Joints are a classic way to enjoy cannabis, and rolling your own can be both satisfying and economical. With the right steps and a little bit of practice, you’ll be rolling like a pro before you know it. In this guide, we’ll show you how to roll a joint for complete beginners.

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What do I need to roll a joint?

Rolling Tray: Although a rolling tray is optional, it provides a clean surface to contain any cannabis that may fall during the rolling process. Many find that this is a better option than picking up stray pieces of weed off of your carpet or lap and getting all manner of dust, hair, and lint caught in it. If you don’t have a designated rolling tray, a fresh magazine, paper plate, folder or notebook can make a great alternative. 

Grinder: Grinders are an ideal resource for efficiently and uniformly grinding your weed without getting your fingers sticky in the process. If you don’t have a grinder, consider using a pair of scissors. 

Cannabis Flower: If you have multiple options available, choose a strain that is suited for the time of day and the occasion. For example, you may want the uplifting effects of a sativa during the day or at a social gathering, while an indica may be more appropriate for a solo bedtime session. 

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Rolling Papers: The size of your rolling papers is up to your preference. You can choose between standard or king-sized papers(which are good for rolling larger joints). Whenever possible, look for papers that are unbleached, organic, and made with vegetable-based inks and adhesives.

Filter(optional): Also known as a “crutch,” you can choose to use a store-bought filter or make one of your own. Filters are optional, but they offer the added benefits of making your joint easier to grip, keeping any small particles from getting into your mouth, and preventing saliva from moistening the cannabis.

Step 1. Prepare your cannabis

Place your rolling tray on a stable surface like a coffee table. Grind your cannabis uniformly to a medium coarseness—about the size of a grain of rice, but not into powder. If you don’t have a grinder, break your weed down with scissors or your fingers. If your hands get sticky in this process, wash them with soap to remove any residue before moving on to the next step.

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Step 2. Make a crutch (Optional)

If you choose to use a filter, and you don’t have any commercially made tips, you can use any kind of thick paper(think cardstock or a magazine cover) to make your own. Some rolling paper packages even include filter papers that you can use. Tear or cut your thick piece of paper to roughly ¾” by 2 ½”. Make a few accordion folds on one end of the filter paper, then roll the remaining paper around the folds until it forms into a short tube.

Step 3. Ready Your paper

Remove a sheet of rolling paper from your pack. Hold the paper loosely between your middle finger and thumb in your dominant hand and make sure that the glue strip is facing you. If you are using a filter, place it in the crease of your paper and hold it in place with your index finger.

Step 4. Pack it up

Use your other hand to sprinkle your desired amount of cannabis into the remaining part of the paper’s crease. Avoid pressing down on the cannabis to prevent it from sticking together too much. Once filled, bring both hands to the joint paper and pinch the folded paper between your thumbs and forefingers. Slide the paper back and forth between your fingers until the cannabis lightly packs down, just enough to form into a tube or cone shape.

Step 5. Tuck and roll

Once the contents of your joint have taken form, it’s time to get rolling. Bring the front(unglued) edge of the rolling paper up and over the packed cannabis and tuck it in so that it encircles the core of the joint. Once the front edge of the paper is flush around the center of the joint, use your thumbs to continue rolling in an upward motion until only the glue strip remains exposed.

Step 6. Seal

Moisten the adhesive directly with your tongue, or lick the tip of your finger and dab along the glue strip. Secure the glue strip to the outer wall of the joint, forming a complete seal. Gently tap the filter or mouthpiece side of the joint on the tray to pack the cannabis down slightly. If the joint still feels overly loose, use a pen or other narrow tool to pack the weed down further. [Remember: Not too tight!] On the open side of the joint, twist the remaining rolling paper to form a small point. 

The final step is to spark it up and enjoy!

How much weed is in a joint?

Many pre-made joints that you’ll find in a dispensary come rolled with 1 gram of cannabis. Other commercially-made joints come in a 2-pack with each containing a half gram. When rolling your own, you’re free to use as much cannabis as you want, but somewhere between 0.3-1 gram is usually a good place to start. King size rolling papers will allow you to roll even larger joints.

Joints vs. Blunts vs. Glass: What’s the Difference?

The best way to smoke is a matter of personal opinion. It largely depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for. 

Rolling a good joint takes time and practice, and requires burning papers in addition to cannabis. These papers can contain artificial dyes, artificial flavors, and adhesives. To avoid these additives, some may prefer to smoke out of glass, which also allows you to experience the true aromas and flavors of your cannabis. Glass is heavier and breakable, however, and may not be as travel-friendly as a joint. 

A blunt, which is cannabis rolled in dried tobacco leaves, typically requires more weed(2-3g) than a joint, but might be better for sharing among a larger group. If smoking alone or with one or two others, a 1-gram joint may be the preferable serving size. 

Knowing how to roll a joint is a great skill to add to your smoker’s toolbox. Good luck, and happy rolling!