Shades of Green

6 Steps to Roll a Good Joint

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09/03/2023 Art of Rolling a Beautiful Joint.

Where did 'joints' come from? What makes a good joint? Does it matter how tight or lose it rolls? Should I have a filter? Does the type of paper matter? What if it doesn't work, even after a lot of practice? Sit back and relax, I've got you covered. 

 Joint contains cannabis alone or some other smokable material like (tobacco)

Beginner to Pro Roller

The ability to roll up a perfect joint is for some, an art form. I'm terrible at it. Forfeiting the form as I try to make my fingers do what I want, is frustrating. They say practice makes perfect. I've practiced for years. My rolled joints are better now but still nothing like some joints I've seen rolled beautifully over my lifetime.

We will explore together the history of rolling these highly portable, sometimes sharable sticks of delight. We share basic tips for everyday use. We will look beyond, rolling as an art form and as a career. We will see the creativity cannabis can inspire in some people.

Let's start with the basics.

What is a Joint?

Typically, a joint contains cannabis alone or some other smokable material like (tobacco) mixed with cannabis, placed in a wrapper, and rolled into a rounded twig shape. You might hear a joint called by other names, as well. 

Depending on the geographical area, ingredients included, the size, and the method constructed; a joint could be called a doobie, spliff, blunt, pin, pencil, preroll, or dog walker. The most commonly used term is 'joint'.

History of the 'Joint'

The first recorded mention of a 'joint' dates back to around 1850, in Mexico. A pharmacist that worked for the University of Guadalajara noticed that field/ farm workers were mixing cannabis with tobacco when making their cigarettes. 

Cigars and cigarettes have been around for centuries. It is almost a certainty that the technique of adding or using cannabis is much older than recorded history tells us. As smoking material, wrappers, and filter use have evolved, so have the methods of rolling a joint across cultures.


What Do I Need to Roll a Joint?

Required items:

Grinder (2- 3 chambers)

Chosen dried cannabis 

Rolling paper 


Optional items:

Tray (optional)

Filter/tip/crutch (optional)

Tamper (optional)

Now that you have your supply list, let's see how you roll.

Steps to Roll a Good Joint

Steps to Roll a Good Joint

1) Gather your supplies- a tray is helpful to set all your supplies on and prevent losing precious cannabis.

2) Grind your weed- grind the dried cannabis into fine, even shreds or pieces. This is important to get an even burn.

3) Paper, filter- lay rolling paper out with the glue side up and nearest to your body. (horizontally)

4) Execute- if using a filter 

(which I recommend) place a tiny amount of moisture at one end of the paper (glue strip). Place the filter on the paper, where the glue spot is wet. Marry the end of the wet paper and the end of the filter with a slight overlap. This may take a few tries.

Place a couple of good pinches of cannabis in the paper, laid out lengthwise in a line. Pinch the paper at the other end and grip both ends of the paper firmly. If not using a filter, pinch both ends of the paper at once. 

Roll your thumbs over the paper, rolling up evenly along the length as you are tucking the cannabis into the paper. Some find it useful to have a tamper or stick to help tuck the cannabis in neatly as you roll. 

5) When you finish rolling, wet the glue completely and stick it against the finished paper roll. 

You should have a firm stick of cannabis, but not so tight that it is hard to draw air through. It might take several tries before it feels firm with a small amount of give or play in the stick for air circulation.

6) Lite it up - fire up one end (without the filter!) as you draw slowly and steadily, a small amount of smoke. Hold it in your lungs for a couple of seconds and then exhale. Enjoy the first joint you've rolled by yourself!

Paper or Filter Matter?

Does the Paper or Filter Matter?

Any rolling paper that is designed to create a cigarette is useful to learn to roll a joint. Some wrappers are reported to be smoother, enhance flavor, or are easier to wrap. There are natural leaf wrappers, hemp paper, and even some that advertise they roll themselves. (Never had any luck with these.)

There are pre-made cigarette filters to help block some of the chemical saturation in your body. There are even cardboard accordion-style filters designed to prevent weed in your teeth yet experience the full flavor. The choice is mostly personnel preference, so play around with it to see what works well for you.

Papers and filters can be purchased at most gas stations, convenience stores, or discount tobacco shops. These supplies will typically be sold at most cannabis dispensaries as well. Exotic wrappers can be purchased from cigar houses too.

If after much practice and effort, it is still difficult, don't worry. There are options like premade cones that have a filter already attached. Simply fill with ground cannabis, twist the end, and enjoy. You can even skip the 'rolling' and buy hand-rolled, premade joints. No work involved!

Tips for "Elevating" Your Smoking Experience 

Once you have the hang of rolling, and you become a more experienced consumer, you might want to elevate your smoking to another level. 

A word of caution: adding any of these products to your joint will kick up the potency. Go slow and be prepared in case you have adverse or unwanted effects. Use these additives sparingly.

Kief - the powder-like substance (trichomes) obtained from the leaves of marijuana. (contains the most THC) Sprinkle lightly on top of cannabis or mix within your smoking material for a boost.

Diamonds - a concentrated crystal-like substance made from THCa. When smoked they convert to Delta-9 THC. Add a few diamonds in your cannabis mix.

Sauce - a concentrated hash oil, very potent with all of the full spectrum cannabinoids, makes for a special occasion. 

Rolling in Art

Rolling in Art 

Rolling has moved out of the shadows, right into the light of day.  There are people that craft joints in different shapes like hearts, or birds. Contests have emerged to find who can create the most intricate designs. It truly is beautiful.

Rolling as a Career 

Yes, you can aspire to a job in cannabis as a joint roller. If you have amazing dexterity, speed, and consistency there are cannabis companies that will pay around $20 an hour to roll. Hand-rolled joints come at a premium. They are a time-saving advantage for consumers. Celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, employ full-time rollers. So work hard, impress with the best and you could become a celebrity in your own right.

Have fun with this. Experiment and enjoy. Joint rolling entails a lot of personal preference. Play around with it and discover what you prefer.


Snoop Dogg Roller

Joint Rolling Technician 

Artform of Joint Rolling