June 22, 2019
The roll-out on rolling up a joint.

Joints are one of the more traditional ways to consume cannabis, if you don’t mind the smoke and are looking for maximizing your social experience, but it isn’t as easy as it looks. True talent in the area of joint rolling comes as a result of practice.

Those who have put in their 10,000 hours, per se, take great pride in delivering a perfectly (or creatively) rolled joint, and often take pleasure in the ritual of it all. After all, anyone who has pitched towards or tried to smoke a poorly-rolled joint, with its uneven burn and sloppy presentation, can appreciate a good roller’s finesse and attention to detail.

So, in the interest if what goes around, coming back around (that’s a metaphor) we present to all beginners, a guide for rolling a joint that won’t get you kicked out of the circle.

A beginner’s guide to rolling a joint that won’t get them kicked out of the circle.

First things first, you need to get out your cannabis consumption kit.

Don’t have a cannabis kit yet? Check out this blog for a list of the cannabis essentials every consumer needs (or ‘wants’, let’s not split hairs).

Here’s what you’ll need from the kit:

  1. Cannabis
  2. Rolling Papers
  3. Grinder (or other means of breaking up your cannabis)
  4. Thin, bendable cardboard (for a filter. If you’re smoking with friends, it needs one)
  5. A pokey thing (yes, that’s a technical term)

The final thing you’ll need is a flat surface. Especially if you do not have a grinder.

Step 1: Break Up the Cannabis

Break down your cannabis into shake. Properly dried cannabis should break apart rather easily, and we recommend purchasing a proper grinder to make this job quick and clean. Of course, you can use anything from scissors to your fingers, but those methods tend to waste precious terpenes and can make a mess.

You can learn more about grinders here.

Step 2: Create Your Filter

Also called a tip or crutch, this (typically) cardboard end to a joint can help keeps the cannabis in the joint and out of your mouth, and generally keeps the end from getting blocked up and sticky as it’s pinched by the fingers and thumbs of smokers, and makes smoking the joint right down to the last toke a pain-free experience.

Whether you think a filter is necessary or not, it’s popular enough to come in all pre-rolled joints sold in Canada, and a staple here in Alberta, so why not try one out?

You can make your filter out of a business card or even your joint papers packaging. You can buy filter packs as well if you like the convenience.

There are plenty of ways to make a good filter, start with a few “accordion” folds at the end of the cardboard, then roll the strip of cardboard around it to the desired thickness of your joint. These folds help to provide an additional barrier, ensuring you don’t accidentally suck up any plant matter when you toke.

Step 2.5 (if necessary): Prep the Paper

A lot of papers will come out of the package with a fold in them. It’s a good idea to roll those papers in your fingers as if you are rolling the joint to smooth these out and to get the paper loose, warm and starting to take shape.

Step: 3 Fill Joint with Cannabis

Fill the paper with the broken up cannabis and place the filter at one end. Start with about a half gram for the best results; too much cannabis can be tricky, or will just fall out as you struggle to get down to a manageable size. Don’t be afraid to center and evenly distribute the cannabis on the paper before you pick it up to shape it – there’s no shame in setting yourself up for an efficient roll.

Remember that the glue edge should be exposed (facing up) at the top of the paper when you fill it.

Step 4: Roll the Joint

Once you’ve filled your paper and have it resting comfortably between your fingertips and thumbs, pinch it and roll it back and forth between them, increasing the pressure of your pinch until the joint begins to take shape around the filter. The shape you make comes down to preference. Some might prefer a straight shape, whereas others prefer rolling cone.

(You’ll find that thicker papers are a little easier to roll, but you’ll choose your favourite papers for a variety of reasons.)

Step 5: Seal the Joint

This step is crucial. Too sloppy and all your previous work is lost. Tuck the unglued side of the paper under the glued edge, then lick the glue with just a little bit of moisture to begin to seal the joint. Once the paper is sealed on one end, you can work your way down the rest of the seam by tucking and sealing the joint from end to end.

Step 6: Finish Your Joint

Finally, use your pokey thing to pack the cannabis from the non-filter side of the joint. A tight, uniformly packed joint will lead to an even burn. You can use anything that’s small enough to fit into the joint for this step – pen lids, paperclips, the arms of your glasses, etc.

You can twist or fold the extra paper at the end to ensure no cannabis falls out and your joint stays tight.

Step 7: Experiment (and Impress!)

Once you get the hang of a basic joint, you can get bigger and crazier as you go. Or if you decide that rolling from scratch isn’t your thing, there are automatic rolling machines available in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and as we mentioned earlier – plenty of pre-rolls available at our stores.

As well, NewLeaf Cannabis sells cone papers; filtered and pre-rolled papers that can be filled and sealed off from the top.

For more tips and advice on the best ways to enjoy cannabis – why not sign up to our newsletter? We offer a behind the scenes look at our growing industry.