How to Roll a Joint - Smoke Cartel

How to Roll a Joint

Posted by Smoke Cartel on

Want to be the friend that knows how to roll? I was once the only person in my group of pals with the know-how, and since we were smoking a joint together every night while studying abroad in France (with fresh lavender sprinkled on top, ooh-la-la) I got pretty good at it. I’m sure my parents would be delighted to know that this is without a doubt the most useful information that I learned overseas.

The friend that knows how to roll always gets invited outside to partake in the smoke circle, and the customization that rolling your own joints allows makes the experience that much more rewarding.

I want to share with you the joys of being the cool friend, so come on. It’s time to put on your big kid underwear and up your coolness factor to new heights.

What You Need

Rolling Papers

When looking for your preferred rolling papers, you have to take into account size and material.

The three main materials are wood pulp, rice, and hemp. Each provides a uniquely different experience with different pros and cons.

For a full rundown of everything you need to know about rolling papers, check out our guide.


Filters are basically small cardboard-like mouthpieces for your joints that hold the the body of the joint together, filter out ash and "scooby snacks," and just prevent the whole thing from getting all "f'ed up." 


This is the cylindrical object that breaks apart the dry herb into a finer grind. Normally with other types of dry herb ingestion, you can use DIY-methods to break it apart in a pinch-- but with joints, ground herb is absolutely crucial.

Dry Herb

Pretty self explanatory.


What You Do

Prepare Your Filter

Go ahead and roll your filter and set it aside. You can buy cotton filters, but I prefer to roll my own. I like to have precut filter packs handy, but if you’re in a pinch like we were in bumfuck France (c’est la vie) you can tear off a little piece of a spare business card in your wallet, the packaging on a pack of cigs, or any other piece of card stock that’s thick enough to hold it’s shape and not get too soggy.

You want your filter to be about the width of pencil eraser, and the length of a clothing tag. Give it a few little zig-zag folds, then roll the rest around the outside. This is an important part of the joint rolling process, because it keeps weed from getting in your mouth or the paper collapsing and creating an unsavory experience for everyone. Roll it tight and let it vibe out on the side.

Grind Your Herb

Next you want to grind your herb. Make sure to take out any seeds or stems. If you’re rolling a spliff you can put some tobacco in there before you grind it, but I usually save that for the next step.

Fill Your Joint

Hold your rolling paper on one end, with your thumb and middle finger supporting it from the bottom, and your pointer finger in the crease in the middle. You can either load up your paper this way, or you can try my secret method.

Take a larger piece of paper folded in half and use the larger crease to load up your weed and any additives, then place your rolling paper on top, holding it down lengthwise with two fingers so that it’s completely supported, and flip it over.

Assume the beforementioned position, making sure the shiny tongue-activated adhesive is facing upwards and towards you. Leave room on either side for the filter and to twist the joint shut.

The Cherry on Top

Let's talk additives.

Sprinkling other herbs into your spliff can definitely enhance your enjoyment of it. Lavender or rosemary doesn’t just taste amazing, it smells good too and can help mask the scent of weed. Adding loose leaf tobacco can help you save weed or get less high if that’s your speed. It also makes for a pretty mellow smoke sesh.

If you’re on the opposite side of that spectrum, and you’re trying to get absolutely blitzed on a Tuesday, roll a little line of wax and set it on top. Sprinkle some shatter in there. Dip your joint in keef. Aesthetics is just as important as functionality. Tear up some rose petals and sprinkle them in a joint for your lover. It won’t get you higher but it might get you laid.

Get Rolling

Herbs all squared away? Grab that filter from early and make sure it’s still tight. A fat filter is a rookie mistake, make sure that filter is longer than it is wide. Set it at the end of your paper and fold the paper in half, pinching it between your thumb and pointer finger with both hands.

Roll it back and forth until the weed at the bottom is compressed. When your joint is nice and slender, you can fold the two sides towards you, with the shiny side peaking up way over the other. This is typically the part that trips some people up, so try it one side at a time, and make sure the side closer to your filter is good and tight.

Roll up your joint until just the shiny stuff is hanging over, give it a good saturating lick from side to side, and seal that baby down.

Pack Your Filling

We’re not across the finish line yet. The determining factor of any good joint is how densely it’s packed. Take a poker, or a key, or pencil/any long and thin object with a flat end, and pack the weed down towards the filter. You can give the filter a few taps against the table it helps it pack itself down, and if you have any leftover weed in your grinder now would be a great time to scoop it in there and pack it down further still.

Twist the end of the filter until there’s zero extra room in that jay bird and give it a quick once over with a lighter to burn any spit off and torch that little tail bit right out of there. That, my friend, is how you make a Class A joint that would make any stoner circle swoon with adoration and praise. 

The same method can be applied to rolling tobacco or herbal cigarettes. It saves money, can be a lot healthier than processed tobacco, and who doesn’t love feeling like a badass?

Rolling Machines

If you are currently crying because this was too hard, have no fear. Rolling machines are the perfect and inexpensive way to make the process easier thanks to the miracle of technology. 

Before you can call yourself a stoner, you’ve got to get the practice of rolling down to a science. With practice, you’ll get faster and more efficient until you’re not sure if you’re friends actually want to spend time with you or they’re just using you for your dank skills. Either way, you’ll be vibin'. 

Watch Next

Continue Reading

How to Clean Your Grinder

Up Next

How to Clean Your Grinder

By Smoke Cartel

6 Minute Read

Previous Article

How to Pack a Bowl (Smoking for Dummies)

By Dr. Dan Kush

8 Minute Read