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How To Roll a Joint: A Step-by-Step Guide

Today, there are tons of ways to enjoy marijuana. You can ingest it through tinctures or edibles, inhale it as vapors, or smoke it from a pipe, bong, or hitter. 

But one of the most classic ways to smoke your cannabis is the good old-fashioned joint. There’s just something special about rolling a joint by hand and taking that first long drag. 

What You’ll Need

Rolling a joint requires a few basic tools. In addition to some loose cannabis flower, you’ll need:

  • Rolling papers. You can usually find packs of these at your local dispensary.
  • Filters. These thin strips of paper can usually be purchased as a booklet.
  • A grinder. This helps break down the flower into a uniform size.

How To Roll a Joint

Below are the step-by-step instructions for rolling a joint and some joint rolling tips to provide you with the best smoking experience.

1. Grind Your Cannabis

The first thing you’ll need to do is separate the buds of your flower. Although this can be done by hand in a pinch or with a mortar and pestle, your best bet is to use a proper grinder. This ensures the flower is thoroughly separated and comes out in a roughly uniform size. This can also separate out things like stems, so you don’t have to pick them out by hand.

Pro Tip: Invest in a good grinder. Herb grinders come in several styles, but you’ll typically want one with three layers. 

The top layer has the teeth that actually separate the flower, with small holes underneath for the ground buds to fall through. The middle layer catches those buds and contains a fine screen. The bottom layer catches the powder, known as keef, that is fine enough to come through the screen. The keef is usually the most potent part of the flower, so use it carefully.

2. Prepare the Joint Paper

Pull a single sheet of joint paper from your pack and lay it out on a clean, dry surface with the gum line opposite you. Breathe on it gently to moisten it and make it more flexible. Crease it slightly, lining up the near side just underneath the adhesive to create a well to lay your bud in.

Pro Tip: Set your paper on a rolling tray to catch any flower that might fall off the paper during the rolling process and give you a smooth surface to work on. If you don’t have a proper rolling tray, you can substitute something like a plate or jewelry dish —basically anything with a flat bottom and a lip.

3. Create a Crutch

Crutches, also known as mouthpieces or filters, serve various purposes. Although not strictly necessary to enjoy your joint, it keeps your fingers from burning as you near the end of the joint, prevents ashes or other particles from entering your mouth, and allows you to smoke all of the bud without leaving any behind in the roach. There are two common ways to fold a filter:

  1. Rolling the paper into a spiral is easier but not as sturdy or protective as…
  2. Creating an accordion fold and wrapping the rest of the crutch around it. This fills in the gaps where ash might come through and provides extra structure to keep it from collapsing if it gets wet.

Once folded, place the filter in one end of the paper. Some people lay it flush with the end, while others leave a little bit sticking out and push it into place once the joint is rolled.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have actual filter papers, you can substitute other paper of similar weight, such as cardstock, index cards, or standard business cards. Avoid papers with lots of dyes or inks, as these can be harmful if inhaled as you reach the end of your joint. 

In a pinch, you can also create a mouthpiece by pushing the rolled weed deeper into one end of the joint using something thin like a chopstick or pen to create some space at the end. However, this doesn’t prevent particles from escaping into your mouth and is much more likely to collapse and seal the end, especially if it gets wet.

4. Fill the Joint

Once your paper and crutch are prepared, it’s time to fill your joint. Pick up the paper with one hand and lay the cannabis in a line in the crease you created, spreading it as evenly as possible. Try not to overfill the joint, but if you accidentally add too much, it will probably just fall out on the rolling tray as you roll and seal it.

Pro Tip: Watch out for stems. The stems contain almost no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and their smoke is much harsher because they’re a much denser, woodier part of the plant. Some people also find that smoking stems gives them a nasty headache, so make sure to separate them out.

5. Roll the Paper and Seal

Fold your paper over the cannabis and roll it back and forth between your fingers a little bit. This condenses the flower and helps ensure it’s evenly distributed. Some of the bud may fall out of the end as you do this, so use a rolling tray. You can sweep that up and reuse it or pack it into the end of the finished joint.

When you’re ready to seal it, roll the paper up and lightly moisten the gum line with your tongue, similar to sealing an envelope. You can either let it air dry or use a quick pass from a lighter to dry it faster. Finally, roll or pinch off any excess paper from the end, and — voilà! — you’re ready to light!

Pro Tip: Don’t over roll. Rolling it too much can pack the flower so tightly it chokes out the smoke. If you want it packed a little tighter once it’s rolled, use a chopstick or the end of a pen to push it down.

Fill Your Joints With Flower From DDM Cannabis

For quality flower to fill your joints, look no further than DDM Cannabis. We offer a variety of strains to get you just the high you’re looking for, whether you want to melt into the couch after a long day or need a burst of energy to help you focus on a project.

Don’t have the time or tools to roll your own joints? Check out our pre-roll selection for all the fun of smoking a joint with none of the hard work.

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