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Global Drug Survey

Posted: 26 April 2012

Spliff Styles- How do you roll? by Will Coldwell

If there’s one thing about smoking cannabis that is guaranteed not come with unwanted side effects, then it has to be rolling. Satisfying, engaging and much more creative than ordering a 50/50 pizza instead of a margherita or the inevitable all day cartoon-fest, the art of rolling has almost as much potential to get someone hooked as the drug itself.

Interestingly, smokers from around the world seem to adopt different styles of rolling. While spending time working for Time Out Amsterdam, engaging in the privileged task of writing Coffee shop reviews courtesy of the expense account, I had a chance to observe these various techniques, as demonstrated by pot-smoking tourists burning time in the ‘global-village’. I wouldn’t like to comment on what it says about the various cultural identities, but it’s interesting all the same.

The Dutch

Lets start with the Dutch style, well planned, serious, and big. Using the whole roach card to make a sturdy filter, notable for the folded Z-shape in the middle, these spliffs are chunky and coned. They are also filled with twice as much weed as you need, mixed with cigarette tobacco to help it burn longer.

Any pre-rolled joint you will find in a Dutch coffeeshop is rolled like this and if you do get lucky and spot a Dutch person actually in one, then you’ll find them rolling theirs the very same way. You could say it’s a design classic.

The American Pure

Quite the other end of the spectrum is the American style. A lot less tidy, and usually rolled with pure cannabis, there’s a reason they call them ‘doobs’. These often don’t even use roaches and instead are twisted up at each end like a sweet-wrapper. They resemble a kind of chubby slug rather than a cone. On the plus side they use up a lot more paper, but you end up wasting a fair amount of weed too as its pretty tricky to smoke it right down to the end with out burning your lips, or choking on the roach (Big Lebowski style). However, the purity does mean it’s fairer on your lungs.

The Slim British

Then of course there’s the UK style, which is similar to the Dutch, as in it uses a roach and is coned, but they tend to be a lot thinner. Like a polite, respectable version of the Dutch one, in line with the Brits’ sensibilities. In the UK, smokers seem to prefer rolling tobacco instead of cigarette flakes, which makes it easier to roll thinly and neater.

Slightly Spanish…?

The weirdest style, however, has to be one a Spanish couple was spotted rolling, although it was so bad that it is unlikely that many people actually do this. Instead of using a roach for a filter they had just snapped off about an inch of a cigarette and used that instead, rolling a wide tubular spliff around it that was on the brink of falling apart as they smoked. This was a seriously botched job, but you can kind of see the twisted logic in it…

Bad Boy Blunts

For the champagne smoker, blunts are the only way. These are thick, brown rolling papers made out of tobacco, and a lot pricier than king-skins as you only buy one or two in a pack. Of course, when in Amsterdam, tourists like to treat themselves, and you can buy blunt wraps in abundance at the various shops selling googly eyed cannabis paraphernalia about the city. These are quite a bit harder to roll, as the paper is less sticky. They are also probably the worst for your chest as it’s a bit like smoking a cigarette and a spliff at the same time. Not to mention that they are generally pretty damn big. Still, nothing beats a novelty smoke….cough….tulip!

Of course, there’s no right or wrong in the world of weed – sort of – but the ritual of rolling, and the time and energy put into preparing your smoke seems to be an integral part of cannabis culture the world over. Unless you like vaporizers, in which case, you’re on your own…

Will Coldwell is a freelance writer and journalist based in London who writes for publications including Time Out, The Independent and The Guardian. (Twitter- @will_coldwell)

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Coolest Ways to Roll a Joint

While some of these joints may not even seem smoke-able (but they are).. These are pictures of some of the coolest and most interesting ways I’ve seen on the Internet to roll a joint. In fact after they start to look more like crazy architecture created by the mad-stoner. That’s neither here nor there. Feel free to send our Twitter correspondent @420_Report all of your cool blunt and joint designs for our next update!

These are some of the unique joint rolling methods that are sure to turn heads, if not spin them. Pictures and videos can be found toward the bottom of the page.

How to Roll Weird Joints

Rolling Styles:

  • Regular Joint – This is the first type of joint you need to learn how to roll. The main idea here is to grind some weed, put it in some rolling paper (gum-side up), roll it up to the gum, lick the gum, seal the joint, and smoke it. There are many short cuts of learning how to do this, but in the end, you’ll want to learn to do it without using any extra tools or anything so keep that in mind! This video will teach you how to roll a joint without any tricks. This article will teach you the “dollar bill” method. The “stuffing” method is basically where you empty out a cigarette or roll something really loose and stuff the bits of weed in individually. I couldn’t find a video, sorry. This is a little machine to roll for you.
  • Pinner – A ‘pinner’ or ‘pin joint’ is a really thin regular joint. A lot of people like to roll with a very short (width-wise) paper because the joint won’t hold a lot of weed. These are awesome for little personal joints.
  • The L – This is basically just an extended joint. Enjoy!
  • Inside Out –These are premium for eliminating excess paper to increase taste. They look impressive when you roll them and are healthier than regular joints because you’re smoking less carcinogens! This is how you roll one.
  • Cross – We all saw this in the movie ‘Pineapple Express’. The famed 3 headed joint! These are cool looking and there’s a lot of ways to roll one. They aren’t too easy to roll OR smoke, however they’re worth a try. This is how you roll one.
  • Dutch Tulip – These are really cool looking and produce a really heavy hit like a cigar. They look like a tulip as they burn. The cherry gets huge on these and will stay in one piece until the very end. They are easy and quick to roll. This is how you roll one.
  • XXL – This is basically a reeeeaaaalllyyy lonnnngggg joint. They’re pretty cool for a long, uninterrupted toke. This is how you roll one.
  • Twin Sisters – This is basically just smoking two joints at the same time, sideways. This is how you roll one.
  • Blunt – Blunts are made out of tobacco leaves and get you a nice and rich high. Blunts are a little trickier to roll because of the material they’re made out of. You’re going to want to use a moist blunt wrap or cigarillo. The dryer it is, the more brittle it is for rolling and the worse it smokes. There are a few methods to rolling blunts, but I think I’ll only list my favorite two. The first (and most practical/common/quickest) way is to use a blade of some sort to cut a straight line all the way down the middle of the blunt. After it’s open, empty the tobacco. Once that is done, you basically put the grinded weed in and roll it like a regular joint. The second (and most satisfying/smoothest) way is to unravel the blunt’s outside flavoring leaves and then cut the inside layer right on the crease. Put the grinded weed up, seal it, and re-roll the outside flavoring leaves as they were in the beginning.
  • Plumbers Joint – These have a line through the middle, for best airflow and smoothness these work really nicely. Instagrams TonyGreenHands (Creative genius behind most the joints in the joint gallery below) made a tutorial for rolling plumbers joints.

Popular Tips and Lingo:

  • Sparking it – When lighting a joint (or sparking it) it is important to make sure the joint is completely dry and closed. To ensure that the joint burns evenly, light the area in front of the joint and lightly puff until the flame makes the tip burn a small amount. Rotate the joint rotisserie style until the cherry develops. Congrats, you lit it!
  • Cherry – This is the lit and burning part of the joint. When the joint is cherried, then someone should be hitting it so it doesn’t get wasted or go out. Be careful, it’s hot!
  • Ashing – When the cherry burns through the joint the remnants of the weed will be left hanging at the end, burnt and smoked. It’s important to keep the cherry away from the ash by “ashing” the joint so that the hit won’t be muffled, taste nasty, or make a mess. To ash, simply put the joint’s ash-end where you want the ash to go and lightly tap the mouth-end until the ash falls off.
  • Roach – This is what remains on an already-smoked joint. They are filled with resin and a very small amount of sort of gross weed. It’s good to save roaches for hard times and make a full roach joint. They’re not too tasty but they get you fucked.
  • Spliff – I spliff is a joint that was rolled with tobacco mixed in.
  • Crutch – A lot of people call these different things (filter, tip, catch, end, etc) but the proper name is “crutch” when it comes to weed. These make rolling easier by providing a shape for the end of the joint. They also catch some of the tar and allow you to smoke the joint to the very end. Most people use a small square portion of the box from the rolling papers and roll it into a tiny cylinder to make one but you can also buy them on their own.
  • Keep it even! – To keep a joint from burning unevenly, it’s important to lightly puff on the joint. Long, hard hits will surely make the flame run down the side. If the joint is running, a good way to keep it from doing that is to turn the joint so that the side with the most paper is facing upward. If that doesn’t stop it, get a little spit on your finger and tap the paper in front of where it’s running. This will slow the burning of the running part. If it’s still not working, use the lighter to burn the excess paper.
  • Puff, Puff, Pass – Don’t take more than two hits when smoking in a group before you pass it. Also, don’t cradle it.

Paper Preferences: Everyone has their own preference about which paper they like the best so I will tell you which types of rolling papers are my favorite and why.

  • RAW– For rolling plain and simple joints, I like to use RAW papers. They are a very clean and tasty, slow burning, natural smoke that will not leave you unsatisfied in the end. These are the best for just a plain old joint, but if you try rolling fancy stuff with these they tend to fall apart easier than the other brands.
  • DLX– The absolute best when it comes to rolling paper. By far the hardest to find, but truly worth it to the cannaseur.
  • Randy’s Wired Papers – These are awesome because you don’t need to use a crutch. The joint can burn to the very end because there’s a little wire that runs along the side of the joint that you can hold instead of burning your finger tips.
  • Elements – These are my favorite for when I’m rolling something complicated. The gum is pretty reliable and when everything comes together, it burns pretty nicely.
  • Dutch Master Vanilla – These are my favorite for rolling blunts.

Collection of joints rolled in all different styles. Almost every type of creative joint rolling method we've ever seen.