Advancing from Pre-rolled – How to Create a Perfect Joint

The legalization of recreational cannabis has given rise to a thriving new industry that goes way beyond weed itself. There are all the peripherals, there’s seeds and equipment for home growers and you can even buy pre-rolled reefers.  

The latter are an interesting phenomenon. They make buying and smoking a joint as easy as buying a pack of regular cigarettes. But while convenience is great, pre-rolled somehow doesn’t feel as authentic as a joint you have created from scratch with your own weed and papers.  

If you’re a seasoned smoker who has been rolling cigarettes for years, then rolling a joint isn’t so different. If not, however, you might find the prospect a little nerve-racking, with nightmarish vision before your eyes of some unsmokable monstrosity and all your precious weed scattered across the floor.  Panic not, just follow these tips and you will soon be rolling like a pro.  

Keep it simple with the papers 

There are almost as many choices of papers out there as there are varieties of weed. Extra large, extra light, straight edged, flavored, the list goes on. If you’re new to rolling, our advice is to keep it simple. Standard size and weight are the standard for a reason – they are easiest to handle, while other varieties can be a little awkward unless your fingers are experienced.  Once you are rolling with confidence, that’s the time to start getting experimental with larger papers or super-thin ones, and not before.  

Buy a decent weed grinder 

There are all sorts of improvisations people use for grinding down their weed, from scissors to kitchen utensils. But why bother when you can buy weed grinders for little more than pocket change? Have a look at online sellers and you’ll find every kind of weed grinder imaginable in various materials, including meta, acrylic and wood. Two part gizmos are the simplest to use, but they are all so inexpensive, you could try a couple of different sorts to see which works best for you.

Practice your technique 

There’s no avoiding the fact that your first attempt at rolling a joint is not going to create a thing of enormous beauty. It’s just the same as any new skill, but the old cliché that practice makes perfect really does hold true. Before you begin, ensure your fingers are clean and dry. Hold the paper with the gum side away from you and gently roll it between fingers and thumbs until it adopts the shape of an open tube. Next, empty your weed grinder and sprinkle your freshly-ground weed evenly along the full length. While you are still learning, focus of evenness. It is true that a cone shape delivers the optimum smoke, but that is an enhancement that you can work on later.

It’s recommended, but not essential, that you use a filter or roach, so once you’ve got a level layer of cannabis, add this at one end. Now roll as you did initially, moving your fingers along the joint as you do so to maintain that even shape. Try to ensure the joint is tight enough to hold together, but not so dense that it’s impossible to draw in the smoke. This is something you will soon be able to judge, but it only comes with practice. Finally, seal the joint with a light lick along the gummed edge and twist the non-filtered end. Now sit back and enjoy what you have created!  

Image from Wikimedia. Used under CC Share Alike license 2.5

Keith Mansur

Keith Mansur is the founder, publisher, and editor of Oregon Cannabis Connection newspaper. The print publication has been serving Oregon since 2010. He has been a Oregon medical marijuana patient, grower, and caregiver since 2006. Find him on Facebook or email him at

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