How to Roll a Joint

Bethan Jenkins

March 21st, 2017

Policy, Top News

Smoking a joint packed with potent bud is an enjoyable pastime for many and as the medicinal benefits of cannabis are surfacing, weed use is growing. If you are someone who is intrigued by marijuana’s potential to stimulate creative thinking, instill a feeling of calmness, and even boost the metabolism, learning how to roll a joint is a must. Sure, you might not be able to roll the best joint in the world right away, but practice makes perfect. Unlike commercial tobacco cigarettes, a joint is hand-rolled, which somewhat adds to the satisfaction of taking each puff.

As the fastest growing industry in the US, the number of people inhaling the THC-filled smoke from this multi-purpose herb is rising, not to mention the number of cannabis careers. According to Scientific Reports, the drug is 114 times safer than alcohol, so why not join the pot movement and teach yourself how to roll a joint today?

The Joint’s Journey from Past to Present

Even before the world knew that cannabis could kill cancer cells and have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, there were still plenty of marijuana advocates learning how to roll a joint around the world. In the past, rolling a smooth blend of tobacco and bud with smoking papers and a roach was not necessarily the preferred way to get high. An alternative to the typical marijuana cigarette was to inhale weed fumes through a pipe, chillum, or hookah. However, many historical icons have shaped the weed culture, with 5th president of the United States James Monroe even enjoying a joint or two until the ripe old age of 73!

Mexico plays an important role in the history of the joint, with the country boasting the first recorded use of a cannabis joint some time around 1856. In fact, laborers would mix it  with their regular cigarettes as a way of relaxing in-between jobs. Marijuana joints were mentioned just four years later in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, and the rest is history. A filter, or what is commonly known as a roach, is named after the Mexican folk song “La Cucaracha”.

Over the years, more people in various cultures worldwide have jumped on the joint-rolling bandwagon. Nowadays, 1 in 8 adults in the US smoke marijuana on a regular basis according to a recent Gallup poll, with the “spliff” being a favoured method of cannabis consumption. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another component of weed that is being acknowledged for its therapeutic effects, just like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Read more about where to buy CBDs here.

Joint Rolling Supplies

With so many cannabis vendors going global these days, you won’t have trouble stocking up on essential supplies. Look for the following high-quality rolling supplies to ensure you learn how to roll a joint the right way:

  • Preferred strain of marijuana
  • Cannabis grinder
  • Filter/roach
  • Joint or blunt papers

Joint Rolling Steps

Now it’s time to learn how to roll a joint, step-by-step. Follow the steps in a wind-free zone and try to avoid distractions. After all, you want to smoke the perfect joint, right? The steps listed below won’t take long to read, but they might take a while to master:

  • Grind the Weed – Keep in mind that some strains of cannabis are stickier than others and so, your hands will become sticky if you don’t use a grinder. A grinder also ensures an even mixture, so add your weed and twist the grinder until the buds break down nicely.
  • Make a Filter/Roach – If you don’t purchase a roach book, use a piece of thin cardboard to make a tip. Better known as a filter or roach, the tip prevents weed from falling out, ensures a smoother smoke, and adds stability to the joint-rolling process.
  • Sprinkle the Weed – Whether you mix the cannabis with tobacco or not is up to you. Distribute the weed evenly along the length of the rolling paper and put your roach in its rightful position (the opposite end to the end you will light).
  • Pack the Joint – Use your thumb and index finger to roll the joint back and forth until you are happy with the shape. While some people like their joints to be long and narrow, other smokers prefer to puff on a short and fat spliff!
  • Roll the Joint – This is the hard part, or so it seems. Beginners may find it easier to tack down one end of the joint with the glued end, so as to prevent the joint from unfolding when rolling. Roll upwards and when you have nothing left to roll, lick the glued side of the joint, before folding it gently onto the paper.

Joint Rolling Techniques

There is more than one way to learn how to roll a joint. The technique you opt for depends on your level of skill and smoking requirements. Here’s an overview of some popular methods, and the pros and cons of each:

  • Basic Rolling – Wheat straw, thin rice, or hemp papers are best for basic rolling. With your mix and roach at the ready, take your paper. Make sure the glue side is face-up. Evenly scatter the mixture along the length of the paper and make it as cylindrical as possible by rolling it back and forth, using your thumb and index finger on each hand. Place the filter at the end (left or right, depending on your rolling preferences) and fold the bottom edge of the paper over the mixture, which should be cylindrical-shaped by now. Slowly roll upwards, before you seal the joint by licking the glue side and pressing it onto the outside of the rolled paper. Twist the end to avoid losing your precious herbal mix! A downside to basic joint rolling is that you will be smoking paper. However, if you roll it tight, you can expect a smooth, long-lasting smoking experience.
  • Dollar Bill Rolling – Don’t worry if you are not sure how to roll a joint the traditional way, because a dollar bill can come in handy for newbie smokers, or even for smokers with an unsteady hand. Shape your mix by rolling it inside a rolling paper, inside a dollar bill. When you feel satisfied that the mix is shaped enough, fold the dollar bill in half and push your thumbs up – slowly does it. Now that your cylinder is formed, carefully remove the joint and apply slight pressure with the fingertips to prevent it from unraveling. Seal it the same way as you would seal a basic joint. While this is a good option for those who cannot freestyle roll, you won’t be able to see how well your joint is rolled until you remove it from the dollar bill. The end of the joint might pinch together when you adopt this technique, making it hard to insert the roach, so position the roach before rolling.
  • Blunt Rolling – If you are keen to get really high then you ought to wrap up a fat blunt! The cigar paper must be moist to accomplish this task. Any small tears in the paper can be sealed by licking the edges. Be generous with your mix, shape it as you roll, and tuck the cigar paper’s shorter side around the mix as you roll upwards. Remember to bake the joint before you spark up. You can do this by running the lighter flame from bottom to top, until the paper appears a darker shade. The heat from the flame will ‘wake up’ the THC in your weed, thus giving you a better high. Considered a beautiful art by many, blunt rolling requires precision and therefore might not be the best option for beginners.

Now that you know how to roll a joint, the technique you choose is up to you. Just remember to arrange your supplies before rolling, use the best rolling paper and most importantly, be patient. Inhaling when you ignite is not recommended. Cannabis joints don’t burn the same way as tobacco cigarettes, so rotate the joint as you light it to ensure the cherry is slow-burning. If possible, find a comfortable spot and a good view when you light up!

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Bethan Jenkins

About Bethan Jenkins

Bethan is a full-time wanderluster, traveler, and digital nomad with 7 years of experience in the freelance writing world. She has mastered the art of beating jet lag and using hammocks as an office for content curation.

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