Don’t blow this joint – learn how to roll an A-plus jay with these spliff-rolling tips of the experts.
The classic weed joint reMains is the most popular way people consume weed, despite the availability of pipes, bongs, vapes, edibles, pills, ointments and even infused pedicures. Joints are perfectly discreet, great to share, and yet they have that timeless appeal of the Summer of Love and Cheech and Chong to dawn.
But joints are always frustrating for many people to roll over. If yours are ill-proportioned disasters that burn the paper all wrong, the greater challenge of rolling a blunt will throw you completely off balance.
Marijuana Event Space Oakland Cannabis Creative held a 420 “rolling competition” last month, which inspired SF Evergreen to roll up our sleeves and see if beginners can learn from ninja-level joint and bot experts.
“We realized how seriously everyone takes their job,” says Raeven Duckett, co-founder of Community Gardens, one of the sponsors of the event. “We had 10 artists — we called them artists – who thought they could roll the sweetest blunt or spliff.”
Technically, joints, blunts, and spliffs are all separate, distinct variations of the rolled marijuana cigarette genre. This rolling competition did three rounds with eachh as a separate category, as crafting each has a different set of best practices. But whatever you choose, it is imperative that you crumble first or grind your buds into a powdery, high-quality “mix”.
“The mix is arguably the most important part of the joint,” says Bobcat Press’ 1994 classic The Joint Rolling Handbook, which is still available on Amazon and remains a canonical reference work on the subject.
The handbook shows you how to roll all kinds of exotic and specialized joints, plus double double joints, and even the Windmill (with four built-in mini joints hitting at the same time!). But it all starts with the mix.
“Make sure the consistency is even and break or remove any lumps or ‘woody’ bits,” The Joint Rolling Handbook says, referring to stems or other material that does not contain a bud in your cannabis flower.
Hardcore joint nerds use a spice grinder for this, but you can also patiently break the bud off by hand to make sure it grinds nicely and evenly.
For a traditional marijuana compound that uses a standard blotting paper, start by spreading your marijuana mix horizontally evenly over half of the blotting paper that does. not have the adhesive gum.
“Pick everything up and start in the middle, rolling outwards,” The Joint Rolling Handbook advises. “Let your thumbs do most of the work and give support and pressure with your index fingers. You should feel the mix set in the paper.”
Use your thumbs to evenly massage the weed and avoid the ‘pregnant joint’ phenomenon that is loaded in the middle. Once your joint has taken a proper shape, lick the gum off the paper and gently massage the bond until it dries. Poof, you’re ready to puff and fit.
Understand that this takes practice to perfect. In the meantime, you can always “paper” the cosmetic flaws from your previous efforts by applying a second coat of tissue paper for a smoother look.
You can also avoid all the drills with the popular Raw Roller rolling machine, a pretty little thing that generally sells for less than $10 at pharmacies and tobacconists in main retail stores across the city. The Raw Roller makes rolling joint amazingly easy. Put your weed mix in the roller, put a piece of paper in it and lick it off. A beautiful connection comes out in seconds, with no knowledge or expertise required. The base is even made of hemp plastic!
You may also have seen an advanced level cone, with a chic paper twist on the end. Most pharmacies sell cone rolling papers that you can fill with ground marijuana, twist the end and pretend to roll a virtuoso craft jay.
Spliffs, meanwhile, are hybrid marijuana tobacco cigarettes. So they are popular with the unhealthy nicotine crowd. Because tobacco makes spliffs harder to hit, they’re often rolled with a “crutch” or “rolling tip” that acts like a faux filter — though it doesn’t actually filter the smoke or make your damn tobacco any less dangerous.
But a stool helps smoke flow better, limits saliva grotesqueness and prevents spliff smokers from burning their lips. Any plain, white card stock can be rolled into a small tube to create a functioning stool, and ripped corners from unwanted business cards will do just fine.
If health or hygiene is important to you, blotting paper brands often sell inexpensive packs of rolling tips that do not contain printing ink or chemical additives found in commercial cigarette filters.
Blunts are the most challenging category of these green arts. These hollowed out cigars filled with high quality top are noxious as hell to smoke, almost always have nicotine in the cigar paper and are not recommended for any therapeutic purpose other than being wasted.
The most popular variety is the Backwoods blunt, probably thanks to Mac Dre’s 2004 song “Backwoods Swisher Sweet”. They are expensive and hard to find – and it will be all the more so if and when the ban on flavored tobacco comes into effect.
But you can still roll a blunt with a cigar from a $1 liquor store.
Start by finding the outer fold of the cigar paper and carefully roll it out. Discard the tobacco and brush off the excess, spread your jar evenly throughout and gently roll the blunt back into a cigar shape. Lick the paper to make it stick, and apply more saliva with your tongue and lips to solidify the outside of the blunt once it dries.
Does that sound disgusting? It is! As noted earlier, blunts are an exceptionally bad idea from a health point of view.
But they are the life of the party, just like joints and spliffs are so appropriate for social circles. Yes, you can just go to a pharmacy and buy pre-rolled joints, but rolling the joint is a very handy skill. And if it’s late at night after the pharmacies close, you’ll be glad to be able to rock all night.