Guide to Rolling Up Weed

A Step-by-Step Guide to Rolling Up Weed

An improperly rolled joint – too tight or too loose – does not deliver the best experience. You can learn how to roll the perfect joint by trial and error. However, it is not a process you want to go through. By following our guide, you will soon be rolling joints like a pro. It is easy, and the reward is a gratifying smoking session where you can reap the best your chosen strain has to offer.

The Quick and Easy Way to Roll a Joint

Rolling a joint can feel daunting for those new to this combination of art and skill. After gaining experience, however,  joint rolling becomes second nature. By following the steps provided here, anyone can gain expertise around rolling joints. No longer will you have to rely on a friend as you learn how to roll the perfect joint yourself.

There is no “cannabis unit,” so you can make your joints as small or as large as suits your needs. In Europe, joints and spliffs are essentially synonymous terms. They both describe the combination of tobacco and cannabis inside a rolling paper. Here in North America, a joint commonly describes a cannabis-only joint (Hindocha, Freeman, & Curran, 2017).

It is strongly advised that you do not consume tobacco at any point but especially combined with cannabis. Tobacco comes with “dramatic negative consequences” and causes millions of deaths worldwide each year (Melamede, 2005).

There is nothing wrong with rolling a more giant-sized joint, even if you are by yourself. That said, you do not ever need to consume an entire joint in one session. You can put joints out and relight them later. Doob tubes are small cylinders used as airtight storage for joints. They provide quick and easy storage for joints of all kinds. The best part about these tubes is how they limit the scent produced by your cannabis joint.

As you’ll soon discover, rolling a joint is not a complicated ordeal. Instead, it is a skill that anyone can learn relatively quickly. All you need to do is be prepared, practice, and enjoy the rewards of your effort. Before we get started on the step-by-step instructions, you’ll want to make sure you have all the supplies you need.

Rolling Materials

Here is the most basic list of rolling materials you’ll need, with a few optional additions. Essentials include:

  • Grinder or busker
  • Rolling papers (any size and style, up to you)
  • Filter paper
  • Something to poke and compress the bud
  • Rolling tray

Learning how to roll a joint is a process. At the start, you test out any paper wrap you have available. Over time, you’ll find the perfect rolling paper for you. Likely, that will become your go-to option after that. It can be challenging to assess papers before you try them out. Once you do, you’ll discover whether they have the right size for you and whether they burn properly.

The filter paper is used to create a crutch or filter that prevents you from breathing in loose and burnt materials. It also provides for more straightforward handling of the joint. That said, not everyone uses one, so consider it a personal preference. Some people use business cards or other thicker pieces of paper, but you can also buy proper filter papers. 

A grinder quickly becomes an essential item for anyone rolling joints. Unless you buy milled bud, you will need to break apart and grind up the buds before rolling. This process can be tremendously arduous by hand and becomes a breeze by using a simple device. If you have the funds, go with a 4-chamber grinder that collects kief in the bottom chamber. 

Now that you understand what supplies are needed, it is time to get to the fun part. Follow our step-by-step guide for rolling to become an expert joint roller.

1. Grind the Weed

If you don’t have a grinder, a set of scissors can help make this job more manageable. Preferably, you’ll use your grinder to grind the correct amount of bud quickly. To produce the best smoking experience, you’ll want to remove the stems before grinding. It takes a bit more time, but it creates a smoother smoke. For those who like to grind more than they need in one session, store the ground bud in an airtight container.

Guide to Rolling Up Weed

2. Create Your Filter or Crutch

While some people wait till later for this step, doing it now makes your life much easier. Take your filter material, ensure it is the right size, and then roll it up. You can make a few ‘accordion’ folds and then roll up the rest of the filter. Crutches vary from person to person, so be creative. Experience will help you create better filters and prevent the trim from reaching your mouth.

3. Prepare the Rolling Papers

Some people like to give the paper a little bit of love before getting started. It can be as simply removing the creases and rolling the paper between your fingers. This step helps to smooth the folds and prep the paper to be rolled. Also, make sure the adhesive portion is on the far edge, facing you.

4. Fill the Rolling Paper

Once you have prepared the rolling paper, form it into a canoe shape. Hold the paper between your thumb (nail facing your body) and fingers (generally, your index and middle finger) of one hand. You may want to try this process using either hand until you determine which one works best. Use your other hand to fill the paper with cannabis. You’ll determine exactly how much bud is needed with experience, so don’t worry too much the first few times. If you use too much weed, it will often fall out while finishing the joint.

Guide to Rolling Up Weed

5. Pack the Cannabis

Using your finger or the rolling paper package, press down on the cannabis. While this step may seem minor, doing it well makes the rest of the process much easier. The hand holding the joint can use the ring finger and pinky to support the paper to maintain the weight. Your other hand presses down on the bud. Use a gentle but firm pressure to compress and form the bud inside the paper. At the same time, you can roll the paper in your hand just a little to start rounding the joint. Once finished, use both hands to cradle the joint.

6. Roll It Up

If you have pressed the bud down well enough, this next step will be easy. Use both hands with your thumbs leading the process. Press the near-edge of the rolling paper down over-top of the weed. You want to get the near edge to fold over and line up with the other side of the paper. If you do this step correctly, all you’ll need to do is roll up with your thumbs to create the joint. Once you have the tube formed, you should only have a small amount of far-edge paper still free. That is also where the adhesive strip should be. And so, give the glue a quick lick from end-to-end and then finish rolling the joint up with your thumbs.

7. Finish the Joint

At this point, you should have a round-shaped joint that is open on both ends. It is common for some trim to fall out from either edge. Take a finger and block the end where you want to put the filter. Use a poker to compress the bud at the other end of the joint. After that, twist up the joint paper to seal that end. Now, you can flip the joint and remove your finger. Use the poker to compress the bud inside the joint once again. It should provide enough space to get your filter inside. The filter may need a quick touch-up to make it small enough to fit inside. Once it fits inside, press it down until it lines up with the edge of the paper.

8. Enjoy Your Joint

Now that the hard part is done, the rest is easy and enjoyable. With time, the whole process can become rewarding and entertaining. That said, if you find the process difficult at first, you are not alone. Reward yourself for your efforts by enjoying the joint! All you need to do is light up the twisted end until the joint is burning.

Joint Rolling Is Easy

As we stated at the start of this article, rolling a joint is both a skill and an art. For beginners, focus on developing the skill and dexterity to create joints quickly and easily. Once you become accustomed to rolling joints, this is where the art can take over. Knowing how to roll a basic joint can allow you to progress to more complicated and fancy styles. If you want to roll a cross-joint or a blunt, you start with a simple joint described here for you.

After just a few tried, you’ll modify and perfect the process for your needs as joints become easier to roll. Don’t feel bad if the joints are not perfect to start. It takes time to develop the dexterity needed to roll a joint without creasing the paper. But you can get there! You have taken the first steps in your joint rolling career here today. Be patient, practice your crap, and most-of-all enjoy the spoils of your efforts.


Chandni Hindocha, Tom P. Freeman, and H. Valerie Curran (2017). Anatomy of a Joint: Comparing Self-Reported and Actual Dose of Cannabis and Tobacco in a Joint, and How These Are Influenced by Controlled Acute Administration. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 217-223.

Melamede, R. (2005). Cannabis and tobacco smoke are not equally carcinogenic. Harm Reduct J 2, 21.