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How to Roll a Joint and Select Rolling Papers

Sep 13, 2022 10:00:00 AM

A joint is basically a marijuana cigarette consisting of ground up marijuana in thin rolling papers. Users can roll joints themselves or purchase pre-rolled joints from their dispensary. Note that not all dispensaries carry pre-rolled joints, so check before to stop by your favorite medical marijuana dispensary. Still there will be times where you want to roll a joint yourself.

Rolling joints is more of an art and takes a bit of practice to get the hang of it, but with time you’ll be able to roll like a pro. For newer users, there are a few things you need …

marijuana bud paper and cone joint

Things you need for rolling a joint

  • Marijuana - the strain of marijuana generally doesn’t matter when rolling a joint, so it’s safe to use your favorite type. Keep in mind that marijuana that is still slightly moist will burn a little slower than fully dried out weed.
  • Grinder - if you don’t have a grinder you can pick the marijuana apart with your fingers, but after a few times doing this you’ll want to invest in a good grinder. The good news is: that they are not expensive, even nice metal ones are only about $15 - $20 and last a lifetime.
  • Papers - your favorite dispensary should have a wide array of papers available, so it’s recommended to get your papers there. You can also purchase rolling papers at a gas station but they are primarily for rolling tobacco and the gas station probably won’t have a wide selection, so just pick up some papers when you get your weed.
  • Filters, tips (optional, but recommended) - filters on joints aren’t for actually filtering out anything; they serve to make joints easier to roll and smoke. They also help from burning your lips or fingers when you’re at the end of your joint. Long gone are the days of ‘roach clips’ to smoke the last of your joint!
  • Chopstick or something long and thin - Chopsticks are the best but anything long and thin will work. This is to pack the weed when you’re finished rolling. As we mention below, be careful not to pack the joint too tightly so that it will burn enough to do the job.

rolling paper marijuana and filter tips

Selecting your papers

As long as you’re selecting papers meant for marijuana (best to ask your dispensary and not the gas station attendant!), you should be fine. It’s more about the size that makes the difference. Here are the most popular sizes and how much weed you should have for each:

  • Single-size - these are the standard size of paper and will produce a joint that’s about as long as a regular cigarette (minus the cigarette’s filter). This size is a bit too small to use a filter, but it still can be done.

  • 1 ¼ size - these are slightly larger in width and, to be honest, are not my favorite since you roll more paper into the joint with them still being the same length.

  • 1 ½ size - these are slightly larger in width than the 1 ¼ and again are not my favorite. Not only are wider papers rolling more paper into the joint, but in my experience, they are harder in general to roll.

  • King size slim - these are for much larger joints and will likely take a bit more practice to roll. In the end, you’ll roll and long, thin joint.

  • King size regular - These are my favorite since I find them easier to roll. The longer and wider papers are a bit more forgiving too since you have more to work with - this is once you get the hang of it. These are also the sizes most dispensaries use for their pre-rolls.

If you’re looking online for papers, most size charts also mention the number of people smoking for each size. In the time of COVID-19 and air-borne flu and viruses, we recommend not sharing your joints with others. Just roll another one for each of your smoking partners - it will also give you more practice!

ground up marijuana and king size rolling paper

How to roll

For newbies, be prepared to be a bit frustrated as you learn how to roll. We recommend having several papers and filters available so you can practice a few times. Also, don’t expect your first joints to look like ones you see in movies or in your dispensary. They will likely be lumpy or have wrinkles in them - don’t worry about this. You’ll still be able to smoke them and you’ll get better with each joint.

Watch our video on how to roll three types of joints

In the video, you will notice they recommend the amount of weed to ground up. For me, I actually grind up about 2-3 times as much weed and keep it in an airtight container. This makes it easier for the next joint. But this is up to you and what you find most convenient for you.

Other tips from a long-time smoker

  • When rolling, it’s always a little easier if your fingers are totally dry. If they are too dry it will be more difficult for your fingers to actually ‘hold’ onto the papers.

  • When you tuck the paper into the joint (watch the video again) if you need to tuck in a little fold, that’s OK. Whatever it takes to get it to actually roll is fine.

  • For a filter or tip, the best to use is the pack you can get at your dispensary (as your budtender). After rolling your filter one way, roll it the other way so it stays tight.

  • After you’re finished rolling and have tied the joint off, no matter the size I find clipping off the end is always better. It’s much easier to smoke and you inhale less paper that way.
person smoking a king size joint
Final words on joints

Joints are great if inhaling smoke doesn’t bother you. They are the least expensive way to consume marijuana and are a lot of fun (I love rolling joints!). But watch out because joints have very strong smells when you’re smoking them. Be sure to be in a place with good ventilation if you and others don’t want the lingering smell of marijuana.

And finally, always be sure your joint is fully extinguished before leaving the room. I actually run water over my joints just to be sure. The last thing you want is to have an awesome joint smoking session only to have something burn or catch on fire!

Better safe than sorry, especially if you find yourself really stoned after smoking your awesomely rolled joint.


Joy San Diego
Written by Joy San Diego

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