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rolling a good joint

How to Roll the Perfect Joint

**Grind your weed, for God’s sake. **Grinding your weed, as opposed to just picking it apart with your fingers, makes the product much easier to work with. It’s also the best way to ensure your hard-earned joint won’t end up lopsided. Pick out the stems before grinding. And, after you’re finished, empty out the grounds onto the table or a classy dish like this one.

**Choose your papers wisely. **Everyone’s got favorites, but here are a few options that are good for beginners: ZigZag, Bambu, and Easywider (tear these last ones in half, lengthwise).

**Roll yourself a carb (or just buy filters). **You can make a carb out of pretty much anything papery that has a bit of thickness to it. Business cards are good, the insides of cigarette packs: Just make sure the paper’s not lacquered or dyed in any way because you_ do not_ want to inhale that.

Hold your paper lengthwise with the sticky part facing you, like a tiny, fragile boat.

**Place your carb **carefully on the left-hand side if you’re a righty—right-hand side if you’re a lefty.

Sprinkle the product evenly throughout.

**With your pointer fingers and thumbs, pinch the top of your paper, rolling the product inside back and forth, gradually scooting the weed down. **You’re trying to shape the ground weed into a skinny tube shape.

**When you’re done with that, the hard part: **Tuck the side of the paper nearest to you into the opposite, curling the edge of the paper tightly around the product. Then, lick the gummy part of the paper and carefully roll the whole thing upward _into _the sticky gum—not the other way around.

**Do it yourself. Always. **There are devices that will roll your js for you. Do not use one. It’s the equivalent of pouring a margarita out of a bag. Your j should be just that, your j. Over time you’ll develop a signature style that you can be proud of. It’s worth the effort, and it’s kind of fun.

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Kids with their vape pens and fancy bongs these daysrolling a good, old-fashioned j is truly a lost art. Here's a nine-step guide to doing it old-school

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.