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how to roll a joint by hand

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How to Roll the Perfect Joint

What are Joints?

Cannabis has been smoked by cultures for thousands of years. One of the oldest and most popular ways to enjoy cannabis is by smoking a hand-rolled joint. A hand joint is marijuana that has been ground up and rolled by hand into a flammable paper or leaf. Many people consider rolling a hand joint to be a craft, worthy of extra time and effort it may take. Smoke from a joint rolls into your mouth languorously, bringing along with it the unique flavor of the strain. As the smoke travels from the tip of the joint into your mouth, it passes through the flower, effectively cooling it down and making the smoke less harsh. Smoking from a joint highlights each strain’s unique flavor, from grapefruit to chocolate to an electric citrus tang.

Why Hand Roll a joint?

Why not just buy a pre-rolled joint from your neighborhood dispensary? Hand rolling a joint can be a meditative and relaxing activity. The process can provide relief from the daily hustle and bustle as you sit down and methodically prepare a hand roll for later enjoyment. Hand rolling joints also gives you the opportunity to examine and appreciate the flower you will be inhaling later. The dexterity practiced while rolling a joint can provide a welcome reprieve from daily tasks.

How Do I Roll a Joint?

Learning how to roll the perfect joint can at first seem like an intimidating task. The final product appears straightforward but can take time and patience to craft correctly. The easiest way to roll a joint starts out simply: pick your favorite strain and gather a few simple materials!

A small tray is an invaluable rolling tool, used to prepare the joint and catch any excess marijuana that falls during the rolling process. Make sure you also have rolling papers, a piece of cardstock, a marijuana grinder and lastly, make sure you have your marijuana!

With all your materials out and ready you are now ready to learn how to roll a joint step by step.

  1. Put a piece of rolling paper onto your tray, gum side on top and facing you.
  2. Cut or tear your card stock into a small half – 1 inch long and quarter inch wide rectangle and roll it into a spiral with your fingertips. Place this at the right or left end of the rolling paper, right side for right handed people, left for left handed.
  3. Grind up some marijuana. Between three-and 1 gram of marijuana is best to roll a perfect joint. Pour the ground marijuana into the paper and use your fingers to shape it into a rough oval, skinniest at the far end of the paper from the crutch.
  4. Pick the paper up with both hands and begin rolling the long edge of the paper onto the crutch of your soon-to-be perfect joint. Use your thumb and forefinger on the crutch side of the joint to pinch the paper and crutch together gently. Don’t be afraid to really use your whole thumb to guide the paper onto the crutch.
  5. Begin rolling the paper around the crutch and marijuana. As you do this gently pinch the joint closed with your other hand, using your first two fingers as well as your thumb.
  6. Keep your crutch hand gently pinching the hand roll joint at its base as you move your other hand back and forth, pinching and rolling the rest of the joint until you have a gently cone shape. Don’t be afraid to really play with the paper, they may be thin but they are surprisingly strong. If you don’t make any large motions and sudden jolts with your hands they can withstand a tremendous amount of manipulation.
  7. Lick the gum strip at the top of the paper from one end to the other. Roll the gum onto the paper using both hands, one at the crutch and one about three-quarters of the way up the joint.
  8. Spin the joint with your hands and use your forefingers, press the gum firmly onto the joint along its length.
  9. Lastly, pack the end of your hand rolled joint down. You can do this by gently tapping the crutch end of the joint on your rolling tray, this will settle the marijuana and provide a smooth, even burn. If you’re planning on saving the hand joint, gently twist any excess paper on the end into a tight spiral, this will save your marijuana from falling out.

You now have in your hands a perfect hand joint! Enjoy, and as always make sure you smoke responsibly!

Different Kinds of Joints

Described above is steps on how to roll a classic cone joint but there are many different variations of this timeless smoking method. Advanced joint rollers may enjoy the challenge of rolling a tulip joint, which has a bulbous tulip shaped tip. For parties, one can stick multiple papers together and roll extra long joints. Among the myriad of choices, many believe the classic cone rises a step above in terms of versatility and simplicity. Different kinds of joints pose can pose different and interesting challenges to any enthusiastic roller and learning how to roll the different variations can be a fun and meditative process!

What is your favorite kind of joint to roll? Let us know in the comments below!

What are Joints? Cannabis has been smoked by cultures for thousands of years. One of the oldest and most popular ways to enjoy cannabis is by smoking a hand-rolled joint. A hand joint is marijuana that has been ground up and rolled by hand into a flammable paper or leaf. Many people consider rolling a hand joint to be a craft, worthy of extra ti

How to roll a joint

The joint is one of the more iconic ways to consume cannabis, and it’s a great way to enjoy the flavor of your flower. Every cannabis smoker should learn how to roll a joint. There are countless opinions on the different ways of rolling one, but whatever you do, make sure your creation burns smoothly and evenly.

How much weed is in a joint?

When starting out, we recommend using a 1/2 gram of weed and normal or 1 1/4 sized rolling papers. This is a good amount of weed for a couple people and starting off on the smaller side will make rolling the joint more manageable.

For reference, most of the prerolls you buy at the store are a full gram, although some come in 2-packs of half-grams.

When you get good at rolling, you can move up to King sized papers and full-gram joints and widen your smoking circle.

Step-by-step guide on how to roll the perfect joint (with or without a filter)

To help you hone your own craft, we’ve prepared a simple seven-step guide on the easiest way to roll a classic cone joint, even for beginners. You’ll be rolling a perfect joint in no time.

Begin by gathering your rolling supplies:

  • Cannabis strain of your choice
  • Rolling papers
  • Crutch (for the joint crutch or filter)
  • Cannabis grinder
  • Optional: A pen, or a similarly shaped object to help pack the joint

Step 1: Grind the cannabis

Break down your cannabis into shake. If your cannabis is dried well, it should break down easily. A grinder keeps your hand from getting sticky and thus sticking to the joint paper.

If you don’t have a grinder, you can grind the herb down by hand, using scissors, or any number of other breakdown methods.

Step 2: Create joint crutch/filter

Make a crutch, also called a tip or filter. You can make a crutch out of just about anything, but thin cardboard or business cards are solid go-tos. A lot of joint papers also include crutch material with their packaging.

Start with a few “accordion” folds at the end of the cardboard, then roll the material to the desired thickness of your joint. The crutch isn’t absolutely necessary, but it does help keep the shake from falling out of the end or into your mouth as you smoke. It also adds some stability to the joint and allows you to enjoy every bit of cannabis without burning your fingertips.

Step 3: Fill joint with cannabis

Fill the paper with the shake and the crutch (if you’ve made one). Once the paper has the right amount of shake (a half gram to a gram usually does the trick), you can begin to form and shape the joint with your fingers.

A quick note on papers: There are a lot of different types and flavors of joint papers available. Many people prefer hemp papers because they tend to be thin but strong, and burn evenly without affecting the flavor of your weed.

Step 4: Pack the joint

Once you’ve loaded and shaped your joint, it’s time to roll it. Pinch the paper between your fingertips and roll it back and forth between them to pack the cannabis down into its final cone shape.

Step 5: Roll the joint

This step can make or break the quality of your joint. Tuck the unglued side of the paper into the roll, roll it up, and use the glued edge to tack down one end of the paper, using just a little bit of moisture.

Pro tip: Start with the crutch side because it can help guide the paper as it rolls around itself.

Once the paper is tacked down on one end, you can work your way down the rest of the seam by tucking and sealing the joint to the end.

Step 6: Finish your joint

Finally, pack the end of the joint to help ensure an even burn. A pen is great, but you can use just about anything.

Some good options if you’re on the go: the tip of your shoelace, the drawstring on your hoodie, or a small stick. If you’re not planning on sparking your joint right away, you may want to close the tip with a twist.

Step 7: Enjoy (and innovate!)

Other ways to roll a joint

There are limitless ways to roll a joint. You can roll them big or small. Get creative! Some people have even transformed joint rolling into an art all on its own, rolling their cannabis into a unique mix of functional origami.

Another trick is to use a dollar bill to help roll a joint. Simply fold a dollar bill in half and put your ground weed in it. Roll it back and forth, slip a rolling paper behind it, roll it up, and give it a lick. Easy peasy.

Other joint variants you can try rolling are a cross joint (two joints crossed in the middle, giving you three ends to light), a pinner (a thin joint), or an L joint or tulip, which have extra amounts of weed stuck on the end.

What’s your favorite way to roll a joint? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below and make sure to teach others this basic cannabis skill!

This post was originally published on May 19, 2016. It was most recently updated on April 15, 2020.

Every cannabis smoker should learn how to roll a joint. To help you hone your own craft, we’ve prepared a simple seven-step guide to successful joint rolling.