Photo by Lindsey Bartlett

Ritual is everything. Joint rollers know this. 

It’s why we obsess over the tiniest details: Lighter versus hemp wick, outdoor versus indoor cannabis, the blades in our grinder, moisture content of cannabis flower, unbleached hemp Zig-Zags that we swear by, a crutch rolled for the perfect amount of airflow, the tip of a joint topped or pinched to a close. 

A lot goes into rolling a perfect joint. Every detail adds up to create the ritualistic experience of smoking cannabis. 

“Ritual” is just another way of saying: the intention you put into each joint as you roll it matters. This is some practical weed magic. Yes, we are imbibing the energy of the plant, the papers, crutch — all of it. We are smoking our karma. So, you might as well set yourself up for the cleanest joint experience possible by being mindful throughout all steps.

That’s why we created this step-by-step guide on how to ritualize the joint rolling process. You’ll learn how to create a mood and set a rolling table, all while setting yourself up for the best joint experience possible.


Photo by Lindsey Bartlett

Cleanse Your Rolling Altar

Altar, rolling tray — same thing. You want to make sure you’re working from a clean slate. Rolling surfaces get caked with resin over time. It’s going to be a cleaner, tastier experience overall if you start from a clean workspace. Give your rolling tray a wipe down. To cleanse any space, especially one as sacred as your smoke space, use a non-toxic cleaner and then burn some ethically-sourced Palo Santo. The Spanish “holy wood” is an ancient clearing ritual that allows you to reset your space with intention. Make sure to open a window and let the ol’ dusty energy exit the room


Photo by Lindsey Bartlett

Set the Table

Make sure you have all your supplies within arms-reach. You need your weed, grinder, Zig-Zags, match or lighter, crutch rolling material, and a crystal for good measure (let’s get weird and witchy with it). Crystal choice is up to you. I went with Amethyst because its properties include stress relief and relaxation. I’ll take all the help I can get in this hellish Twilight Zone reality we’re in. But, feel free to include any other object that you find sacred: An heirloom watch, your favorite book, a beloved plant, seashells — anything. Charge your joint with vibes from any special or meaningful amulet of your choosing.


Photo by Lindsey Bartlett

Grind Your Cannabis.

Load up your grinder, but not too tight. You want to insert a few stem-free pieces of the nug. Try breaking it down around the stem to avoid putting any would-be joint killers (AKA: small stems) into the mix. The older your grinder, the tighter and stickier the lid tends to be. Resin builds up over time so if you overload it, it may get stuck. Easy does it, you can always add more. Grind for about a minute. You’ll know it’s time when all the cannabis has fallen into the middle chamber in a fluffy cloud. You don’t want your freshly-ground weed to be too dry, so aim to use dank nugs about 2-3 months cured. This is my ideal window of time because the bud is fresh and full of terpenes. If your cannabis retains some sticky moisture, it will produce the best result for rolling.


Photo by Lindsey Bartlett

Load Your Paper

Grab the Zig-Zag of your choosing. This ritual calls for organic hemp Zig-Zag papers, which offer a clean, consistent burn. These papers are thin, non-bleached, vegan, and made from 100 percent renewable hemp fibers. If I can substitute anything in my life for hemp, I do it. Why wouldn’t you want a greener, more eco-friendly, and natural version of a product?

Hold the paper between your right thumb and middle and index finger, and make sure it’s folded in half so it maintains its shape. Gently pour the ground-up weed into the paper crease. It’s okay if it overflows, welcome the mess (and why it’s easier to start with a clean area and rolling tray!). But, keep in mind the bigger you fill your joint, the harder it will be to roll. I tend to load it up to about ¾ of the paper, and it rolls down in size pretty nicely once you start smushing it.


Photo by Lindsey Bartlett

Roll That Puppy Up

Think sushi roll. Leave a little space on the end where you can insert your crutch. I always get the roll going by pushing down on the weed, and sliding the paper back and forth until it feels like the tightness I want. The flower in your joint should be snug, but with breathing room to allow for airflow. So, not too tight. 

Then comes the rollover. This part is all skill. I use my thumbnail to help press down and tuck the edges where I want the joint paper to roll. Organic Hemp Zig-Zags cling nicely to sticky cannabis. (If you’re intimidated, don’t worry. Rolling is a breeze with practice!) Use your index fingers to roll up the edges you tucked with your thumbs. Keep rolling up until you’ve reached the sweet strip of adhesive (made with a non-toxic natural Arabic gum) then seal her up. This may be easier said than done, but practice makes perfect. I believe in you!


Photo by Lindsey Bartlett

Insert Your Crutch

My ritual always includes a crutch. Yes, it’s a step that takes time and precision. But it’s worthwhile. The crutch enables better airflow through the joint and keeps ground up pieces of flower from getting in your mouth while you smoke. It also offers something to grip between your teeth, or lips, so you don’t get your weed all wet with saliva. Any card stock-thick paper (business cards, or even the malleable cardboard of a match booklet) works. Fold a tiny rectangle into a circular coil. Not too tight, again, remember we want airflow and ventilation. Then, insert it using your nail, with needle-like precision. The crutch is what takes your joint ritual from simply “utilitarian” to master-class. 


Photo by Lindsey Bartlett

Praise the Cannabis Gods and Enjoy

We did it! You’ve accomplished the perfect joint and ritual. Your smoke session is now blessed. Feel free to admire your work. Charge the joint with some good vibes using anything you’d like. Place it on top of gems. Let it soak up the energy on the altar for one last moment. Then light and enjoy.

*This was created in partnership with Zig-Zag.

Zig-Zag Rolling Rituals: How to Set Your Space to Roll the Perfect Joint Every Time

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