How to patch a joint, spliff, or blunt

Published Oct 14, 2021 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Petr Vdovkin

We’ve all been there, almost all the way through rolling a joint or about to spark one up only to find that there’s an annoying leak standing between you and a satisfying haul. There’s nothing more agitating especially when you don’t have extra papers on hand or a safe place to re-roll it, and it can be devastating for those who rely on pre-rolls or a friend's ability to roll to get by. Luckily, all isn’t lost, as there are ways to go about repairing a ripped joint, you just need to know where to start.

Assess the damage

The first and most important thing to do when you discover a ripped joint is to assess the damage so that you can size up the problem you’re up against. If it’s small, then the fix should be relatively easy, but larger tears and holes are going to take some extra finesse to patch up, and you’ll need bigger materials to tackle this job, so size matters!

Remove any materials that might be in the way

While assessing the ripped joint, you’re likely to discover what made the issue in the first place, and the culprit is often a hard bit of stem that makes it through the grinder because they’re sharp, so they’ll shred anything especially paper with ease. Once you’ve found it and if it’s still in the way, then you’re going to need to remove it as gently and carefully as possible to avoid making the rip even bigger. It helps to get out a pair of tweezers or scissors which makes pulling out chunks a bit easier because they’ll give you a better grip.

Search for an appropriate patch material

Once the rip in your spliff is free of debris, it’s time to search for something to repair the break, and the material you choose will significantly alter the results, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of what you have available. Something as basic as a paper towel or obvious as the glue strip from another rolling paper could do the trick, as long as it’s the right size and capable of sticking to the roll.

For tiny holes, your best bet is to cover it up with a thick glob of concentrate, which will impact flavour the least, plugging it up for just long enough to burn that far down. Dry repairs will require a small amount of moisture to create a seal, but it’s as easy as placing the patch followed by a dab of water and then waiting for it to set.

Tips and tricks for patching a ripped joint

You might feel a bit flustered after realizing that this bump came out of nowhere, but there is no need to worry. As we’ve shown, fixing joints, spliffs, and blunts isn’t as hard as it sounds. Still, it might help to have some tips and tricks to follow along the way, and we’re here to deliver them in the best way we know-how, in a list!

1. Use the smallest patch possible

The smaller the patch, the less likely it will be to adversely impact the flavor or rate at which the roll burns. Of course, it will need to be large enough to cover the hole, but it’s best to avoid excessive additional materials whenever possible.

2. Avoid applying excessive moisture

Moisture is the key to getting a small square of paper to stick to a hole, which is what you need to do to repair a joint, but too much can have the opposite effect, degrading the wrap just enough for it to fall apart. This is why we highly recommend starting with a drop at a time, slowly brushing it against the outer edges of the patch only so that it dries quickly and doesn’t cause other damage to the roll.

3. Be gentle

Moving too fast or manipulating a joint with too much brute force, can for obvious reasons, cause the rip to get even bigger, and in some cases, it could break the whole thing right in half, so it’s important to take your time while you work to complete the repair. Small tools like tweezers can also come in handy and make this easier because our fingertips just aren’t narrow enough to manipulate a small bit of paper or stem with any level of precision.

4. Don’t be afraid to try it

It’s easy to give up and simply toss it or wait for someone else to come to your rescue but how long do you really want to wait to unwind? Any hole, no matter how big or small, is repairable. It’s just a matter of patience, so don’t be afraid to at least attempt to complete the job because you don’t really have anything to lose.

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