October 16, 2021

by Sage Vasquez

how to roll a classic joint

Blackbird Automated Pre-Roll Machine

Sometimes there’s no better way to relax than to roll a nice, smooth joint and light up. Not only does a neatly rolled joint look good, but it also burns evenly, and should give you a hit of pleasure with every toke. If you are new to cannabis and learning the ropes or looking to up your rolling game, this step-by-step guide will show you how to roll a classic joint, along with a few tips and tricks to nailing this timeless classic.

supplies needed

  • Cannabis Flower. When starting off, think small, use standard-sized rolling papers with a half gram of cannabis.
  • Rolling Papers. For beginners, try hemp papers—both thin and strong, they typically burn evenly without affecting the taste of your flower.
  • Crutch (Optional). Since you can make a crutch out of just about anything, they are commonly DIYed—thin cardboard or business cards trimmed to size are common go-tos.
  • Grinder (Optional)
  • Poker, Pencil, or Pen (Optional)

alright, let’s get started

Have all your supplies ready? Take a deep breath, you got this.

  • Step 1: Prepare Your Cannabis Flower First off, you’ll want to break all those pretty fluffy nugs of yours down into a smaller, uniform size. This can be quickly accomplished with an herb grinder, but if you don’t have one, you can break your flower down by hand, with scissors, or any other preferred method.
  • Step 2: Create Your Crutch (Optional) To make a crutch, bend your paper into “accordion” folds at one end, then roll the remaining paper around the folds to the thickness of the joint you plan to roll.
  • Step 3: Fill Your Paper Place your crutch (if using) at one end of the rolling paper and then center the ground cannabis on it. Hold the crutch between your thumb and index finger to keep it in place. Once set up, you can start forming and shaping the joint with your fingers.
  • Step 4: Pack Once shaped, pinch the paper between your fingertips and roll it back and forth to pack the cannabis down into its classic tube shape. Be careful to pack the bud to the same width as your filter. This will help keep your smoke smooth and even.
  • Step 5: Roll Now you are ready to roll the joint—keep in mind this is the step that can make or break the quality of your joint. Pinch the two sides of the paper together, and roll them up and down against one another.
  • Step 6: Finish Once you're ready to finish the joint, fold the ungummed side of the paper over the bud, towards the gummed side. Once there, seal the paper by licking the gummed section. Finally, pack the end to help ensure an even burn. If you’re not planning on sparking up right away, close the tip with a twist. 

tips and tricks

Here are a few additional tips and tricks to advance your roll.

Start with the crutch side. This will 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.

Make use of items around the house. A pen or pencil is a great tool to compact the unfiltered end to make sure the cannabis grinds are even. You can also use a dollar bill to help, 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.

advanced joint rolling

There’s more than one way to roll a joint and it’s become a kind of cross between art and engineering. Many declare joint-rolling to be a craft of its own—an art worthy of the time and skill required to create by hand. These rolling crusaders are taking the classic joint to new levels. Here are a few other rolling techniques to try next.

  • A Pinner. Great for when you are running low on bud, and want to make it last as long as you possibly can. A pinner is basically a thin classic joint but with less cannabis and a tighter roll.
  • The Shotgun. Not to be confused with shotgun-style smoking, which is when you blow back the smoke into someone else’s mouth. A shotgun joint is two classic-style joints stacked that look similar to the barrel of a shotgun.
  • The DIY Cone. It’s a simple method that looks like it sounds--it’s narrow at the filter and wide at the tip. Once the paper is rolled, cannabis is poured into the cylinder created by the paper, and then gently packed down.
  • A Cross. Another method that looks like it sounds—two classic joints engineered into the shape of a cross.
  • The Braid. Three extra-long joints braided together.

The foundation of any advanced joint-rolling is knowing how to roll the classic first. Ultimately, if you know how to roll a joint, your imagination is the only thing holding you back. There are large, small, twisted, cone-shaped, T-shaped—so many ways to turn the basic joint into functional origami. So now that you have the classic roll down, what’s stopping you? Grab your nugs and a pack of papers and let that imagination run wild.