Expert Tips On How To Roll The Perfect Joint

Credit: Elsa Olofsson, FlickrCC.

There are plenty of anecdotes from those who grew up in the 1960s and 70s of grandfathers demonstrating their cigarette rolling techniques to wide-eyed kids. It is, no doubt, a good thing that these are not the kind of life skills we teach our children today. However, it can present something of a problem in later life in this age of legalized weed.

After all, smoking a joint is the most popular way to enjoy cannabis. But if you don’t know what you are doing, the end result can take on the appearance of a snake that’s just swallowed a rabbit. Here are our top tips on rolling the perfect joint.

Use the right materials

You won’t create a delicious meal without the right ingredients, and the same principle applies to the perfect joint. Of course, you need your weed, but also papers, and ideally filters, plus a grinder. There are numerous options out there at sites like BudStars, but don’t over-complicate things. Opt for standard size and weight papers with cut corners on the non-gummed side, as these are easiest to work with for untrained fingers. You can always experiment with other choices once you have mastered the basic technique.

Grind or break up your weed

You can prepare your weed by using a pair of scissors, or even breaking it down by hand. However, a grinder is a useful investment for making the task easier and less messy. The idea here is to reduce it to small particles that will burn easily, but not to completely grind it to dust. The other advantage to using a grinder is that it will prevent you from getting sticky fingers, and thereby make the next task easier.

Assemble your joint

Take out a paper and hold it with the gum side pointing away from you. Gently roll it between fingers and thumbs so that it starts to adopt a curved shape. It’s vital that your hands are clean and dry for this stage, or the paper will refuse to obey you – another reason to get that grinder! Sprinkle your cannabis evenly along the length of the paper. Don’t worry too much about achieving that iconic “cone” – while this shape is optimal for a smooth smoke, a straight joint is OK too, and right now, you are looking to achieve evenness and consistency.


If you are using a filter or roach, add this at one end of the joint, and now it’s time to roll it back and forth. Those cut corners help the paper to naturally roll into a tube shape. Move your fingers left and right as you roll, this will keep the shape nice and even. You want your joint to be tight enough that it holds together but not so tight that you can’t draw air through. Judging this comes with experience. Finally, lick the gum and seal your joint, twisting the open (non filtered) end to ensure none of your weed is lost.

Rolling for the first time is never easy, whether it’s a joint or a cigarette. But by following these tips, it is a skill that you can soon master.