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How to roll a joint

May 19, 2016

The joint is one of the more iconic ways to consume cannabis, and it’s a great way to enjoy the flavor of your flower. Every cannabis smoker should learn how to roll a joint. There are countless opinions on the different ways of rolling a joint, but whatever you do, make sure your creation burns smoothly and evenly.

Step-by-step guide on rolling the perfect joint (with or without a filter)

To help you hone your own craft, we’ve prepared a simple seven-step guide on the easiest way to roll a joint, even for beginners.

Begin by gathering your rolling supplies:

  • Cannabis strain of your choice
  • Rolling papers
  • Crutch (for the joint crutch or filter)
  • Cannabis grinder
  • Optional: A pen, or a similarly shaped object to help pack the joint


10 Ways to Break Up Your Cannabis if You Don’t Have a Grinder

Step 1: Grind the cannabis

how to roll a joint


Break down your cannabis into shake. If your cannabis is dried well, it should break down easily. A grinder keeps your hand from getting sticky and thus sticking to the joint paper. If you don’t have a grinder, you can grind the herb down by hand, using scissors, or any number of other breakdown methods.

Step 2: Create joint crutch/filter

how to roll a joint


Make a crutch, also called a tip or filter. You can make a crutch out of just about anything, but thin cardboard or business cards are solid go-tos. A lot of joint papers also include crutch material with their packaging. Start with a few “accordion” folds at the end of the cardboard, then roll the material to the desired thickness of your joint. The crutch isn’t absolutely necessary, but it does help keep the shake from falling out of the end or into your mouth as you smoke. It also adds some stability to the joint and allows you to enjoy every bit of cannabis without burning your fingertips.


How to Roll a Better Crutch for Your Joint or Spliff

Step 3: Fill joint with cannabis

how to roll a joint


Fill the paper with the shake and the crutch (if you’ve made one). Once the paper has the right amount of shake (a half gram to a gram usually does the trick), you can begin to form and shape the joint with your fingers. (A quick note on papers: There are a lot of different types and flavors of joint papers available. Many people prefer hemp papers because they tend to be thin but strong, and burn evenly without affecting the flavor of the cannabis.)

Step 4: Pack the joint

how to roll a joint


Once you’ve loaded and shaped your joint, it’s time to roll it. Pinch the paper between your fingertips and roll it back and forth between them to pack the cannabis down into its final shape.

Step 5: Roll the joint

how to roll a joint


This step can make or break the quality of your joint. Tuck the unglued side of the paper into the roll and use the glued edge to tack down one end of the paper, using just a little bit of moisture. (Pro tip: Start with the crutch side because it can help guide the paper as it rolls around itself.) Once the paper is tacked on one end, you can work your way down the rest of the seam by tucking and sealing the joint from end to end.

Step 6: Finish your joint

how to roll a joint


Finally, pack the end of the joint to help ensure an even burn. A pen is great, but you can use just about anything. Some good options if you’re on the go: the tip of your shoelace, the drawstring on your hoodie, or a small stick. If you’re not planning on sparking your joint right away, you may want to close the tip with a twist.

Step 7: Enjoy (and innovate!)

how to roll a joint


There are limitless ways to roll a joint. You can roll them big or small. Get creative! Some people have even transformed joint rolling into an art all on its own, rolling their cannabis into a unique mix of functional origami.

What’s your favorite way to roll a joint? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below and make sure to teach others this basic cannabis skill!

Will Hyde's Bio Image

Will Hyde

Will is a cannabis expert and former co-host of Leafly's "What Are you Smoking" podcast. He's a cultivator and former budtender who loves complex hybrids with piney and gassy terpene profiles. Follow him on Instagram at @the.avid.dabber

View Will Hyde's articles

  • Pete Bull

    No comments?

    If you’re new to rolling pure or rolling altogether, I’d advise you to practice with some wet rolling tobacco first. You can also ‘simulate’ cannabis by using the dry tobacco found in regular cigarettes. It may sound stupid, but it’s good practice for starters.

    Just remember that rolling with wet tobacco requires you to mix the two ingredients up. Evenly! If that’s not the case, you’ll be in need of constant help of your lighter.

    As for rolling ‘pure’, I developed my own technique:

    Right before the filter tip and at the end you light up, there’s a little bit of wet rolling tobacco. One advantage is that your creation lights up better without wasting the green gold. The other one is that the wet tobacco prevents small particles from your medicine flying into your lungs, even when using a large diametre. Plus, you can smoke all of the weed without burning yourself.

    Just remember to put enough of material near the filter! Otherwise, your creation will suffer from impotence… ;P

  • Roy Correll

    Gotta admit is helpful, especially with the GIF images too.

    • Dark Hex

      Totes the gifs help my high ass from here to Zion man

  • Bob Bonjovi
    • Greenleaf910

      Wrong article dude!

  • pixman55

    i Refuse to Smoke the Herb With The Addictive drug Nicotine .only Pure Cannabis for Me .it is People from Europe who use Tobacco as they were used to hash .But us kiwi’s in new Zealand have had great Herb growers from the early imports of Thai “Budha Sticks ” When Bob Marley came to New Zealand 16th April 1979 he had some Coromandal “Gold” locally grown Herb and said it was as Good as anything he had in Jamaica … Don Taylor (His Manager only wrote one Paragraph about New Zealand in his Book about Bob “All our Successes Began in New Zealand ..” opening Line says it all .they received a Maori Welcome on Arrival at his Hotel. and played to one of the biggest Crowds at the time in NZ 20,000 people while other places on the tour were in Town halls holding 1000-2000 people . Check Youtube Bob Marley :Come along Way ” Doco.. i am in it near the end in the Crowd shot you see a Big Crowd of Brown and Black Haired People and a Red flag Two people to the left is a long blond haired person .ME .the other 100 or so guys were our Black Power Gang the Red Flag But they never Beat me up in fact they Shared a Joint with Me .:-)

    • Clay Anton

      oh my god, i understand the message and nothing against your character or value as a human being and i understand youre from kiwi but reading this while slightly stoned was the most jarring experience of my life. every letter is capitalized. im not even making anything uppercase because i feel the need to even this out.

      this was amazing

      thank you

  • herb

    Step by step video on how to roll a joint –

  • Bill_N

    Quit while you can. If 30 years ago I knew what I know now, I’d have never fired up. I cannot go 80 feet to my mailbox without noticing that my breathing is faster and shallower. And God help my sorry butt if I have to go down to the basement more than 3 times in the same hour. Please realize this: your body was NEVER meant to repeatedly inhale smoke of ANY kind. Stop. Stop NOW and don’t look back!

    • samuel

      Been smoking for a year now trying to quit it’s hard AF I knew what I was getting into, I just didn’t think it would be so addictive

      • gwDisqus1712

        It’s not addictive for people who smoke it occasionally, no more than drinking occasionally.. If you are addicted, really addicted and not just some psychological effect, then you must have smoked around the clock for a year. Also, you stated in another post that you have smoking since you were 13 and a professional joint maker since 14. I really think you are blowing out shit.

        • Cheryl

          I think samuel is talking about taking up the habit of smoking cigarettes/tobacco a year ago. Then again, I don’t know him; it’s what I infer from his choice of words in both posts.

          • Greenleaf910

            That’s what i thought too.

      • if your previous comment said you were a prof joint maker at 14 yet you started smoking at 13… are you still 14?

    • Julia

      Our bodies weren’t meant to ingest unhealthy, processed foods either; obese people have trouble making it to their mailboxes. Do you go around warning people about how dangerous doughnuts are? And what about people who only smoke once in a while– I mean isn’t it comparable to having a drink now and then? Personally, I smoke for enjoyment. If I smoke too much I will damage my lungs and not be able to walk to the post office. I’m okay with that. It’s a personal responsibility to avoid becoming independent, just like with alcohol. Also, if you are begging people to not smoke on an article called “How to roll a joint,” I think you’re already too late.

      • Bill_N

        Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to trigger you on your own personal website. And here, all this time, I thought it was okay for me to have a personal opinion. Wait… is! In that case, go down to the nearest marina, ram a dildo down your throat and tie a cinder block to each ankle, and take big dive off of a really deep pier.

        • Masha

          Soooo you come on a site labelled “how to roll a joint” to tell people to stop smoking because it hurts your lungs. You get 1 very polite response on how it is someone’s choice to smoke (and that they will admit responsibility for the damaged lungs), and your response it to tell them to ram a dildo down their throat and tie cinder blocks to their ankles and jump off a pier?

          Buddy take your negativity elsewhere, like to a therapist. Clearly, something went wrong somewhere during your upbringing that you feel the need to be so descriptive with telling someone to kill themselves in a very torturous way over the fact that they told you that they will accept responsibility for their actions, even though it doesn’t line up with your beliefs?

  • TamLee

    I use a dollar bill as a base. LOL

  • Sy Katus

    I find that rolling weed as I might roll tobacco (that is, not necessarily cone shaped) without a crutch allows me to taste The Weed much better and also allows me to much better judge how high I am getting from the joint. Every time I use a crutch/filter I can not but help but notice these facts.

  • Joe Vernola

    Didn’t help with anything. Thanks for nothing but five wasted papers, a bunch of frustration and feelings of inadequacy.

    • samuel

      Dude you must suck so much at rolling joints, I could roll joints like a professional since I was 14 and I was smoking since I was 13 self taught. Although I guess I am from B.C canada the weed growing capitol of the world

      • Mona Chicoine

        I`ve been smoking since 11 years old and rolling for myself and everyone else around. I`m from Montreal

      • wait a second

        • baby

          “self taught”?? lmaoo

    • Greenleaf910

      Dont feel bad Joe, I can’t roll either, and I’m 54.

  • Bob Dobaline

    Been rolling w/ a dollar bill for 30 years. Best way imo.

  • point0

    very usefull
    cured my cancer

  • Dominique scolos

    Am so impressed on Dr Mc Donald i just got some medical marijuana/ CBD Cannabis Oil and medical card comes in today go for him my anxiety and pains are relieved. Phone # (313) 923-7690

  • David Richbart

    What I was taught forty years ago (and still do today): roll a joint, don’t fold it!! It makes for an even-burning, no runner smoke.

  • Lisa Delaney

    Thanks for the help! Really, it seems that all I was able to do is roll “pinners” I guess I have a heavy hand. I guess I am the type that needs the filter also because I tend to roll to tight and I would not be able to draw smoke through… lol I’m a mess with joints. I prefer Glass!!!

  • Robert Main

    still couldn’t do it so fuck it, I’m just gonna buy a machine, faster and more efficient that way.

  • Hairfish

    I prefer a glass bubbler.

  • Jan

    Btw if you tend to smoke hashish try to learn rolling inside out, might make a
    tutorial some day

  • Duke27

    DaAAAAMMMM !!!!!!! WHAAAAM !!!!

  • Duke27

    DaAAAAMMMM !!!!!!! WHAAAAM !!!!

  • Ben Wood

    I suggest watching Danny roll a Camberwell Carrot in Withnail and I, old school British joint rolling as I used to do many years ago. It will tend to get you very high.