Top 5 hacks for when you run out of smoking papers
Every dedicated cannabis user ought to be carrying around a kit of essential items at all times. Omitting this crucial aspect of the stoner routine is just unprofessional. But even the best of us get caught out at times, and go to roll a joint only to discover there are no smoking papers to be found. You may find yourself asking: what can I use as rolling paper?
1. Find a substitute for paper
We all remember schooldays when someone managed to smuggle in an eighth but—surprise surprise!—didn’t manage to steal any smoking papers from out of their big brother’s stash box.
And then eventually you all end up huddled behind the sports hall frantically trying to roll joints out of toilet paper, magazine covers and old receipts, and you’ve wasted most of the weed so far trying to do it…
So thank heaven that those days are long behind (most of) us, and we now have an array of superior options to go for, in the astoundingly rare event that we plan poorly enough to run out of OCB’s and there’s nary a head shop to be found.
If you happen to be artistically-minded, or just the type of person that likes to do brass rubbings when out and about, you may be the kind of person who carries around tracing paper in their pocket!
Tracing paper is actually a pretty good alternative for smoking papers, if you have the thin, high-quality stuff. Much better than a magazine or a receipt, anyway—but yeah, perhaps not the most common pocket item.
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2. Gum paper
On the other hand, if you’re just a regular, uncreative Joe with no tracing paper about your person (you poor peasant), you may still be in luck if you happen to have a few sticks of gum in your pocket. That silvery foil stuff that your sticks of gum come wrapped in?
If you can rub the foil part off without damaging the paper underneath, that paper can act as a pretty reasonable substitute Rizla—and as a bonus, all the sugary-gummy residual goodness left on the paper should help stick it together, with a little help from your tongue.
3. Roll up a corn husk
Although this technically counts as a replacement rolling paper, it’s so good it deserves a section of its own. The outer layers of an ear of sweetcorn can be dried and used as a natural rolling paper, and probably represents the least harmful option listed so far!
The husk is naturally soft, flexible and fibrous, and retains these qualities even when dry.
Many countries that produce both corn and cannabis use corn husks to roll joints as a traditional method of consumption. In Jamaica, an island that is globally known for its high-quality cannabis, sun-drying corn husks to later use as rolling papers is a widespread practice.
Here they are typically soaked in water briefly prior to rolling, to ensure that their flexibility is maximised.
Mexico and the USA are other countries where cannabis users report use of this method—in the USA, pre-dried corn husks can be purchased in the Mexican section of many large supermarkets, particularly in the South.
As well as corn, fibres from several other plants can substitute for rolling papers—and may even prove preferable in terms of flavour, as many report the ‘papery’ taste to be absent. The fibrous inner membrane of bamboo is one substitute, and the bark (or the layer beneath the bark) of several trees is light and flexible enough to be used.
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4. Make a bucket/lung
Making substitute pipes is another approach to the problem of being caught out without smoking papers or bong. There are various different ways to achieve this, from using an apple or a bell pepper to constructing ambitious devices out of old electronics and scrap metal.
Here we’ll briefly describe two related methods that are capable of packing a serious punch, but do not require any hard-to-find items.
Both techniques require a 2-litre (or similar) empty bottle, such as one used to contain water or soft drinks. The bottle must be cut in two, approximately 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. A piece of tin foil shaped to fit the mouth of the bottle and pierced several times to allow airflow is also needed.
To make a lung, simply use tape to attach a plastic bag to the cut end of the bottle; once secure, scrunch the bag up inside the bottle.
- Then place some cannabis onto the foil ‘gauze’, which should be loosely placed on the mouth of the bottle.
- Use a lighter to burn the cannabis while using your other hand to pull the plastic bag out of the bottle—by doing this you create a vacuum inside the bottle, which causes air (and smoke) to rush into the chamber.
- When the bag is fully extended, remove the foil from the bottle and inhale the smoke from inside the bottle.
- A bucket (also known as a gravity bong) functions similarly, but uses a large (at least 10 litre) bucket filled around 2/3 full with water. The bottle is placed into the bucket and held down so that it does not float up.
- The foil is placed on the mouth of the bottle, cannabis is placed on it and burned, and the bottle is slowly raised up, causing the vacuum inside to become filled with air and smoke.
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5. Do hot-knives
“Hot-knives” is one of the oldest and most well-known methods of consuming cannabis in the absence of a paper or pipe. It is also one of the simplest—but can potentially be quite dangerous, so great care must be taken especially if already intoxicated! All you need is a heat source such as a gas or electric stove, two knives and some cannabis.
Some also prefer to use a straw or a rolled-up piece of paper to inhale the smoke, to avoid getting too close to the source of the heat, but this is not always necessary.
- Simply switch on the stove and bring it up to a medium-hot temperature. Once it is hot, hold the blades of the two knives immediately above the heat source for a short time (usually 1-2 minutes is sufficient).
- Ensure that the handles of the knives are away from the heat source to avoid damage to them (and injury to you!). Then, carefully place a small piece of cannabis on to one of the knife blades, and press the other knife blade down onto it so that the cannabis is ‘sandwiched’ between two hot metal blades.
- The cannabis should begin to smoke immediately, so be ready to inhale as soon as contact has been made to avoid wastage. The advantage of this technique is that it can be used for any type of cannabis—flowers, hashish and even concentrates! This wide ranging application is the reason that hot-knives remains one of the most popular and well-known techniques in the book.
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6. Buy a vaporizer
A permanent solution for the forgetful cannabis users is to find a different way of using. If you never want the problem of getting caught without smoking papers again, have a look at the pocket sized vaporizers that are out there.
It happens to the best. You go to roll a joint only to discover there are no smoking papers! What to do? Don't panic we have the best alternatives for you.
The 5 Best Cannabis Rolling Papers
Thursday February 14, 2019
W hen it comes to rolling joints, choosing the right paper is highly important. Not only do rolling papers affect the overall smoking experience, but they also play a large factor in how easy it is to roll your cannabis. Many people have a favorite rolling paper brand and claim that their papers are the easiest for them to roll with. Of course, everyone is different and has their own rolling preferences, making it difficult to definitively label one rolling paper as better than another. However, there are a few brands that stand out from the rest. Below, we’ve curated a list of our top 5 favorite rolling papers. Check them out, roll one up and enjoy!
Elements rolling papers are loved among many cannabis consumers. The love for them stems from more than one reason, too. For instance, they are made with natural materials like rice and sugar and they don’t contain any harsh burning agents. Once Elements rolling papers are burned, the only ash left over is the gum that caramelizes as it’s cooked. That’s a good sign that you’re smoking a quality paper.
Another good sign is that Elements don’t easily run. They’re embedded with a proprietary criss-cross watermark that helps keep the burn even across the life of the joint.
From their slow burn hemp paper to their ultra-thin rice papers, even the packaging of Elements rolling papers is appealing. The aesthetics of their boxes beautifully matches the quality of the papers on the inside. While the rice papers are a bit more difficult to roll than the hemp papers, their thin profile, smooth taste, and effective burn make Elements rolling papers a staple for cannabis consumers around the world.
No dyes, no chalk, no burn additives. RAW natural rolling papers are what their name claims to be: raw rolling papers. They’re unbleached and unrefined products made solely out of plant material. As a result, not only are they easy to roll with, but they also add very little taste to your joint.
If you’re looking for a paper that gives you both a clean burn and a clean conscience, then consider RAW rolling papers. Why? The RAW Foundation donates meals to children in famished communities, provides fresh water and filters to folks impacted by natural disasters, and even sponsors an orphanage in Bali, Indonesia. RAW produces charismatic rolling papers because their leaders are thoughtful individuals. Their charity is a great part of their company, it’s just a bonus that their rolling papers are top-of-the-line for a cannabis consumer looking for an easy roll and a pleasant smoke.
OCB claims to be the thinnest rolling paper in the world. My ruler has a difficult time measuring the accuracy of that claim, but there’s no doubt the OCB makes some of the best rolling papers out there. OCB has been around for 100 years, and for good reason. Usually, such a thin paper might tear or be difficult to control, but OCB has perfected the art of creating thin, easy-to-work-with papers.
Over their 100 years, they’ve created paper for French bibles, letter paper, and cotton paper, among others. In 1999, however, they officially started what is now their most iconic line: OCB Premium rolling papers. They’ve withstood the test of time because they burn clean and add nothing more than what they call ‘an American taste’ to a joint. Since their OCB Premium papers were launched, they’ve added on X-Pert papers, Organic Hemp papers, and even created biodegradable, unbleached filters.
Juicy Jay’s started in the Big Apple (a juicy apple at the time), in the 1980s. The creators had a deep love for all things from the ’80s like 5.0 Mustangs, gold rims, and LL Cool J. With their love of ugly cars and music that hasn’t withstood the test of time, they scouted New York City in search of their idol. Without finding LL Cool J, the creator of Juicy Jay’s was still granted a new nickname that eventually inspired the name of the rolling papers themselves.
Not only are they easy to roll with, but Juicy Jay’s also make this list because they taste fantastic. From watermelon to blueberry to peanut butter to root beer, there is a flavor for every person. There’s even a flavor that harkens back to 80’s music: Vanilla Ice. Easy to roll with and adding extra flavor to your joint, Juicy Jay’s simply look cool and can add just the right amount of flare to a smoke session. With bright colors and fashionable design, Juicy Jay’s catch the eye and the love of people who like smoking joints.
Zig Zag – ‘Oranges’
Yes, they’re a bit thicker than the other papers on this list. Yes, they burn a bit faster than other papers on this list. Yes, they add a bit more ash and unnecessary flavor to joints than other papers on this list. So why do Zig Zag 1 ¼ inch papers that come in their classic orange box make it to the last spot on this list? One word: accessibility. These papers are everywhere. You can find them in virtually every gas station, they’re cost-effective, and they’re your best option when you can’t find any of the other brands on this list. Furthermore, they’re likely one of the easiest papers to learn to roll with.
What’s your favorite brand of rolling paper and why? Let us know in the comments below!
Do you love rolling joints? If so, then you know that rolling papers are a critical component to a great smoking experience. Find out some of the best cannabis rolling papers on the market!