How to Roll a Joint: 5 Steps (with Pictures)
Learning how to roll a joint is a rite of passage for the majority of cannabis users. Here’s how to do it in the next 5 minutes.
Joints, J’s, doobies, spliffs, Dutch cigs, reefers, whatever you call them — they’ve been around for quite some time.
Joints have been the staple mark of the weed industry since its initial days.
Back when cigarettes weren’t sold in packs and boxes, the art of rolling a perfect cone joint was truly appreciated and knowing a few joint rolling techniques is still a sought-after skill in the 420 community.
If not, here’s how to roll a joint the old school way.
How to roll a joint (step by step)
For rolling a joint you will need the following:
- Half a gram of cannabis
- Rolling papers – make sure you have more than one
- Aluminum 2-piece grinder (to finely grind the buds)
- A piece of hard cardboard for a filter
Step 1: Break down the bud
If you have the weed strain of your choice at hand, grab a herb grinder (if you have one) as it will make the process of breaking down weed a lot easier.
Don’t forget that strains that tend to be stickier are more prone to being harder to grind and you may have to break down those nugs by hand.
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If you don’t have a grinder at hand, don’t worry, you can also break the bud with your fingers or try other alternatives.
Step 2: Make a crutch A.K.A the filter
Most people prefer smoking joints with a crutch, otherwise known as a joint filter. They are usually made of thin cardboard sheets or thicker paper.
Some rolling papers usually come packed with as many filters as there are papers in the box so buying those types of paper can spare you the hustle of finding the perfect filter material right before going through this tutorial.
The easiest way to make a filter is to take a piece of thick paper and fold the first few millimeters of it 2-3 times and then roll it up in the same direction.
This will make it so that weed residue won’t go into your mouth through the filter hole in the middle of it.
Step 3: Fill the paper and pack the weed
Some people consider packing the joint properly to be the hardest part about rolling a joint. The way we at Greencamp do it is as follows:
- Put the filter on one side of the paper, with the sticky part of it being on the upper side and turned towards you.
- Take the weed that you previously ground and put it in the paper. You want to have a bit less of it by the filter and a bit more at the end in order to get that cone shape we are hoping for.
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Step 4: Roll it up
As you are pressing and pushing the weed down with your fingers, start rolling it up slowly with your filter thumb.
The other thumb should be going upwards from the filter, tucking in the bottom side of the rolling paper.
Doing this simultaneously while rolling the filter upwards will start giving it the cone shape.
Lick the sticky part of the upper side of the paper and slowly keep rolling the joint.
Step 5: Wrap it up
Stick a cigarette filter (or something of similar shape and weight) into the top of the joint and tap the filter against a hard surface a few times in order to pack your joint better.
Wrap the top and light up your first joint.
Congratulations — you’ve learned how to roll a standard joint.
Let’s explore more variations.
How to roll a cross joint
Cross joints gained in popularity ever since Seth Rogen introduced them to the world on the big screen in his movie Pineapple Express.
Basically, what you will need to do is roll 2 joints, one thicker and longer and one shorter, approximately the same thickness as the crutch.
Once you’ve rolled the bigger joint, use a needle to punch through it near the top, approximately two-thirds way from the crutch.
Punch the hole through the joint on both sides, and slowly and gently expand the hole with the needle.
Once you’ve expanded the hole on both sides, try to slide the thinner joint through the hole on both ends.
Use some sticky tape from the rolling papers (cut the top of the paper with scissors) to secure the cross part so that it doesn’t fall out.
How to roll a pinner
Pinners are great for people that don’t want to waste weed, especially when smoking alone. After all, they get their name after being so slim — like a pin.
Sure, there are better ways to smoke a small amount of weed, like using a vaporizer, but for some people, nothing gives a satisfying high like a joint or a blunt.
Pinners are quite easy to roll, but you have to know the basics of rolling a standard joint to make a pinner.
The technique is the same as rolling a joint, but you have to press down harder on it. The only major difference is that the top of the pinner is the same width as the crutch.
This is why you have to push down on the bud in the paper a lot harder, in order to pack it down and burn equally on all sides, otherwise, there’s gonna be a lot of canoeing.
How to roll a spliff
If you haven’t figured it by now, spliffs are just joints with tobacco in the mix. They aren’t a lot different when it comes to rolling.
The only minor difference which you’ll notice only when you’ve already rolled hundreds and thousands of joints is that tobacco and weed feel a bit different when you push down on the paper.
Tobacco is usually much drier, while weed tends to be a bit ‘spongy’ and it can push back a bit more than the tobacco.
How to roll an L joint
L joints get their name from the shape they are in before you roll them up. This is achieved by taping two pieces of paper together.
L joints are well suited for a large joint-smoking audience, as you can fit more weed than in a regular joint.
Take two papers from the box, and cut one in half, but somewhat diagonally. Take on of the halves and stick it vertically to the main paper at the and, so that you get the L shape we’re trying to achieve.
Make sure you are very careful when rolling up L joints because they are somewhat fragile due to their length.
How to roll a joint inside-out
Inside-out joints, also known as dutch joints, are very similar in size and shape to regular cone joints. However, there is one small difference in the way the joint is rolled.
Inside-out joints are rolled with the sticky part of the rolling paper on the “wrong” side.
So, keep the sticky part of the paper on the outside, fill it up with weed, and gently roll up the joint to the point that the sticky part is touching the rest of the paper.
Lick the rolling paper (the sticky part) on the outside of the joint, and stick the paper to it by constantly rolling it up.
How to Roll an Inside Out Joint (Step-by-Step Guide with Pictures)
Once you roll it up all the way to the top, give it a minute to dry and stick, and feel free to rip off the excess paper.
Inside-out joints are favored among people who don’t like the taste of paper, so this technique is perfect for when you want to get the full taste of the weed.
How to roll a tulip joint
I rolled only a couple of tulip joints in my life because I believe them to be a waste of weed.
The tulip joint is popular among novel smokers that are in it for the high, but they are not so practical for everyday smokers.
This is another two-part joint, as you’ll need to roll a standard joint in a king size rolling paper and add a second one for the ‘tulip’.
I’ve even seen people using a sort of cardboard straw, instead of the joint for the elongated part. Make sure you don’t twist the top of this joint because the top will go in the tulip part.
Once you’ve got that handled, make a small rope from one or two papers by rubbing them together between your hands.
Take another three rolling papers, and stick them together so that you have an almost square paper surface with the sticky part on one of the four edges.
Fold that paper so that you make a cone, and stick it all together with that one sticky edge. You should now have a sealed triangle, that is actually a cone when you spread the edges.
Full the paper cone with weed, as much as you can fit in it. Now, take the joint you rolled previously and put the top of it in the open part of the tulip.
After you’ve connected these two parts, twist the edges of the tulip part around the joint, and use the tiny rolling-paper rope you made to secure the tulip to the joint.
Go crazy with it
Once you get the hang of how easy rolling actually is, you can start making your own designs and techniques.
Did you know that there are organizations that fund competitive joint-rolling? Yep, not only that but there are hundreds of people competing every day. Just check out the video below about one of the best rollers in the world.
Learn how to roll a joint in 5 steps. Easy to follow visual guide.
How to roll a joint
The joint is one of the more iconic ways to consume cannabis, and it’s a great way to enjoy the flavor of your flower. Every cannabis smoker should learn how to roll a joint. There are countless opinions on the different ways of rolling one, but whatever you do, make sure your creation burns smoothly and evenly.
How much weed is in a joint?
When starting out, we recommend using a 1/2 gram of weed and normal or 1 1/4 sized rolling papers. This is a good amount of weed for a couple people and starting off on the smaller side will make rolling the joint more manageable.
For reference, most of the prerolls you buy at the store are a full gram, although some come in 2-packs of half-grams.
When you get good at rolling, you can move up to King sized papers and full-gram joints and widen your smoking circle.
Step-by-step guide on how to roll the perfect joint (with or without a filter)
To help you hone your own craft, we’ve prepared a simple seven-step guide on the easiest way to roll a classic cone joint, even for beginners. You’ll be rolling a perfect joint in no time.
Begin by gathering your rolling supplies:
- Cannabis strain of your choice
- Rolling papers
- Crutch (for the joint crutch or filter)
- Cannabis grinder
- Optional: A pen, or a similarly shaped object to help pack the joint
Step 1: Grind the cannabis
Break down your cannabis into shake. If your cannabis is dried well, it should break down easily. A grinder keeps your hand from getting sticky and thus sticking to the joint paper.
If you don’t have a grinder, you can grind the herb down by hand, using scissors, or any number of other breakdown methods.
Step 2: Create joint crutch/filter
Make a crutch, also called a tip or filter. You can make a crutch out of just about anything, but thin cardboard or business cards are solid go-tos. A lot of joint papers also include crutch material with their packaging.
Start with a few “accordion” folds at the end of the cardboard, then roll the material to the desired thickness of your joint. The crutch isn’t absolutely necessary, but it does help keep the shake from falling out of the end or into your mouth as you smoke. It also adds some stability to the joint and allows you to enjoy every bit of cannabis without burning your fingertips.
Step 3: Fill joint with cannabis
Fill the paper with the shake and the crutch (if you’ve made one). Once the paper has the right amount of shake (a half gram to a gram usually does the trick), you can begin to form and shape the joint with your fingers.
A quick note on papers: There are a lot of different types and flavors of joint papers available. Many people prefer hemp papers because they tend to be thin but strong, and burn evenly without affecting the flavor of your weed.
Step 4: Pack the joint
Once you’ve loaded and shaped your joint, it’s time to roll it. Pinch the paper between your fingertips and roll it back and forth between them to pack the cannabis down into its final cone shape.
Step 5: Roll the joint
This step can make or break the quality of your joint. Tuck the unglued side of the paper into the roll, roll it up, and use the glued edge to tack down one end of the paper, using just a little bit of moisture.
Pro tip: Start with the crutch side because it can help guide the paper as it rolls around itself.
Once the paper is tacked down on one end, you can work your way down the rest of the seam by tucking and sealing the joint to the end.
Step 6: Finish your joint
Finally, pack the end of the joint to help ensure an even burn. A pen is great, but you can use just about anything.
Some good options if you’re on the go: the tip of your shoelace, the drawstring on your hoodie, or a small stick. If you’re not planning on sparking your joint right away, you may want to close the tip with a twist.
Step 7: Enjoy (and innovate!)
Other ways to roll a joint
There are limitless ways to roll a joint. You can roll them big or small. Get creative! Some people have even transformed joint rolling into an art all on its own, rolling their cannabis into a unique mix of functional origami.
Another trick is to use a dollar bill to help roll a joint. Simply fold a dollar bill in half and put your ground weed in it. Roll it back and forth, slip a rolling paper behind it, roll it up, and give it a lick. Easy peasy.
Other joint variants you can try rolling are a cross joint (two joints crossed in the middle, giving you three ends to light), a pinner (a thin joint), or an L joint or tulip, which have extra amounts of weed stuck on the end.
What’s your favorite way to roll a joint? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below and make sure to teach others this basic cannabis skill!
This post was originally published on May 19, 2016. It was most recently updated on April 15, 2020.
Every cannabis smoker should learn how to roll a joint. To help you hone your own craft, we’ve prepared a simple seven-step guide to successful joint rolling.