How To Roll A Joint
Learning how to roll a joint is a right of passage for any toker. If you're just learning or trying to polish your skills this guide will provide step by step instructions, with pictures, that can help the novice and expert alike improve the quality of their joints.
How to Roll a Joint | Getting Started
Let me first say that there is no 'correct' way to roll a joint. Over time, everyone develops their own style and preferred method of joint rolling. Personally, I’m a fan of cone-style joints because they burn smoother and don’t waste as much weed to the roach as a tube or banana-style joint. In this guide, I’m going to cover all three to help you figure out which style is right for you. No matter what type of joint you’re rolling, one thing remains constant: without a properly broken up bud, your joint is going to suck.
The Art of How to Roll a Joint
This may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen even seasoned tokers throw a dry nug into a grinder, reduce it to powder, and be annoyed when their joint is harsh, runs constantly, and is generally a disappointing waste of weed. To avoid this, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
How you should break up your weed for the best results depends entirely on the consistency of your bud. Dry weed is best broken up by hand or by using scissors and a shot glass. You just need to break it up into small bits without turning it to dust. If your bud is too finely ground, you’ll end up with a joint that's hard to hit and doesn't burn properly. Alternatively, if your dry weed is too chunky, you’ll get 'hot' hits and constantly be fighting to keep your joint lit.
Wet or sticky weed presents its own set of challenges. Sticky weed tends to clump even when properly ground. If you want to roll a joint of some really sticky bud, the best thing to do is set it out for 20-30 minutes before grinding to let it dry. This advice was passed down from the Master Roller himself, Willie Nelson, and you would be wise to take it to heart. You cannot roll a proper joint with fresh, sticky weed; it just doesn't work.
"Don't just shove a nug onto one side..."
Assuming you have some firm but not too sticky or dry bud, break out your grinder. Don't just shove a nug onto one side and twist it up until it spins freely. Break off pinch sized nuglets and place them in the outermost rings of your grinder. Twist the grinder three or four times, then remove the top and tap until all the green falls down into the catch chamber. This gives you a nice combination of shredded and ground bud, which makes for a well-packed joint. If you have a grinder without a catch chamber, just dump it onto whatever you're rolling on.
My favorite method, however, is to use scissors and a shot glass to chop rather than grind my weed. This method offers by far the most control over the consistency of your prepared bud. You're looking to chop it just enough for it to be 'fluffy' but not 'sandy'. It may take you a couple of times to get used to this method, but once you know what you're looking for, it will be your go-to method when you want to roll a perfect joint.
Choosing the Right Paper
You wouldn't think choosing what paper to roll a joint with would be so difficult, but because everyone needs paper and they are relatively cheap to produce, there are a lot of names in the game, each with their own claims about why their paper is the best. Personally, I look at three factors:
- What material is the paper made of?
- Does the gum stick when and where I expect it to without me having to drench the paper in saliva?
- Does the paper burn evenly?
I stick to hemp paper because I've found that traditional, cellulose, and rice paper all have distinct tastes that I don't care to add to my cannabis. Hemp paper also seems to burn more slowly and evenly. My personal preference is RAW brand organic paper. They’re all-hemp and come in a full selection of sizes and thicknesses. Nevertheless, unless you're trying to roll a massive spliff or one of the more artistic multi-section joints, the standard 1 1/4” should be fine.
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How to Roll A Banana-Style Joint
The banana-style joint is a dying art these days. It's unfortunate since, in my experience, it can be by far the easiest for novice rollers to learn. To roll a banana-style joint, start by taking your paper and folding it in half along the factory crease. Twist the bottom corners on both sides until you have a little boat shaped paper. Now fill the boat with bud and simply roll the joint closed. Lick the gum to stick it shut, and you’re done! That’s all there is to it. Not only is this style quick and easy, it makes a nice, sealed joint that won’t spill if you take it somewhere. Just snip one end to smoke out of and use a flame to open the other while lighting.
Pinch the corner and twist...
...until it looks like this.
Do the same for the other side.
Now put in some bud.
And roll the side without gum over the top of the bud.
Twist it up and enjoy!
How to Roll A Tube-Style Joint
Tube-style joints are probably the most widely rolled style of joint. They are very straight forward and require no folding or twisting of the paper before you begin. The basic idea is to get the bud all the way down the paper in a fairly even cigarette-shaped tube. To do this, simply place a small mound of bud on the middle third of the paper. Use your finger to push the bud from the middle out towards the edges. When you've spread the bud out enough to pinch the sides of the paper together, do so using your thumb and pointer finger. Begin rolling the joint by slowly sliding the two sides of the paper up and down and work your way to one end of the joint and then the other. Try not to roll the bud too tightly – a little loose is better than a little tight. Once you're satisfied the weed is evenly distributed and compacted, carefully roll the side of the papers without gum over the top of the weed and continue rolling until you reach the end of the paper. Lick the gum strip and stick it down tightly. Use a pencil or some other small object to pack any weed sticking out of the ends of your joint back in.
Place a small mound of bud in the middle third of your paper.
Working from the middle...
...spread the bud out evenly.
Tuck the paper in the middle...
...and twist it up!
How to Roll A Cone-Style Joint
This is my bread and butter joint. It looks rather fancy to people who don't roll themselves, and once you get it down, it's quicker and easier than a tube joint. The key to this joint is in how you fold the paper. The first thing you need to do is take your paper and lay it gum strip side to your left. Fold the bottom so that the right corner makes a slight angle to the left. Then, fold the paper so the new bottom edges line up and the top right corner touches the gum line on the left. Your paper is now ready to roll with. You'll notice that one side now has a cone shape to it; that's your guide for filling the paper with bud. Once you have your paper filled, roll it until you get the bud packed and shaped. Then, just like a banana-style joint, tuck the edge of the paper with no gum on it in and roll the joint closed. Lick the gum and stick it down firmly. Twist the extra paper at the end to seal it up, and then shake the joint back and forth a couple of times to help pack it properly. You should end up with a nice, smokable, cone joint.
First spread your paper out flat.
Now make an angled fold from the bottom corner with gum to a couple of centimeters up on the opposite side.
Now re-crease the center fold of the paper so that the previously folded edge lines up.
Place a mound of bud in the middle third of your paper.
Smooth the bud down so that it forms a cone shape.
Now starting at the bottom, tuck the paper in, and twist up the joint.
I hope this 'how to roll a joint' guide was helpful. Until next time folks, toke on. - Byron