
2 – Reach for your filter that you’ve pre-made and place it carefully on either side of the rolling paper. If you’re right handed, place the carb on the left. If you’re leftie, place it on the right.
Using your thumb, index and middle fingers gently pinch the rolling paper and filter in your non-dominant hand, maintaining the curled shape. Your index finger should be inside the folded paper resting on top of the filter.
3 – With your dominant hand, grab a pinch of ground cannabis and sprinkle it evenly throughout the paper ‘boat’, making a nice uniformed layer that is slightly taller than your carb material. Don’t cover the carb with cannabis.
4 – Remove your index finger from on top of the carb and use both hands to pinch both tops of the paper lightly with your thumbs and index fingers. Begin gently massaging (rolling) your ground cannabis into a uniform tube-like shape. You can choose to make a straight or cone shape, it’s up to you, but the taper should be uniform, and the thickness of your cannabis should match your carb where they make contact.
5 – Now you’ve come to the most difficult part of rolling a joint- sealing the roll. Using your thumbs and index fingers, you need to roll the glue-free edge of paper towards you (down) as you form it around the ground cannabis, then roll upwards tucking the papers edge into the opposite side – wrapping the weed but leaving the papers glue exposed. Try to ‘roll’ the joint using the flat parts of your finger and not the very tips. A smooth motion is what you’re going for but working your way down, using your fingers to tuck the bottom paper into the opposite side is cool too while you practice. You can repeat this process a few times if necessary until you have a tuck that is as uniform and fold free as you can get it. If your weed gets too far out of alignment you can empty the joint and restart. Nice and sticky ground flower is a joy to roll but drier stuff can be more difficult to tuck nicely.
Proceed to lick the glue part of your paper and finish rolling upwards, allowing the glue to seal the joint.
6 – Finish off by gently packing or tapping the cannabis inside the joint towards the filter for an even seat. If your carb isn’t seated correctly, now is the time to fix it. Twist up the end of the joint you’re planning to light and trim off any excess rolling paper around the filter.
That’s it! You’re done and with a bit of luck you’ll have a pretty nice looking and functional joint ready to light.
Lighting a Joint Properly
Not sure how many times we’ve seen this. Someone has finished a painstaking roll, but when they go to light it, they get impatient and set fire to the whole first centimeter of their joint. It’s a big waste and not a good start to a session.
Instead what you should do is lightly (LIGHTLY!!) lick or ‘ring’ the first centimeter of joint with saliva. You might have seen characters in movies treat a joint like a popsicle when wetting it down, and that’s good – just don’t overdo it. Wetting the front section will help your joint light evenly and reduce the occurrence of the dreaded ‘canoe’ where one side of the joint burns faster than the other.
Then don’t just hold your lighter to the front of the joint and draw – it’s not a cigarette. Do it slowly, with patience and pay attention to how your joint is lighting up. Make it even and uniform, using your lighter repeatedly in small increments, often taking a small toke if needed to help the process along. If you notice an uneven burn beginning to happen, you can lick your finger and ring the joint just below the point where the uneven burn is occurring.
Sessioning a Joint
Once your joint is blazing, you should also know a few of the ground rules (or tips) on how to session a joint with your friends. Call it ‘smoking etiquette’ if you want to.
- Respect rollers rights. The person who rolled the joint gets to spark it.
- “Pass the dutchie on the left-hand side”. Just as the lyric says, when it’s time to pass the joint – send it to the left.
- In a session, taking 3 tokes and then passing the joint (to the left) is the norm.
- Always ash the joint before you pass it along.
- Likewise, always ensure the joint is lit before you pass it on.
- Don’t waste weed, make sure you inhale.
- Wet and ring the joint if you notice that it’s starting to burn unevenly.
- Don’t throw the roach into the ashtray once you think it’s finished. Always ask around to see if anyone wants a last round or if someone wants to keep it for a roach collection.
Do Joint Rollers Work?
You really should roll your own joint, or at least know how. It’s something like a right of passage amongst smokers and a good skill to learn regardless. However, if you’re unsure about rolling a joint, or aren’t physically capable, a joint roller might be able to help. There are a few different styles around, and many people swear by them. They are simple to use and will generally roll a decent, straight-style joint. People with arthritis in their hands or medical patients who roll a lot of joints are more likely to use a joint rolling machine.
If you’re not into rolling joints, roll a lot of them or just want to try something new, pre-rolled joints are a good solution. No explanation required, pre-rolled joints are typically available wherever legal cannabis is sold and are a great way to sample multiple strains in a quick, ready to go smoking solution. Our Indiva Pre-rolls are crafted by hand using our best dried cannabis flower for flavourful terpenes and potency. Our pre-rolls are a cost-effective option to sample strains from our rotating menu.