There are a lot of ways to get your rolling done: rolling like a cowboy, rolling on the river (with Tina or Creedence), or without the G like Fred Durst. You can roll down the hill, roll in dough, roll the ball out, roll like a stone, or roll away the dew (for 9:50). You can even roll a drunk, roll bones, or roll face if that’s your thing, but today we are going to focus on rolling up your weed.
There was a time – back when I was smoking but not yet shaving very often – when the only option for “building a joint” (as our Jamaican friends would say) was to use basic, conventional papers like the ones we grew up watching Clint Eastwood and the rest of the cowpokes spin in the movies, right before they would cook a dinner of beans on the campfire and fart all night to keep warm. There were Zig Zags and there were EZ Widers.
The upside to the old lack of paper options: There was not much thought to waste while standing in the gas station, either already blazed or itching to be so. Those were the only brands available, and there were, like, two sizes per brand. The downside: They were the two smallest sizes, and therefore the most difficult, and least forgiving, of the dozens of options we have available to us today.
Fast forward three decades or so and the game has changed considerably. A 0.41-second Google search for “cannabis rolling papers” reveals about 4,290,000 results, including High Times’ “10 Best Rolling Papers of 2017,” flavored papes, foot-longs, 100 mg THC infused papes (Yoooooo!!!), and, for reasons that are beyond the reach of my imagination, a 24-karat gold version, which has a website that includes a product statement translated from English, to Swahili, to Danish, to Algonquin, to Catalan Spanish (or maybe Basque), to Ancient Sanskrit, all before being rendered back to English and posted.
And, it is not just rolling papers that folks are loading with their (very, very, very, very well broken-up) bud as we begin our cruise through the second half of 2018. Blunts, prepared from actual cigars that are sliced open and their guts dumped out the old school way, or from prepackaged tobacco leaf wraps (in nearly infinite flavors) that eliminate the need for a blade or sharp thumbnails. There are also cones, both self-built and store bought – nifty little tubes that you pour your bud into to produce a half-ready-made joint – are also among the rolling options to play around with.
I am going to roll up this article with a joint-rolling tutorial I put together a couple years back, and a few of the pertinent bits of advice I can wrangle on the topic of rolling anything for you and yours.
1. Fucking break the fucking bud the fuck up! No! More! Nooo! Mooore! More! More! OK. Blunt wraps are the most forgiving of weak efforts in the grinding/tearing realm, and thin papers are the least so, as they will rip, usually punctured from the inside by a stem overlooked by the individual, who is too sloppy, lazy, or high to do their job properly. Don’t be that individual.
2. When rolling a blunt, make a small (approximately ¼ inch) tear on the top edge (the one that will be licked to seal the deal). This will allow you to seal the blunt in two parts. Do the end that will be smoked first, and then overlap the end that is to be lit. This will make a piece that is slightly wider in the middle than it is at both ends, and will make your efforts consistently better.
3. When rolling a joint, take a minute to wad up the paper between your thumbs and forefingers, and tussle and squeeze it until it is no longer slick, but instead has dozens of tiny little creases. This trick, more than any other I can think of, will improve your joints.
4. Eat the roach. My Uncle Dan-o always does and he is right. It is decarboxylized and soaked in rich resinous goodness.
Most of all, enjoy! (And practice…a bunch).
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected]