Extracts, vape pens, and oils—oh my! It’s never been a better time to be a stoner. While new and nuanced highs continue to flourish, there is something to be said about getting back to basics. Few joys are more exquisite than rolling your very own handcrafted work of combustible art: the humble marijuana cigarette, the classic joint. Knowing how to roll the perfect joint requires more finesse than packing a bowl, but its timeless appeal means that learning the art of joint rolling is worth your time. Whether this is your very first joint or you’re a seasoned ‘head looking for a new trick or two, we’ve got your back. Here’s how to roll the perfect joint, every single time.
Get on Your Grind
Whichever method you choose—hand rolling, machine rolling, or using pre-rolled cones—the single most important step you can take to ensure a smooth, even smoke is perfecting the grind of your green. Keep a sturdy grinder in your kit to aid you in your quest to roll the perfect joint. Caught without your gear? Try rubbing two nugs together: the friction will create a finer end result than pulling a sticky bud apart with your fingers. Look for anywhere between a half to full gram of marijuana to fill the ideal joint.
Pick from a Peck of Papers
There are nearly as many sizes, shapes, flavors, colors, and materials of papers you can use to roll a joint as there are strains of marijuana you can use to fill it. When you’re starting out, however, it’s best to choose a paper made from a forgiving material like wood pulp or hemp as well as a slightly larger size (1 ¼”). Feeling ready for a challenge? Try thinner rolling papers made from rice… or papers made from edible gold!
Pro tip: Don’t forget the crutch! Sometimes called a roach or filter tip, a crutch is a rolled piece of slightly heavier paper that can be tucked into the end of your joint. It’s an important element in how to roll the perfect joint. A crutch will not only give structure to your creation but eliminates some of the more unseemly aspects of smoking a joint. No more burnt fingers or lips, flower stuck in your teeth, or perfectly rolled joints sealed shut mid-smoke by saliva. Some paper packs come with crutch material, but there are plenty of alternatives: business cards, ticket stubs, or single-use public transit cards work in a pinch.
Hand Rolling for the Hardcore Herbalists
Once you’ve ground your weed, chosen your paper, and rolled your crutch, the real magic begins. Whether you are left- or right-handed, you’ll begin with the gummed edge of the paper facing you and at the top. Fold and then unfold the bottom half of the paper in half; this creates a shelf for the marijuana to rest while you fill the paper. Leave enough room at the end—on the left if you are left-handed, on the right if you are right-handed—to accommodate the crutch.
Fold the paper around the weed and begin to roll it back and forth between your fingers to create an evenly distributed cylinder of cannabis. Push the crutch into the dominant-hand-appropriate end of the almost-joint and continue to roll it between your fingers a few more times.
This next step is by far the trickiest. Mastering the tuck-and-twist necessary to roll a perfect joint will come only through muscle memory, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t stick the landing on your first try.
As you roll the weed between your fingers, tuck the (left for lefties, right for righties) end of the ungummed paper between the compressed bullet of bud and the other side of the paper. As you nestle the paper there, continue the upward rolling motion of your fingers, and the tucked edge should pull the paper around the rapidly forming joint.
Moisten the edge of the gum with the tip of your tongue just before the final revolution that will produce your perfect joint. Too much spit can undermine an otherwise beautifully crafted joint so err on the side of modesty before you slobber all over it.
Give the joint a few moments to dry before using a pencil, chopstick, or another long-yet-softly-pointy object to tamp down the weed. Now you have your very own perfect hand rolled joint! If you’re more of a visual person, check out this video of our joint rolling tips in action:
Didn’t go so well? Try, try again! Or, try something new…
Hack Your Way to the Perfect Joint
Tired of the same ol’ roll-and-smoke? Looking to churn out a bevy of burny-bois for your bachelor(ette) bash? Or maybe arthritis or other fine motor skill hindrances keeps your fingers from working the magic that they once could? Never fear! Besides bringing new ways to get THC into your bloodstream, technology enhances even the old school method of smoking a joint.
Rolling machines make for excellent tools in the search for how to roll the perfect joint. They come in both manual and electric varieties, and range from inexpensive plastic varieties to more advanced all-metal powerhouses. Beware: some rolling machines are proprietary to a specific brand and size of rolling papers if they were manufactured by one. Whether you prefer a hands-off automatic approach to rolling a joint or a more intimate person-powered rolling machine experience, you’ll find this a hassle-free hack for any level of joint roller.
Akin to putting a present in a gift bag instead of wrapping paper, pre-rolled cones brimming with freshly ground green are truly a sight to behold (and a treat to inhale). Just load a cone-filler with your strain du jour and feed it one of your favorite pre-rolls. Apply a little pressure and—voila! Out pops a perfectly shaped cone joint suitable for a stoner king or queen!
Even if you’ve been in the joint rolling game for a long time, there’s always something new to learn about how to roll the perfect joint. Whether you roll a joint with cones or other pre-rolls—or if you’re a strict hand rolling traditionalist—always remember: practice makes (the) perfect (joint).