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How To Roll a Joint For Beginners: Step By Step

December 23, 2021

The joint is an icon of the 420 community and remains the most popular way of enjoying marijuana worldwide. Every weed enthusiast should learn how to roll a joint—mastering the skill is a rite of passage and isn't hard. 

There are a number of reasons why stoners favor the joint over other ways of enjoying their flower—the most obvious being the expense. Rolling a joint is super budget-friendly in comparison to indulging in regular pre-roll sessions, for instance. 

Going DIY also puts you in control of every aspect. Roll a joint the way you want by mixing and matching different weed rolling papers, filters, joint styles, and of course, cannabis strains.

Building your own might sound like a daunting task, but your friends can't keep doing it for you, nor should commercial options be your only choice. It's time you learned how to roll the perfect joint yourself. Read on as we guide you through the process and share our knowledge on the subject

Joint in Nature

What is a joint?

A joint, J, doobie, mummy finger, whatever you prefer to call it, is a hand-rolled cannabis cigarette. Although there are many nicknames for a joint, don't confuse it with a spliff or a blunt. 

The latter refers to a hollowed-out cigar filled with weed or a DIY using weed rolling wraps made of cigar skin. A spliff is similar to a joint in that you use cigarette rolling paper to construct it. However, instead of just pure weed, you fill it with cannabis and tobacco.

How much weed is in a joint?

How much weed you pack in your joint depends entirely on your preference, tolerance levels, and the type of DIY you’re rolling. Over-pack your J, and it'll be difficult to handle in more ways than one. 

As a beginner, we suggest you learn how to roll a small joint first. Sprinkle a tiny amount of weed into a standard-size cigarette paper and stick at it until every J burns smooth and even. As you master how to roll a joint, you can move onto king-sized papers and add a full gram of cannabis. 

How much weed is in a joint at my dispensary? Pre-rolls from your local dispensary most often contain one gram of weed. A pack of two will most likely carry ½ a gram inside each joint. 

Weed in a grinder ready to be rolled into a joint

What can you roll weed in?

Since we discovered marijuana, people have been experimenting with what you can roll weed in. As a result, the modern market is full of options pummeled into a paper form, including: 

  • Flax
  • Hemp
  • Rice straw
  • Esparto 
  • Sisal 
  • Wood pulp 

Which paper you choose to craft your perfect joint is entirely down to preference. Factors such as ease of roll, smoothness of smoke, and the aftertaste can all sway opinion on the best paper to roll a joint in. Hemp paper is becoming increasingly popular with weed connoisseurs as it means their joint is 100% cannabis-derived. 

Cigar wraps, known as cigarillo papers, are another popular choice to construct a blunt, while flavored papers are a fun way of adding extra taste to your weed. To get the best out of your session, make sure the paper pairs well with the terpene profile of the cultivar you're smoking. Opt for chemical-free products whenever possible. 

Deciding what you can roll weed with doesn't only apply to the type of paper; they also come in various sizes. Below are the most commonly used by weed lovers:

  • 1¼-inch 
  • 1½-inch 
  • Single wide
  • Double wide
  • King
  • King slim
  • Cone-shaped
Rolling Joint with wooden pulp
Rolling Joint with wooden pulp

What do you need to roll a joint?

To roll a joint, you're going to need to gather some crucial supplies and materials, including: 

  • Thin and long shaped items like a pen or chopstick
  • Rolling tray (not essential but makes the process easier)
  • Rolling papers 
  • Marijuana
  • Grinder
  • Filter or crutch, or material to make one

How to roll a joint for beginners

So you're searching for the best way to roll a joint—look no further. Below we've put together a handy step-by-step guide containing a few of the easiest methods around. 

These techniques are a staple among the 420 community for their simplicity. They require little else other than your hands and some good bud

Joint roller

How to use joint roller

Purchasing a joint roller is inexpensive and by far the easiest way to roll a joint. You can get them in different sizes to create varying thicknesses and lengths. The main issue is if you don't learn how to roll a joint by hand, you're stuck if you forget your roller. 

To learn how to use a joint roller, follow these simple steps: 

  1. Collect your materials 
  2. Open the roller and load it with a filter if you're using one. Grind your herb and place it in the gap before closing the roller. 
  3. Place the machine in front of you. Turn the handles towards your body using your thumbs. Go slowly and at a constant speed to evenly pack the joint. 
  4. Place the paper sticky side up in the roller and press down before rolling the handles towards you. 
  5. Lick the glue strip and roll once more to seal your joint. 
  6. Use a pen or similarly shaped object to press down your weed from the tip before twisting it shut. 

The easiest way to roll a joint

There are countless creative ways for rolling a joint, and more emerge every day. But we're not here to learn how to do anything fancy just yet. Check out these three easy to master ways to roll a joint with your hands.

  • Cone joint - For this method, you'll need a king-size rolling paper and all your usual supplies. Grind your weed so that it's all the same consistency. Pick up your paper and place your filter in one end if you're using one. Hold it all between your thumb and index finger. 

Distribute your cannabis, envisioning the cone shape you're aiming for. To clarify, this means the amount you put in should taper off near the filter. Use your thumbs to roll the paper back and forth to pack the weed. 

Once satisfied, tuck the side closest to you over and in before you lick and stick. Use your poking tool to compress it further down and twist the top. 

  • L Joint - If you don't have any king-sized papers to roll a joint or desire a slow but even smoke perfect for sharing, grab two short papers of any size. Craft an L-shape by placing the first sheet glue side up and the second stuck down at a 90° angle counterclockwise. 

You can lessen the amount of paper for a better taste by ripping this section diagonally from the outside corner. After grinding your weed, add a crutch if you desire and pour it down the center. 

Like before, arrange it with a cone shape in mind and roll the paper back and forth to compress the cannabis. Tuck the paper in, leaving the flap sticking out. Seal your joint by licking the glue strip on the piece that's holding the weed first. Lick the tip section and spiral the paper around your joint as you stick it all together. 

As always, shake, poke, and twist your creation to keep everything in place. 

  • Double-barrelled shotgun joint - While the first two examples are basic weed rolling techniques, a double-barrelled shotgun is bound to impress your smoking buddies. Don't fret—as creatively complex as it sounds, it's still simple enough for a novice to pull off. 

To craft this 'firearm,' construct two standard joints following the cone instructions. It's vital, however, that you make them straight rather than tapered. You must also use filters to improve the barrel effect. 

Once you have two perfect joints, line them up side by side and wrap them with another paper to secure them together.  

Rolling joint methods

How to roll a joint with a filter

Filters are otherwise known as tips or crutches. You may hear some people refer to them as roaches, but this term is the name given to the burnt end of a joint after it's been smoked. 

They come in all shapes and sizes, including rolled cardboard, glass, corn husk, and an array of other fibers. Learning how to roll a joint with a filter is easy, and they add structural integrity to your DIY. A tip helps keep the J intact as you pass it around and allows you to smoke the entire roach, so none of your bud goes to waste. 

When using a crutch, place it in the far end of your paper and hold it in place with your thumb and index finger as you prepare your joint. If you're more interested in how to roll a joint without a filter, bear in mind that you’ll waste some weed.

Check the video below from Parker to better visualize this technique:

How to roll a perfect joint: 6 tips to get better

Now you've got the basics of rolling a joint; it's time to look into the finer details. Below we've compiled a list of six top tips surrounding how to roll the perfect joint every time. 

  • Twist and push - After you roll up your weed nice and tight, twist the open end and give it a little push inwards. By doing this, you'll pack your bud down and seal it in place, allowing for an even burn when you light it up.
  • Start thick - It's true that the finer the paper, the smoother the smoke is, but a beginner learning how to properly roll a joint should start with a thick paper. Thin papers break and rip while you're still practicing, whereas thicker options are a lot more malleable. 
  • Slow things down - Take your time making a joint to ensure you evenly spread the weed and tightly pack it before sealing. If you're not happy, grab another paper if necessary and start again. A rushed joint won't smoke nicely, may fall apart, or the sides might burn away, ruining your session.
  • Practice - Like any new skill, learning how to roll a joint like a pro takes practice. Before you start making joints for your friends, sit down and waste a few papers giving it a try. Learn from your mistakes, and before long, it'll come naturally to you.
  • Lick lightly - There's no worse feeling than a soggy joint between your lips, especially if you're sharing amongst friends. Too much moisture can also cause a tear. Lick lightly along the glue strip when it comes to sealing your joint. If there's a loose edge, lick your finger and dab it shut before lighting. 
  • Paper size - Rolling a joint with a king-size paper may seem like the obvious way to go, but at first, it can be a little too much to manage. The same goes on the opposite side of the scale when rolling with a single wide or single cigarette paper. A 1¼-inch rolling paper is a happy medium and makes learning how to roll a joint easy. 
Joint ready to be rolled


If you've still got a question on how to make a joint, take a look at our answers to the most commonly asked queries below. 

Is it easier to roll a joint or blunt? 

If you're only just learning how to roll a good joint, avoid extra hurdles such as blunt wraps for now. They're fiddly and require an extra level of skill to manipulate into an enjoyable smoke. Hollowing a cigar and filling it with weed sounds simple enough, but a lot can go wrong during preparation, ruining your bud in the process. 

Plain cigarette papers or king-size skins are easy to prepare and handle. 

What are the healthiest rolling papers?

When exploring what you can use to roll weed, steer clear of wood pulp. Although it's the most traditional and historical type of smoking paper, much has progressed since its arrival. Wood pulp rolling papers are the lowest quality you can buy from a health perspective. 

Rice or hemp weed rolling papers are healthier options. The latter is an ideal choice for beginners to practice how to roll weed as they're easy to handle and stay lit.

Do you need to put tobacco in a joint?

No, tobacco isn't necessary for the concoction, but how you build your J is up to you. Remember, if you roll a joint with pure cannabis, you've got a joint in your hands, but popping tobacco into the mix turns it into a spliff. 

Smoking weed

Roll it your way

Put down the commercial pre-rolls; you don't need them anymore. Now you know how to roll a joint, it's time to take advantage of all the customizable options going DIY offers. The possibilities are endless, from the kind of paper to the weed and filter you build with. 

Rolling a joint can be as cheap or expensive as you want and guarantees your flowers are fresh every session. Have you found this guide on how to roll a joint for beginners useful? Check out our blog for more handy hints, tips, and tricks for novices just getting to know our good friend Mary-Jane.

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