How to Roll a Filter for a Joint

Posted by Nicholas Entzel on

Want to roll the perfect joint? You need to start by rolling a good filter!

Although not always used when rolling a joint, adding a filter or a crutch will give you a smoother smoking experience and allow you to get the most out of your weed. Plus, a good filter can even make it easier to roll a joint since you can use it to shape your joint as you roll.

If you're new to rolling, be sure to check out our guides on how to roll a blunt and how to roll a joint so you can get the basics down.

Let's learn how to roll a good filter!

Understanding Filters and Crutches

A filter, also known as a crutch or tip, is a small rolled-up piece of material inserted into the end of a joint. Filters serve multiple purposes, including making your joint more stable, preventing your dry herb from falling out and acting as a barrier between your lips and the burning end of your joint. 

Plus, a good filter can give you better airflow and help you smoke all your cannabis instead of leaving a portion of the joint unsmoked.

Materials for a Crutch

Here are the best materials to roll a joint filter:

Booklet Tips or Pre-Rolled Tips

You'll easily be able to find booklets of filter tips ready to roll and pre-rolled tips in any smoke shop. While pre-rolled tips are quite convenient, they are more expensive than a booklet.

Pre-cut crutches like RAW's hemp-based fiber paper tips even come with perforated ends to easily fold into an accordion shape for quick rolling.

Business Cards or Index Cards

A sturdy alternative is using a piece of a business card or an index card made of thin cardboard paper, which works great when you're out of filter paper. The best material has to be thin enough to easily roll but thick enough to keep its shape.

Make sure whatever cardboard you're using isn't coated or treated with chemicals since the hot smoke might interact with it. You should also avoid using any material with ink on it.

Step-by-Step Guide to Rolling a Filter

Here's how to roll the perfect filter, step by step:

Cut the Material

If you're using a business card, index card, or cardstock paper, cut a strip about 1.5 to 2 inches long and 0.5 to 0.75 inches wide. You can adjust the dimensions based on your preference and the desired size of the joint. 

Skip this step if you're using filters from a booklet.

Accordion Fold

Create a small accordion-style fold along one edge of the material, making three folds. This will help create a zig-zag pattern and provide structure to the crutch while keeping ashes away from your mouth.

Roll into Cylinder

Roll the accordion-folded material into a cylinder shape by rolling the paper around the accordion. Ensure that it's tightly rolled, as this will form the core of your crutch.

Insert into Joint

Once you've rolled the crutch, insert it into one end of your joint. Make sure it's positioned firmly at the base. You might also want to start by rolling the filter and using it to shape the joint as you roll it around the filter.

Proceed to roll the joint as you normally would, using your preferred rolling papers, and weed fresh out of a grinder.

Finish the Joint

After rolling, pack the joint gently to ensure an even burn. Then, twist the open end of the joint to seal it and make sure your filter is completely pushed into the rolling paper so it doesn't fall out as you smoke. 

Your joint is now ready to light up.

rolled joint with filter

Advanced Filter Rolling Techniques

Are you looking to upgrade your rolling style? Try these filter-rolling techniques!

Heart-Shaped Filter

Here's how to roll a heart filter:

  1. Take a filter tip and fold about ¼ of it into an accordion shape.
  2. Use something like a toothpick to create round folds around the middle fold to create the top of the heart.
  3. Fold the remaining paper around the top of the heart to complete the heart shape.
  4. Place the heart-shaped filter on one end of your rolling paper.
  5. Fill the rolling paper with your ground dry herb.
  6. Roll the joint, ensuring that the heart-shaped filter remains intact.
  7. Seal the joint, and you now have a heart-shaped filter!

Peace Sign Filter

Feeling groovy? Here's how you can roll a joint with a peace sign filter:

  1. Take a filter tip and fold the end into an accordion shape.
  2. Fold the bottom of the W shape upward to create a Y shape.
  3. Roll the rest of the filter paper around the Y shape.
  4. Fill the rolling paper with your desired strain of cannabis.
  5. Roll the joint, ensuring that the peace sign filter remains intact.
  6. Seal the joint, and voilà – you've rolled a joint with a peace sign filter!

Common Mistakes and Tips

Here are some common mistakes when rolling joint filter tips and how to avoid them:

  • Using Chemically Treated Material: Steer clear of materials with chemical coatings or treatments. Stick to unbleached or natural materials to ensure a safer (and tastier) smoking experience.
  • Uneven Rolling: Take your time to roll the filter into an even cylindrical shape, and to make the fold in the accordion as even as you can. An uneven filter can result in a misshapen joint.
  • Inserting the Filter Too Deep: Ensure the filter is inserted firmly but not too deep into the joint. Leave enough space for an even burn without overpacking the material.

Using Glass Tips for Joints

Glass joint filter tips are becoming more common since they're reusable, don't interact with the smoke or the heat, and are already rolled, making them perfect for beginners and experienced smokers alike. Plus, glass tips act as a heat barrier between the burning cannabis and your lips and don't burn when your joint is done, allowing you to smoke the whole thing without inhaling harsh cardboard smoke. 

However, they can get dirty after a few uses, so you need to keep them clean if you don't want the residue to affect the taste of your smoke. To clean them, simply soak the tips in isopropyl alcohol or a cleaning solution to remove resin and residue, and finish them off by cleaning them with a pipe cleaner in and out.

Using Charcoal Filters for Joints

Charcoal filters give you an additional layer of filtration with more refined smoke but might filter your smoke a little bit too well.

Charcoal filters are great at trapping impurities and toxins, offering an extra layer of filtration beyond traditional filter tips. The extra filtration helps to reduce the temperature of the smoke as it passes through the filter while reducing the amount of resin that accumulates in the joint. Plus, it can help neutralize unwanted smells, giving you a more discreet smoking experience.

However, some report that charcoal filters might also filter some of the THC in your joint or spliff.


Learning how to roll a good joint starts by learning how to roll a good filter so you can always smoke weed without the need for expensive pre-rolls from a dispensary! Smoke Cartel stocks all kinds of filters, including silicone, wood, glass, paper, and more. Have a look at our selection of rolling tips and find the perfect filter for you. 

Are you looking forrolling papers and cones? We have those, too!

How to Roll a Filter: FAQs

Here are the answers to commonly asked questions about rolling filter tips:

Can I reuse a joint filter?

Yes, you can reuse a joint filter in most cases, especially if they're made out of glass or other reusable materials. You can also reuse the cardboard filter of a smoked pre-rolled joint, but the resin in the cardboard might affect the flavor of the smoke.

What are the best materials to use for a joint filter?

It depends on your personal preference and your smoking style. Common filter materials include pre-made filter tips (cardboard or unbleached paper), glass tips, and even charcoal filters. You can even use cigarette filters, although some of the THC will get stuck at the end of the filter since they're very thick.

How does a filter affect the smoking experience of a joint?

A filter can improve airflow, cool the smoke, and even filter out some impurities. Glass tips and charcoal filters can also add an extra layer of refinement to the smoking process, giving you a cleaner, smoother, and more enjoyable session.

Is it necessary to use a filter for every joint?

No, using a filter is not strictly necessary, and some smokers even prefer their joints without them. However, filters offer several benefits, like preventing the inhalation of small plant particles, giving stability to your joint's structure, and enhancing the overall smoking experience. It ultimately depends on your personal preference.

Can filters be used for both joints and blunts?

Yes, filters can be used for both joints and blunts. Whether you prefer the clean and refined experience of a glass-tipped joint or the added filtration of a cardboard or charcoal filter, you can use any tip as the mouthpiece for any joint and blunt.

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