Take the pot and crush it really thoroughly. It's tough to roll with any big (or even small) chunks. Once you have a decent amount, take two Zigzags, lick one and stick the other to it, making sort of a wide paper. Grab the pot and put it on the paper. Roll it vaguely like one would do while rolling cigarettes. Once you have it looking like a cigarette, roll one end really tight. Grab some heavy paper, like the jacket off of the Zigzags, tear a piece off, and roll it to approximately the diameter of the joint. Stick it down into the open side of the joint, compacting the pot a bit (not too much). You'll hold the joint from this end. Once it's as good as it's going to get, lick the open end's paper and adhere it to the heavy paper cylinder. Light the rolled-up end (not the heavy paper, but the rolled-up Zigzag end), let the excess paper burn off. You know what comes next.

Warning: This is extremeley difficult, especially when you've had a few. Get someone to show you, or, better, get someone to do it for you :)

Get a good, clean, workable surface. I prefer a large, thin book placed on my lap. Take some marijuana and tear or cut it up into pieces as small as you can reasonably make them. I usually use my fingers, because they're always on hand, but scissors are actually best because less of the precious THC-gunk will rub off and get lost on them. Stop when you think you have enough. You can always break up more later.

Take out a rolling paper and lay it down on the surface with the glue side furthest away from you (with the adhesive strip facing you). I prefer size 1 1/4 rolling paper, because you get good sized joints. The fold in the middle of the paper makes it rest on one half or another. Rest it on the half with the glue, sticky side up, and pile on your broken up weed, near the fold.

Once you have enough on the paper, pick it up and let the weed rest in the fold. If the weed is all over the place, then tame it down into an orderly little line by poking at it and so forth. Take the paper and weed by both hands with the thumbs on your side and the fingers away from you. Squeeze a little bit and start sliding the joint between your thumb and fingers so that the weed rolls into a nicely compacted line. Don't worry too much about it falling out the sides; just pick it up and put it back in any areas that seem too thin. The weed will soon get even and tight enough that this won't happen anymore.

If you find that your joint is too loose, you can take a pen or pencil and sit it on top of the line of weed as you compact and roll it. This can make a joint that's way too tight if you're not careful, though.

Once the weed is even and has the right density, roll the line of weed to near the bottom of the paper (away from the glue) so that you have a nice little open cylinder of marijuana with the adhesive part of the paper sticking up at the back.

Now comes the hard part.

You can either lick the glue before or after rolling it all up. These days I prefer licking after rolling, because I can usually get a nicer looking, more even joint that way. Licking it before rolling can be easier, though, because everything holds together better as you roll. If you're licking before the roll, just lick the glue to the edges, and roll the thing up. It will be tricky to get everything to hold together properly as you roll; the weed has a tendency to slide around a lot. A little saliva on the paper covering the marijuana at the bottom will make a bond just strong enough to hold the line of weed in place relative to the paper. Too much saliva can weaken the paper and make it fall apart, though, so be cautious.

As you roll, make sure that everything rolls up nice and secure. You don't want to give the paper any more slack than is necessary, or else the joint will be too loose. On the other hand, you don't want the joint too tight or else you won't be able to get a good draw from it.

If you're rolling dry and licking afterwards, you roll it up completely and then, while still holding it all together with your fingers, (since it won't stick together by itself) you lick the outside of the rolled joint at the seam. Your saliva soaks through to the adhesive from the other side of the paper, so you may need to lick it more thoroughly than otherwise.

Once you have it rolled up, take a look at both ends and decide which is going to have the filter. Depending on how filled up each end is, you may want to add (or take away) some weed now to get everything just right. Tweezers are good for this if things are too small for your fingers to deal with accurately. You can also take one end between your lips and suck in bits of weed into the other end like a straw. Take the end that is filled up the most and twist it off. Lick the twist to activate the glue and make everything secure.

Now it's time to make the filter out of some card stock. A business card works best. I recommend not using the rollie package for this because then the rest of the rollies in the package are more susceptible to moisture damage and so forth. Cut or fold-and-tear-off a strip running the width of the business card. The width of this strip is going to be the length of the filter, equal to the space between the edge of the weed and the edge of the paper (about half a centimetre or less).

Roll up this strip into a coil shape, and tear off some of the end if you think it's going to be too big. There should be some spring in the coil, so that when you insert it into the joint it expands a little to fit snugly in place. I find that if you uncoil and then recoil it, it can get some more spring. When it's the right diameter for the joint, compact it a bit so that it goes in easily, then let it expand to fill the space. You can help it along by spreading it with tweezers or a nail file or something like that. If it turns out to be too big, just tear off some of the strip to make a smaller coil.

If it's way too small and you don't want to make another filter, you can tear off the end of another rolling paper to use as a bandage. By rolling this around the filter end with a good dose of saliva, you can make it as tight as your filter needs it to be in order to stay in place. There's nothing more annoying that having the filter fall out of the joint you're smoking.

Now the only thing left to do is baptize it. This is accomplished by taking the whole joint into your mouth and covering it with a little saliva. This process is half ritual and half function. It signifies that a new joint has been born, and it also makes everything stick together a little better, making it more sturdy in general.

By now you should have a fully functional marijuana cigarette. If you don't, then something must have gone wrong. Don't feel too bad, though: the first few joints you roll will invariably turn out badly. The good news is that you'll learn quickly. Rolling a joint is all about dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and being perceptive and sensitive to what's going on. As such, the only way to get better is to practice. Roll a joint, tear it up, roll another with the same weed, and repeat until you're good at it. No matter how good you are, though, you'll always have the odd botched job.

I find now that rolling a joint when I'm sober is about as challenging as loading a pez dispenser when I'm really stoned. And rolling a joint when I'm really stoned is harder than just about anything, especially when I'm huddled in an empty pool late at night in below-freezing temperatures with high winds. Luckily a joint doesn't have to be perfect to be smokeable.

Now pay attention kids...
  1. Buy good weed. Simple as that. If you have crappy leaf that breaks all over, it'll be a titantic bitch to roll a good one. Plus, sticky (read higher quality) weed is far easier to roll.

  2. Chop and clean. Remove all seeds and remove the bud from the stems. Throw the damn stems away. Using (scissors/herb grinder/etc) cut the now cleaned weed into a nice pile. A guide for consistency is a bit rougher than the oregano you can buy at the store. You could of course chop it finer, but you might end up trying to smoke what amounts to a solid stick of weed. The air needs some space to flow through...

  3. This is where everyone fucks up. Anyone can buy good weed, and anyone can chop it. Its the shaky fingered mangling and panic rolling that creates those crappy joints that fall apart and waste your weed.

    First take a paper out of your rolling papers. Smooth it out, remove that damned crease. Then (pay attention) hold the paper with your thumbs and middle fingers on the four corners of the paper. (Left middle finger on the upper left corner, left thumb on the lower left, etc. If you cant figure this out, you really dont need the, um, "depressant" effects of weed) Then, use your index fingers on both hands to make the paper into a trough.

    Remove one of your hands. You should have a paper trough blocked by your index finger on one end, and open on the other end. Use your free hand to put the chopped weed in the paper. Place your hands back into the position you had them before.

    Now, carefully keeping the paper in a trough, remove your index fingers. Roll the paper back and forth in your fingers, up and down. This will cause the weed to form a cylinder, loosely held together by its own moisture. Some stuff will probably fall out the edges, more likely a whole lot if you're starting out. Try holding your index fingers close to the open ends to stop this, but some spillage is inevitable. Just relax.

    When you think you've rolled it enough to cause the weed to form a cylinder, roll the paper down far enough to fold the paper into the cylinder shape. Use your thumbs to push it around the weed cylinder you've made, then with a quick roll of the wrists, you've got it rolled. Lick the sticky gum side, and press to the joint.

  4. Finishing it off. Take some stiffer paper (anywhere from cardboard to envelope paper, anything lighter tends to get all gummy and ruined with saliva). Cut out a strip about a quarter to a half inch wide and anywhere from 3 inches to 10 inches in length (depending on the weight of the paper) and roll it into a cylinder. This is now your filter. Poke it into one end of the joint you've rolled, and make sure it expands enough in there to stay in and not let any weed fall out. Should be easy enough.

    Then take a (paintbrush/keys/pencil/etc) and use it to poke the weed down from the other end. The idea here is to compress the weed slightly so it burns slower and you don't waste your weed when you're just holding the joint. It's a fine art... too much tamping the weed down and you've got yourself something you need to pull insanely hard on. Too little and the joint will fall apart/burn way too fast. Once you're satisfied, pinch any excess rolling paper on the remaining open end and twist it. This keeps the weed from falling out of the end you're lighting.

Now you have a wonderful joint. What you do now is up to you.

How to create a shockingly good joint with zero experience:

This can't really be called rolling a joint, can it?

First off, a word of warning. This will not get you girls, or impress your more-experienced drug friends. What it is is the cheapest, easiest, cut-corner way to roll a joint EVER. You can be quite inebriated and still roll a perfect one, even if you have little to no experience. This was thought up halfway through a drinking binge in frosh week when fine motor skills meant little to me, and I obtained a certain clarity of thought only drunkards can. Intruiged? Read on...

Firstly, chop the weed finely. This is easy. If you cant do this, dont smoke weed. Seriously. Drugs are not for you.

Secondly, grab a pencil or pen that's roughly the circumference of the joint you're looking to roll. If you're human, use a pencil without any jaggy bits poking off of it. If you're inhuman, use a giant marker or whatever shiny thing grabs your attention. Take a rolling paper (or more than one pasted together if its some ungodly huge marker say) and wrap it around the pencil/pen. Lick the gummy part of the rolling paper, complete the roll, and you now have a paper tube wrapped around your pen. Slide the paper tube off the pen just a bit, and put a filter in one end. If you need more help with that, see how to roll a joint.

Now comes the long boring part. Hey, you're bored already though, because you're obviously smoking weed. Take your paper tube with a filter in one end off the pen and start putting the weed in the open end. This is hard and boring, but patience is a virtue. Once you have about a quarter inch of loose weed in the tube, insert the pen into the tube, and press the loose shake down. Oddly enough, it fits perfectly inside the tube and has a convenient flat end to tamp down the weed! Unless of course you screwed up rolling the tube or are pushing the pointy end in the paper tube. Dumbass. Anyhoo, keep repeating this (fill with weed, tamp down) until you:

  1. run out of space in the tube
  2. run out of weed

Now close the end of the joint off, pinch and roll the loose paper at the end between your fingers so it doesnt open up and spill precious marijuana out, and you're done. Wow, perfectly round, nice and tight isn't it? Just don't tell anyone how you did it and you'll be fine.

University brings us so many new discoveries, doesn't it?

These make sense when you try them, and can see what I'm talking about.

Extra Long (I): take two rolling papers, lick some of the glue of one of them. Stick the two papers together, so that they overlap with the edges in parallel. What you should have should look like an extra long rolling paper, so proceed to roll like you normally would. Be sure to have the papers connected so that the glue is on the same side, so that it is one long line.

Extra Long (II): Connect two papers, but in an "L" shape. Stick paper1's wet glue onto the very edge of paper2. Before starting to distribute the chosen substance, fold paper2 like normal, along the crease, but continue the crease along onto paper1. When you roll up, roll it as you would normally but you will need to wrap the extension more times than the other part of the blunt, as the whole of paper1 is waiting to be used. This isn't as long as Extra Long (I).

Extra wide: Take two papers, and lick the whole of paper1's glue. stick this along the edge of paper2, the edge without the glue on it, otherwise you'll end up with an extra wide paper with glue in the middle but no glue on the edges. Some people prefer to stick the two papers together at an angle, so it has more of a cone shape, and a thinner end to insert in the mouth. This will cause an extra flap of paper in the middle, which can either be left to burn or ripped of, gently, once the glue has dried.

The Flatty: take two papers and stick them together, like the extra thick. Then, in the end you wish to put in your mouth, put multiple filters or roaches (3 is a good number). Keep then in a line as you roll, so that when you finish you have a nice wide mouthpiece. Gently flatten the joint on a table or cd case (whichever is nearest) so that the joint takes the shape of the filter-end. This will give you quite a headrush.

The Mustache: make yourself an extra long roach, then roll a joint on each end of it. But how would one smoke it? No worries. Poke a hole in the middle of the roach. When the two ends start getting nearer to each other, and you start feeling the corners of your mouth getting burned, you should be able to slide one joint off the roach (if you haven't rolled too tight) and have two seperate joints. This is a pointless structure, but it's a good party trick for family reunions.

The Triangular: Stick two papers together, then take three filters or roaches. (If you use roaches, try and make them the same size.) Place two of the filters/roaches next to each other in the filter-end, and one on top, so you have a triangular shape. (^) Roll with this, and try to keep it together in the pyramid shape. Once the rolling is complete, flatten each side on a table (or be cool and use that cd case) to sharpen the edges and corners. Ta-da. Very cool, but very pointless. It has recently occured to me that one could, if they were feeling idle enough, take 6 roaches, or even 10, and make some properly huge 4-3-2-1 triangle of a mouthpiece, and have some big-ass triangular joint. Hm....

The square: Much the same as the triangular, but use 4 roaches to have a square-shaped end. This will fit better in your mouth than a triangle. I figure if you use a big enough paper constuction, and enough filters, you can pretty much make any geometrical shape. Heh.


A suggestion on filters:

When rolling the filter in, I like to take the bottom third of a post-it note (the non-glue side of course!), and roll it to the same size I would a standard business card type filter. I will admit there is something nice about using cardstock quality paper as a filter, but you can fold the piece of post-it note into itself enough that it'll be pretty sturdy. Then just roll that post-it note filter in like you would've a normal filter. The advantage? You'll notice that when smoking joints with filters (especially if it's not the first joint of the session) that it can be rather hard to tell when you've hit the filter. By the time all that resiny smoke passes through, everything's sort of a uniform brown color. But with a bright yellow post-it note, you can always tell where the good stuff stops and the filter starts, so you're not sitting there trying to relight a worthless roach. Very handy.

I'm, of course, not encouraging illegal activity. If you're applying this technique, I'm assuming you live in Amsterdam, or some other place where this won't be a problem with the appropriate legal authorities. Right?

Complicated set of instructions I learned from an old Brit in a coffeeshop in Amsterdam. He then gave me a rolling mat, which I lost right before a road trip. Sad me!

The best rolling mats are made from antique Chinese tea coasters, which can be found at Chinese tchotchke stores nearest you (they're not all antique, after all) If you can't find a Chinese tea coaster, get yourself a maki rolling mat used for making California rolls and the like.

Now you must ensure that if you're using bud you crush and crumble it throroughly. Make it into a powder. Just use your fingers and pretend you're making flour. The substance you end up with will not exactly be a powder but it'll be right close. If you have good hash, you need either tobacco or this crumbled bud powder, and you fluff up the hash with a lighter and then crumble it in. You may wish to ask your hash supplier for a demonstration.

Cup your non-dominant hand slightly and hold the rolling mat in it so that there is a little ditch, sort of. Align your zigzag or whatnot roughly dead center in the rolling mat. The glue end should be facing up and away from you but at a parallel to the direction you are facing. (That is, lay the thing out parallel to you and not perpendicular to you.)

Now you put two decent sized lumps of this newly crumbled bud at roughly equal distances from the center and edges of the rolling paper and enough to cover the rest of the paper in a thin layer.

You are now ready to begin rolling. Using thumb and forefinger from both hands, place them under the two lumps of bud, and slowly rock the rolling mat back and forth in your fingers until you see a vaguely cigarette shape forming out of the crumbled bud. Continue to slowly work the embryonic joint shape until it appears as though it will hold firmly, and roll the gummed end of the paper up until you notice that you can now fold the non-gummed end of the paper in merely by applying a little extra pressure with your pincers. Roll the gummed end back down, pausing to lick it on the way down, and when you're through, you should have a joint.

Words of advice for getting started, do this over a table, the rolling mat is there to catch the extraneous pot but the table will catch more. Don't forget to put in a filter or spliff card or something (previous w/u's have that bit covered). Also try this by yourself, when you've got enough weed to play with, you'll get the hang of it eventually, remember that the mat doesn't make the joint, you do, the mat just helps you shape the perfect cylinder of pot so that when you perform the final step, the joint should be perfectly rolled. Many people say you can do this with a dollar bill but this method here will get you a dandy joint every time, that is if you don't lose your dern rolling mat.

I'm rather surprised than no-one has so far mentioned backrolling. It is the best and the most difficult of the non-novelty spliff rolling methods. That said it is not as hard as it sounds or looks. I took me years to even attempt to use this method because it looked so hard. The first time I tried it it went off without a hitch though I could roll pretty well by that point.

Why would you spend the extra effort to backroll? Well, I personally liked to do it becasue it is the easiest way I have found to make perfect cones every time. It also only uses as much paper as is actually necessary. This results in two benfits. The first is that you smoke less paper, the joint tastes better. The second is that it reduces the canoe probability to almost zero (assuming uniform pot distribution) and does away with the nightmare scenario that happens when there is a little pocket of air between the two layers of paper in the joint and you light it only to have it burn down to the roach in about a second.

So how do you do it? The first thing it that you must be using one and only one paper. It is possible to backroll a construction of many papers but it is much more difficult. Take your paper and put it on a flat surface the wrong way up. The gum should be on the underside of the side closest to you. Reverse the crease of the paper.

If you are making a joint with pure weed then you can pretty much skip this section. Otherwise take you tobacco and make a thin mat that covers about three quarters of the width and length of the paper. Flatten the mat a little but not too much or it'll get too tight. Next sprinkle a line of hash along the middle of the tobacco. Now, when you roll it you'll get a nice even distribution of hash in the center which will help combat canoing.

Backrolling requires that you add the roach before you start to roll. I know this is a bit of a religious debate among stoners but it is pretty much a reqirement of backrolling. Sorry. It should also be noted that backrolling with a rolling mat or any other apparatus is not possible. If you can't roll without a mat you shouldn't be trying advanced joint rolling techniques anyway, but that's another node.

Add the roach. Pick up the paper and start to roll it between your fingers as usual. Now is the moment that backrolling really diverges from forewards rolling. When you are ready to make the tuck what you need to do is roll the joint all the way down so that the bit of the paper with the gum on it is facing you. Like so:

 |                     |
 |                     |
 |                     |
 |---------------------|<--- Tobacco + hash
 |_____________________|<--- Gummed paper in front of tobacco + hash
The best way I have found to do this bit is to put your finger about half way along the gum and hold it on the tobacco. While you hold is grab the roach with your other hand and fold the gum over it. When the paper is stable on the roach you can let go of the middle of the joint and smooth the paper upwards. The aim of this bit is to get the paper with the gum on it to be right next to the tobacco facing outwards with rest of the paper folded over on top of it. Some people naturally roll this way when forewards rolling. These people will find this technique very simple. The rest of us just have to practice.

You should now be holding your joint by the roach with it half way rolled up. Locate the area where the gum is underneath the outer layer of paper. Lick the ouiter layer so that the moisture passes through the outer paper to the gum and sticks the two together. Allow the gum to dry as usual.

Now you have a joint with a huge fin of spare paper. This is the paper you would have been smoking if you had forewards rolled. There are two ways to deal with this fin. The safest is to fold it back on to itself, moisten the crease and tear it off, carefully. The other way is to set fire to it and watch it flare. This is dangerous and could result in a hull breach!

sideways says that if you can reduce the risk of hull breach if you combine the two fin removal techniques: fold the fin back, moisten the base then set it on fire. I haven't tried this but it sounds good to me.

If you really want to show off you can go further: fold back, moisten and rip from the roach as described above but leave the fin hanging on by a thread. Light the fin at the bottom, it will flare up and as it does inhale so that the burning fin lights the joint. It takes a little practice to get the timing right but it's reasonably spectacular. I take no resposiblity for burnt clothing, carpets or faces when using these techniques.

Next errrm, SMOKE IT.

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