Joints. Doobies. Left-Handed Cigarettes. Fatties, Spliffs, Goof Butts, J's. The Cannabis Cigarette.
We all love the twisted green wonders known by dozens or perhaps hundreds of different names around the globe... but not all of us can roll a good, solid joint that burns well every time. We've put together a few tips to help you become the master roller you always wanted to be.
First, A Bit Of History
Although cannabis use has been documented for thousands of years, the use of cannabis cigarettes or joints, is a much newer phenomenon. Up until quite recently, pipes, bongs, chillums, & hookahs were the go to method for smoking one's grass stash.
In fact, the first documented use of a joint comes to us from a pharmacist at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico around 1850, who noted that farm workers in the area were mixing marijuana with their tobacco in cigarettes.
From there you can trace the popularity of the practice through migrant workers, jazz musicians, the Vietnam War, hippies, and on to the present day where joint rolling has become an art form. But enough about that, we digress.
Enough History, Show Me How To Roll!
Fair enough. So first off, the necessary equipment.
You will need:
> Cannabis (ideally not overly dry, some stickiness is helpful)
> Grinder (or scissors & a shotglass, or fingers)
> Rolling Papers (wood papers are good for beginners as they're strong, hemp is a good all- around option, while experts often prefer the thinnest papers, typically made of rice paper)
> Filters (to place at the end of the joint)
> Rolling Tray (helps keep things tidy, and provides an even, flat surface)
> Pokey Stick (something to help pack the weed in to the joint)
Step 1: Prepare the Cannabis
If you have a grinder, it's the real hero here. Grinders are by far the easiest method of busting up your flower in to shake. Just put in your weed and twist!
If times are tough, try using scissors & a shot glass, or just scissors, or breaking up the grass loosely with your fingers. When you're done, you should have evenly ground flower with no stems or seeds.
Step 2: Prepare Your Paper
Your rolling paper will likely have a fold in it already, but it can help to roll your paper in to a U shape between your fingers as this will help create a natural channel for the cannabis to sit in.
At this stage (or when it's fully rolled), you can add a filter. Typically a rolled up slice of business card or front of the rolling paper pack, although you can buy purpose made tips as well. Using a filter helps keep the cannabis inside the joint, and not your mouth.
Step 3: Add The Grass
When everything is ready and it's time to start making the magic happen, you'll want to evenly spread the marijuana along the paper, adding slightly more than needed. You'll lose some over the edge while rolling, but this ensures a properly filled joint.
You can add more to one end if you prefer a cone shape, but you definitely want to avoid having too much in the middle resulting in a 'pregnant' look. A nice even spread is best.
Step 4: Time To Roll
Now the tricky bit! Once your cannabis has been added to the paper, slightly pack it down, and begin to roll the paper between your forefingers and thumbs and the weed should start to stick together into a cylinder or cone shape.
Now, using your thumbs push the side of the paper closer to you over and into the joint. Some prefer to roll and close up one end and then the other, some prefer to roll both ends at once. You'll find your groove. When tucked in, lick the glue strip, and complete the rolling motion to close over the joint.
Step 5: Tidy Up
Now that your joint is sealed, you can put the finishing touches on it. First, pack down the cannabis at the ends if needed using a pokey stick of some kind. (Pen ends, screwdrivers, paper clips, basically anything long & pokey) This ensures all the cannabis is evenly spread throughout the joint.
Then twist up one end of the joint until well sealed. If you don't have anything stick-like, you can grab the joint by the unsealed end and give it a give flick or two again help distribute the weed if needed. Just make sure you have twisted up one end first!
Add your filter (if you haven't already), and that baby is ready to burn!
Step 6: Light It Up!
When ready to go, you'll want to apply your lighter to the very tip of the twisted end of the joint and apply the heat evenly.
Roll the joint around to ensure you get a evenly burning cherry at the tip. You can have the joint in your mouth while doing this, but some prefer to just hold it and light it. Again, you'll find your thing.
A Few More Tips
If you've tried this and other guides without success, there are a variety of fantastic rolling machines available here at Good Roots which can really simplify the process. Not all of us are blessed with good hands & patience.
Hopefully your joint rolling skills level up after reading our guide, but if all else fails, well... here's the link to our Pre-Rolls menu!
The Good Roots Gang