person rolling a joint

A Step by Step Guide to Rolling a Joint

Out of all Americans over 18 years old, 52% have tried cannabis at least once. Rolling a joint takes practice, but the results you’ll get are totally worth the effort.

Around 44% of the American adults who’ve tried cannabis once still use it today. Now that marijuana is becoming more mainstream, joints are more de rigueur than ever.

Knowing how to roll a joint is a useful skill. Plus, it will make you the life of the party. Therefore, you deserve to learn how to roll a good doobie.

Keep reading to learn how to roll a joint step by step:

Break Down Your Bud

To roll a joint that burns well, you must break up the weed evenly. It’s best to complete this step on a flat surface. (Cannabis users often invest in rolling trays for this reason.)

Using a grinder is the most efficient way to accomplish this task. Always take out the stems and seeds before putting weed into a grinder. However, grinders usually can’t break up super sticky weed.

If you can’t use a grinder, use scissors to break up your weed. Only break up the weed with your hands if it’s your only option. You’ll lose some THC that way by getting it on your fingers.

Make The Crutch/Filter

A crutch/filter acts as a mouthpiece for a joint. It’s usually made of thin cardboard, which is why people use business cards for this purpose.

Create a filter by tightly folding up a 2.2 x 0.7-inch piece of thin cardboard. Fold the cardboard into itself 2 to 3 times until it’s the same size you intend for your joint to be. Make sure there’s some space in the middle of the filter so the smoke can pass through.

Sure, you can roll a joint without a filter. But you’ll also risk getting weed in your mouth and making the tip soggy/dysfunctional from repeated hits. That’s inefficient and gross, so use a filter.

Pro-tip: Save time by investing in premade filters.

Pre-Rolling Prep

Knowing how to roll weed means knowing how to prepare a joint for rolling. Place your filter on one side of the rolling paper. Then fill the length of the joint with weed.

The cannabis experts at Old Pal suggest using about a half gram to a full gram of weed for a joint.

Distribute less weed by your filter and more weed towards the end of the paper. This gives your joint an appealing cone shape and helps the weed burn better.

See the thin line on your joint? That’s the sticky side, which is the part where you’re supposed to lick in order to seal it. It should be the part of the paper that’s furthest away from where you’ll be rolling up your weed.

Need some help? Fold the edge of the non-sticky side of the rolling paper by a quarter. This creates a fold that helps keep the weed in place before you start rolling.

Now, let’s proceed to the most important step:

Rolling Your Joint

Once everything is in place, tuck in the paper against the weed and start rolling it up. Make sure you roll upwards towards the sticky side of the joint.

Use your filter as a guide for the width of your joint. Always pull the paper taut around the filter so it doesn’t fall out.

Once you’ve rolled up your joint close to the paper’s sticky end, it’s time to put your tongue to use: Lick that strip and continue to roll it down until the joint looks seamless.

How you roll your joint can make or break your smoking experience. Rolling a joint too tightly makes it hard to take draws from. On the other hand, rolling a joint too loosely makes the weed burn quickly and unevenly.

(Plus, if you roll a joint too loose, it’s also more likely to “canoe” on you. More on that later.)


After licking a joint, you must ensure it dries somehow. This makes the paper burn better which also makes it easier to smoke.

If your joint didn’t seal when you licked it, lightly lick your joint again. If your joint is sealed, proceed to the following instructions:

Dry the saliva by quickly running a lighter flame throughout the length of the joint’s wetness. The purpose of this isn’t to spark the doobie, but to dry it off.

Pack and Twist

At this point, one end of your joint should have the filter and the other end should have weed rolled into it. Use a pen, hoodie drawstring, safety pin, or something else slim and narrow to pack the weed further into your joint.

Packing the weed into your joint makes it more likely to burn slowly and evenly. If you plan on smoking the joint later, twist any leftover paper into a tight tip and lick it so it stays that way.

Blast Off

Now, it’s time to spark your joint. Hold the joint into a flame and gently draw through the mouthpiece. If you draw too hard, you could wind up making the cherry too big and burning up too much weed at once.

(By the way, the cherry of a joint is the part of it that’s burning.)

While you’re smoking, your joint might canoe on you. Canoeing is when a joint burns more on one side than the other. If left unchecked, it could waste your weed big time.

Avoid canoeing by lighting the joint evenly in a flame. You can also moisten the side that’s burning faster. Spinning a joint within a flame also makes it burn more evenly.

Learn More About Rolling a Joint Like a Boss

According to a recent survey, nearly 55 million Americans use cannabis frequently. Rolling a joint like a pro can make these people your friends in just a few moments.

If you find rolling a jay difficult, invest in a joint rolling machine. These also require some degree of practice, but they make the rolling process much easier.

Enrich yourself with knowledge—read our articles about life and hobbies. It’ll make your world a better place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *