Rolling papers, can also be referred to as joint paper and cigarette rolling papers. These papers are made specifically for encasing the smoking of tobacco or cannabis. Rolling papers are made out of a variety of substances, many of which have their own distinctive characteristics. Smoking a joint isn’t just a way to pass the time or ‘drawn your sorrows away’. Neither is it just a quick means to an enjoyable end. Whether you’re smoking a joint, puffing on a spliff, or blazing a blunt, smoking your cannabis is a form of art. Picking the perfect rolling paper for you depends on a variety of factors. Each factor will create a completely different smoking experience.
The cannabis community is a diverse bunch, and most smokers tend to stick to their preferred brands where possible. Some of the more popular ones include Raw, Rizzla, OCB and Zig-Zag, but there is a whole bevy of lesser known brands to try too. There’s no need to discriminate; just select the best brand for you. Nothing quite beats the therapeutic process of rolling a fat joint or blunt. Whether for medicinal purposes or not, just the art of rolling will have you relaxed and ready for a happier headspace. It is as much a part of the process as the firing up of the joint itself.
Whether king sized, small sized, flavored or made from hemp, whatever paper you choose will curate a unique cannabis smoking experience for you.
What rolling papers are made of
Most rolling papers are made from fibres extracted from non-wood sources such as flax, hemp, sisal, rice straw, esparto, and others. Rolling papers (blanks) are used to encase cannabis either by hand-roll or machine-roll. They come in different dimensions, generally between 70 to 110 millimetres long, and may be flavoured to enhance the taste experience of terpenes. Some flavoured rolling paper varieties include blueberry, double chocolate, grape, and pineapple. The modern marijuana smoker is spoiled when it comes to spliff creation. Not only are there now a variety of cannabis strains on the market, there are also a multitude of rolling papers and an abundance of accessories to make the experience even better.
How are rolling papers made?
Rolling papers are made when fibres are extracted from these plants, pressed, and processed into a very thin paper. Along the way, most rolling papers are combined with chemicals calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, sodium and potassium citrate, and others to influence factors like paper colour, burn rate, and flavour.
Rolling paper specifications
Based on the type and duration of the blunt you prefer, there are several options you can choose from. If longer joints are your thing, you can also get slightly thicker, rice-based material. Because of the materials from which they are made, rolling papers are “wispy” when compared to cigarette wrappers. The size, length, thickness, and type of glue used on the paper you choose will all have an effect on how well your blunt burns.
Calcium carbonate (chalk) and chlorine are some unsavoury chemicals that could eventually find their way into your cannabis. Some blunt wraps and coloured papers also contain potassium nitrate, which has been linked to respiratory tract damage and lung disease.
Trouble choosing the right rolling papers?
Choosing the right rolling papers is a uniquely personal decision that has a huge impact on your marijuana-smoking experience. Size and flavour play the biggest role. Size: Selecting the right rolling paper size depends on what you’re going to smoke and how you want to smoke it. Generally, papers come in one of five sizes: Single, 1 1/4″, 1 1/2″, Double and King.
How to roll a joint
Here’s a simple, step-by-step method for rolling a killer joint.
1) Make the filter
Start by making the roach. This doesn’t filter the smoke, but it keeps the smoke flowing smoothly and prevent last-puff lip burn. You can make your filter from any thin, pliable cardstock.
2) Lay out your rolling paper
Place your rolling paper long-ways on the table with the glue side facing up. The glue strip should be the length furthest away from you.
3) Add your favourite weed
Crush up a bud or two of your favourite strain and sprinkle it down the middle of your paper (lengthwise). Be sure to leave some room around the edges.
Take the side closest to you (it shouldn’t have glue on it), fold it slightly over the bud, and start rolling everything into a tube.
5) Close & twist
When you’re done rolling a tube, lick the glue strip, and press it (gently) against the exposed rolling paper. Then, twist the end without the filter to keep all the canna-goodness inside.
6) Light up & enjoy
This step is self-explanatory.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ROLLING PAPERS
A good rolling paper made from natural materials improves the quality of the smoking experience. Several types of papers are available to address the cannabis smoker’s needs. The choice between wood, rice, hemp, and other fibres depends on taste, smoking speed, rolling skills, and other factors.
Traditional rolling papers are made from wood pulp, which has pros and cons when it comes to smoking. In the last 20 years, more and more cannabis-focussed, health-conscious papers have entered the market, with rice, hemp, and even transparent cellulose rolling papers produced to satisfy the demands of a more conscious public. Each kind of rolling paper has its own unique characteristics that appeal to different kinds of smokers.
To help you make an informed decision when buying your next pack of papers, here is a list of the most common materials and their characteristics. The rolling paper materials can change major aspects of your smoking sessions, from how long it takes to roll your cigarette, to how slow the burn is once you start puffing away.
WHITE OR BROWN?
Rolling papers may have different porosity to control ventilation and burning rate. Apart from this, the paper can contain additional substances that slow down the burning, stabilize the paper itself, its smoke, and its ash. White rolling papers usually have a chemical component which is chlorine or calcium carbonate, which help slow down the burn. Flavoured and coloured rolling papers also contain chemicals or even natural substances that have no real reason to be inhaled. Nowadays, many papers from respectable brands are made without chemical treatments or materials that improve combustion, reducing the possible harm and aftertaste of your smoke.
CLASSIC WOOD PULP PAPER
Wood pulp rolling papers are the most popular papers, and this has been true for more than a century. They can even be blended with other fibres, and their texture makes them easy to handle. On average, these papers are thicker than the newer types, with a medium burn rate. Even if they are actually available in a few different thicknesses, bleached or unbleached. White wood pulp papers are bleached while brown ones are not. Wood pulp is solid, and the handy texture of these papers makes them convenient for beginners because they hold their shape well, even in presence of a little humidity and sweaty hands.
BARELY-THERE RICE PAPER
The best rice papers are made from all natural ingredients, these rolling papers are usually thinner than others. This is a good thing for your lungs, due to its thinness it may require a little more effort when you’re rolling. It’s pretty vulnerable to certain conditions, especially damp air. Rice paper is thin, yet burns slowly. The little material used for a single sheet makes it a good choice for your health and for enjoying your weed without almost any external aftertaste.
Organic Rolling Papers
When papers market themselves as organic, you can be sure that they are free of bleach and other unnecessary chemical additives. Organic products are all the rage nowadays, and for good reason. Nobody wants to worry about what’s in their rolling paper beyond what herbs are packed in there!
Cellulose Rolling Papers
Transparent rolling papers are a super fun way to smoke, letting you (and everyone else) get a peek at the yummy herbs inside your cigarette. Produced from Asiatic Cotton Mallow, these are totally natural and tree-free, with no gum necessary because the rolling paper will stick together with only a quick lick. With a smooth, clean burn, these won’t produce much ash and easily lend themselves to everyday smoking.
Gold Rolling Papers
On the flip side of the “everyday smoke” lifestyle lies gold rolling papers. Gold rolling papers are the most extra way to have an unforgettable smoke sesh. Gold rollers are used for luxury.
You can find papers of any crazy colour and flavour, or even transparent ones without added flavour that are made from cellulose. Novelty papers can be fun to try once if you just can’t resist. After that, it’s a good idea to gradually learn how to roll with the unprocessed, thinnest paper available in order to reduce the amount of dangerous substances you inhale and avoid spoiling the taste of good cannabis. The thinnest papers weigh around 10g/m², and all major brands offer different dimensions for these products. Again, picking a wider or longer paper, or one made from rice instead of hemp largely depends on individual taste and smoking behaviour. Have fun and experiment!
HEMP IS A SMOKER’S FRIEND
Industrial hemp proudly came back in the last 20 years, and hemp rolling papers were immediately appreciated by the community. First off, these papers help save trees since they are made from hemp fibre. Their colour is mainly light brown because the bleaching process is usually not appreciated by cannabis consumers. Hemp papers are thicker and rougher than rice papers, providing a good grip when rolling. However, they have a similar tendency to absorb (and eventually release) humidity. They have a medium burn rate and go out less often than rice papers. Joints made with hemp papers might take on a delicate aftertaste that won’t spoil the aroma of the burning herb they wrap.