As cannabis gains acceptance as a medical treatment or a relaxation tool, more people than ever are dabbling in the drug. There are plenty of beginner-friendly products for cannabis use, like pre-made edibles, topicals, tinctures and oils, but the most affordable and thus most accessible method of consumption is bud, or dried cannabis flower.
However, using bud properly isn’t always intuitive; even long-time tobacco smokers sometimes struggle to roll flower into a streamlined joint. If you are interested in becoming a joint-rolling master and making the most of your cannabis investment, here’s how to roll the perfect joint.
First, Gather Supplies
Rolling your own joints is accessible and affordable — but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is free. You need a few specialized tools to roll the perfect joint. Fortunately, you can find these tools online, at most smoke and vape shops as well as in any Ann Arbor dispensary. Here’s your basic shopping list:
Dry flower. This is the cannabis that you will be rolling into your joint. You might also see flower available under the name “bud” or “nugs.” It is important that you buy flower that has been trimmed and dried, which means it is (almost) ready to be smoked.
Grinder. You can’t roll a whole nug into a joint; you need to break it up into smaller pieces to ensure even combustion. Technically, you could break up your flower with your fingers or chopsticks, but this process is messy and won’t create pieces of consistent size. Instead, you should invest in a grinder. Ideally, your grinder will have at least two chambers, which can provide a finer grind for better smoking. Three-chambered (and more) grinders help to catch the powder from ground bud, which is called kief.
Rolling papers. Rolling papers are thin, flexible and have a line of adhesive to keep the joint securely wrapped. Typical rolling papers are made of wood pulp, but you can find papers made of flax, rice, hemp and even gold leaf.
Filters. Admittedly, a filter isn’t a mandatory element of a joint because cannabis smoke is safer for the lungs than other types of smoke. However, it is a good idea to include a filter to trap combusted materials or other contaminants. You can make your own out of rolled up rolling papers (called a crutch), but premade filters tend to have a higher quality.
Next, Practice the Technique
Here’s a step-by-step guide for rolling a joint:
- Hold the paper lengthwise with the strip of adhesive facing you from the side farthest from you. Cradle it gently, like a fragile boat.
- Place your filter on one side of the paper — left side if you are right-handed or right side if you are left-handed.
- Sprinkle about 3/4 gram of ground flower evenly in the paper.
- Pinch the top of the paper with your pointer fingers and thumbs, gently rolling back and forth to compact the bud inside into a tube shape.
- Tuck the side of the paper closest to you onto the bud, lick the adhesive strip, and roll the joint upward into the adhesive.
Joint rolling is equal parts art and science, and it will take some practice to nail this technique. Your first few joints might not look perfect, but over time, rolling a joint will become second nature.
Finally, Don’t Reject Alternatives
There are plenty of reasons you might never become a joint-rolling maestro: You might have a tremor or be missing a crucial finger. Plenty of people modify the technique to suit their dexterity, and you should feel free to do the same. However, if you are too frustrated by joint rolling, you should know that rolling your own joints isn’t your only option. You can buy joint-rolling machines, which grind, pack and seal cones of bud for you, or you can choose to smoke a pipe or bong.
The joint is the symbol of cannabis consumption, and any wannabe cannabis connoisseur would be wise to pick up the practice of rolling at home. With the right tools, the right technique and the right amount of patience in practice, perfection won’t be long in coming.