How To Roll A Blunt (5 Easy Steps)

Rolling a blunt is easier than you think.

How To Roll A Blunt iStock / VasilevKirill

First for fun, a bit of background. The blunt takes its name from the “Philadelphia Hand Made Perfectos” first produced by the Bayuk Brothers in Philadelphia in the early 1900s. The nickname “blunt” is derived from the cigarillo, or a mini cigar and refers to the end, distinguishing it from the tapered tip of most cigars at the time.

Blunts became popularized in hip-hop culture in the 90s in New York, partly because of their economy when blended with tobacco. There’s definitely a social aspect to blunt use, much in the same way that the hookah is a communal and cultural trope.

Unlike your garden variety joint made from cigarette paper that burns relatively quickly, a blunt is meant to be savored slowly, much in the same way you would a cigar. It also has a much more pungent aroma and can be harsher on the lungs. A wave of flavored blunts has hit the market in the last 20 years, giving connoisseurs options like strawberry and chocolate.

Get Your Materials Together.

A blunt is composed of two, or debatably three ingredients: tobacco leaf paper, marijuana, and ground tobacco. The tobacco-or-no-tobacco addition is about as contentious as whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza, but these instructions will omit it from your blunt-making preparations. You’ll need the following materials:

  • Blunt wrap – You can either get your blunt wrap by splitting open a cigarillo or you can purchase unrolled blunt wraps. If you don’t want to smoke any tobacco but still want the low and slow burn of a blunt, you may opt for a hemp wrap instead. If this is your first time attempting to roll a blunt, then you’ll definitely want a couple of backups.
  • Weed – How much weed you need really depends on how many people are smoking the blunt, how experienced you are at rolling, and of course, how much weed you actually have. There is no science to this – you’ll know how much weed you should grind up as you get more experienced.
  • Grinder – This is a point of contention amongst old-head stoners. Your uncle will probably tell you that for a proper blunt, you need to break down your weed by hand. I disagree. For one, nobody has that much time on their hands or wants their hands to be sticky. Additionally, I find that a blunt rolled with ground-up weed is easier to roll (because the weed is more malleable) and it smokes better (because there are fewer air pockets in your blunt.) That being said, if you prefer to break down your weed by hand, then, by all means, live your truth.
  • Crutch – Another optional item, but I find it to be helpful. One of my least favorite parts of smoking blunts used to be getting scooby snacks in my mouth. Once I started using crutches in not just my joints, but my blunts too, my quality of life increased dramatically. Recently, I’ve been using King Palm Corn Husk Filters, and I love them. But if you don’t have those laying around, a regular thick paper crutch will work as well. And if you really don’t want to make a crutch, I would at least recommend using some of your leftover tobacco and putting it in the tip as a filter.
  • Rolling tray – It doesn’t need to be a rolling tray, specifically, but you definitely want something to catch any weed that might fall while you’re rolling. Most people I know will use a book or a magazine, and real pro’s don’t need anything bigger than a dollar bill.

1. Grind Your Weed.

You want to start with good quality marijuana. Rolling the occasional blunt is an excellent way to maximize the shake at the bottom or your weed container, but if that leftover weed isn’t available, grinding down your marijuana is an essential point when it comes to a successful blunt. In order for it to burn uniformly, you don’t want to much density. A grinder can reduce your marijuana to the ideal consistency in a matter of seconds, but you can also break it down by hand. A blunt rolled from your typical cigarillo will require about a gram to a gram and a half of marijuana. You want to make sure you eliminate any stems from your mix because it can punch a hole through the paper and make it difficult to pull a proper hit. Also, remember to place something underneath your blunt as you roll it so that you catch any loose shake. Waste not, want not.

2. Prepare Your Paper.

If you’re working with a rolled cigarillo, the first thing you want to do is split it open and dump out the tobacco. If you happen to have scissors handy, you can simply cut the cigarillo open lengthwise. If you don’t, then you can lick the blunt from end to end to create a strip of moisture (this makes it easier to tear the paper), use a fingernail to create a tear at the cut end of the cigarillo, and then bring your thumbs to either side of the tear and pinch gently. You can then tease the tear open, creating a seam and working your way from one end of the cigarillo to the other. Once it’s open, you can discard the cigar tobacco inside. You should now have a single, slightly curled piece of tobacco leaf paper.

3. Load Your Blunt With Weed.

Sprinkle your ground-up marijuana along the inside curl of your paper. You want to distribute the weed evenly by using your index fingers lengthwise to gently compress your weed along with the shape of the blunt, and tucking the bottom edge of the paper into the top with your thumbs to shape your blunt more. To achieve the optimal shape and minimize getting loose shake in your mouth, you’ll want to compress one end a little tighter than the other.

4. Roll Your Blunt.

Lick the underside of the top edge with your tongue and wrap that end first. This usually shifts the shake a little so do some more distributing before repeating the process.  When you wet the top edge, a little dab will do the trick; the paper is naturally sticky and you don’t want too much moisture or your blunt won’t light it. When you fold it over, remember that you don’t want to roll it too tightly; the air has to pass through it easily to keep it burning. But if you roll it too loosely, you’re bound to have your blunt dreams go up in flames.

5. Spark It Up.

The only thing left to do is light your blunt. To ensure your blunt smokes smoothly, we recommend rolling it between your fingers as you inhale and bring the flame to the wide end. This way, all the leaf paper ignites at once and burns at the same rate. If your blunt goes out, you may have rolled it too tightly, and if it catches fire, you may have rolled it too loosely. There is certainly an art to rolling a blunt and it does take a little practice.

What You Can Expect.

 The high derived from the nicotine-cannabis combination is distinct and very flavorful. Research has indicated that the two together have a calming or anti-anxiety effect. Because a blunt is about the equivalent of two to three joints, most people share blunts rather than smoking them solo.

Other considerations.

There’s a real common misunderstanding, particularly among young people, that a blunt is somehow safer than cigarettes. It’s not. You are still smoking nicotine, and nicotine is inarguably addictive and hazardous to your health. Because the tobacco leaf paper is non-porous when compared with cigarette paper, it has higher concentrations of cancer-causing chemicals. For this reason, blunts are not a recommended method of marijuana consumption for people with health problems who are looking to cannabis for its health benefits. There are so many other options for marijuana use that don’t involve tobacco or even smoking, so it’s best to think of a blunt as an occasional treat rather than a daily smoke.

If you are going to enjoy the occasional blunt, make sure you understand the implications specifically for your health. There are also tobacco-free hemp paper products on the market that achieve the same effect without as many of the risks. If you relish the ritual of rolling your own blunt and sharing it with friends but would rather do without the nicotine, you’re in luck – but keep in mind that smoking of any kind will produce harmful carcinogens, even if there’s no nicotine present.

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