How to Roll a Joint: 5 Steps (with Pictures)

How to roll a joint

Learning how to roll a joint is a rite of passage for the majority of cannabis users. Here’s how to do it in the next 5 minutes.

Joints, J’s, doobies, spliffs, Dutch cigs, reefers, whatever you call them — they’ve been around for quite some time.

Joints have been the staple mark of the weed industry since its initial days.

Back when cigarettes weren’t sold in packs and boxes, the art of rolling a perfect cone joint was truly appreciated and knowing a few joint rolling techniques is still a sought-after skill in the 420 community.

How to roll a joint (step by step)

Rolling tools

Enhance your joint rolling skills with our step-by-step guide on how to roll a joint, where we not only cover the basics but also provide invaluable rolling tips to elevate your cannabis smoking experience.

For rolling a joint you will need the following:

  • Half a gram of cannabis
  • Rolling papers – make sure you have more than one
  • Aluminum 2-piece grinder (to finely grind the buds)
  • A piece of hard cardboard for a filter

Step 1: Break down the bud

Breaking the bud

If you have the weed strain of your choice at hand, grab a herb grinder (if you have one) as it will make the process of breaking down weed a lot easier.

Don’t forget that strains that tend to be stickier are more prone to being harder to grind and you may have to break down those nugs by hand.

If you don’t have a grinder at hand, don’t worry, you can also break the bud with your fingers or try other alternatives.

Step 2: Make a crutch A.K.A the filter

Crutch a.k.a. joint filter

Most people prefer smoking joints with a crutch, otherwise known as a joint filter. They are usually made of thin cardboard sheets or thicker paper.

Some rolling papers usually come packed with as many filters as there are papers in the box so buying those types of paper can spare you the hustle of finding the perfect filter material right before going through this tutorial.

The easiest way to make a filter is to take a piece of thick paper and fold the first few millimetres of it 2-3 times and then roll it up in the same direction.

This will make it so that weed residue won’t go into your mouth through the filter hole in the middle of it.

Step 3: Fill the paper and pack the weed

Filling the paper

Some people consider packing the joint properly to be the hardest part about rolling a joint. The way we at Greencamp do it is as follows:

  1. Put the filter on one side of the paper, with the sticky part of it being on the upper side and turned towards you.
  2. Take the weed that you previously ground and put it in the paper. You want to have a bit less of it by the filter and a bit more at the end in order to get that cone shape we are hoping for.
  3. Take the bottom side of the paper (the non-sticky side) and pinch it together with the upper side.
  4. Begin forming the joint by pressing the weed down, and dragging the bottom part of the paper downwards as well.

Step 4: Roll it up

Rolling a joint

As you are pressing and pushing the weed down with your fingers, start rolling it up slowly with your filter thumb.

The other thumb should be going upwards from the filter, tucking in the bottom side of the rolling paper.

Doing this simultaneously while rolling the filter upwards will start giving it the cone shape.

Lick the sticky part of the upper side of the paper and slowly keep rolling the joint.

Step 5: Wrap it up

Wrapping a joint

Stick a cigarette filter (or something of similar shape and weight) into the top of the joint and tap the filter against a hard surface a few times in order to pack your joint better.

Wrap the top and light up your first joint.

Congratulations — you’ve learned how to roll a standard joint.

Let’s explore more variations.

How to roll a cross joint

Cross joints gained in popularity ever since Seth Rogen introduced them to the world on the big screen in his movie Pineapple Express.

Basically, what you will need to do is roll 2 joints, one thicker and longer and one shorter, approximately the same thickness as the crutch.

Once you’ve rolled the bigger joint, use a needle to punch through it near the top, approximately two-thirds way from the crutch.

Punch the hole through the joint on both sides, and slowly and gently expand the hole with the needle.

Once you’ve expanded the hole on both sides, try to slide the thinner joint through the hole on both ends.

Use some sticky tape from the rolling papers (cut the top of the paper with scissors) to secure the cross part so that it doesn’t fall out.

How to roll a pinner

Cone vs pinner joint


Pinners are great for people that don’t want to waste weed, especially when smoking alone. After all, they get their name after being so slim — like a pin.

Sure, there are better ways to smoke a small amount of weed, like using a vaporizer, but for some people, nothing gives a satisfying high like a joint or a blunt.

Pinners are quite easy to roll, but you have to know the basics of rolling a standard joint to make a pinner.

The technique is the same as rolling a joint, but you have to press down harder on it. The only major difference is that the top of the pinner is the same width as the crutch.

This is why you have to push down on the bud in the paper a lot harder, in order to pack it down and burn equally on all sides, otherwise, there’s gonna be a lot of canoeing.

How to roll a spliff

If you haven’t figured it by now, spliffs are just joints with tobacco in the mix. They aren’t a lot different when it comes to rolling.

The only minor difference which you’ll notice only when you’ve already rolled hundreds and thousands of joints is that tobacco and weed feel a bit different when you push down on the paper.

Tobacco is usually much drier, while weed tends to be a bit ‘spongy’ and it can push back a bit more than the tobacco.

How to roll an L joint

L joint


L joints get their name from the shape they are in before you roll them up. This is achieved by taping two pieces of paper together.

L joints are well suited for a large joint-smoking audience, as you can fit more weed than in a regular joint.

Take two papers from the box, and cut one in half, but somewhat diagonally. Take one of the halves and stick it vertically to the main paper at the and, so that you get the L shape we’re trying to achieve.

Make sure you are very careful when rolling up L joints because they are somewhat fragile due to their length.

How to roll a joint inside-out

Inside-out joints, also known as dutch joints, are very similar in size and shape to regular cone joints. However, there is one small difference in the way the joint is rolled.

Inside-out joints are rolled with the sticky part of the rolling paper on the “wrong” side.

So, keep the sticky part of the paper on the outside, fill it up with weed, and gently roll up the joint to the point that the sticky part is touching the rest of the paper.

Lick the rolling paper (the sticky part) on the outside of the joint, and stick the paper to it by constantly rolling it up.

Once you roll it up all the way to the top, give it a minute to dry and stick, and feel free to rip off the excess paper.

Inside-out joints are favored among people who don’t like the taste of paper, so this technique is perfect for when you want to get the full taste of the weed.

How to roll a tulip joint

Tulip joint

I rolled only a couple of tulip joints in my life because I believe them to be a waste of weed.

The tulip joint is popular among novel smokers that are in it for the high, but they are not so practical for everyday smokers.

This is another two-part joint, as you’ll need to roll a standard joint in a king size rolling paper and add a second one for the ‘tulip’.

I’ve even seen people using a sort of cardboard straw, instead of the joint for the elongated part. Make sure you don’t twist the top of this joint because the top will go in the tulip part.

Once you’ve got that handled, make a small rope from one or two papers by rubbing them together between your hands.

Take another three rolling papers, and stick them together so that you have an almost square paper surface with the sticky part on one of the four edges.

Fold that paper so that you make a cone, and stick it all together with that one sticky edge. You should now have a sealed triangle, that is actually a cone when you spread the edges.

Full the paper cone with weed, as much as you can fit in it. Now, take the joint you rolled previously and put the top of it in the open part of the tulip.

After you’ve connected these two parts, twist the edges of the tulip part around the joint, and use the tiny rolling-paper rope you made to secure the tulip to the joint.

Go crazy with it

Once you get the hang of how easy rolling actually is, you can start making your own designs and techniques.

Did you know that there are organizations that fund competitive joint-rolling? Yep, not only that but there are hundreds of people competing every day.

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About the author
Alex Trpkovich

Experienced cannabis content creator, writing about the latest cannabis news, stock market updates and cannabis culture.

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