Many marijuana lovers enjoy rolling a joint as much as they do smoking one. It's kind of sacred, and an art that is honed over time, with the aim of crafting the perfect joint to smoke alone or with friends. Those who know how to roll can skin an awesome joint in just seconds, but for those who don't, at first it can be like learning a new language.
Hopefully, you'll have someone to teach you. But if you don't, we've got all the instructions you need to start rolling awesome joints right away. In this guide, we'll teach you how to roll a joint step by step. We’ll also look at some more intricate designs, such as Ls, crosses and the famous Dutch Tulip.
How to roll a cone joint (regular)
To roll any joint, you’ll need quality rolling papers, a roach and, of course, some quality marijuana. A good grinder also makes things easier. A four-piece grinder, for instance, will grind your weed up finely and dispense it into a chamber below, while collecting kief at the bottom for you to sprinkle over a joint or bowl. Basic grinders will do the trick, but many users find that the weed gets stuck to the grinder with these, something that doesn’t happen with a three or four-piece. All set? Great.
Grind your weed and make a roach
The drier your weed, the better it will grind up. Ideally, you want your ground weed to separate up easily so it’s easier to spread evenly throughout the joint. Making a crutch or roach is the next step. Any thin card that folds effortlessly will do - perhaps a business card or some thin cardboard. Some brands sell roaches with joint rolling papers so you’ll always have them to hand. Take a smallish strip, fold back and forth a couple of times, and then roll the card until you’re satisfied with its thickness. Some smokers opt to forego a crutch or filter, but these help to make a joint sturdier, and stop weed from falling out or getting sucked into your mouth when you inhale. You’re also much less likely to burn your fingers as the joint burns down.
For a cleaner and better-tasting smoke, roll a joint with a glass filter. These only cost a few bucks but are reusable, and may slightly cool the smoke down, as well.
Fill and pack the joint
Now, it’s time to add the weed. Get a paper and position the crutch at one end and in the middle, before sprinkling flower evenly. Depending on the size of your joint, you’ll need between 0.5g and 1g of cannabis. There are lots of papers to choose from, but many prefer hemp papers as these are made without nasty chemicals, and preserve the memorable and delicious flavor.
Once you have enough weed, start to pack the joint down by pinching the paper and rolling it so that the flower beds down while keeping everything even. Repeat the pinching and rolling process as many times as is necessary until the joint is smooth and cylindrical. This part needs to be just right, or it will affect the appearance of the joint and how it smokes.
Roll and add finishing touches
Actually rolling the joint is the most important step, though. Each paper has a glued and unglued side. Tuck under the unglued part and roll the joint. Lick a small part of the glued side, toward the roach end and stick it down. Keep licking toward the other end, sticking the paper down as you roll. This is the preferred way of rolling a joint as the paper naturally rolls around. As you roll and stick the paper down, ensure that the joint is tight. This is fiddly, but worth giving extra care to.
Excess paper at the end of the joint is normal. You could use a small, pointy stick to push the weed down and add extra flower (a pen or toothpick will work fine). Twist any loose paper to close off the tip of the joint if you plan on saving the joint for later in the day.
This is the easiest way to roll a joint, and one that beginners will soon get to grips with. Perfecting your technique could take a few days, weeks or even months. Obviously, the more you practice, the better you’ll get!
Rolling an L joint
An L-shaped joint is just a longer version of the cone joint. It’s a simple modification, and only requires one extra paper and a pair of scissors - oh, and some more weed! Take the second paper and glue it to the end of the first paper, so that they make an L shape. Make a diagonal cut on the second paper, so there is a triangular piece of paper on top of the first joint.
Then it’s just a case of rolling a regular joint. It may be a little trickier since the joint is longer. Take your time with the roll and make sure the joint stays straight. Since there won’t be any glue at the end of the joint, you’ll need to carefully wrap the paper triangle around it to seal the joint.
Rolling a Cross joint
Cross joints look really complex, and your friends are sure to be very impressed if you master one of these. But here’s a secret: they’re actually super simple to make. To roll a cross joint as good as Seth Rogen, just follow these steps.
Roll two standard joints - a slim one and a fat one. Only use a filter on the bigger joint, as the smaller joint is intended to be lit from both ends. Cut a hole through the middle of the bigger joint, using a paper clip or similar sharp and pointy item. Poke a large enough hole so that the smaller joint can fit through it, and then push the slim joint through to make the cross.
To finish, take some sticky bits of rolling paper and wrap them around the cross section. This will make the joint airtight so that it smokes properly. Light up all three ends, and enjoy!
Rolling a Dutch Tulip
The Dutch Tulip is a beautiful spliff to look at, and an even better one to smoke. This style hails from the Netherlands - as the name suggests - with the tulip being the country’s favorite flower. Indeed, the Dutch were so obsessed with tulips in the 1600s that, for a period, single tulip bulbs would sell for more than an entire house! So-called “Tulipmania” is considered to be the world’s first financial bubble.
Form a square shape using two or three rolling papers. Make some diagonal folds, before sealing the paper together in a cone-like shape. Pack in some weed, and then twist the tube shut to seal off the weed inside the cone. Then it’s time to make the roach. Fashion a longer one than this usual, as this is key to making the joint sturdy and stable. Fill up the paper with weed like a normal joint. But instead of going for a cone joint, roll something more akin to a tobacco cigarette. Wrap the tulip cone over the top of the joint, and twist the paper until it joins nicely. Use some glued paper to strengthen the bond between joint and tulip.
Rolling a Shotgun joint
Shotgun joints require much more weed than a regular joint. Grind up an eighth or so (3.5g) to start with. Make four filters, place them together like a square, but leave enough card so that it can wrap around all of the filters. Your goal is to make a roach four times bigger than normal so that it can hold all the weed without any falling out.
From that point, it’s plain sailing. Start packing the weed in, and finish the roll as you would a regular joint. It’ll probably be a little easier to stick the paper together, because of the larger size. But still be sure to make the roll as tight as possible. There’s a lot of cannabis in a Shotgun joint - you don’t want to waste any!
Rolling a blunt
A blunt has plenty in common with a joint, except it’s rolled with a tobacco leaf rather than a rolling paper. Get either a cigar or cigarillo and cut the leaf off using a sharp knife. Clear out all the tobacco - you won’t be needing any of that!
Fill the leaf with marijuana. For a small blunt, use about a gram, but if you want something fatter pack in up to an eighth. You can add in hash and kief if you’d like - if so, add to the middle of the blunt, and cake the extract in flower. Then wet both sides of the tobacco leaf. This bit is super messy, but this is the only way to reseal the leaf and complete the blunt.
Invest in an automatic joint rolling machine
Perhaps you have tried and tried, but are still unable to roll a good joint. If you are exhausted trying and just want something simple, you could get a few pre-rolled joints, or some empty RAW cones to fill yourself. An automatic joint rolling machine may also be of interest. The Otto is just one example of a machine that grinds up your weed and fills a tightly-packed joint, ready for you to enjoy in seconds.
It’s an extra investment, but one that eliminates the rolling process altogether, and makes the smoking experience much more convenient. You’re also guaranteed to get a great joint time after time.
There are so many different cannabis options to choose from nowadays, including:
- Medical marijuana
- Recreational marijuana high in THC
- CBD-rich hemp flower
- One-to-one strains with equal amounts of CBD and THC
CBD hemp flower is legal all over the US because it has less than 0.3% THC. Medical marijuana with some THC requires a medical card or prescription, depending on where you reside. Recreational marijuana is available to anybody over 21 in legalized US states.
How to light a joint
Lighting a joint requires a bit more care than lighting a cigarette. It’s vital to get an even light so that the joint burns at the same rate, and not down one side. Hold a flame to the tip, and slowly twirl the joint so that all parts are lit. Take a toke, and if all is good, blaze right through it.
Hopefully this guide has helped you learn to roll both regular and fancy joints. There are several more we haven’t covered, and you can even get creative when rolling blunts and joints. Try one of our designs, or put your own spin on things. Just make sure you learn to roll!