Canoeing a joint, what it means and how to prevent it

Published Jul 2, 2019 01:47 p.m. ET
Reddit / Llama_Oh_Llama

If you are learning how to roll a joint, then you might be battling with this problem right now. Those who have mastered the skill of rolling know, that it takes time, practice, and plenty of patience, and even after all of that you might not quite have it down. What you can do is learn how to diagnose your potential issue, and joint canoeing is the number one complaint from new rollers.

What is canoeing a joint?

When a joint is canoeing (aka a running joint), what it means is that one side is burning much faster than the rest, which results in a canoe like shape. Once this happens, the joint roll can begin to fall apart and is nearly impossible to finish smoking without being subject to falling flakes of coal.

How to roll a joint that won’t canoe

There is no way for us to guarantee you a joint that won’t canoe unless you are purchasing a pre-roll. However, there are a few tips and tricks from the professionals that can help to up your game and avoid annoying canoed joints.

1. Evenly grind your cannabis
One of the first and most essential steps in learning how to roll a joint that burns evenly is to grind up your marijuana buds using a weed grinder. If you don’t have one available, than other alternatives like using your fingers or scissors can work, but it will require that you pay attention to the size of the pieces, Larger chunks will, of course, burn longer and slower than smaller grounds, so it is essential that all of your herbs in ground up evenly.

2. Evenly pack the marijuana rolling paper with bud grind
The second most crucial aspect of joint rolling is a consistently packed marijuana rolling paper. This is necessary to line up the edges of the paper later as you move the paper between your fingers to pack it down. If you have too much in one area, it will create a spot of tension which can severely impact the quality of the burn. Too little will leave air pockets that are one of the most notorious creators of this problem. Take a moment to visually inspect how level and even the cannabis grind is before you begin to roll it all up.

3. Snugly roll the joint, and line up the edges of the glue strip to ensure a straight roll
Once you have evenly ground up herb, and have equally packed the rolling paper, it’s time to make things official and seal the deal. Use your thumbs and forefingers to pack the bud grind down but be sure to work it evenly across the roll. One of the biggest mistakes that are made by people who are learning how to roll a joint is that the focus is placed on either the middle or the tips of the roll, which can result in what is referred to as a “pregnant” joint. This will almost certainly provide an uneven burn, and lead to a running joint, so try to do your best to avoid it. A straight joint will always burn better than an oddly shaped roll.


4. Moisten the outside of the joints rolling paper
Some marijuana rolling papers just don’t burn very well, which is why zigzags and other slow burning brands are the most popular amongst cannabis enthusiasts. However, if you find that the paper itself is burning up too fast and leading to a canoed joint than you might want to consider adding a small amount of moisture to the outer paper once the joint has been rolled. This can be done with a gentle mist from a water bottle, or by licking your finger and running it along the outside of the joint.

5. Add concentrates or moisture to your bud to slow down the rate of burning
Sometimes the problem isn’t with the roll itself, and instead, it lies with the quality of the cannabis that is being used. Marijuana flowers that are too dry can burn quickly and are much more likely to lead to a running joint. If you are using super dry or older bud, than it might be a good idea to add some moisture using one of three methods.

A. Mix concentrates with cannabis
This one is not going to be an option for everyone, but if you have access to harder concentrates like shatter, hash, or crumble, adding a small amount to your cannabis before you roll it, will help to control and slow the rate that the joint will burn.

B. Line the rolling paper with spreadable marijuana concentrate
If you have a spreadable concentrated form of cannabis like BHO, then using a dab tool or pin to spread a nice thin layer onto the rolling paper before you add the bud grind to it can help to avoid a running joint.

C. Add fruit peels to your herb’s storage container
If you don’t have access to other products to help slow down the burn, then one of the most natural and healthy options out there is fruit peels. You can use any kind that won’t mush up and stick to the bud like apple, pear, banana, and even unripened peach. This will add flavor and help to replace some of the missing moisture that might be the culprit for your running joint issues.

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