Mastering the craft: 13 tips for rolling the perfect joint

roll the perfect joint

As the inventor of a cutting-edge automated pre-roll machine, I’ve spent a ton of time thinking about the art of rolling joints. My creation, the RollPros Blackbird, doesn’t stuff cones—it rolls like a connoisseur. The units in the field just surpassed 30 million joints rolled. Laid end-to-end, the Js would stretch all the way from New York to Miami!

But I had to walk before I could run, and it took a long time to perfect my rolling game. Here are my top 13 tips on how to roll the perfect joint.

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rollpros joint rolling
Not everyone has access to an automated machine, so how do you roll the perfect joint? Photo: RollPros
  1. Fresh, fresh, fresh: Properly cured, fresh, sticky flower is the most critical ingredient to a great joint. You can’t create a good smoke out of overdried material! And don’t forget – the dryer and older the material, the harsher and less efficacious it will be, because cannabinoids and terpenes break down the more they are dried.


  1. Grind your flower with care: You’ll want to keep the ground flower “fluffy” and alive. Over-grinding will destroy a joint real fast. Beginners often think they need to grind their flower until it looks like what you’d see in a cigarette. This is a big no-no.


  1. Choose a rolling paper that is right for you: I typically reach for an OCB rice paper. The goal here is thin and low taste. You don’t want to be smoking any more paper than you have to, and you want to let the flower’s full flavor shine. As a fan of the plant, I don’t want anything to interfere with the way it tastes and smells, so I stay away from flavored papers of any kind.


  1. Roll with a crutch: I see too many upsides to not use them. Using a crutch offers support when rolling a joint, helps with resin buildup, prevents your fingers from being burnt, and also allows you to smoke it all the way to the end without reaching for a roach clip.


  1. Create a nice, even pile of flower: You’ll want to make sure you lay down your flower evenly along your rolling paper. Any voids or bumps along the length of the joint can lead to runs or canoes that can quickly lead to a buzz kill.


  1. Start your roll with the crutch end first: After beginning with the crutch end first, you’ll want to work your way towards the tip. The crutch provides a nice bit of structural support for starting the roll.


  1. Compress the flower into an even log: When you actually roll, you aren’t just trying to seal the paper around the flower. You want to create an even density and thickness throughout. This is the tricky part, and another reason fresh flower helps. Whenever you’re rolling with fresh, sticky flower, the flower will stick to itself, making this part much easier.


  1. Create a crease along the back edge of the paper: I usually do this to help it fold over the compacted log of flower and make the final tucking process easier.


  1. When tucking the back edge of the paper over, remember to keep it tight with the flower: If there is a gap between the flower and paper, it will run or canoe.


  1. Lick the gum line from the backside of the paper: Doing it this way makes it a little more forgiving if you need to adjust things after you’ve already wet the gumline, compared to licking the gum directly.


  1. I used to also roll “dutch” fairly often: This is where you roll the paper backwards and fold the gumline into the flower log first, and then burn off the excess paper. This makes sure you are using as little paper as possible. This can be risky because you can burn a hole in the paper and make the joint useless. It’s like the ol’ saying goes, no risk, no reward!


  1. Never waste good weed: After sealing my joint on the seam, I’ll then clean up the fallen bits on the table and push them into the tip of the joint.


  1. Let your joint rest for a few minutes. Either let it sit or use a lighter to cautiously dry the gum line prior to sparking up: The added moisture on the gum line will want to run or canoe if you smoke it while it’s still wet.

It takes time to learn how to roll great joints. Don’t get frustrated. Keep at it, and remember these tips for the next time you roll one for yourself or for the next group sesh.

This article was submitted by a guest contributor to GreenState. The author is solely responsible for the content.

Kyle Loucks Kyle Loucks is the Founder and CEO of RollPros, an automation company disrupting the cannabis industry using its groundbreaking TruRoll technology that mimics the precision of hand-rolled quality joints at scale. Prior to RollPros, Kyle held various lead engineering and technical roles for companies ranging from innovative medical device startups to tech giants like Hewlett-Packard and Georgia Pacific. He also played a key role in developing optics hardware for Facebook's Oculus VR system.