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Best Ways To Roll A Joint

Created by
JoshuaHolt JoshuaHolt
Added 13 January 2021

How To Roll A Joint

For many, kicking it back and lighting up a joint is one of life's greatest pleasures. Sparking one up after a long day is an ideal way to relax and ease the stress out of our busy lives.

Joint rolling is one of those things that some stoners just never got the hang of doing. Others stuck with bongs or vaporizers and simply didn't feel the need to learn the process. Rolling joints takes practice, but once you have it down, you'll look forward to it every time. This article teaches you 3 ways to roll a joint so you can find the technique that works best for you.

Ways of Smoking Cannabis

Materials for Smoking Cannabis

Smoking cannabis has been done for centuries in many cultures for its spiritual, medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Tobacco is also used traditionally and often rolled into dry leaves to create a cigarette. Smoking this way is nothing new and rolling cannabis into joints stems from this technique.

There are many ways to roll a joint and most people develop their own technique or style as they learn. There are even rolling machines which can do most of the work for you, but that sort of defeats the point of this article. For a rolling machine, simply place the paper in the machine, fill it with cannabis, place a roach in one end, roll the rollers, lick and stick and you're done.

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Depending on where you live you may have seen joints being rolled a certain way. In Europe, for example, it is normal to mix cannabis with tobacco, whereas in the US, pure cannabis joints or blunts are more common.

Joint Vs Blunt

Pre-rolled joints are commonly found in dispensaries, cannabis clubs and coffeeshops, meaning stoners who like joints but can't/don't want to roll can have the possibility to hit on a perfectly prepared spliff. Most of the time these joints come as empty machine made cones and are not rolled by hand. Pre rolled cones are instead packed with ground cannabis, making it easy for anyone to 'roll' a joint.

Different Types of Joint

Different Types Of Joint

Pot smokers have come up with all kinds of interesting and creative ways to make joints. From tulips, to windmills, to mega-cones and shotgun joints, there are plenty of fun ideas to spice up a joint making hobby. Basically, rolling paper and weed can be sculpted with the right craftsmanship, making the possibilities endless. How easy it would be to smoke a joint shaped liked an elephant is another question.

For the purpose of this article, though, we will be sticking to a simple, classic joint rolled with a king sized paper, and different ways to achieve it.

Materials for Making A Joint

Grinders For Weed

Rolling a joint doesn't require any complicated materials but you'll need enough patience and the will to keep trying. It's unlikely you'll be able to roll a perfect, creaseless joint on the first go but don't give up. Soon enough you'll have Snoop Dogg asking you to be his personal joint roller.

So, how much weed do you need for an average joint? Typically a joint rolled with a king-sized rolling paper contains around 0.2-1g of ground cannabis, depending on whether you put tobacco in it or not.

Materials for rolling a joint:

  • Rolling papers
  • Cardboard filter (aka 'roach')
  • Grinder
  • Cannabis
  • Tobacco (optional)

Tip: You may also prefer to use a rolling tray to mix your joint's contents and catch any bits that might fall out during the rolling process.

Rolling the Perfect Joint

Rolling The Perfect Cone Joint

We'll be explaining each method from the point of view of a right-handed person. Obviously, do what feels most comfortable and experiment with different techniques if you want to. You could end up showing someone who has rolled improper joints for years a simple trick and it could make rolling much easier for them.

First you need to prepare the joint for rolling:

  1. Take out a paper and lay it down flat on the rolling tray. Depending on the method of rolling, the sticky edge will be facing a different way.
  2. Grind up your weed to a consistency you like. Tap it out of the grinder onto the rolling tray or directly over the rolling paper, whichever you prefer.
  3. Next, make the filter. Roll the roach tightly enough so that the cardboard spirals into the centre with enough space for air to pass through but not plant material. Alternatively, fold over the end of the cardboard a couple of times so once it's rolled you end up with a zig zag or 'N' shape. Some people like to place the roach on the left, other prefer having it on the right.

Method 1 - Regular Rolling

Regular Rolling

This is the most common way people learn to roll and involves having the adhesive edge of the paper facing up and towards you (i.e. On the further side away from you). Most of the time the thumbs are used to tuck in the non sticky edge of the paper and the index fingers and middle fingers provide support at the back, helping you to achieve a rolling motion.

Pick up the paper using both hands. Hold it comfortably at each end between your thumb and index and middle finger. Your thumbs and fingers should almost be meeting in the centre of the joint. Using your thumbs, start to roll the paper up and down around the filling to compact everything and get it into a coned shape. Work your way from the centre to the ends as you roll. Reposition your fingers if necessary. 

Kalini Asia (ZAMNESIA SEEDS) being rolled up by FC_cultivars from GrowDiaries.

Now the tricky part. The goal is essentially to tuck the non-sticky edge of the paper in using the thumbs, and at the same time maintaining the tension and support by keeping the joint straight using the index and middle fingers. It may help to tip the joint upwards slightly (roach end down) so there is less downward pressure on the paper, which can make it a bit harder to tuck in (also less chance of the mix falling out). Start by tucking in the paper around the filter and work your way up the joint.

Once you have the paper rolled around the filling, you should have easy access to lick across the sticky adhesive, followed by a final rolling motion to secure it with the thumb and index finger.

Method 2 - Reverse Rolling

Reverse Rolling

Reverse rolling is regular rolling done the opposite way around. You do start with the sticky side of the paper facing upwards, but this time it faces away from you (i.e. the side closest to you). Instead of using your thumbs to tuck the paper, the index fingers are used.

This method may actually be easier than regular rolling because the index fingers can be positioned in a nearly straight line along the edge of the tucking side of the paper, which then only requires one movement to tuck the whole side in at once. The thumbs provide support in this case.

Pinch the joint between the thumb and index and middle fingers like you would with regular rolling and proceed to get its contents into a nice cone shape. Once ready, position the fingers straight along the non-sticky edge, roll the joint down against your thumbs and look over the top of the paper to make sure the edge of the paper is pressing against the contents. Then with a roll back upwards the edge of the paper should neatly tuck in.

As the sticky edge is facing away from you, you will need to use the bottom of your tongue to wet the adhesive. If the tension is correct, you should be able to let go of the joint with your right hand, have the roach pinched in your left holding the paper together, so you can use your right hand to roll the sticky edge over the joint.

Method 3 - Back Rolling

Back Rolling

Back rolling can be achieved with either the regular or reverse rolling technique. The difference here is the adhesive edge of the paper faces down and is also the tucking side. The purpose of this is so that the roller can use just one layer of paper around their joint. The joint is rolled as normal, licked through the non sticky part of the paper so the adhesive edge gets wet inside the joint, securing everything together.

This results in a loose part of paper which is then ripped or burnt off, leaving a joint with just a single layer of paper around it. Some smokers prefer this as it means they consume less paper and more of the stuff they are trying to smoke. It can help the joint burn more evenly, too.


As we mentioned earlier, joint rolling is not something you learn overnight. Some may find it easier than others but the key is practice. Having someone teach you face to face is much more simple to understand, but we hope this article gave you some insight to skinning up some of your first spliffs. Happy toking!

If you found this article useful, feel free to leave a comment down below! We'd love to hear about your tips and tricks regarding joint rolling.

External References

The Cannabis Grow Bible: The Definitive Guide to Growing Marijuana for Recreational and Medical Use. Green Candy Press. - Greg Green (2003). 

This article was updated January 2021.



Anybody else out there do the old school rolling a joint with a dollar?