OCB is one of the most popular and oldest brands of rolling papers on the market today. Its origin dates all the way back to the early 19th century when paper makers were in a frenzy trying to discover an easier and cheaper way to make paper. Paper was traditionally created from hemp, linen, and cotton cloth scraps called “rags” that were pressed together to make the writing material. As you can imagine, paper was much more expensive back then than it is today. By the mid-1800’s, several inventors in different parts of the world patented their own continuous paper making machines and began trading rags for wood in the paper making process. This is where we find the birth of the OCB business.
“O”, “C”, and “B” — A History
In the year 1822, just as paper making was making huge advancements, two brothers, René and Guillaume Bolloré opened their first paper mill on the banks of the Odet river in the western tip of France. Having a large and steady source of water was crucial for paper making, as it was an essential ingredient for forming the pulp. As a nod to their founding, the “O” in OCB represents the Odet river.
Over the next 70 years, the business grew, and it expanded to another location nearby in Scaër, France. OCB shared rental space of the Cascedec mill with other paper making businesses from 1893 to 1917. When the demand of their rolling papers developed beyond the production, OCB eventually bought the Cascedec paper mill in 1917. Hence, the “C” in OCB.
As you probably could have guessed by now, the “B” in OCB references the last name of the brothers who founded the company. After acquiring the Cascedec mill, the business officially branded itself as “OCB”. Today there have been six generations of Bollorés who have successfully run this rolling paper company in locations across the world. While Germany occupied France, the two mills nearly ceased production and weren’t able to export to their main customers in the United States. In 1939, a mill was constructed for OCB in North Carolina.
OCB now offers consumers a wide range of products, from standard flax rolling paper to organic hemp paper, all made with natural Arabic gum for adhesion. As their commitment to natural ingredients and sustainability blossomed, new products, such as their paper filters, were created with biodegradable features in mind.
For a company that is nearly 200 years old, they certainly don’t have any issues with adapting to their market. In fact, you may not find every product they produce in your market, as they tailor their products to certain regions and demands. However, you can be certain that you’re always receiving a high-quality product when you choose OCB. At Smoke Cartel, we offer a variety of OCB rolling papers, sure to fit any need, as well as the OCB rolling machine designed to assist users in creating the perfect roll.
As OCB continues to upgrade their products, we look forward to what this historic company produces next.