How to Roll a Joint: With & Without a Filter

February 12, 2024

Rolling a joint is an art form that many cannabis enthusiasts take pride in mastering. In this guide, we'll delve into the essentials of joint rolling, exploring the materials and gear you need, the step-by-step process, alternative rolling methods, and even the debate about using filters. 

Introduction to Joint Rolling: The Basics

There is very little in this world that impresses a cannabis connoisseur more than a well-rolled joint. But there is one debate that has been the point of contention between cannabis enthusiasts old and new: should the joint be rolled with or without a filter? We think you should roll the joint how you enjoy it, so we’re going to teach you how to roll with and without a crutch.

What Materials & Gear Do You Need?

There are a few things you’re going to need to get started in becoming a joint-rolling master. They include

  • Flower: Once you get good at rolling, you should start with high-quality cannabis flower because the strain you choose will influence the flavor and quality of your joint. When you’re just getting started? Opt for something that won’t break the bank—like shake—or your heart if you don’t roll it quite the way you want to.

  • Rolling Paper: Choose your rolling paper wisely. Various types are available, including hemp, rice, bamboo, and wood pulp, and each has its benefits and disadvantages. Consider the size and thickness based on your preference and skill level.

  • Grinder: Grind your cannabis using a grinder for an even burn. Breaking down the flower ensures a consistent texture, making it easier to roll a smooth joint. Plus, your fingers won’t be covered in sticky resin when you try to get that paper to form a perfect cylinder. 

Do Hand-Rolled Joints Need a Filter?

The eternal debate: to filter or not to filter? Filters, also known as crutches, serve multiple purposes. They can:

  • Enhance the structure of your joint

  • Prevent cannabis from falling out

  • Act as a handle to avoid burning your fingers. 

Some argue that filters also maintain adequate airflow, resulting in a better smoking experience. However, some purists prefer the unadulterated simplicity of a filterless joint. Ultimately, if you want a filter, use a filter. 

How to Roll a Joint in 7 Steps

You’ve got your supplies, and you’ve decided if you’re going to use a filter. Now, let's dive into the step-by-step process of how to roll a joint with a filter and without one:

Step 1: Grind

Start by grinding your cannabis in your grinder to achieve a consistent texture. This step ensures an even burn and optimal airflow. 

Option to Add Filter

You can purchase a premade crutch, but you can also freehand your crutch. Just grab a piece of cardstock or thick paper and cut out a half-inch-wide strip. Fold that strip back and forth into an accordion shape. Finally, wrap the end of the paper around the accordion and place the filter at the end of your rolling paper.

Step 2: Arrange

Place your rolling paper on a flat surface with the adhesive strip facing up and opposite you. Arrange the ground cannabis evenly along the paper's length, leaving room at either end. Like a burrito at Chipotle, you might be tempted to add more than you need to your joint. You want it to be even, like a cigarette. This is also when you would add any additional products, like kief, to your joint. Of course, if you don’t want to worry about mastering that quite yet, you can always just purchase infused pre-rolls.

Step 3: Roll

Gently roll the paper between your thumb and index fingers to form the initial shape of the joint. Some people find creating a bit of a taco shape is helpful to getting the roll right. Gently adjust the cannabis if it moves and leaves an open spot in your joint. Don’t stress if some flower falls out.

Step 4: Seal

Moisten the adhesive strip with your tongue or a bit of moisture, then complete the rolling motion to seal the joint. Ensure a tight seal to prevent unraveling during smoking.

Step 5: Pack

Use a small, thin tool, like a pen, to pack the cannabis down gently. You want it to be packed but not so tightly that it interferes with your burn. If some cannabis flower fell out, go ahead and push it back into the tip of the joint. 

Step 6: Close

Once your joint is packed, twist or fold the open end of the joint to close it. This step secures the contents and adds the finishing touch to your perfectly rolled joint.

Alternative Rolling Methods

There are two alternative methods some canna-connoisseurs use. 

  • Dollar Bill: By placing the dollar bill behind your rolling paper, you’re able to create the joint by handling the dollar, making it less likely to rip your rolling paper. Of course, you can also make it easy on yourself and purchase a joint roller. 

  • Joint Roller: This tool packs your cannabis into the paper and then rolls it up into the perfect joint. If you’re looking to buy pre-rolls, there’s a good chance a joint roller was used to create that product. While this can be an easier way of doing things, some cannabis enthusiasts feel that it takes away your ability to create more creative rolls.

How to Store Your Joints

Knowing how to store your joint will keep it fresh and flavorful. First, find yourself an airtight container. While you can purchase something from the dispensary, you can also use something you have around the house that isn’t a plastic bag. Second, store your airtight container in a cool, dark spot. Heat and light will break down the cannabinoids you want to enjoy. Finally, make sure you’re not storing your container in a humid area of your house. Moisture will cause your cannabis to get moldy. 

Answering FAQs About Joint Rolling

It’s no surprise that you might still have questions about joint rolling. Let’s address a few of the most common ones:

Is using a roller helpful for rolling a joint?
Yes, rolling machines or joint rollers can be helpful for beginners or those seeking a perfectly uniform roll. However, many purists prefer the hands-on approach for a more personal touch. 

Can I roll a joint without a filter?
Absolutely! Many seasoned smokers prefer the simplicity of filter-less joints. It's a matter of personal preference. 

How do you shape a joint?
Shaping a joint comes with practice. The important thing to remember is to roll your joint evenly and move your thumbs as you roll so you don’t impede the flower’s ability to get under your fingertips. And if you don’t like your roll? Open up your ill-rolled joint and have another go with a new piece of paper.

More About Joint Rolling

Joint rolling is a skill that evolves with each attempt. Experiment with different papers, techniques, and preferences until you find your perfect roll. Whether you choose to embrace filters or roll au naturel, a well-rolled joint is the one you most prefer.

Use of Marijuana Concentrate may lead to: Psychotic symptoms and/or Psychotic disorder (delusions, hallucinations, or difficulty distinguishing reality); Mental Health Symptoms/Problems; Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) (uncontrolled and repetitive vomiting); Cannabis use disorder/dependence, including physical and psychological dependence.   Please consume responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.  State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.

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