By Smoke Cartel Crew on Jun 28, 2015

So, you're new to rolling? It's a whole different ball game compared to smoking out of a water pipe! Let’s lay out a few things before we begin the process of explaining how to hand roll a perfect joint.

When it comes to rolling you have a variety of papers to choose from - hemp, rice, flax, bleached, unbleached, organic, non organic... Some papers are even a mixture of hemp and flax or rice and flax. Most papers have a gum seal, made from arabic gum, that is licked and stuck to keep the paper rolled.

Hemp paper

Hemp paper is made out of a certain strain of hemp. Hemp is a tall woody plant that can be grown in almost any climate. Just like other plants, there are certain hemp plants that help fulfil all sorts of purposes, and the hemp used to make rolling papers produces more fibre.

The hemp goes through a process that makes it into a pulp and puts it through a machine that presses it into a fine sheet, then depending on the manufacturer, different starches and such are added during the final process.

This paper is a little thicker than other papers but helps when you're rolling a fatty. They also burn more smoothly than other papers, which can help to eliminate problems such as canoeing.

(Our most popular brand of hemp paper is RAW!)


Rice paper

There is rice paper which, of course, is made out of rice. Some paper manufacturers might add flax or a wood pulp to their rice papers as well. Just like the hemp, rice is made by processing rice and pressing it into thin sheets. Rice-based rolling papers are thinner than other traditional papers and burn slower.

(Our most popular brand of rice paper is Elements!)


Flax paper

Flax paper is made out of the linaria plant, which is more commonly used to make linen. Just like its hemp and rice counterparts, it’s also processed into a pulp and finely pressed into a thin sheet.

Flax paper is becoming more popular because it's a lot easier to roll with than other rolling papers, and when smoking with these papers there is little to no trace of the taste of the paper.

(Our most popular brand of flax paper is Smoke Cartel papers)


These are just some of the most popular materials rolling papers are made out of. Of course there are a wide variety of rolling papers that haven’t been mentioned here, but hemp, rice, and flax-based papers are the most common.


Awesome rolling accessories

Now that we’ve covered the different kinds of paper, let’s go over some of the awesome accessories that can help you out when rolling - rolling tips, rolling machines, shredder cards, and containers.

Rolling tips are small tubes that are inserted into the mouthpiece end of a roll to add structure and a bit of a shield from small pieces of loose leaf tobacco or legal herb. There are two different kinds of rolling tips, glass and paper, depending on whether one would like a permanent or disposable filter.

Rolling machines are used to help in the rolling process. There are many different sizes of rolling machines, and  some companies even make a 12 inch machine for those who like to live on the edge! The sizes go from 70mm, to 79mm, to 110mm.

Grinders help out by grinding your dry herbs when you don't have a grinder on hand. Convenient, right? You just scrape your dry herbs across the card and it grinds it for you! Also shredder cards are convenient when you’re on the go!

Last but not least, where are you gonna stash the few rolled up joints you made? Well, now they make sealable jars so you can put your rolled up goods into a smell proof, resealable, and sometimes waterproof containers! Check out our Medtainers or Chrontainers to get an idea. Now you're ready to take them and smoke as you please. 


Now that you're ready....The Rolling Process

Now that you’re set up with the basics of rolling, I'll explain the process. Practice makes perfect, so don’t get frustrated if you’re not a rolling master right off the bat.

  • Step 1: Start by finding a rolling surface such as a rolling tray, grinding up your dry herbs, and getting your paper ready!
  • Step 2: I suggest using your non-dominant hand to hold the paper. The best way to hold it is to pinch the edge of the paper between your thumb and middle finger with your index finger in the paper to make a little ditch to hold your dry herb. The gum should be facing toward you on top.
  • Step 3: This is where the fun begins - add your dry herb! You can add as much or as little as you want but it can be beneficial to start of with a lot then work down to a decent amount to roll with. You want to make sure your dry herb is even and not all bunched in one spot. Evenly spread your dry herb! Don’t worry about overflow - that’s why you have a rolling tray!
  • Step 4: Now you want to begin to roll it into itself. Take both hands and use them! Just like the in the second step you want to pinch the paper between your fingers, this time with both the middle and index fingers on one side. Evenly start to push your dry herb into place and roll the paper against itself to start to get its shape. Make sure you it stays tight and symmetrical! It will take some practice!  
  • Step 5: Once you get the shape and size you desire, start to tuck the paper into itself and roll it up!

  • Step 6: Lightly lick the gum of the paper and stick it to the body of the roll to close it up!

Congratulations! You now have your very own self-rolled product! 

About the Author

Smoke Cartel - Online Headshop

Smoke Cartel Crew

Written by the staff here at Smoke Cartel. Our passionate team of headshop professionals are dedicated to educating people on products in the online headshop industry, from glass, to vaporizes, and all the consumption devices and accessories in between.

We believe that knowing how your products are made, what they were originally designed for, and how to properly use them - is essential to keeping our customers happy. If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to reach out to us!


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