Rolling a Joint, the Must-Have Stoner Skill

Soft Secrets
03 Mar 2021

What's the fun of smoking marijuana if not knowing how to roll one?


These days it appears so there are more ways to consume weed than there are stars in the universe. You can eat gummies or cookies to get high. Or drink a canna can. Or take a spoonful of syrup. Swallow it as a capsule just like you would a sore throat medicine. Use it as a gel on your teeth. Put it in your pasta.  Oh boy, it really takes a high level of creativity to think of all these different ways how you can get high. But if there’s one basic. If there’s one thing that every stoner must do so they can deserve the title stoner. If there’s one thing you will be frowned upon for not knowing, it’s smoking a big fat joint and actually knowing how to roll it. Well, in case you still don’t know how to roll a joint. In case you are a newbie, or you always relied on friends to roll the s*it, but now you are sitting home because of the pandemic, and you have to roll it yourself, keep reading.

Quick Guide on How to Roll a Joint

hand rolling a paper joint
For a beginner, rolling a nice joint might be a little difficult. But practice make it perfect.

Prepare your weed and basic paraphernalia.

Before you can roll a joint, you have to make sure you have all you need. You need fresh buds. You need a grinder or small scissors (like for cutting baby nails), or you can use your fingers if the weed is not too sticky or moldy. And you need rolling paper. That’s the essential paraphernalia. Grinders are an easy way to go with refining your weed into a smokable flower. There’s really no way to go wrong with it. There are two things to know since mentioning grinders. First, don’t overdo with the grinding. When you grind, you can quickly fly away with your mind, taken away by the crackling sound of the grounding weed, and get extra fine flower material. This may later result in a harder-to-hit joint. So you want to have a rougher grind. You don't want to smoke weed dust. The second thing about grinders is they can sometimes save you when you run out of weed. You can actually use your grinder for a spectacular high. After you roll a hundred joints - by the time which - assume you have graduated from the rolling academy, you may quickly notice layers of leftover weed stuck around the crevices of the grinder tool. Sometimes that fine glued dust on your grinder - called kief - can be more potent in THC and get you super high, more so than a regular joint. You can adequately extract this from your grinder and use it in a smoke.
A girl holding a grinder with weed
Grinders are the most helpful tool to refine the weed flower material before a smoke.

Get your rolling paper ready.

Besides weed and a grinder, you need some rolling papers for the joint, preferably made from natural materials. In case sometimes you end up without rolling paper, which can happen, as rolling papers are one of those things easy to forget while shopping, you will need to think of ways to improvise. Tobacco rolling papers can work as an alternative if you are smoking tobacco, however, note that there’s a difference between rolling paper sold for tobacco and those for weed. The one for weed is a more greasy material, and the joint will burn at a normal pace. If you light up a joint in tobacco paper, it will burn too fast, and you have to smoke more quickly so that your joint doesn’t go to waste. Anyways, it’s not the nice and calm smoke you want for your time off.  Alternatively, you can get creative and do it yourself a homemade bong. It’s easy to improvise, although would not advise relying on this improvised bong for too long of a time. One thing is you don’t want to smoke from a plastic bottle. Plastic may affect the smell and taste of weed. The second thing is joints are healthier than bongs, although they can also impact the lungs if you smoke too much and don’t take care of your lung health. Anyways, if you can, if you are not too lazy, try to run to the nearest spot they sell rolling papers. Since you are rolling a joint, you should do it properly. 

Rolling a joint, the step by step process

So, once you have all supplies ready, below is how you proceed. You can additionally use a rolling tray to roll your joint and catch any chunks of weed that want to escape. A rolling tray is also easier to clean afterward, but that's totally up to you. 
Correctly holding a rolling paper filled with weed
This photo shows the correct position of how to use your fingers when you hold and prepare the joint.

Step 1: Grind the weed.

Use your fingers or small scissors or grinder to turn your weed into a smokable substance. Try out different ways to prepare your weed to notice the subtle differences in smoking.

Step 2: Prepare the filter.

If you are using a filter, most rolling papers come with small crutches or tips with the pack. Gently start to roll the rectangular crutch with your fingers until it gets its short cylinder form. Ensure there's enough space through the filter for the smoke to pass, but that's not too open. So neither too tight, neither too open. Hold the filter for one minute between your front teeth. This will help retain its shape once you put it in the joint. Alternatively, use a business card or similar piece of thin cardboard to create the filter. As long as the material is not too polished or too smooth on the surface, it should be good to go.

Step 3: Put the weed into the rolling paper.

Evenly distribute the flower material on the rolling paper. Hold the paper with one hand and use the other hand to shape the joint properly. Move the grounded weed around so that it’s everywhere the same. After the weed looks properly fit in the paper, start to tuck the unglued side of your paper. Eventually, you will want to add the filter as well at the one end of the joint. As you put the filter, keep tucking the paper and prepare to lick the glued side to seal the joint.  One common mistake among new rollers is that they make kebab joints. That means, there’s a little fat belly on the body of the joint. It also means you didn’t take enough time to distribute the smokable substance evenly. While you can still smoke a little kebab joint, it’s best to discard it, take a new piece of rolling paper, and fill in and roll the joint anew. Until you unlearn disproportionate fatty boom booms, you fail the exam. 

Step 4: Lick it good and pack it down.

Once the weed appears to be evenly distributed, in harmony with the paper and the filter, gently pass with your tongue to the glued side of the paper to seal the joint. Be quick to close as the saliva dries fast. Ensure there isn’t empty space between the filter and the grounded weed before you do this. It happens commonly enough and affects the quality of the smoke.  Once you roll the joint, finally, ensure it’s packed so that the burn is even. Use the bottom of a pen or pencil to tap the top of the joint, or just gently tap the joint with the filter side down on a wooden surface, several times. This will also help if you left a small gap between the filter and the grounded weed.
A girl finishing up her joint
Almost ready to get high. That joint is getting the final touches.

Rolling a joint with a roller

Rolling a joint with a roller is easy as ABC. Instead of going manually, the roller does the work for you. You just put in place the filter and the grounded weed, seal the substance, insert the paper, and press with your fingers to roll. As with rolling by hand, make sure the flower is distributed evenly in the gap. Push the bud with your fingers so that it looks even both to the touch and to the eye. Eyes can sometimes lie, so you have to touch the bud to know if it’s even. The best way to ensure you won’t have a fatty one is that the flower stuff is even with the filter's width. This way, you won’t end up with a joint that’s too tight to smoke. Give the roller a couple of rolls with no paper to get the plant material settled into place. Then, add the paper, lick it, and press hard with your fingers to give another go with rolling. Make sure the paper's glue side is towards you before you tongue on the rolling paper.

Advanced level rolling

While rolling a single paper joint is basic, rolling a big joint using two papers is more advanced, so if you are a new roller, wait until you level up with regular joint-rolling techniques before you try this. The procedure for a two-paper joint is nearly the same, but the idea here is to joint the rolling papers properly. Take the second paper and attach it by shaping the two papers into an L shape. Alternatively, connect the papers to be slightly overlapping each other. While a big joint may be cooler to smoke, note that you may need to use significant amounts of saliva to hold the joint smokable. Two paper joints have more unstable structures, so sometimes it's just better to prepare two regular joints instead of one double. But yeah, if you become the master roller, this shouldn't be any hard job for you.
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Soft Secrets