How to Roll the Perfect Joint (Visual Guide) Cones vs Pinners

Whether you prefer a straight, cigarette-style joint or the classic cone, we all strive to roll the perfectly shaped joint. Not only do pearled joints look good, but they also smoke more evenly than their elbowed counterparts. This step-by-step visual guide will show you how to roll a cone joint (or pinner), making it easy to roll a photo-worthy joint.

Before Anything: Use a Joint Rolling Kit

A joint rolling kit is ideal for managing your smoking essentials because you need a few different items!

Before you get started, make sure you have all your supplies: the best rolling papers, a great herb grinder, rolling tips, cannabis, a poker of some kind, etc. If you need a smart system for managing these items, check out our article on smell proof stash cases.

How to Roll a Perfect Joint

1. Place the Crutch

Crutches, or rolling tips, provide a perfect cylinder to which the rolled cannabis can be easily integrated. The crutch establishes the joint’s general shape and size, providing a stable area to hold the joint while arranging the bud. We prefer to let part of the crutch stick out the end of the rolling paper as shown.

2. Arrange the Bud

IMPORTANT: The ground bud must be evenly arranged in the trough of the rolling paper. While this may sound obvious, this step is often overlooked or rushed. If the bud isn’t evenly dispersed in the paper prior to rolling, the act of rolling of the joint into the desired shape will be significantly harder.

If you are attempting to roll a pinner, the ground bud should be set in the paper as shown in the top of the photo. Alternatively, if you prefer cone joints, arrange in a manner consistent with the lower image.

3. Roll the Paper

Time to actually roll the bud. This step can be the most challenging, as it requires a gentle touch that only comes with practice. The goal is to move the paper back and forth between your fingers, shaping the bud into either a straight cylinder (pinner joint) or a cone joint.

Take your time with this step – if the bud does not hold its cylindrical shape on its own (without your hands pinching the paper), you need to keep rolling, compressing, and shaping. This is arguably the most crucial step in the entirety of the joint rolling process, so go slow here.

Once you have finished shaping the joint, continue to roll the paper between your fingers until the closest flap is oriented as indicated above. Notice that the angle at which the joint is rolled will depend on the desired shape.

4. Tuck, Lick & Stick

These final moves will seal the paper into its cylindrical shape and determine how tightly the joint is rolled. The tighter the roll, the slower and smoother the joint will burn. The tuck should be initiated at the crutch, focusing on eliminating all slack in the rolling paper for a tight roll. If you are having trouble, try using both thumbs and tuck the first inch of the paper while using the crutch for support. This is another tricky step for those new to joint rolling – don’t get discouraged, keep practicing.

If you have successfully tucked the first portion of the papers but are struggling to complete the tuck (because the paper is crinkling), try using one hand to pull the end of the paper as shown above. This will help eliminate crinkles in the paper, resulting in a tighter, more even roll. Once the entire flap is tucked, keep rolling. At this point, the joint should be mostly rolled and it’s time to lick glue strip and stick it down. Some find it easier to lick the glue on the first half of the paper (closest to the crutch) and stick it down prior to licking and sticking the second half.

Pro Tip: You can lick through the paper and still activate the glue strip to seal the second half of the joint.


5. Lock Down the Crutch

Recall how we left a little crutch hanging out the back of the rolling paper. Now that you’re fully rolled, you can push the crutch in towards the rolled bud, effectively tightening the connection between the crutch and the cannabis. After pushing the crutch in to seal the gap, you can give it a quick lick to adhere to the rolling paper to the crutch. This reduces the likelihood of the crutch slipping out of the joint.

6. Pack the Tip

There are a few final touches that will help put the finishing touches on your hard work. Now that you have a rolled joint, its time to pack it and twist it off. The concept behind packing your joint is similar to packing a cigarette – the goal being a slower, even-burning smoke. Packing joints also reduce the likelihood of the cherry falling out of the lit joint as the result of a loose roll. There are a variety of methods used to pack joints, we will outline the most common. Note: it is possible to pack a joint too tight! When this happens, it’s nearly impossible to get a proper draw due to lack of airflow.


Muzzleloading is a good way to add a little extra size to the end of your joint. The technique involves shoving ground bud into the tip of the joint similar to loading an in-line rifle. It is best performed with some sort of tool – a pen, dabber, damper, scissors, house key, headphone cord, etc. Use a tool of your choice to help push the bud into the cylindrical tip of the joint and compress it down.


This packing technique entails dropping the joint (crutch down) onto a hard surface – essentially letting gravity do all the work for you. We have found that several repeated drops from a few inches above a table (or another hard surface) tends to result in the best pack.


This method of packing joints uses centrifugal force and your fingertips to compress and pack the joint. We should note that this technique only works if you have some rolling paper at the tip of the joint to pinch and hold. Once you have the paper at the tip of the joint secured between your fingers, gently use your wrist to shake the joint back and forth as indicated.

7. Twist & Seal

Give the paper at the tip of your joint a slight twist to seal it and you’re done! By utilizing any or all of these rolling techniques, you will produce a superior joint that results in a more pleasurable smoking experience.

Roll it Inside out for an even More Perfect Joint

Truly slow burning, perfect joints are rolled inside out! Learn how to roll a perfect joint with the paper inside out. Many people find that all the same techniques apply, and it soon feels easier than rolling the regular way. Did you know that the type of rolling papers you use will affect how your joint rolls, smokes, and tastes? As a rule of thumb; the thinner the paper, the slower the burn. If you have never tried an ultra-thin rice paper, now is the time.

Rolling Like a Pro on the Go

You can carry all your joint rolling supplies and concentrates in the smell proof safety case. By storing extra flower and concentrates in your smell proof containers, you can vape, roll another, and even pack a one-hitter on the go.

CBD Joints

Did you know you can even roll CBD into a joint for medical benefits? This can be accomplished one of two ways:  you can either roll CBD flower ortwax a joint with CBD oil. We like Lifter and Special Sauce (shown in image below) from Canna Comforts, but each of their diverse array of strains looks, feels, smells, tastes, and vapes just like the top-shelf cannabis strains that inspired them, minus the intoxicating effects of THC.

When inhaled, CBD provides fast-acting symptom relief without the high.  For consumers looking for quick, effective dosing without intoxication, organic raw hemp flower joints are definitely the way to go.  If you choose to consume THC but desire an extra punch of beneficial cannabinoids for added therapeutic effects, consider twaxing a cannabis joint with full-spectrum CBD oil.

Can’t Roll by Hand? Shortcuts for Crafting Joints

You can still smoke great joints even if rolling them by hand is simply not your strong suit. Rolling machines and pre-rolled cones present two legitimate alternatives to hand-crafted joints. Joints created using one of these alternatives to hand rolling can still be twaxed for increased potency and a slower burn.

Rolling Machines

Rolling machines are devices designed to automate the rolling process by providing a guided roll. These machines are manufactured in a variety of styles. Some are electric, while others require some level of manual work – it’s best to check the operating instructions specific to your machine for exact usage steps. Regardless of make and model, it’s important that your rolling machine fits your preferred paper size. While rolling machines do provided a guided roll, you can increase their efficiency by using a grinder to prepare your cannabis.

Pre-Rolled Cones

There has been a recent surge in popularity for ‘pre-rolls’. As the name suggests, they are pre-formed rolling papers that are manufactured in a cone shape. Cones almost always include an integrated crutch and are available in a variety of paper materials and sizes. While they are fairly easy to use, you can optimize your cone packing by trying some of our packing techniques.

Pre-Rolled Packing Machines

There are also machines designed to automate the cone stuffing process. They either inject the cone with cannabis, or use gravity and vibration to pack the cannabis into the vertical cone.

Joint Holder

Whether you’re using a rolling machine or packing pre-rolled cones by hand, make sure you keep your joints somewhere safe. Even the most perfectly shaped pre-rolls can be crushed, soaked, or broken if not stored in a durable joint holder like the Safety Case.

Ready to Learn?

If you want to learn, we can help you roll your first joint and we have tips to improve your rolling technique. With a little help and a lot of practice, anyone can roll a perfect joint.

A Smell Proof Rolling Kit for Joints and Blunts

Rather than shoving the joint rolling necessities into various pockets and crossing your fingers that all the items arrive safely, you can condense them into a compact, travel friendly joint rolling kit. Built to take a beating, the smell proof Safety Case will ensure the safe arrival of all your joint rolling necessities. Gone are the days of wet rolling papers, forgotten lighters, and hand-crumbled cannabis. Just slip the ultra-slim smoking kit into your pocket or purse and you’ll be ready to smoke up anywhere. Let’s face it, sometimes you just need to roll one up. Whether you’re on the side of a mountain or at a social event, you will need a few basic items in order to complete the joint rolling endeavor.

Rolling Papers

The first necessary item is a pack of rolling papers. These small leaves of paper are manufactured specifically for rolling cigarettes and/or joints. There’s a variety of rolling papers on the market today – they can be found in a multitude of materials, sizes, flavors, and thicknesses. Click here if you need help selecting the best rolling papers for you.


Perhaps the most important item is the cannabis bud itself. Depending on the size of joint you like to roll, you will need to have roughly 0.5-1+ gram of cannabis on hand. Not sure which type of cannabis is best? Use my guide to help select the right strain variety for you! For those of you working on your pot photography, try our tips.


Who wants to smoke joints that look like the one on the left? Rolling a pearled joint is almost impossible without a grinder. A grinder is a tool used to break the cannabis buds up into fine, evenly ground pieces. While we typically use a four-part grinder when rolling at home, nothing beats the size and performance of the grinder card when on the move.


While it may sound obvious, we can almost guarantee that the lack of a lighter has halted more than one of your joint sparking operations. Matches, hemp line, or the trusty magnifying glass will also work – just make sure you have a heat source at your disposal!


You will also benefit from using a crutch, a mouthpiece made of wood pulp or glass. Also known as a filter or tip, a crutch helps prevent burnt lips and sloppy joints. You can easily slide a few pre-perforated crutches right into the inside cover of your Safety Case. They ensure optimal airflow and a more pleasant smoking experience for all.

How to Roll an L Joint

An L is a really long joint that gets its name from the paper orientation prior to rolling. Knowing how to roll an L is especially useful when smoking in large groups or with those who have high tolerances. The beauty of an L is that you can instantly increase the size of your joint simply by adding an additional rolling paper leaf. This means that you can turn two regular size papers into a king size joint in a pinch!

If you landed on this page and you’d really like to improve your joint rolling across the board, we recommend you start with our step-by-step joint rolling or our 10 tips for rolling better joints before attempting this technique, as it is a bit advanced.  That said, if you’ve got a good foundation in the basics, give this technique a try!

  1. Create the Rolling Paper

    Rolling an L is no different than rolling a normal joint, except that you will be using a rolling paper with an ‘L’ shape (created by sticking two papers together). To create the L shape, place two sheets of rolling paper on a flat surface in front of you. Orient one of the papers normally, with the glue side up and facing you. Rotate the second paper an additional 90 degrees counterclockwise from the same position, so that the strip of glue is next to the end of the first paper. If you prefer the joint orientation reversed, simply rotate the paper clockwise and attach it to the other end of the first paper.

    Then lick the lower portion of the glue strip of the second paper and attach the two together. You should now have a single rolling paper that looks like an L.

    If you are looking to smoke less paper, you can cut off the far corner of the rotated paper as indicated in the photo above. Note that, in our experience, it helps to let the glue dry out a bit before moving to the next step, otherwise it is easy to rip apart the papers.

    This technique can be used with any size rolling paper to increase the volume of your joint.

  2. Load & Arrange

    Now it’s time to load the rolling paper with ground bud. Make sure you use a grinder, as crafting an L joint will be very difficult without properly ground cannabis. An effective grinder does not have to break the bank!

    Arrange the ground buds in the trough of the paper as you would with any other joint. It’s important to note that because you are using a longer paper, the shape of the joint will be more pronounced; meaning a tapered cone will appear more conical and only the truest pinner will look like a straight joint.

  3. Roll Slow and Smooth

    That said, make sure you arrange for the shape you intend to roll – use the photos below as a reference.

  4. Shape it Straight

    Don’t forget our classic pull-from-the-tip technique to straighten the paper out! If you’re struggling to roll it up at this point, definitely check out our How to Roll a Cone Joint article.

    Once the joint has been formed, lick and seal the rolling paper. This will require licking two separate glue strips. Both parts of the paper will be sealed normally, the rotated portion of the paper will simply spiral around the tip of the joint until fully sealed.

    If any of this was confusing or you need a refresher on how to roll a joint, check out our comprehensive rolling guide. Note that because of how the papers are attached, the L cannot be rolled inside out.

  5. Seal the Flag

    Still struggling? Not to worry, we also offer personalized one-on-one joint rolling sessions – you’ll be rolling picture perfect joints in no time.

  6. How to Carry Your L

    Regardless of which paper size you start with, and L is going to be much longer than a normal joint and will need to be protected before smoking. We recommend storing your joints in a smell proof stash box like the Safety Case. These pocket-sized cases are perfect for holding joints, vaporizers, concentrates, pipes and flower along with all your smoking accessories. We created a list of the 10 Essentials for a Savvy Stoner’s 420 travel kit, so check it out and make sure you have all the items you need!

BONUS – CBD Joints:  Symptom Relief Without the Buzz

Everyone loves a classic cannabis joint, but did you know you can also roll a jay with organic hemp flower?  Hemp is naturally high in CBD and can provide fast-acting, full-spectrum symptom relief when smoked.

We enjoy the organic, non-GMO, sustainably-grown hemp flower strains from Canna Comforts, which look, smell, taste, and smoke just like the top-shelf marijuana strains that inspired them.  Federally legal and batch-tested for quality, purity, and potency, we trust Canna Comforts for a delicious and therapeutic hemp flower experience.  We like a joint of Lifter (shown in image below) before bed or to relieve pain, but their diverse array of strains ensure the right fit for any condition.

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10 Tips for Rolling Better Joints


Every smoking circle has their de-facto joint roller: the guy everyone turns to when the team decides to burn one, or the girl who can twist perfect pinners while walking into the wind holding all her smoking supplies (we don’t know how she does it either).

Are you, well, not that person?  Are you looking to improve your rolling technique? With a bit of practice and the right information, you don’t have to be a magician to craft a picturesque, smooth-burning joint. However, if you need help from the very beginning, you should try our step by step how to roll a joint article.

Necessary Items for Your Rolling Stash Box

Make sure you have all the key elements for rolling great joints: this should include a weed grinder, crutches, papers, and a lighter at the bare minimum, but deck yourself out if you want to.

Although many steps in the joint rolling process are largely a matter of preference, there are several tips that require the above items if you want to improve your smoking experience. There are also some very clever weed accessories that have become essentials in our 420 smoking kit.

  1. Use the Best Rolling Paper

    types of rolling papers

    Are you still grabbing Zig-Zags off the counter at the gas station? They are impacting the flavor of your joints. There are three types of rolling paper materials and they each have unique characteristics that affect the way your joint rolls and smokes. Steer clear of wood pulp rolling papers, you want a paper made of rice or hemp. Those just learning should try a hemp paper as they are easier to roll with and stay lit well. Expert rollers looking for a flavorless, slow burn and a precise roll will benefit from rice papers.

  2. Select the Right Size

    perfect joints

    The right size rolling paper is a situational decision based on a few key factors: How many people are you smoking with? How high are their tolerances? How many joints do you intend to roll?

  3. If you show up to Snoop Dogg’s house with a pack of single-wides, you won’t be able to roll ’em fast enough. The most popular and widely available sizes are 1 ¼” size and King Slims. 1 ¼” is generally considered to be the ‘standard’ cannabis rolling paper and suits 1-3 people with moderate to low tolerances. King Slims are better for moderate-tolerance groups of 2-5 people or high-tolerance groups of 1-3. Not sure which papers are for you? Check our rolling papers sizing guide to find the right papers for your smoking kit.
  4. Always Grind First

    how to grind weed

    You don’t need to spend $60+ for the best grinder! Regardless of your rolling abilities, crafting a perfect joint will be a futile exercise if your herb isn’t evenly ground. We recommend metal grinders, as they are more durable and provide a smoother, more consistent grinding action – but they are also available in plastic or wood version. All that matters is using one!

    cannabis grounds

    There are also lightweight, travel herb grinders ideal for smokers on the go that fit conveniently into a wallet. There is no excuse for breaking down bud with your hands!

  5. Use a Crutch, They Are Clutch

    roll with a crutch

    Have you ever been handed a joint with a soggy end that you can barely smoke? Don’t be “that guy” responsible for subjecting your smoking circle to that experience. Also called a filter or tip, a crutch is essentially a mouthpiece made of glass or wood pulp – you can purchase perfectly-sized rolling tips or make them at home. They act as a handle that aids in holding and passing to others while optimizing airflow for an easy draw. As if that weren’t enough, they also aid in the joint rolling process by providing a perfect cylinder to which the rolled cannabis can be integrated. The best part: now you can smoke your joint to the very end.

  6. Arrange Slowly Before Rolling

    pin vs cone joint

    Have you ever noticed that some joints come out looking like they have a little”pooch” in the middle? A bit of gentle organization with your fingertips is all that’s needed to position your bud properly and prevent the “pregnant” look, but it’s often overlooked. Pinners (straight, cigarette-shaped joints) are typically rolled for smaller groups and are very efficient, whereas cones (fluted joints that flare at the end) provide a powerful hit and maximize the size of the rolling paper.

  7. Final Prep, then Roll Patiently

    how to roll a joint

    It’s difficult to roll great joints if the ground cannabis is all over the place, so take some time and arrange it neatly within the paper. It’s important to take your time working the cannabis down into the paper to create a tube. We have additional step by step how to roll a joint help for this step if you’re struggling.

    perfect joint

    After you’ve arranged the bud and rolled the paper back and forth between your fingers, set the whole thing down on the table and see how your roll behaves. If it doesn’t hold its cylindrical shape, you won’t be able to get that tight tuck you’re looking for.

  8. Create Paper Tension Using the Tip

    rolling a joint

    If you get a little crinkle in the paper after the initial tuck, you can fix it! Using one hand hold the tuck in place, shift your other hand to the tip of the paper and pull away from the crutch. Focus on creating just enough tension in the paper to smooth it out, but don’t pull so hard that you tear it. This is an easy place to struggle, so we have some more detailed tips for how to roll a cone joint to help you get through the tuck and roll process as a beginner.

  9. Light it Correctly, No Inhale on Ignition

    how to light a joint

    Do not try to earn style points when lighting your joints. Cannabis and organic raw hemp flower joints do not burn like cigarettes, and therefore should be ignited in a different fashion. Gently rotate the joint while slowly increasing the amount of direct heat to create a long-lasting, slow-burning cherry right from the tip of your joint, preventing the dreaded “canoe” that forms when part of the joint burns more quickly than the rest. If one more person rubs their saliva all over the side of the joint to slow down the canoe, we might have to skip our turn.

  10. Step it up and Smoke Less Paper

    art of rolling a perfect joint

    Did you know you can roll joints with the paper flipped inside out like pro skier Tanner Hall? By minimizing the amount of paper used to seal the joint, you can further decrease the burn rate and avoid the unwanted paper taste. Rolling inside out may have a steeper learning curve, but those who master it rarely return to the traditional style. Give it a try once you have your basic technique down — you might surprise yourself.

  11. Twax for Potency

    twax a blunt or joint

    “Twaxing” is a new trend in cannabis. As defined by the originator, @WA5280, to twax is “to apply hash/concentrates to the inside, outside, or tip of your rolls/bowls in any way, shape, or form.” The main benefit here is a huge increase in the potency of your joint, which makes concentrates (including CBD concentrates) a potentially helpful addition (especially when sharing a joint and smoking in larger groups). If you don’t have access to BHO or any other cannabis concentrates where you live, you can still learn how to make dabs at home! By implementing the inexpensive and easy-to-execute rosin press tech, you can use any cannabis flower to produce concentrates for your joints or blunts.

  12. CBD Joints for Medicinal Benefits

The practice of twaxing can be applied with CBD concentrates as well, but you can also roll joints with raw, organic hemp flower instead of cannabis to reap the analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits of a full-spectrum dose of cannabinoids without the high. Hemp flower can provide fast-acting symptom relief that allows you to continue about your day as normal, with no impairment.
We like Canna Comforts‘ extensive collection of organic, non-GMO, high-quality, federally legal hemp flower.  Modeled after famous high-THC strains, Canna Comforts‘ hemp flower varietals provide the full experience of smoking top-shelf cannabis with all the benefits of CBD and none of the impairment.  We’ve had great success with their products. We recommend the Lifter strain (shown in image below) to practice your rolling skills, or the Wife Palm Wrap prerolls if you’d rather leave the rolling to the pros), and they meet our CBD Buyer’s Guide criteria for quality, purity, and potency.


Add CBD to Your Joint