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

Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s easy to follow guide for rolling perfect joints.

There are many medical marijuana products on the market these days – including edibles, tinctures, topicals, and vapable oils – but the most popular way to get your daily medical cannabis remains smoking the dried flowers.

Many patients prefer to do this by rolling their own cannabis cigarettes, often known as joints. With this comprehensive step-by-step guide to rolling joints and a little practice, you can roll perfect joints time after time.

What Will You Need?

While all you ever really need to roll a joint is a few buds of marijuana and a rolling paper, with a few supplies, you can craft top-notch joints for a more pleasurable smoking experience.

  • Dried Cannabis Flower: This will be the material used in your joint.
  • Grinder: While optional, a grinder will ensure a more even burn for your joint and will make it easier to roll.
  • Joint Paper: Available in a number of sizes and materials.
  • Card Stock: Used to create the “crutch” or mouthpiece for your joint.
  • Pen: Or a similarly shaped object to help you pack the joint.

marijuana grinder for joints

Break Up Your Marijuana

First, you will want to break up your dried cannabis flower. This can be done with your fingers, with scissors, or with a grinder. Using a grinder more evenly breaks up your marijuana, which will help your joint burn more evenly and consistently.

How much cannabis should you break up? That depends on how much you want to smoke.

A study published in 2016 concluded that the average joint is 0.32 grams. This number has been contested by some in the cannabis community. When deciding how much marijuana to add to your joint, take into consideration your own tolerance for cannabis and the level of effects you are looking to achieve. Joint papers come in a variety of sizes, giving you the freedom to roll the joint size you prefer.

Make a Crutch

What is a crutch? Also known as a filter or tip, a crutch is essentially a mouthpiece for your joint.

Why use a crutch? A crutch reinforces a joint’s mouthpiece and makes it easier to hold. Crutches increase airflow in your joint, allowing an easier draw when taking a hit. You also won’t burn your lips as easily, you can smoke the entire joint, and you won’t get bits of marijuana in your mouth when drawing during a hit.

Crutches can be purchased or created. At many smoke shops, you can buy either pre-rolled crutches or perforated cardboard strips designed to be utilized as crutches. You can even buy reusable glass tips that are used to crutch joints.

To make your own crutch, start with a thin cardstock paper, like a business card, index card, or the cardboard flap to your rolling papers. Rip off a rectangle shaped piece the width of your desired mouthpiece. Start with a few “accordion” folds at the end of the cardboard, then roll the material to the desired thickness of your joint.

filling a joint

Place Marijuana in Joint Paper

Put your rolling paper on a flat surface in front of you with the adhesive strip facing up on the side furthest from you. Place your crutch where your mouthpiece will be, and then fill the rest of the paper with your pre-ground cannabis.

Be sure not to overfill it, since adding too much can make your joint difficult to close. If you find yourself with excess paper, you can trim it off the side without adhesive before rolling to ensure you aren’t smoking extra paper.

If you want to roll a cone-shaped joint, add less marijuana near the mouthpiece, and more towards the tip, tapering it as you do. This will help your joint form a cone naturally.

Roll Your Joint

Once you have your crutch and ground marijuana in place, with your thumbs and index fingers pinching the rolling paper, roll the joint up and down to evenly compact the marijuana into a rolled shape. Don’t worry if some falls out. It can be added back in or saved for later.

Take the time to work the ground marijuana into a cylinder shape to make it roll easier and smoke more evenly. If you roll your joint too loosely, it will burn quickly and unevenly. If you roll it too tightly, it may be difficult to take a hit. Once the joint seems smooth and even, tuck the side of the rolling paper closest to you into the joint and roll the joint up towards the adhesive strip.

Lick and Seal

Finally, you’ll want to lick the adhesive strip and seal the joint by pressing the glue side onto the joint. Starting with the crutch or mouthpiece end, begin sealing the joint with even pressure.

Once the joint is sealed along its seam, take a pen or similarly shaped item and gently pack the end of the joint you will light until it is firm. If any marijuana fell out while you were rolling your joint, you can added it back in here if you’d like, pushing it in with the tip of the pen. Twist the extra paper at the end to seal your joint. Sit back and admire your work.

Light Your Joint

Don’t light your joint like a cigarette, inhaling as you ignite the tip. Instead, to light your joint, hold a flame to the tip of the joint, and turn it over in the flame to create an even “cherry” or burning ember at the tip of the joint. Move the flame closer to the joint until a full, slow-burning red cherry develops. When the cherry is ready, begin smoking.

Need cannabis to roll up in your joints, learn how to grow your own, or read our guide to getting your medical marijuana card.

You can always discover more on our Cannabis 101 page.

Post by Jeffrey Stamberger

Jeffrey writes media content covering the latest in news, medical research, policy changes, and product education from the cannabis industry.
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