Tips for Joint Rolling and Cannabis Etiquette 

Rolling a high-quality joint is harder than it looks, but don’t get discouraged if your first attempt isn’t perfect. With the right information and a little practice, you’ll get good at rolling joints. Then, as you practice more and more, you’ll steadily work your way toward becoming an expert. 

If you’re ready to learn how to roll a great joint, this guide is for you. This beginner-friendly guide includes everything you need to know to get rolling, including an overview of the equipment you’ll need, step-by-step instructions, and important etiquette tips. 

What is a Joint?   

Also sometimes called a cannabis cigarette, a joint is ground cannabis that has been wrapped in rolling paper. Joints are one of the most popular ways to smoke marijuana. 

Joints are not the same thing as spliffs and blunts, which are also popular ways of smoking cannabis. A cannabis spliff is a mixture of ground cannabis and tobacco wrapped in rolling paper. A cannabis blunt is ground cannabis that has been rolled in tobacco paper. Spliffs and blunts both contain tobacco, but joints simply contain marijuana. 

What Makes a Cannabis Joint Good?

It’s easier to roll a great joint if you know what you’re going for. Some elements come down to personal preference, but there’s one thing a well-rolled joint always needs: a consistent burn. A more even joint burn creates a smoother smoking experience, protects flavor, and ensures your flower is used efficiently. As we go through our step-by-step instructions, we’ll give tips on how to avoid having an uneven burn. 

What You’ll Need to Roll a Joint 

To roll a joint, you’ll need these materials and smoking accessories: 

  • Cannabis Flower: If you don’t know what type of strain would be right for you, ask for a recommendation from your local cannabis dispensary. 
  • Weed Grinder: You need something to grind your flower, like a dedicated weed grinder. 
  • Quality Rolling Paper: Your choice of paper can change how your joint burns and tastes. Thin rice paper is a good option for more experienced rollers, but beginners may want to start with thicker paper, such as hemp paper. Thicker paper doesn’t tear as easily, so it’s easier to work with. 
  • A Rolling Surface: A clean rolling surface, like a rolling tray or a cutting board, will catch stray flower and provide a solid surface while you roll. 
  • A Lighter: Anything that can light your joint will do. 
  • Tips (Optional, But Recommended): Tips act as a barrier between your mouth and your ground cannabis flower, which can help you avoid accidentally getting flower in your mouth when smoking. They can also help you avoid burning yourself when smoking the last of a joint and can act as a guide while you’re rolling. If you’re new to tips, classic cardboard tips are a great option. 

Step-By-Step Joint Rolling Process

Once you’ve got your materials, follow these steps to roll your joint. 

  1. De-stem and grind your weed. You’ll need between a half gram and a gram of flower. First, pick out any stems and seeds, which can cause an uneven burn. Then, use your grinder to grind your flower into an even consistency. An even consistency will help your joint burn evenly.  
  2. Double check your ground cannabis flower. Feel your finely ground weed with your fingertips to check for any stray stems, seeds, or seed shells. 
  3. Lay out a piece of paper. Place the shiny end (which has an adhesive strip) away from you. You’ll start rolling from the end that’s closer to you. 
  4. Place your tip. If you’re using a tip, place it on one side of your paper at the crease. 
  5. Place your cannabis. Evenly sprinkle your ground marijuana along your paper’s fold. You want to pack your weed tightly and evenly to promote an even burn.
  6. Roll your joint. Pinch your paper between your fingers. Using gentle pressure and a few back and forth motions, roll it into a cone shape. 
  7. Seal your joint. Tuck the non-shiny end of your paper into your roll. Roll it up, lick the glue strip on the other end of your paper and stick it down as you finish rolling. 
  8. Pack your joint. Pick your joint up by the tip and hold it vertically with the tip facing down. Tap the tip on a table to push your ground weed further down. If needed, add more ground weed into the opening at the top of your joint, then gently push it down with a toothpick, pencil, or other slim instrument. Be delicate to avoid ripping your joint. 
  9. Twist the end. Seal your joint by gently twisting the open end. Don’t twist too hard or far, as that can rip your joint. If you have a long tail at the end, cut off any excess paper. 

If you struggle at any point in the rolling process, try not to stress. No one is amazing at rolling joints right away. With time and practice, you’ll hone your skills. 

Advanced Rolling Techniques  

After you’ve mastered rolling a standard joint, you can try out more advanced rolling styles and joint shapes. There are x-shaped cross joints, ultra thin pinners, and floral-inspired tulip joints. Many seasoned cannabis enthusiasts treat joint rolling as an art form. Once you have some joint rolling experience under your belt, don’t hesitate to try these more creative styles–or even create your own. 

Joint Etiquette

If you’re new to rolling or smoking joints, you may be wondering about joint etiquette. There are certain unspoken rules that people tend to follow in social settings, but don’t worry if you don’t know them yet. Here are some joint etiquette tips that will help you navigate the social aspect of your next smoking session. 

  • The Roller Goes First: It’s standard for the joint roller to smoke first, so remember to let them take the lead. 
  • Don’t Slobber: Having to smoke a joint that’s covered in someone else’s spit is just gross, so avoid slobbering when it’s your turn to smoke. 
  • Skip When Sick: Don’t puff on a communal joint when you’re sick. That type of sharing is not caring. 
  • Share Evenly: Take note of how many puffs other people are taking when smoking weed and stick to that rule. 
  • The Best Roller Should Roll: Everyone will have a more pleasant experience if the best roller rolls the group’s joint, so don’t volunteer if that’s not you. 
  • Don’t Peer Pressure: If someone doesn’t want to smoke, leave them be.  
  • Don’t Smoke Inside Without Asking: If you want to smoke in someone’s car or home, you always need to ask first. It doesn’t matter if you know they’re a cannabis smoker–just ask first anyway.
  • Be Kind: When in doubt, remember to be kind to your fellow cannabis users. For example, if someone overdid it and is anxious, don’t joke around or try to scare them. Be compassionate and non-judgemental, and everyone will have a better cannabis experience. 

Final Thoughts 

Still have questions about rolling the perfect joint? Visit a DC Collective dispensary and chat with one of our cannabis experts. 

March 1, 2024

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