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How to roll a joint
Cannabis 101
How To Roll A Joint
Gregg PadulaJanuary 1, 2020

Joint rolling is an essential skill for any cannabis enthusiast. All you need to be a hero and save the day is about a ½ gram of cannabis (or more!), rolling papers, a grinder, a flat surface or rolling tray, and practice to build confidence in your skills. Read on and get rolling!

How to roll a joint

  1. Clear off a large, flat surface such as a desk or coffee table. I recommend using a rolling tray, as it offers a smooth surface. 
  2. If using a standard single-wide-sized rolling paper, place around 0.5 to 0.7 grams of dried cannabis flower into a grinder and turn until the cannabis is uniformly ground. Empty the contents onto your workspace/rolling tray.
  3. With the adhesive strip side facing up, fold the rolling paper with the area opposite to the gum half to create a pocket for your cannabis.
  4. Evenly sprinkle the ground cannabis along the entire length of the paper, leaving about ¼" of space on each end.
  5. Using both hands, tuck the unglued side of the paper underneath the ground flower. You can tighten and shape the joint as you roll toward the gum.
  6. When you reach the gum, you can either take a drop of water on your finger to moisten the gum while still flat, or you can lick it. Roll over the moistened gum and seal.
  7. Now, take a pen, or some kind of long, thin object to push the ends in about ¼". Continue to shape and tighten as needed by while twisting it tighter. Just be careful not to roll the joint so tight you cannot draw air through it.
  8. Twist the ends lightly in order to secure the contents inside.
  9. Light 'er up and enjoy!

Types of rolling papers

Different rolling papers affect how a joint tastes, its burn speed and ability to stay lit, and how difficult it will be to roll. And, nowadays, rolling papers come in many more options than thick wood pulp paper with questionably safe adhesive.

Here's a quick breakdown of the three most common types of rolling papers:

  • Rice (difficult to roll, burn slow, no taste)
  • Hemp (easy to roll, burn slower than wood pulp, semi-tasteless)
  • Wood pulp (easy to roll, burn fast, strong paper taste)

Cannabis purists will often avoid rolling papers containing a glue strip. Don't let this scare you: The adhesive is non-toxic Arabic gum (sugar gum), so there's no reason to be concerned about adverse health effects. If you are a beginner, I suggest using hemp papers with sugar gum.

Grinders: Prepare your bud before you roll

Grinders may look intimidating, but they are a godsend to regular joint smokers. A simple two-piece grinder will work out just fine, but some grinders will have an additional piece or level known as the kief collector. Just make sure your grinder is made of stainless steel, titanium, or wood with metal teeth. Plastic grinders are widely sold because of their affordability – but often leave poisonous plastic shards in your cannabis.

Gregg Padula
Gregg Padula
Gregg Padula is a cannabis columnist with industry roots reaching back to Humboldt County, CA in the early 2000’s – and later as one of the first cultivators in Massachusetts’ medical cannabis industry. This unique vantage point is explored in much of his work for Gatehouse Media and