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

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Are you apprehensive for the moment when it’s your turn to roll a joint with friends? Or are you constantly being mocked for buying pre-rolls? Well, it’s time to step up to the challenge of rolling the perfect joint, every time. Don’t worry; we have the ultimate guide that will make you head of the rolling table.

Joints have come a long way from the iconic toothpick joint in Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke to Rick lighting up in the animated series Rick & Morty. It can be said that rolling a perfect joint can be crucial for the overall enjoyment of your cannabis flowers, and many people are interested in learning to roll one up. There are many ways to roll a joint, and throughout this article, we will guide you through our favourite rolling method.

First, let’s get the most important question out of the way: should a joint contain tobacco? Mixing cannabis with tobacco is commonplace in Europe but almost blasphemous in the USA. With a dramatic increase in cannabis legalisation and education, it is hoped that our European friends will soon stop consuming tobacco with their cannabis and catch on to the greener way!

Nevertheless, before learning to roll the best joint, let us answer some basics.

How much cannabis do I need per joint?

An excellent question for beginner rollers is, how much cannabis will I need? However, this will depend on the size of the rolling papers you are using. So, first, let’s get into rolling papers.

What size papers do I need?

There are five primary sizes of rolling paper, each with its own advantages.

1. Single-width

Single-width rolling papers are 70 mm long and up to 36 mm wide. They are designed to fit roughly 0.5 grams of dried cannabis flower. Ideal for those solo sessions!


These 1¼ rolling papers are approximately 78 mm long by 48 mm wide and are designed to fit roughly 0.6 grams of dried cannabis flower. 


These 1½ rolling papers are the same length as the 1¼ but are slightly wider at 60 mm. They are designed to fit roughly 0.7 grams of dried cannabis flower.

4. Double-width

Double-width papers are double the width of regular rolling papers and will hold just under a gram of dried cannabis flower. However, due to their substantial width, rolling experience is recommended.

5. King Size

The more significant king-size rolling papers are 110 mm long by 60 mm wide and will ideally hold a gram of dried cannabis. They are also available as King Size Slim. These are the most common amongst the cannabis community and are perfect if you’re looking to pass it on to a friend. 

What type of papers should I use?

Rolling papers improve the overall smoking experience; subsequently, the thickness and material can affect the taste and burnability. The most commonly used papers are made from wood pulp but can also be made of rice, nipa palm, and hemp. 

Wood pulp

For centuries, wood pulp rolling papers have been the go-to choice for tobacco smokers. They are slightly thicker than most papers, which makes them easier to roll. Nevertheless, wood pulp rolling papers burn quickly and, as a result, are not very efficient for consuming cannabis. 


Rice papers are the most commonly used rolling paper in the European cannabis community and are created by pressing natural plant fibres. They are thinner than most papers and are great for those looking for a slow-burning, finer paper.


Although uncommon, bamboo rolling papers are 100% organic and made from pure, untreated bamboo leaves. They are slow-burning and great if you’re looking for an alternative to bleached rolling papers.

Bai Jak

Bai Jak rolling papers are common across Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand. They are made by hand from the epidermis of Nipa Palm’s dried leaves. Like hemp, they are incredibly durable and environmentally sustainable.


Hemp papers are created from 100% organic, natural, and industrial hemp pulp, which contains no chemical compounds. They are incredibly durable and easy to roll while also being environmentally sustainable. If you’re looking for optimal burnability and taste, look no further than unbleached hemp papers. 

What is the difference between bleached and unbleached papers?

Another important subcategory includes bleached and unbleached papers. Many commercial papers are bleached white and contain additional chemical compounds, such as calcium carbonate and chlorine, which help slow the burn. Both calcium carbonate and chlorine are harmful, and cannabis enthusiasts should look steer-away from rolling papers that contain toxic chemicals. 

Unbleached papers are made from organic fibres and are light brown in colour. They haven’t been exposed to bleaching processes or chemicals and, in contrast to bleached papers, are thinner and provide smoother burnability.

But what about flavoured papers? Many blunt wraps and flavoured papers have been created with artificial flavouring, often containing numerous harmful chemicals. So, if you’re looking to enjoy each cannabis strain’s terpene profile, they should be avoided

What equipment do I need?

Now that we have explained rolling papers, let’s discuss the other equipment needed to roll a perfect joint every time!

High-grade dried cannabis flower

Using high-quality flowers in your joints is always recommended, and when smoking dried cannabis flowers, the preferred humidity level can range from 55 to 62%, depending on your preference. To have complete control over the end product, growing your own cannabis is always the best option. Double Banana Kush and Sensi Amnesia XXL are some excellent cultivars to start with.

Rolling papers

Pure cannabis joints are often prone to go out, and as we previously mentioned, unbleached hemp papers are preferred for optimal burnability. However, it’s a personal preference if you want to use larger king-size papers or small 1¼ papers.  


A grinder is a portable cylindrical device with a chamber and a lid. Inside the chamber are teeth that grind the cannabis into finer, smaller pieces when you manually twist the two parts together, making it ideal for rolling into a joint 

Grinders can be separated in half to allow the users to put the cannabis inside its teeth, with the average grinder having a diameter ranging up to 20 cm. Smaller grinders are perfect for those personal sessions, whereas large grinders allow more cannabis to be ground at once.

Using a grinder allows the user to avoid trichome degradation by limiting contact with the dried buds. Not grinding your flower correctly before rolling can often cause difficulties when trying to light up, so always remember to grind your flower correctly.

Two-piece grinder

The two-piece grinder consists of two correlating sides that fit together. Each side has a set of pronged teeth that, when moved in correlation with each other, break up the cannabis buds into a light, fluffy texture that’s easy to roll with. Once the cannabis flower has been ground, it will remain in the teeth until removed.

Four-piece grinder

This grinder comprises four pieces, with three chambers and is marketed towards cannabis experts looking to make the most of their flowers. 

  1. The first part acts as the lid; underneath is one side of prolonged teeth. 
  2. The second art has prolonged teeth on its upper face and fits perfectly with the upper part to complete the grinding compartment. 
  3. The third part consists of a pollen screen which separates the dry flower from the kief. Larger, freshly ground flowers will stay in this compartment and can be used for rolling. Smaller pollen glands will fall through the screen into the final compartment. 
  4. The fourth and final part is a chamber where the kief is collected.  

Types of grinders:

There are four main types of grinder, so let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

1. Plastic

Grinders made from plastic are usually the cheapest and widely available in many headshops. Unfortunately, plastic grinders are not durable, and occasionally tend to lose their plastic teeth during the grinding process. 

2. Metal

Metal grinders are durable and can be cleaned easily; however, they are often more expensive than others. Unlike plastic, a metal grinder has no chance of losing teeth and is a fantastic choice for grinding your dried flower. 

3. Hemp

Hemp grinders are made from compressed, industrial hemp fibres and are an excellent option for grinding cannabis. They are incredibly durable, sustainable and one hundred per cent organic.

4. Wood

Like plastic, wooden grinders are harder to clean and less durable than hemp or metal. Nevertheless, they do look very aesthetically pleasing and get the job done.

However, if you’re old school, breaking up the cannabis using your fingers is still acceptable!

Filter tips

Filter tips or roaches are used to improve the airflow while acting as the primary support for the structure of the joint. They are thin strips of uncoated offset paper that can be rolled into small tips and positioned at the front of the joint. 

They help stop any small piece of cannabis from getting into one’s mouth and prevents your lips from getting burned during those last few tokes. They can be purchased from all headshops, although they are less prevalent in America.

Rolling tray

To avoid spilling precious dried flowers on the floor, a rolling tray helps keep everything together and gives you some room to work. Ideal when working from the sofa.

Hemp wicks, lighters or matches

To light your joint, hemp wick is preferred as it provides a safer alternative to butane. However, a lighter or box of matches will also work perfectly.

A step-by-step guide to rolling a joint

1. Prepare the equipment

Collect all the necessary equipment, remove a rolling paper from the pack, and place it centrally on your rolling surface. Now, we’re ready for the filter.

2. Prepare the filter tip

Take a filter tip from your pack and make a small M by folding the end of the tip on itself and in again. Once complete, roll the rest of the tip around the M into a cylinder. Put the filter on the left or right side of the rolling paper, depending on whether you are right or left-handed. 

3. Grind the dried cannabis flower

Separate the grinder, take small cannabis buds (no bigger than the size of a piece of popcorn) and place them into the grinder’s teeth. Close the grinder and twist the two halves of the device against each other in a circular motion using both hands. The ground flower will be left between the metal teeth. If you don’t have access to a grinder, grind your bud between your index finger and thumb in the palm of your hand. This will create a fine grounded mixture which Is ideal for rolling. 

Now, fill the paper evenly with the ground cannabis from the grinder. Always ensure that the gummed side is upwards and facing towards you. Otherwise, it will become impossible to seal.

4. Start to roll the joint

Grab the filter and paper with one hand and carefully lift It off the rolling tray, giving you the space to roll. Using your dominant hand, roll the paper between your thumbs and index fingers; the aim is to create a cone-shaped cylinder of cannabis inside the paper. 

The filter acts as the primary support, so begin rolling from the filter out, slowly tucking in the paper until you reach the end. The cone will be smaller at the filter and gradually cone towards the tip. 

5. Seal the paper

Once the joint has been rolled, seal it by moistening the gum along the top of the paper while gently pressing and smoothing it against the rolling paper, subsequently sealing the sides of the joint. 

Then pinch the tip and twist the end; this stops cannabis from falling out and ensures an even burn. You can also grab the end of the joint and tap the filter to pack down the flower; it is a personal preference, but be careful your joint is sealed first!

6. Light up

Light the hemp wick, match or lighter. Inhale and rotate the joint evenly as the flame touches the tip, ensuring the joint is lit evenly, avoiding unwanted burning down the sides. 

Get comfy and enjoy your joint responsibly before passing it to a friend.

Three common mistakes by first-timers

Rolling the perfect joint can take some practice, but don’t worry. We will go over the grinder’s teeth problems first-time rollers encounter.

1. Packed too tight

This means there is too much cannabis packed together, and there is limited airflow, causing the joint to go out. If it is too tight, use your fingers to massage the joint so that all cannabis is evenly spaced throughout.

2. Packed too light

This could mean there is too much air inside the joint, burning the paper faster than the cannabis flower. When rolling, try to spread the cannabis throughout the joint evenly. Unfortunately, in this case, the only option would be to re-roll.

3. Doesn’t stay lit

This could be due to a mixture of the problems above, but it could also be a sign of moisture retained within your flower and a sure sign of an inadequate curing process. Storing cannabis flowers in an air-sealed container or using moisture packets could help keep your flowers at optimal humidity. 

Keep rolling

If you have not mastered the art, don’t worry; practice makes perfect. Alternatively, you can purchase a joint-rolling machine from any reputable headshop. Or, head over to our online store, where you can purchase a dry flower vaporizer.

If you have any tips on how to roil the perfect joint, or are running into some difficulties, let us know in the comments below.

  • Disclaimer:

    Laws and regulations regarding cannabis use differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.

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