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Why The Classic Joint Reigns Supreme

Cannabis consumption is constantly evolving and today’s users are blessed with a variety of ways to get high, from high-tech vaporizers to outlandish edibles to colorful bowls. Despite all the innovation, the classic joint remains a favorite among marijuana enthusiasts—from low-key East Coast dispensaries (like ours) to laid-back West Coast ones—providing an analog solution in a digital world.

What is a Cannabis Joint?

From Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday to Jimmy Hendrix and Bob Marley to Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa, joints are an iconic part of not just pot culture, but pop culture. For something so celebrated, joints are remarkably simple, consisting of just two to three parts:

  • Rolling paper: the classic is white and cigarette sized, but papers come in a variety colors, patterns, and sizes.
  • Cannabis: a joint just contains marijuana and no extra fillers like tobacco. 
  • Crutch: also sometimes called a filter, tip, or mouthpiece. Equipping a joint with a crutch is optional, but their benefits are numerous:
    • Keeps the end of your joint open
    • Increases airflow, which makes smoking easier 
    • Prevents you from inhaling plant material
    • Allows you to you burn your joint all the way 
    • Prevents you from burning your fingers or lips

7 Reasons Why Joints Rule 

  1. Immediate Feeling: Joints kick in almost immediately—taking anywhere from mere minutes to a half hour to deliver a high—offering quite a contrast to edibles, which can take up to two hours to deliver the desired effect. 
  2. Taste: Some argue joints are the top choice of marijuana connoisseurs, allowing enthusiasts to savor the flavor of their favorite herb without introducing other flavors like cigar leaf or tobacco. It’s worth noting that there are numerous flavored rolling papers available for those with palettes that crave more variety.   
  3. Discreet: Unlike brightly colored bongs and intricately designed pipes, joints more easily blend into everyday life. From a distance, they look like common cigarettes and are easily disposed of when finished—especially when hanging out outside. 
  4. Cost Efficient: Simple rolling papers are comparatively cheap compared to fancy bongs, bowls, and vapes. They’re also available everywhere from your local dispensary to the corner store. 
  5. Adaptable: You can roll a joint for almost any occasion and number of people, from a small joint for a quiet night at home to a monster J to share with a group of friends.  
  6. Social: Joints aren’t the only thing getting sparked during a smoking session—so is conversation. Passing a joint around is the ultimate ice breaker, as everyone anxiously awaits their turn to puff. 
  7. Artful: Rolling a joint is an art, and experts are true craftsmen concocting crazy shapes including crosses, tulips, and braids. While it might take a while to perfect your shotgun joint, rolling a regular joint is surprisingly simple and requires just a little practice. 

How to Roll a Joint

The ability to roll a joint is a timeless skill and easy to learn. Just follow the steps below, put in a little practice, and you’ll be rolling envy-inducing Js in no time. 

  1. Gather Supplies: Cannabis, papers, crutch, and grinder. A dabber tool, pen, or something similar is often also useful to pack the joint.  
  2. Grind: A grinder ensures a fine, even grind that provides optimal airflow and a smooth burn rate. An added benefit of using a grinder—as opposed to breaking it down manually—is that it keeps your hands from getting sticky, which can make handling rolling papers tricky. 
  3. Create a Crutch: Make an accordion-like fold in sturdy paper or thin cardboard—rolling paper packaging and business cards are the go-to options—then roll it into the thickness of the joint you’re going to roll. A crutch is optional, but once you get in the habit of using one you’ll find it tough to go back to smoking old-school joints. If making your own crutch feels like too much work, a dispensary near you should carry premade ones.  
  4. Fill: Place the crutch (if you choose to use one) at one end of the rolling paper, fill the paper with shake (finely ground cannabis), and shape the joint with your fingers. Wondering how much cannabis to put in your joint? A 2015 survey found the average joint contains about 3.3 grams of marijuana.  
  5. Roll: Once a joint is loaded and formed, it’s time to roll. Pinch the paper between your fingers and roll starting on the clutch end with the non-glued side of the rolling paper. When you reach the glued side of the paper, use a little bit of moisture to secure the seal. 
  6. Pack: Use a dabber tool, pen, house key, or something similar to pack the end of the joint for a better burn.   

The Takeaway 

Whether you’re excited about edibles or vote to vape, the classic joint isn’t going anywhere and the ability to roll a J is prized in pot culture. Of course, if you lack the dexterity or just want the convenience of smoking without the trouble of rolling, hit up your local dispensary for pre-rolled joints which provide all the benefits of the classic J with none of the effort.

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