Rolling a joint is one of life’s great, simple pleasures: empowering, artful elegance, spun up into a perfect cone.
The practice may appear tedious at first, to any pre-roll or pipe lover no doubt. But anyone who rolls up knows the process quickly becomes a part of the cannabis ritual; shape, size and expression of the end joint all become somehow directly reflective of one’s mood at that moment.
Most importantly, it’s where our connection with the plant truly begins to take shape. Experiencing the flower, how big her buds, the sight, smell, array of colour presented in nature’s gift—all of these expressions are taken in throughout those steps in our prep.
It’s in this in-between that we begin to discover the distinction between our regard for cannabis as a plant medicine versus a packaged good. Beyond the experience of consuming it, we’ve now found some time to commune with it. It’s where conscious consumption begins: with mindfulness and a spirit of gratitude, as we dive into our moments with Mary Jane.
Beyond the experience of consuming it, we’ve now found some time to commune with it.
I believe it’s in the Art of the Roll where women especially can begin to source power from their connection with our favourite female flower. HIGHTEA.life was born leading women through this journey.
Our immersive, hands-on HIGHTEA Rolling Parlour events taught women the art of the most elegant roll in a setting designed to inspire conversation, community and dismantling of cannabis stigma for (and amongst) women. Play, practice, beautiful accessories, and special tips from this stoner were shared amongst a group of thirty other curiosos.
In fact, rolling up can be considered as art: we’ve taken a mood, energy, feeling, an intent—and made something with it. Creating something with our hands; become one with the plant that’s about to take us on a journey. It’s a beautiful thing.
Today, let’s do a more non-traditional KIND of tutorial. We may all know the basics, but what of the special magic in the in between? Read on for the HIGHTEA.life kinda way to roll one up. Smoke em if you got em!
Tip 1: Create the Gate
I’m a filter kinda girl, and always start with this, the most tedious step. The mouthpiece, or crutch of the joint, it’s the foundation of a good joint’s integrity. Beyond simply rolling up your cardboard filter, it’s a good idea to create a ‘gate’ which allows smoke (but no crumbs) to travel through. A 3-step accordion fold will create a classic W shape—or inject a bit more love into it and try the HIGHTEA.life way by making a heart.
Create a tear-drop shaped loop with one end of your filter. Using your nail (a toothpick will also do), press down along the centre of that loop and you’ll see a heart shape emerge. Anchor the shape of the heart with another sharp fold at its pointed base, and then begin your roll up.
Tip 2: Treat Yo’self to a Queen Size
It may seem counterintuitive to be playing with 1/14” or King-sized papers, but you may find the extra space can help to handle the joint with more ease. Don’t feel pressure to fill the whole thing (you can always nip off the end), but instead use that extra surface area to allow your roll to find some presence. Some elegance. Experiment. Perhaps for you it may be more pleasurable to have a longer, elegant smoke than a short and stubby one. This is a personal preference of course.
Tip 3: Flat Bottoms, Girl
One of my most loved little tricks is something I call the flat-bottom taco: a simple two-part fold that sets up the most perfect conical sandbox for you to play in.
Step 1: Pull the paper down to the bottom of the glue-line and create a fold all the way across lengthwise.
Step 2: Tip one side of your paper down toward the bottom of your fold (See Diagram) The view you are left with: a flat bottom taco.
Tip 4: Use A Light Touch
Time to pack up, not too much, not too little, experiment and you’ll find the just right tension. Pinch the paper together—just above the flower—and start to roll the joint back and forth between your fingers. Gently now, try and flow instead of force as you slowly coax the joint into that familiar shape. I tend to keep one hand somewhere near the place where the filter meets the flower. A well-packed connection at this key point will yield a strong, consistent-burning smoke.
Tip 5: A Fine Cut
You’ve arrived at the summit, your goal lays before you. This is your moment of truth, it’s now or never, stoner friends. The paper tuck is where all your hard work is either realized or your efforts all a waste.
An almost foolproof trick to ensure that your paper is tucked nice and tight is to use a business card (or the top flap of your filter pack) to make a nice clean cut along the length of your flower, using the edge of the card to tuck the paper in behind the weed, guaranteeing a good, snug roll.
Lick and stick slowly, glueing the paper at the centre first, then allowing a slow-drag of your fingers, first toward the tip, then tighter down toward the filter in order to finally seal the deal.
Tip 6: Pack it Right, Not Too Tight
Your last Goldilocks moment is now: a joint packed too tight won’t burn, packed too loosely and you’re likely to canoe. Once you’ve packed the weed down into your paper and sealed her up with a spin, your best bet is to pinch the tip and give your girl a little shake and shimmy back and forth. This will settle the flower into the roll a bit tighter, ensuring you a smoother smoke. Don’t pack too tight here (your joint won’t smoke), nor too loose (a guaranteed canoe) and don’t be afraid to fix this while mid-smoke with a nudge of the filter upwards or down. This is also how to fix almost any machine-rolled pre-roll, as an fyi.
Other Quick Tips to Save the Day:
Always nudge your filter a bit farther into the joint to pack things in tighter and help things burn more smoothly. Use your lighter to zip off the excess paper at the end of the joint (the flames will stop burning as it hits the filter).
If you’re canoeing: lick your pinky finger and wet the edge of the joint that’s burning excessively, to slow that creep down. Continue to smoke the joint with the canoe-side down—since heat rises, the ash should start to even out.
The biggest mistake any cannabis user makes is over consumption. Don’t feel like you’ve got to take the whole thing down—you can make the joint a little less stank when you slip it back into your doob tube by popping out the burning cherry when you stop the burn. Somehow removing that chunky cherry miraculously makes things smell just a little bit less. You’re welcome to you and your neighbours.
That’s all for now! Check the latest season of HIGHTEA, out now on your favourite listening platform.