How to Roll a Joint: A Step-By-Step Guide

Today, it’s difficult to go a day without hearing about new cannabis products. Edibles, tinctures, topicals, vapes — cannabis users have come a long way from having nothing but flowers and hash to living in some sort of weed Disneyland, with all that goodness available at hand.

But let’s be honest, nothing can beat a good, old-school doobie — or joint, to be more official.

Smoking dried flowers is the most iconic way to consume marijuana. When smoking a joint, the active compounds within cannabis are absorbed rapidly through the lungs right into the bloodstream — producing almost instant effects.

While joints are used more often among recreational users, there are medical cannabis patients who also savvy this consumption method.

Why?

Because joints come with many practical benefits. They’re easy to roll, require just a little practice, and tastes great when shared between friends.

Okay, but what about potential health risks?

Interestingly, studies have shown no visible link between the marijuana smoke and impaired lung function or increased risk of lung cancer. In fact, research indicates that frequent marijuana users exhibit better spirometry performance than non-users and tobacco smokers.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to roll your first joint — in a simple step-by-step guide.

What Are Joints?

First up, what is a joint?

In essence, a joint means ground cannabis flower that has been packed into rolling papers or wraps and rolled into a conical shape.

And what does a joint consist of?

What Are Joints

First things first — rolling papers. These can be made out of hemp paper, cellulose, or rice paper and are available in different shapes, sizes, and flavors. For the first joint, we suggest that you go with some classic RAWs to enjoy the purest experience.

Another important item is a crutch, also known as the filter. This is the mouthpiece of your joint through which you inhale the cannabis smoke.

Oh, and, of course the frosting on our cake — some high-quality sticky icky weed.

Now, this is where your cannabis vocab may need fixing.

Are you sure you know exactly what joint is?

Differences Between Joints, Blunts & Spliffs

Joints, blunts, spliffs — these terms are often used interchangeably by novice consumers. 

Which is basically wrong.

Yes, each of these terms describes some form of rolled cannabis, but as with everything in life, the devil lies in the details.

Joints use only cannabis as the filling. This is the purest form of rolled weed, with no additives such as tobacco or herbal blends. A joint is the weed purist’s best friend.

Blunts, too, are packed with nothing but pure cannabis. However, blunts are rolled in a different material. To shape a blunt, you’ll need a tobacco leaf or an emptied cigar that you fill with cannabis. When rolling a blunt, you have to give the leaf a liberal slobber because blunt wraps come without the glued side. Proponents of joints argue that blunts compromise the flavor of smoked cannabis, aside from the obvious health concerns.

Differences Between Joints Blunts Spliffs

Last but not least, there are spliffs. A spliff is like a joint save for the fact that it includes a certain amount of tobacco inside. The tobacco is added to make the spliff burn slower and more evenly. This helps users avoid the so-called canoeing joint that only burns on one side. Those who are against using tobacco with cannabis may opt for special herbal blends to smoke their stuff with.

Okay, so you’ve made it through the theory — great! Now it’s time for some practice. But before you roll up the sleeves, you may want to give your head a break and read some interesting facts about joints.

Fun Facts About Joint

  • The average cannabis consumer in Washington state smokes 123 joints per year.
  • The largest joint’s weight clocked in at 4.20 pounds.
  • Irvin Rosenfield, one of the world’s first medical marijuana patients, holds a Guinness World Record for consuming the largest number of joints throughout one’s lifetime, sitting at 115,000 doobies. All of which were “sponsored” by the US federal government.
  • It would take 800 joints to kill a man, but such a death would result due to carbon monoxide poisoning — that’s because you can’t overdose on cannabis.
  • “Suppose the Russians did something now…” — these were the words of President John F. Kennedy when he smoked three joints one night in the White House with his mistress.

What Will You Need to Roll a Joint?

While all you really need to roll a joint is a few buds of your strain and a rolling paper, there are a few extra supplies that can make the job go smoother.

Here’s what you want to gather if your goal is top-notch smoking experience:

  • Dried cannabis flower: this is the essential material that you pack into your joint
  • Grinder: while you can break up the weed by hand, using a grinder will make the joint easier to roll and ensure a more even burn

What Will You Need to Roll a Joint

  • Rolling paper: as mentioned, there’s a number of sizes and materials you can choose from, so it all boils down to your preferences. If it’s your first time with joints, buy a few different packs and roll a couple of joints to, you know, save for later (yeah, sure).
  • A piece of cardboard: you’ll need a really small piece to create the crutch or mouthpiece for your joint. Some rolling papers come with crutches attached to them, so if you have the opportunity to buy one — don’t hesitate.
  • Pen: or actually any long, similarly shaped object that you can use to pack the joint.

In the section below, we cover the process of rolling a joint in an easy step-by-step guide.

How to Roll a Joint: A Step-By-Step Guide

There are six steps to follow if you want to roll a perfect joint:

  1. Grind up your flower
  2. Form a crutch for your joint
  3. Place your freshly ground bud in the joint paper
  4. Form a joint and roll it with your fingers into a conical shape.
  5. Lick and seal your joint, closing it at the top.
  6. Light the tip of the joint and smoke it.

If this is your first time rolling a joint and need a more detailed guide, continue reading for a thorough explanation of each of the above steps.

Remember that it takes time and practice to master the craft of rolling joints. With time, you may even be able to make your joints pieces of art, but nobody’s born perfect.

Let’s do it!

1. Grind Up Your Cannabis

In order to roll a joint, you will need to break up your dried weed buds. You can do it using your fingers, with scissors, or with a grinder.

The grinder is the most convenient option for this job because it ensures that your weed is finely ground and the joint burns more evenly. For many experienced weed smokers, a grinder is a crucial tool.

Grind Up Your Cannabis

How much weed should you put in your joint? That depends on your THC tolerance and whether you want to have a solo sesh or smoke the bud with your friends. The THC levels of your chosen strain are important as well. According to a 2016 study, the average amount of cannabis put in a joint is 0.32 grams. 

2. Make a Crutch (Filter) For Your Joint

First up, what’s a crutch?

Crutch is the mouthpiece of your joint, also referred to as the tip or filter.

Some people roll “crutchless” joints, but most people can’t smoke a doobie without one.

While a crutch is so important? 

For one, it makes holding the joint a lot easier.

You’ll also won’t burn your lips as you smoke, avoiding the bits of marijuana to get into your mouth. This, in turn, results in smoother hits. Although a crutch is commonly called a joint filter, it doesn’t actually filter anything out of the smoke.

As mentioned, you can purchase pre-made crutches that typically come attached to a pack of papers. They are also available on their own.

If, however, you want to make your own crutch for the joint, you need to grab a thin cardboard paper or something like an index card or business card. Cut a rectangle shape piece and form it into a zig-zag shape so it looks like an accordion. Then roll it to the desired thickness of your joint.

3. Pack Joint Paper With Cannabis

Lay your rolling paper over a flat surface and put your crutch at the beginning (the furthest side from you).

Use your fingers to fill the rest of the rolling paper with your freshly ground weed. Make sure not to go overboard with your greens as it may result in a distorted joint — or your paper will simply get torn due to the excess amount of cannabis.

Pack Joint Paper With Cannabis

If you aim at rolling a cone-shaped joint, use less weed near the joint’s crutch and load more towards its end, twisting the top of the joint to form a cap.

4. Roll Your Joint

Do you have your crutch and ground cannabis all in on the paper?

Perfect!

Use your thumbs and index fingers to pinch the rolling paper and roll the joint up and down to evenly spread the marijuana within the rolled cone. Don’t worry if some of the weed falls out as you roll the joint. You can put it back there or save for later.

Once you work the buds into a cylinder shape, keep in mind to roll it tightly because a loosely rolled joint will make it difficult to take smooth and even hits. Now is the time to use the pen. If you believe a little more bud in your joint could gently spice up your next sesh, load it with the pen and pack it until you feel resistance.

5. Give Your Joint a Little Slobber and Seal It

The vast majority of rolling papers come with glue on one edge that provides a safe seal for the joint when moistened. Once you’ve rolled the joint, lick the adhesive strip and press the glue side onto it. Start with the crutch and move your fingers along to the end.

Seal the joint and if it feels too loose, grab the pen again and work it until the joint becomes firm. Twist the extra paper at the end of your joint to keep the bud from escaping. You can pull the upper edges of the joint to form a flat surface which is often referred to as the joint’s cap.

6. Light Up and Enjoy

Lighting up a joint is a bit different than lighting a cigarette. You don’t inhale as you ignite the tip. Instead, you hold a flame to the tip of the joint and turn it over in the flame to create an even burning surface. Wait for a few seconds and begin smoking your joint.

Congrats! You’ve Just Learned How to Roll a Joint

Rolling a joint is an easy process and you don’t need to be a born artisan to become a decent home budtender. If you have rolling papers, your favorite strain, and something to make your crutch out of, then you’re good to go.

Learned How to Roll a Joint

Of course, it takes time and practice to learn how to roll a perfect joint, but as you blaze more and more homemade doobies, you’ll soon start to notice improvements — and time will come that your friends will stare at your joints with nothing but awe and respect in their eyes.

We hope that this guide has helped you understand the basics of how to roll a joint. You can experiment with different rolling papers, crutches, and other smoking accessories to learn about your preferences and be able to roll even sticks with a blindfold over your eyes.

When was the first time that you rolled a joint? How did it turn out? Were you proud of it or did you want the ground to open up out of shame?

Share your memories in the comments!

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