We’ve all heard someone being described as being ‘steady’ or ‘sure’ handed, but what about being steady fingered? Indeed, some people have greater dexterity in their digits. A virtuoso guitarist, for example, or a similarly skilled pianist. You may have also heard people who are not skilled in this regard describing themselves as being ‘all thumbs.’ Well, these days marijuana is more mainstream than ever in Canada, and it turns out that your thumbs are just as important as your fingers when it comes to knowing how to roll a joint well.
Today we’ll go into detail about how to roll a perfect joint, and we bet that many of you will be rolling a joint so well afterwards that you’ll wonder why you ever thought it was going to be difficult in the first place. And if you were rolling them poorly before, you’ll quickly come to see why rolling a joint well offers many benefits; the biggest being it burns more slowly and evenly without ‘canoeing’ – a term used for burning unevenly.
The Step by Step of How to Roll a Joint
We should begin by saying that knowing how to roll a perfect joint is not a necessity. Enjoying your recreational cannabis in a pipe or vaporizer is perfectly fine too, and in fact some people prefer those means. But for many, nothing beats a nice joint. For many, including a joint filter is preferable as it means you don’t end up with resin stains on your finger as you enjoy every last toke available on it.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty – how to roll a joint and do it well!
1. Break up your buds into ground or ‘shake’ cannabis
This is best done with a bud grinder for maximum speed and efficiency, but it can also be done with a pair of scissors or even by hand if no tools are around. Break it up thoroughly so that there are no large chunks of bud in your mound, and also be sure that there is no stem in there either. Before learning how to roll a joint, we recommend acquiring yourself a good grinder. Some people buy a coffee grinder and use it exclusively for this purpose, and that’s an option for you too.
2. Create Filter (optional)
As mentioned, adding a filter prevents having a ‘roach’ – the part of the joint left over when it becomes impossible to smoke any further without burning your thumb and index finger. Learning how to make a joint filter is easy; find a piece of thin cardboard – business cards and even the rolling paper packaging are popular choices – and cut a roughly 1 1/2” L x 2/3” W piece using scissors. Tearing the piece is an acceptable alternative if you don’t have scissors.
Start by creating 3 ‘accordion’ folds in the piece. Folding it over to the left, folding it over to right, and then to the left again to create something of a ‘zigzag’ to the end of it. Now, roll the remaining length of it into a tube. Once rolled, set it aside for now.
3. Fill Your Joint
If you’ve opted to use a filter then begin here by placing it at the end of the paper opposite to your dominant hand; to the left of it for right handed individuals, to the right of it for left handed individuals. Next, use the index and middle fingers and thumb of your dominant hand to spread the ground cannabis evenly across the crease of the rolling paper. Make sure that the adhesive edge of the paper is at the top and facing you as you being to fill. The right amount will depend on individual preference and how adept you are at rolling the ‘fatter’ joints that come with more product in the paper. For most, a 1/3 to ½ of a gram will do. Spreading it evenly is the key here, and one of the most important considerations when learning how to roll a joint.
4. Pack Your Joint
This step is not to be confused with the next step – rolling the joint. While it does involve a rolling-like motion with the fingers, you’re not actually rolling quite yet. What you’ll be doing here is packing the joint. This involves using the thumbs and forefingers of both hands exclusively. Press firmly against the middle of the rolling paper with it suspended between the thumbs and forefingers. Rock it back and forth between the fingers keeping pressure on it the entire time and move your thumb and forefinger pairs outwards towards the tips of the paper. Then move back towards the center, maintaining that rocking back and forth motion with pressure. Done correctly, your joint will begin assuming its desirable cylindrical shape.
5. Roll Time!
Now you’re ready to wrap things up, quite literally! Again start with your thumb and forefingers at the middle of the rolling paper, but apply much less (some) pressure. Now, instead of rocking back and forth with your fingers, you’ll roll the joint in full from north to south. Once or twice should do. Now use your thumbs to tuck the non-adhesive edge of the rolling paper over the away-facing edge of the formed roll of weed. Be gentle and use a deft touch here.
Now you begin the final up roll. As your reach the adhesive edge of the paper, pause and raise the paper to your mouth. Wet your lips lightly and apply a slight bit of moisture from them along the adhesive edge of the rolling paper. Roll the body of the joint over that moistened adhesive edge and slide the thumb of your dominant hand along the edge to ‘stick it’. This will complete the seal.
6. Final Touches
The last part of knowing how to roll a joint is putting the finishing touches on it. Hold the corresponding end between the thumb and forefinger of your non-dominant hand, with or without a filter. Now use a pen, pencil, or any other long and thin object to push down the product so that it is more densely packed. If this creates an area of open space on the other end of the joint, that’s fine and perfectly normal. You can just twist up this leftover paper and use it to light your joint once it’s ready.
That’s it, that’s how to roll a perfect joint and remember that, like anything – practice makes perfect!