How to roll a joint or spliff that is slower burning, and longer lasting

Published Jul 18, 2019 09:09 a.m. ET
iStock / HighGradeRoots

When it comes to smoking marijuana, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Some people prefer to utilize the assistance of glass, metal or wood devices like bongs or pipes, but the most popular, and most convenient option is and always will be using good old-fashioned rolling papers to roll a good joint. Whether you are frequently on the go, or simply cannot afford to be continually replacing broken pieces, a cannabis joint will hold up better in just about every situation that might arise. The trouble is that they aren’t exactly perfect, and the experience will depend heavily on the materials that you use to make it. One of the most common frustrations with joints is how quickly they can burn up, which is a waste of weed and shortens the session. Here you will find 5 tips and tricks to make a slower burning and longer-lasting joint or spliff.

Grind your weed

  1. When preparing to roll a good joint, what is the first thing to do? Bust apart the cannabis buds, of course. This is a commonly known requirement, but a lot of people don’t realize how the consistency of the grind can dramatically influence the burn. You can use scissors, fingers, a weed grinder or a coffee bean processor to tear apart the buds, but automatic options tend to provide a more evenly cut up bud. If some pieces are larger than the others, then you will find that bigger ones slow down the rate of burning, while the tiny pieces go up in smoke in seconds, so you don’t want to roll a joint or spliff with powder. Instead, the goal should be a pile of even chunks.

  2. Another handy tip is to comb through your marijuana bud both before and after grinding it to remove any excess materials that might impact the burn. Stems will add a terrible taste to your roll, and they will take much longer to burn than cannabis buds. This is not a good thing, as it leads to hot spots that end up burning faster than others. Seeds should be gathered and either used to grow or disposed of, as applying heat will make them explode and can blow apart your joint. No one wants to experience face or carpet burns, and since they contain absolutely no THC content, they are useless to add to the mix, so it’s best to remove everything that isn’t flower.

Add moisture to the bud

Even if the grower of your cannabis products takes extra care to preserve the ideal amount of moisture during the curing process, chances are, by the time it gets to you, there has been quite a bit of time that has passed. One of the most common complaints about smoking marijuana from dispensaries is that it is incredibly dry. Dry bud flowers will turn to dust as you grind them and offer little to no resistance to heat. This can be solved in one of a few different ways.

1. Gently mist the bud with terpenes immediately before you roll a good joint
This will add flavor as well as some much-needed moisture content which will help your joint to burn slower. Just remember, terpenes are much lighter than other cannabis-derived elements, so they must be used immediately, even if you are not yet ready to roll a joint, as they will evaporate in a very short period.

2. Pick up some moisture packets from your local marijuana dispensary
Boveda makes some great ones that are easy to use. Just drop one or two into your bag of weed, and let it sit for a few days. These packages will help to slowly release the moisture while preserving the terpenes that remain intact.

3. Add moisture using homemade ingredients
Since cannabis bud flowers are going to be ingested, you need to stick to edible, safe, non-toxic additives. Luckily mother nature provides a wide range of choices that can help to return your buds to a nearly new condition that is softer, easier to roll and burns slower. Take any one of the choices below, add a small piece into your bag of bud and wait 24-48 hours. Then remove and enjoy the naturally perked up buds that will taste better and burn at a slower pace.

• Orange peel
• Apple peel
• Potato peel
• Lemon peel
• Lime peel
• Mango peel
• Cucumber peel
• Slice of bread

Use slow burning rolling papers or alternatives and consider adding more than one


When you are smoking marijuana using joints, the filling matters a lot, but the casing is just as important. Generally, rolling papers that are made for cigarettes are designed to burn up quite quickly, so a good starting point is choosing a brand that is made specifically for cannabis, like RAW which offers an entire line of hemp papers. Another excellent slow-burning alternative is tobacco leaves, but they are more challenging to shape for new and less experienced consumers.

Unfortunately, most marijuana rolling paper companies are catering to those who want less paper, which results in super-thin sheets. This is mainly because paper can have an adverse impact on flavor, so it is essential to find one that you don’t mind the taste of before trying the next portion of this suggestion. Doubling up on the casing can help to slow the pace of burning and make the roll stronger and more resistant to damage in transport.

Roll a straight or cone joint

1. Learn to align a paper while rolling
When you are just learning how to roll a joint, it can be challenging to figure out how to align the paper and pack the bud in a way that feels smooth and natural and produce a straight or cone roll. Uneven, or “pregnant” joints as they are often called, will burn unevenly, and the narrow sections might go out entirely. This leads to multiple lighting attempts and having to burn that chunk of the joint out of the way before you can continue smoking marijuana through it. Instead, the goal should always be a smooth and bumpless twist, that looks like a narrow tube or a perfect ice cream cone. Both shapes provide a long-lasting and an even burn that can help the roll to last longer.

2. Combine marijuana concentrates with your bud
If you have mastered how to roll a good joint, then adding marijuana should be a breeze. Though it might sound a bit daunting at first, it’s easy to do and offers a massive boost in potency and flavor that is well worth the extra effort. How the cannabis concentrates should be used will depend on the type and consistency of what you have.
To help, here are the three main ways that these kinds of products can be incorporated into a joint or spliff.

3. Combine bud flowers with crumbly concentrates
This is often one of the easiest ways to add marijuana products to joints or spliffs, but it doesn’t work well with liquids. Crumble, wax, kief, THC crystals or shatter can be broken into pieces and sprinkled with cannabis grind either before or after it has been added to the paper.

4. Line the inside of the rolling paper with spreadable concentrates
This method is easier for liquid-based concentrates but can also be used on harder products with the addition of a little heat. Use a tool like a bobby pin, paper clip or dab tool to spread a thin layer on the inside of a paper before it is filled with dry weed grind.

5. Coat the outer layer of a cannabis roll with either oil and kief or shapeable concentrates
This is another one that is ideal for liquid concentrates, as the paper can become torn if you spread too them around too hard. Use a thin spreading tool to coat the outside of the rolling paper after rolling a joint. Once you are finished, it is a good idea to roll the joint or spliff in kief, as it will provide a dry layer, and keep it from sticking to things like your fingers or a surface if it’s set down.

1 in 5 Canadians tried cannabis in 3 months 12 of a million consumed THC products before or after work


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