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How to roll a joint

Learning how to roll a joint is straightforward and this guide will take you through the entire process from start to finish.

Buy some decent papers


You can make your joint with the cheapest papers from your local corner shop but it’s worth spending a bit extra on some decent ones. There are two reasons for this. First of all, while you’re still getting to grips with how to roll a joint, you’ll find that thicker papers are easier to roll. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you may prefer to switch to thinner ones which preserve more of the taste of your weed. Secondly, even thicker, good-quality papers do a better job of preserving the taste of your weed than the standard cheap papers sold for making tobacco roll-ups.

Grind your weed properly

Grind your weed

A decent manual grinder will fit into the average pocket without any hassle.  If a grinder isn't available then picking it by hand will work. There are various ways you can go about this, but the best approach is to put the weed into parchment paper (or plastic wrap) and then find something heavy to roll over it, a can of food would be a good choice, or, at a pinch, you could just roll it across a flat, hard surface and apply pressure with your hands. The reason for breaking down weed before putting it into a joint is to ensure it burns consistently.

Add a filter (optional)

The advantage of filters is that they stop loose weed from ending up in your mouth. They will  also protect your fingers from getting burned when the joint gets smaller. Using a filter can also make it a bit easier to turn in the edges of your joint (more later). The disadvantage of filters is that they can distort the taste of your weed, particularly as your joint reaches the end with the filter. If you decide you do want to use a filter you can buy ready-made ones, the ones for tobacco smokers will do just fine, or you can just get filter paper, fold it to stop wide gaps and put it in one end of your rolling paper.

Decide whether you want a pinner or a bat

Pinners are basically cigarette-shaped joints, bats get wider from the filter end (or the unfiltered end that you put in your mouth) to the lit end, they look more like very slim cones. If you’re sharing, pinners are the way to go since the weed is distributed evenly so everyone gets their fair share, whereas with bats, the strength of the hits goes down very quickly. If you’re smoking alone then the choice between pinners or bats is just a matter of preference.

When people ask questions about “how to roll a joint” what they often mean is how to make a pinner versus a bat or vice versa. Basically, this isn’t about the rolling itself, it’s about how you distribute the weed. With a pinner, you want the weed to be spread evenly throughout the centre of the paper. With a bat, you want to put a minimal amount of weed at the filter end and much more at the other end. In either case, you might want to get into the habit of leaving a small gap at the end opposite the filter (or nominal filter) so you can make joints in advance and twist them to seal them for later use.

For those who actually do want to know how to roll a joint, basically all you have to do is rub the dry (non-sticky) side of the paper between your thumb and forefinger so the paper naturally starts to itself into a cylinder. Essentially the paper will form itself around the weed to begin to build your joint.

Turn in one side

The weed should  be shaped appropriately and held tightly in  the paper at this point, with two open sides. You now need to turn in the edge of one side of the paper. Having a filter in place can make this a bit easier since it will give you something to wrap the paper around, but it’s perfectly possible to turn in your edge without one, lots of people do.

Now roll and stick

By now, you’ve done the hard bit, all you need to do is roll the joint so the other side of the paper forms a complete cylinder and then lick and stick. Apply the moisture slowly and work your way along the joint, sealing it as you go.

Tidy up

You could smoke your joint as it is but doing a bit of tidying up can make a whole lot of difference to your smoking pleasure. In order to fill in any gaps in the joint use something small, relatively long and blunt to manipulate the weed so it is evenly packed throughout the joint. This will ensure it burns smoothly. Don’t go overboard, you’re not trying to ram sardines in a can, the air needs to be able to get through your joint for it to be worth the name. Be sensible and aim for a happy medium.

Do the twister (optional)

If you like to make your joints in advance, twist the end opposite the filter tightly and then lick and stick to seal it. That way your joint will stay in perfect shape for later use.

For those who really can’t roll

Almost anybody can learn how to roll a joint and for many people it is the simplest and most economical method of using marijuana, but if you really can’t get the hang of it, fear not, there are plenty of other options ranging from ready-made paper cones to vaporizing.

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