Tips and tricks on how to stop a joint from canoeing

Published Dec 13, 2019 10:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Cabezonication

After you’ve put all of the hard work into rolling the perfect joint, the last thing you want is something to mess it up, and once it’s lit, there are all kinds of things that factor in on how evenly it will burn. That is why so many consumers struggle with canoeing, a term that is as old as the problem itself.

What is canoeing?

Canoeing is a term that is used to describe a joint or blunt that burns unevenly, quickly reaching up to one side and carving out the middle, which ultimately shapes the tip of the joint like a canoe.

How to stop a joint from canoeing

There are a couple of different ways that you can approach this issue as it happens, but it’s best to act quickly because once a joint begins to canoe, it probably isn’t going to stop without a bit of assistance.

1. Apply a small amount of water to the canoed edge
As soon as you notice that your joint is canoeing, grab a drop or two of water on your fingertip and gently run it along the fast-burning side to stop it in its tracks. Just remember not to use too much, or you will extinguish the blunt entirely.

2. Use a few drops of marijuana concentrate to slow the burn
Water is an excellent option, but it will soak into your joint or blunt, so the better alternative in this situation is a marijuana concentrate. Preferably one like shatter or oil that will melt or absorb the moment they get placed near the hot coal. A small amount along the canoed portion while leaving the unburnt area untouched should be just enough to help it to catch up.

3. Spark a lighter to burn the untouched section of the blunt
This method isn’t the most recommended as it will waste cannabis, but it can often solve the problem of a canoeing joint in an instant. Burning up the uneven portion often forces the singed area pass the uneven grind or an air pocket that might have caused the problem in the first place, which allows for an even coal once it's reignited.

4. Gently puff away on the remaining piece of the joint until the burn evens out
Sometimes you don’t need extra special tools to slow canoeing, but this will heavily depend on how well you rolled the joint to start. As long as the entire blunt isn’t full of chunks, stems, or seeds, you might be able to get away with pinching off half of the mouthpiece and gently puffing away on the open end, which should line up with the unburnt portion.

5. Cut the remaining piece off with scissors then reignite the joint
This option offers the same results as number 3 on this list, as it completely removes the chunk of the joint that isn’t burning and gives you the chance to restart. The bonus to this choice is that you can often salvage the weed from the joint rather than watching it go up in smoke to correct the burn.


How to roll a joint to prevent canoeing

It is difficult to stop a wild burning joint once it goes so far, but there are more than a few things that you can do to ensure that you don’t face this common problem in the first place.

1. Always use a herb grinder
A weed grinder makes fast work of busting apart buds in a nice and even consistency that helps to provide a much more even burn.

2. Remove the stems and seeds after grinding your cannabis
A lot of beginner consumers make the mistake of tossing everything from their grinder into a joint or blunt roll, but if you don’t sift through it and remove any stem or seeds, then you risk ripping, air pockets, mini explosions, and a horribly uneven burn that could lead to canoeing.

3. Place an even amount of pressure on all areas of the joint as you roll it
If you take a look at how well manufactured cigarettes burn, you will notice that each one is filled with the exact same amount of product and packed perfectly all the way down. It is necessary to do so to establish a perfect airflow that runs past all the shredded leaves. Joints are the same, and any areas that are looser than others will burn up faster which results in a canoed joint.

4. Use cones
Cones are an excellent alternative for anyone who has difficulty with rolling cannabis, and they also make it easier to avoid canoeing, as you fill them in small amounts and rely on a packing tool rather than talent with your fingers to get an evenly packed, well-burning roll every time.

5. When you are unsure always re-roll
The very best way to avoid experiencing a canoed joint is to never spark a roll that looks questionable or feels unevenly packed. If you aren’t certain, it is cheaper to start over and use an extra paper, than it is to manage an out of control burn that is already in progress.

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