How to Smoke a Joint Properly

Video Article Summary


Smoking a pre-rolled joint is easy when you get the hang of it, but it can seem intimidating to beginners who just strolled out of a dispensary for the first time. After all, there are a lot of factors in play: rolling it, lighting it, holding it, and just knowing how to roll and smoke your pre-rolled joint without gagging like a kid sneaking one of his mom’s cigarettes. And don’t get us started on the often-unspoken social aspects of smoking weed, smoking a blunt, and using a lighter or match.

If it all seems a little confusing, have no fear. Our guide on how to smoke a joint should help clear the smoke for you.

How to Roll a Joint

Before you can start smoking a pre-rolled joint, you’ll need to learn how to roll one. You’ll need some weed, a cannabis grinder, and rolling papers. We also recommend having a business card, an index card, or another thick, sturdy paper product to use as a crutch (also known as a joint filter). Your crutch will add stability, improve your draw, and prevent you from burning your fingertips while holding the cigarette.

How To Roll A Joint
Source: @Picardonhealth
  1. Make your crutch.
    1. Cut your paper to a width of about ½” to ¾”.
    2. Make three or four accordion folds at the end of the paper. Basically, you’re trying to create a zig-zag letter-M shape.
    3. Pinch the folds and roll your crutch to the desired thickness of your pre-rolled joint.
  2. Use your grinder to ground your cannabis into shake. A half gram to a full gram is usually sufficient.
  3. Lay your rolling paper on a flat surface and place the crutch along one end. The crutch should be positioned so that the joint can wrap around it, leaving you with a convenient handle once the job is complete.
  4. Fill the rolling paper with your shake.
  5. Shape the joint with your fingers.
  6. Pinch the paper from end to end, and roll it back and forth between your fingers. This will help you to pack down the herb.
  7. Tuck the unglued side of the paper beneath the glued side, and use a bit of moisture from a lighter or match to activate the glue.
  8. Seal the joint by applying pressure to the adhesive from one end to the other.

How to Hold a Joint

There’s no right or wrong way to hold a joint, although some methods are more common than others. Some people hold it between the index and middle fingers like a cigarette. Some opt for the “chillum style,” where they slide the joint between the knuckles of their index and middle fingers and use their free palm to cover the bottom of their curled hand. Since the smoke only has one direction to go (up), this allows the user to inhale without touching their lips to the joint—just like using a chillum pipe.

Man Smoking A Pre-Rolled Joint


Perhaps the simplest and most common way to hold a pre-rolled joint, though, is to pinch it between the thumb and index finger. This makes it easier to hold on to the crutch and—in a social setting—makes it easier to pass the pre-rolled joint. Try holding it in different ways, and see which method is most comfortable for you.

How to Smoke a Joint

Man Hitting A Pre-Rolled Joint

To ensure the most enjoyable hit, start by drawing the smoke into your mouth. The biggest rookie mistake is drawing it directly into your lungs. Use your cheeks to draw the smoke into your mouth; then pull the pre-rolled joint away from your mouth and inhale deeply, allowing the smoke to be absorbed into your lungs along with a fresh supply of oxygen.

The combination of smoke and oxygen-rich air will provide a smoother, more flavorful hit with less irritation. Once the smoke hits your lungs, wait two seconds and exhale fully. You won’t benefit from holding it in any longer than that. You’ll just irritate your respiratory system and possibly start gagging.

The Rules of Joint Etiquette

Smoking a pre-rolled joint is most often a social experience, and if you do find yourself in one of these sacred circles, you don’t want to be guilty of breaking one of the—often unspoken—cardinal rules of joint etiquette.

Yield to More Experienced Rollers

If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you fall into the “beginner” category. If you know you’re not the best or most experienced roller in the group, allow one of the more seasoned smokers to take the lead. You don’t want to risk harshing everyone’s buzz with a poorly assembled pre-rolled joint. Your day will come. In the meantime, keep practicing your technique.

Wait Your Turn

Whoever rolled the pre-rolled joint is entitled to light it and take the first hits. If they choose to skip their first turn and hand it off to someone else, that’s their choice to make. Just make sure to wait your turn and

don’t reach for the pre-rolled joint before your time arrives. In most cases, the joint gets passed to the left, though it may also be passed to the right. Whichever way it moves through the circle, remember to respect the rotation.

Don’t Hog the Ganja

“Puff, puff, pass” is the general rule. In other words, take the pre-rolled joint, take two hits, and then pass it to the next person. Don’t take extra hits. Don’t hold on to the joint for five minutes while regaling your friends with amusing stories about the first time you tried edibles. Just enjoy your two hits and keep it moving.

Watch Your Saliva

Nobody wants a mouthful of your saliva, so be careful when taking your hits. Try not to touch the joint with your tongue or wet your lips before inhaling. If you do accidentally get a bit of saliva on the end (hey, it happens), just take a moment to wipe it before passing it off to the next person.

Don’t Ash Too Soon

You always want to tap the joint before passing it, lest you leave your neighbor covered in ash. However, make sure you wait until the tip of the pre-rolled joint contains just ash and embers. If you tap too soon, you’ll lose perfectly good smoked cannabis.

Don’t Pass the Roach

Finally, if you take the last hit, and it’s obvious that there’s nothing left to inhale, don’t pass it to the next person. You’re not doing anyone any favors. Just put out the remaining light and dispose of the pre-rolled joint.

How to Put Out a Joint

Now that you know how to smoke a pre-rolled joint, the last step is putting it out. The process is the same whether the joint is finished or you’re saving a portion of it for later.

In most cases, it’s as simple as licking your finger and tapping the lit end of the pre-rolled joint a few times. This won’t cause any pain or discomfort as long as you don’t allow your finger to remain on the tip. Once you’ve extinguished it, just blow on it a couple of times and you’re done.

Alternatively, you can place your unfinished pre-rolled joint inside of a pre-roll tube and seal it inside for later.

Cannabis Joint Terminology

Not every rolled weed receptacle is technically a joint, and you’ll save yourself a lot of embarrassment down the line if you’re able to properly identify joints vs. joint-adjacent consumables.

  • Joints: A joint is a thin marijuana cigarette consisting of cannabis flower rolled in a semi-translucent paper.
  • Blunts: Like a joint, a blunt is filled only with cannabis flower. However, it’s typically prepared with thicker tobacco paper, notable for its dark brown color. In some cases, a blunt might also be prepared with a hollowed cigar wrap. Blunts are thicker than joints and contain more herb.
  • Spliffs: A spliff looks like a joint but contains a combination of cannabis and tobacco. The tobacco helps mask the marijuana smell and also provides an initial head rush that heightens the experience. Note, however, that in places like Jamaica, a spliff may refer to a standard joint.
  • Blunt Wraps: Blunt wraps are the outer layer of a blunt, typically made from tobacco leaves or other materials, used to roll the cannabis and create a blunt.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you’re still struggling with how to smoke a pre-rolled joint, don’t worry. The best thing you can do is practice. Compare cannabis coupons and rolling paper coupons to find deals on everything you need. Then you don’t have to worry about every joint being perfect. You can just hone your skills and enjoy the experience.

Just keep at it, and before too long, everyone in the circle will be yielding to your superior rolling skills.

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