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by Rik Hunik

Published by Richard Hunik at Smashwords

3500 words

Copyright 2019 by Richard Hunik

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

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Chapter 1


Now that marijuana is legal in Canada I can come out and publish this book under my own name.

Despite the proliferation of bongs and pipes I still think the best way to imbibe marijuana is to smoke it in a joint. A lot of pot smokers use their pipes and bongs. Some people may honestly prefer them, but I believe a large part of the reason is that an awful lot of smokers don't know how to roll a decent joint. This short book is here to rectify that situation.

I do not claim that this is the only way to roll a joint, or the best way, but in the past four decades I have rolled tens of thousands of joints this way, and most of them have turned out pretty good. If you follow these instructions you should be able to roll a decent joint. If, after some practice, you think you can skip a step, or you find something that works better, good for you.

My goal with this book is to cover every possible aspect of rolling a joint, so it gets wordy in parts. If something I say seems obvious to you, just remember that somebody out there doesn't know that particular something yet, and they might scoff at the simplicity of a tidbit that you found useful.

It's probably best to read through the entire book once, Then you only need to consult the detailed instructions for parts you are having difficulty with.

I prefer small joints, pinners, as they are sometimes called, for a number of reasons. First of all, that damn shit is expensive. Second, it's potent, so you don't need a lot to make yourself feel good; the idea is to catch a pleasant buzz, not to get so wasted you veg out or fall asleep. Third, it burns more efficiently. But that's just my opinion. Roll them as big as you think you need to for the number of people smoking.

Chapter 2

Obtain Material To Roll

How you get your marijuana, and what kind of buds you obtain, is up to you.

For purposes of rolling, buds come in four moisture grades:

1. Too wet to smoke: (This problem is usually restricted to small-time growers eager to sample their new crop.) Don't even bother trying to roll it. Let it dry before attempting to smoke it. If you're that impatient, use a food dehydrator to suck the moisture out.

2. Moist, but smokable: If you get too much of this, complain to your dealer or find another source. It tends to clump when you're trying to cut it up, you must be very careful not to roll it too tight, and you'll probably need to relight it a few times. Or you could try to dry it a bit first. This method is not recommended, but if you're truly desperate and in a big hurry, you can wrap your bud in paper towel and zap it in the microwave for a minute or so.

3. Properly dried. You're good to go.

4. Bone dry. It can be rolled and smoked, but it behaves like sand and is difficult to roll. If you put a couple of drops of water in your bag and seal it overnight the buds will be moisturized. Some people use a piece of potato, orange, or apple peel, but those can add flavor. (Do not use onion.)

Chapter 3

Prepare Material To Roll

First you need a smooth surface to roll on. A smooth table or a slick magazine work well. Back in the days of vinyl, a double LP cover worked really good for separating seeds, but you don't need to worry about seeds these days, and most people have never seen a double LP cover. I have a rectangular candy tin to store my pot and papers and I roll in the lid.

There are a variety of tools for breaking up your buds.

Fingers: If your buds are bone dry you can just crush them into powder with your fingers. If you have nothing else available you can pick your properly cured buds apart into tiny pieces with your fingers. (My nephew refers to this as "hippy picking".) This is tedious, inefficient and doesn't always work very well, sometimes resulting in a joint that doesn't burn evenly, or won't stay lit.(And hippies never did it that way.)

Bud buster: Small, cylindrical devices of metal or plastic, with teeth to grind the buds, they come in many sizes and shapes. They are available in smoke shops or wherever paraphernalia is available. They work good on dry buds, but not so well on moist or sticky buds.

Scissors: My favourite. Faster than hippie picking, more effective than some bud busters. I recommend blades at least two inches long, but not much more, with a blunt tip, rather than pointed.

I've had a few decades of practice, so I'm pretty good at snipping the buds into small particles between my thumb and forefinger. Just keep the scissors straight, don't go too fast, and don't cut your fingers.

Make sure you've broken or cut up enough material for a joint. It's better to cut up a bit extra because there is almost always some spillage; if you don't use it this time, it will be ready for your next joint. Check the consistency of your material and make sure there are no lumps or large pieces, which can make rolling more difficult and burning less efficient. Use your scissors to reduce the size of the larger pieces. It's good to have scissors handy even if you use a bud buster.

Chapter 4

Prepare A Rolling Paper

Select a rolling paper. There are all kinds of rolling papers out there, in a variety of sizes, colors, flavors and thicknesses. Paper doesn't get you high, so the idea is to smoke as little of it as possible. Unless you're having a party there is no need for oversize papers. I don't approve of flavoured papers. The flavour does not add to the experience and who knows what kind of chemicals you're taking into your lungs. Also, they are usually oversized. I recommend Zig-Zag whites. They are standard size, thin, slow-burning, the corners are cut to facilitate rolling, and they are cheaper than the specialty papers. Some deluxe papers burn slow and even, and leave very little ash, but they are oversized.

Pull out a single rolling paper of your choice. In this book I am using Zig-Zag whites in all the examples. If you are not, some of these instructions might not apply. Don't worry about it; either adapt or just move on to the next step.

The paper comes out of the package folded in half. Open it up, then fold the bottom half in half. Do this by bringing the bottom edge, the part with the cut corners and no glue, to the middle crease, and make a second crease.

From the side your paper should now have a "J" profile, as in the next picture.

Hold the paper with the thumb and first two fingers of the non-dominant hand, as shown in the picture, making a nice, rigid, paper trough, supported by your fingertips.

Chapter 5

Roll The Joint

Use the flap on the paper pack to scoop up your prepared rolling material.

Dump the material into the trough, filling it according to the size joint you want. If there's too little it might be difficult to get the material round enough to roll. On the other hand, although the principles are all the same, really thick joints are somewhat harder to roll, so don't get too ambitious until you've had some practice.

Shift your grip so the entire joint is supported by your fingers in one hand.

Tamp the material into position. I use my little finger, just because it seems handiest to me.

A common problem with beginning rollers is what is called a pregnant joint, one with skinny ends and a bulging middle. To avoid that situation you put less material in the middle. When you roll it, some material will be squeezed back into the middle. Also contributing to the pregnant joint effect is material falling out the ends. This is more of a problem if the material is very dry, or if you try to roll a large joint. To minimize fallout, keep the material a bit away from the very ends, and tamp the material at the ends so it's packed enough to hold its shape and position. Tamp the material into a roughly round shape so it will roll.

At this point, if your paper has been bashed around and is loose and wrinkled, you might want to grasp the ends of the loaded paper between the thumbs and first two fingers of each hand and pull the paper taut.

Shift your grip to get ready to roll. You want your thumbs and forefingers approximately a quarter to a third of the way in from each end.

At this point, if you have dry skin you will not be able to roll the joint because your fingers will slide on the paper. I know from years of frustrating experience. Before you carry on you will have to moisten your fingers, but be careful. If you moisten your fingers too much the paper will stick to them too much. If you don't moisten them enough you will find your fingers slipping on the paper again. If you get your fingers so wet the paper is saturated the paper will tear easily. I usually give my forefinger a little lick, then rub my thumb on my first two fingers, distributing the moisture and controlling the amount. The more you rub, the drier your fingers get. Repeat the procedure with the other hand. Sometimes I have to do it a couple of times to get the right amount of moisture to give me a good grip without sticking.


The key to rolling a joint. This is it, right here in this paragraph, the simple principle you need to master in order to roll joints. (Everything else in this book is just details, many of which you might change as you develop your own rolling style.) While rolling you have to keep tension in both directions. You need to have tension in line with the rolling direction (under and around the joint, between your thumbs and forefingers) or you can't roll it tightly. By keeping tension across the line of rolling (from end to end) the paper becomes a rigid tube that forces the material into a cylindrical shape. Without tension the paper offers no support and conforms to the shape of the material, usually loose and lumpy, or flat and bumpy. With proper tension you get a nice, uniform cylinder, a round, even joint.

After establishing a good grip, gently bring the two sides of the paper together. Your paper should now have a tear drop shape when viewed from the end.

Roll up with your thumbs, and down with your fingers, until the front edge of the paper is even with or slightly higher than the back edge. The larger the joint, the further you must roll in order to ensure that your material is cylindrical, rather than oval, or worse. For a very fat joint you would need to roll the front edge up until the back edge, the glued edge, is almost touching the material. If the material is not properly shaped and packed at this stage you can roll back and forth a few times, being sure to keep tension both ways on your paper. That will roll the material into a cylinder and pack it into place. If your material is still uneven you can shift your fingers a bit one way or the other and gently roll back and forth a few times. For very dry material you want to minimize the amount of rolling, because it doesn't pack very well and falls out the ends at the slightest movement. For very wet material, you want to roll it loosely so it doesn't pack into a solid lump that you can't draw smoke through.

From this point, if the material is properly tamped and shaped, you should be able to roll the front down with your thumbs until the front edge is right down to the material.

This is where you have to reverse direction and, with one smooth move, tuck the leading edge into the crease between the material and the far side of the paper, and roll it far enough under that it doesn't come untucked. That is the tricky part, the crux, where your actions determine whether you make a good joint or a not-so-good joint. (Relax. No matter what it looks like, any joint you can smoke is good enough.) If you're lucky your joint looks like the one in the picture below, and you can move on to the next step. But even for experts the material and the paper don't always cooperate. Sometimes you'll need to roll the paper up and down a few times, perhaps even shifting your fingers back and forth a bit, to rearrange the material, or to curve the leading edge of the paper, before attempting the tuck.

Remember that the more you wrestle with your joint the more likely it is for your material to fall out, or become too tightly packed. If too much material falls out you'll end up with a pretty sad joint. If it gets too packed you'll have a hard time drawing smoke through it. Sometimes you're better off to just dump it and start over. Break up your material again, straighten your paper and refold it, or get a fresh one, then try again.

You're almost there. If you have small hands or short fingers, or just find yourself out of position, you might need to rearrange your grip so you can roll further. Keeping tension both ways, push up with your thumbs and down with your fingers and roll the paper up some more. Sometimes, after the tuck, the material is still too loose, or a bit out of shape. This can be remedied by rolling the paper back and forth, being careful not to unroll so far as to lose the tuck. Depending how well the material cooperates, you may need to shift your fingers and thumbs back and forth the length of the joint while rolling to ensure uniform shape and tightness.

Roll up the paper so that the glue strip and maybe a bit of bare paper are exposed.

Time to lick the paper. Pretty straightforward; use the tip of your tongue and try not to get it too wet, like I did in the picture. If you do get the paper too wet, be very careful while you finish rolling because the paper will tear very easily. It may seem a bit awkward, but it's best to hold the joint in both hands while licking it. It would be a shame to knock it out of your hand with your tongue and need to start all over again.

Roll a little bit further, gently pressing the wet glue strip down onto the paper with your fingers, making sure you get full contact and an airtight seal along the entire length. If some spots are too dry and don't stick enough to make a seal, you can lick those spots on the outside of the paper and enough moisture will soak through to activate the glue.

To prevent the material from falling out the end, most people twist the ends. Don't twist the ends too tight or you'll just have to untwist at least one of them that much more before you can light your joint and smoke through it. Make sure the end you are not twisting is raised, so material will be less inclined to fall out. Sometimes, instead of twisting, I just roll the ends of my joint between my thumb and forefinger. After the ends of the joint are twisted, and material that sticks out should be cleaned up.

Congratulations. Your joint should now be ready to smoke.

If, despite your best efforts, your joint is too loose to smoke, don't despair. If you hold one end in one hand and gently roll the other end, you can twist your whole joint to tighten it up. Or you can lay the joint in the palm of one hand, lay the other hand on top, palm to palm, and rotate your hands in opposite directions. That will twist the ends of the joint in opposite directions and tighten it up nicely.

Chapter 6

Smoking The Joint

Let's face it, burning pot stinks, so if you are going to smoke it, have the courtesy not to inflict the second hand smoke on anybody else. Some people are offended by the very idea of smoking pot. Don't make it easier for them to hate you.

Make sure the ends are loose so the smoke will have a free passage. Pick an end to light. On a symmetrical joint it doesn't really matter. If one end is noticeably smaller it could restrict the flow of smoke, especially after the roach clip is attached, so I generally light the larger end.

I use a disposable butane lighter. Matches are not as convenient. Lighter fluid stinks, and it taints your joint. I do not draw through the joint as I light it, unless the material is very wet and needs help. I just hold the tip of the joint, slanting up, in the flame. The bit of excess paper at the end will burn off. Then I rotate the joint in the flame for a few seconds, until the material is glowing hot and the paper is burning evenly all around. I shut off the lighter and then take a toke.

Toking a joint is not like puffing on a cigarette. You want to take in some air from outside the joint as you draw in the smoke, varying the amount according to personal taste and how well the joint is burning and how potent the smoke is. The noise you make while doing this is why toking is sometimes call hooting.

Because your material doesn't have additives like tobacco to make it burn slowly and evenly, you should try not to toke too fast. Toking too fast heats up the cherry and makes the smoke harsher, and it could cause the joint to get a run, where one side of the paper burns faster than the other. Frequently you will get a run anyway. If you don't deal with it you could waste a lot of material. There are two ways to deal with a run. You can wet a finger with saliva and moisten the side that burnt too fast, or you can use a lighter to burn away the paper on the side that burnt too slow. Be sure to put only the very edge of the paper to be burnt into the flame, as it is quite easy to torch your paper and make a worse run on that side. Sometimes on a bad run both methods must be employed, sometimes more than once. Often just paying attention can prevent a run from occurring in the first place, or getting out of hand if it does start.

I like to always use a roach clip because I have very dry skin, so I have trouble grabbing a roach with my fingers, and nobody likes it when you drop a joint into a puddle or through a crack in the floor. Also, holding onto a roach will make your fingers stink. For a roach clip I use a pair of tweezers held closed with a small rubber band. It has worked for me for decades. Any kind of alligator clip will work and roach clips are available in shops.

Save the roach, cut it up, and roll it into your next joint. Saving enough roaches to roll into a roach joint just makes a nasty joint that smells really bad, tastes awful and clogs up your throat and lungs like hot-knifing hash.

It might take quite a bit of practice before you start rolling good joints. When you do get good, don't fall into the trap of rolling joints for all your friends. If they can't roll for themselves, tell them to get a copy of this book at

And while you're there, check out some of Rik Hunik's other books, these two in particular.

Pot Flavoured Nursery Rhymes

The Sacred Stone Of The Gnarks, a stoner sword & sorcery adventure.

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