How To Light A Joint Properly

Close-up of Lighting Up a Marijuana Joint.

The cannabis wave has swept the U.S. thanks to legalization and widespread decriminalization. Some cannabis consumers take it with edibles such as gummies and other treats, with others preferring another consumption method like the use of a tincture. This article is for those who prefer smoking and want to light a joint properly.

Unlike consuming weed using a smoking device like a bong, lighting a joint evenly for a proper burn can be quite a hassle. This informative piece details the correct steps to follow and provides helpful tips for beginners. In addition, you will also understand the basics of joint smoking and the proper etiquette to follow while smoking one. 

What Is A Joint?

A joint is a small, portable weed cigarette that is either pre-rolled by a machine or manually rolled by the user. Other common names include doob, doobie, and a spliff. Some weed smokers call it blunt, but this is a specific type rolled using tobacco wrap. You can buy weed online legally. Joints are arguably the most popular way users prefer to consume cannabis. Here’s what you need to know to roll one if you don’t have pre-rolled joints.

How To Roll A Joint

Step 1: Assemble all the things you require 

Before rolling the joint, you need to have some items ready. Those items include a gram of weed, rolling papers made of either hemp, rice straw, flax, or esparto, a rolling tray, and a grinder for consistent size and texture, which gives smooth smoke. You should also have the crutch of filter for the roach and a pen-shaped item.

You can then proceed to the following steps to roll a perfect joint.

Step 2: Grind the weed

You should grind the flower to get a fine texture so it can easily burn with smoother smoke. If you don’t have a grinder, you can improvise by using a coffee grinder or cheese grater. Other items that can do the trick include a mortar and pestle or a prescription bottle filled with coins. Alternatively, you can pick the flowers with your hand, although it won’t give you fine particles. You should be careful to minimize damaging the cannabis trichomes as you remove the stems.

Step 3: Make a crutch

To avoid burning your fingers, you will need a crutch. You could make one if you didn’t buy a pre-made one. This crutch will serve as the mouthpiece and make the joint easier to hold. In addition, the crutches also boost the flow of air, enabling combustion inside the joint. Making a crutch requires thick paper folded into an accordion shape. You can use a business card for this purpose.

Step 4: Fill in the joint

After the first two steps, you should lay your rolling paper on a flat surface and place the crutch on the end you intend to use as a mouthpiece. Note that the adhesive side should be away from you to enable easy rolling in the next step. But before that, put your medical marijuana weed onto the rolling paper in a column and then spread it evenly to avoid overstuffing.

Step 5: Roll and seal it

When it comes to rolling, you must pinch the rolling paper into a taco shape while sifting it back and forth to distribute the content. Roll the joint into a cylindrical shape, then seal it. You should tuck the non-adhesive part over the weed and then roll it over the adhesive side to seal it. If it doesn’t stick, you can lick the sticky part to wet it and try again. You have to ensure that the content doesn’t fall off.

Once you have rolled and sealed it, you can use the pen to pack the weed towards your joint’s mouthpiece. You can add more cannabis at this point to replace those that fell off when you were rolling the joint.

Understanding The Basics Of Smoking Cannabis

Here is what you need to understand before you light your joint. Rolling your joint is a step closer to lighting and puffing. However, before you begin lighting it, it would be best to understand the basics of joint smoking to avoid overdose, which can cause anxiety and panic attacks.

  • Intake Method

It would be best to use a joint if you’re a first-time smoker since you can easily control the dosage. There are other consumption methods like using a bong. However, the intensity of the bong hit can overwhelm you as a beginner despite the smooth smoke resulting from filtration through the water. If you find smoking a joint or using a bong overwhelming, you can use a vaporizer which is a mild alternative, then get to the joint as you get used to smoking. You can find the best weed strains you can use online.

  • Strain Selection

As you may know, weed comes in different strains. However, there is no definitive answer for choosing the best weed strain for your joint. It entirely depends on the effect you are yearning for, the aroma, and the flavor you prefer. Although, as a beginner, it will be best if you go for Harlequin because of its high CBD: THC ratio. This high ratio makes it unlikely to overwhelm you.

  • Dosage

You still need to check your dosage regularly, even if you have the right strain. For a beginner, two puffs are enough to feel the THC kicking in. Before taking another puff, it would be best to wait a while to ascertain if you can withstand the effects. Furthermore, it would be best to seek the advice of a licensed health care provider, especially if you are under any medication. This is because weed can potentially react with medicinal drugs with adverse effects.

Step By Step Process On How To Light A Joint Evenly

There is a technique involved when it comes to lighting a joint properly. Here are the right steps to follow for even burn and maximum satisfaction.

Step 1: Placing it in your fingers

You should take your joint and place it between your thumb and index finger to ensure it is secure. Holding it this way also makes it easier to pass it if you are smoking with others. Alternatively, like a cigarette, you can hold it between your index finger and the middle one. If you are moving, you may want to avoid redoing the process due to wind; thus, you can pinch your joint between the fingers mentioned above and cover it with your free hand.

Step 2: Lighting the joint

You will need an implement of fire to light the joint, but while at it, you can use the lighters especially designed for cannabis users. There are butane lighters and hemp wicks that you can use for this purpose. The latter, more so those coated with beeswax, are most suitable since they don’t require repeated flickering. In addition, hemp wicks won’t burn your fingers. You should slowly bring your joint’s tip to the flame to light it. You should only apply the flame to only the tip, then move to the next step.

Step 3: Roast the joint tip

In this step, you will roast the joint in the flame to get a nice cherry. To roast, rotate the joint slowly with a bit more direct heat. Doing this ensures that your joint is evenly lit at the tip before you start drawing your puffs. You will know you have a cherry once you see a burning red color on your joint’s tip. A perfect cherry is a sure sign that the joint burns evenly and will do so to the end. Note that you must wait before drawing to avoid the run of fast-burning herb.

Step 4: Draw your puff

You can draw your puff after your joint evenly lights up, and you have a perfect cherry. Don’t be too aggressive since the pre-puffs ensure the joint is burning evenly. Furthermore, the gentle draws won’t affect how the joint burns. Furthermore, as a beginner, you should be more careful due to the unknown risks and take a puff or two and wait a while to feel the outcome.

Step 5: Rectifying uneven burn

If the joint isn’t burning evenly, it will mean that you made a mistake at some point. You can start by backrolling and changing the inner part of your rolling paper to be outside. Alternatively, you can flip it so that the canoeing side moves down. Otherwise, following the above steps should give you a perfectly light joint.

Tips For First-Time Weed Smokers

Understanding the basics of smoking weed and learning how to light a joint is just a start. It would be best if you keep in mind the following tips for the ultimate experience:

  • Take Water if Possible

Weed smoking leads to a chemical change in the mouth that affects the production of saliva, which causes cottonmouth. Cottonmouth or dry mouth is a condition that resembles dehydration. As a beginner, it would be best to have water by you to not only help with the dry mouth but also with dizziness or nausea that might follow.

  • Roll the Joint’s Tip

It’s sad to light up a joint only for it to the tip to burst into uncontrollable flame. Therefore, it will be best to twist the extra rolling paper on the joint’s tip. The rolled tip creates a paper overlap that slows burning to enable you to light the joint and for it to burn evenly. However, experienced smokers may prefer to leave a tip open. As a first-timer, attempting the latter might ruin your smoking experience.

  • Be Patient

You need to be patient during and after you light a joint. The best place to learn is from cigar smokers who patiently wait until their cigars are completely lit. Depending on your grind’s fineness, it might take a while before the joint lights up. Rotate the joint slowly after it lights up to ensure an even burn before putting it in your mouth for a puff.

  • Hold Your Breath While Lighting Your Joint

As a beginner, you might be tempted to put the joint in your mouth and inhale while lighting it like a tobacco cigarette. This is not only dangerous because you can potentially inhale butane but also limits your view on the tip of the joint where you are supposed to light up. In addition, drawing while lighting a joint leads to canoeing – a fast and uneven burn on one side. Therefore, it will be best to hold your breath until your joint lights up evenly.

  • Start With Slow Puffs.

If you are smoking for the first time, you might not know what to expect. Therefore, to gauge the effect, start with small puffs as your joint burns. You shouldn’t succumb to pressure if you are in the company of a friend. This is because of potential respiratory irritation, which can result in coughing, shortness of breath, or wheezing. Taking slow puffs gives your body time to adjust to the new substance you are introducing.

  • Don’t Smoke Alone

Smoking weed potentially causes anxiety and panic attacks. So as much as you can smoke alone, it will be at your own risk. However, it will be best to do it in a smoke circle with experienced peers, especially if you are in an unstable mental state. These friends can readily help you should the need arise. You can use THC detox methods to flush out weed out of your system.

Joint Etiquette For Social Weed Smoking Session

As you have learned in the above tips, you can enjoy yourself more if you smoke with others. The group you will form is called a smoking circle. Unwritten rules govern this grouping covering rolling, lighting, and smoking the joint. The etiquette includes:

Leave Rolling to the Most Experienced Member

When you are getting started, your rolling skills will be rusty. For that reason, you should leave the rolling of a good joint to an experienced member of the circle. This person will know the right amount for each roll, the right texture, and roll thickness that will enable easy lighting and even burn. Humbling yourself will also get you invited next time to such social smoking sessions.

Let the Joint Roller Light it

Unless the host or the roller gives you a chance to light a joint, this privilege is for the roller who spent time rolling it. The roller will also be the first to draw a puff before anyone else in the circle. Note that if you are uncertain about how to light a joint perfectly, it will be best to pass the offer to light it politely. Doing so will save you face and reduce wastage from fast, uneven burns.

Share Some Knowledge

Many people aren’t well conversant with weed strains and flavors. Therefore, it will be kind of you to share your knowledge with the rest about what you are smoking. For instance, such information will help the circle know the expected effects. It will be unfortunate for the group to smoke with the expectation of uplifting vibes only to fall asleep due to the strain you were smoking.

Hit Only if You Contributed

Don’t expect to smoke a joint if you didn’t contribute. It isn’t a must that you should be part of the grinding, rolling, or lighting. You can contribute by buying the weed or buying the rolling papers. All that matters is your input in it. As much as you can smoke it, it will be unfair to those who put a lot of effort into making it possible and potentially lock you out of the next session.

Don’t Hog and Pass it Over if Not Ready

Some smokers take more than two puffs before passing it. Such behavior can disadvantage those following you. If the joint were to make two rounds, the number would be unattainable if you take more. In addition, some smokers talk a lot while the joint burns at the expense of others in the circle.

That is unethical in a smoking session. If you feel you aren’t ready to take a puff, it will be best to pass it to the next person instead of turning the joint into a talking stick.

Ash, Before Passing the Joint Over

A joint will form ash as it burns. This ash can ruin your host’s furniture or your friend’s clothes. Therefore, it will be best to ash it before passing it over. Doing so will make you likable in the circle. Additionally, if the ashtray is full, you should empty it in a bin once you have ashed the joint and pass it to the next person.

Pass to the Left 

During a smoking session, the joint rotation goes anticlockwise. This is a practice borrowed from a Rastafarian culture and songs. However, there are two theories to it. The first relates to the U.K’s Royal Navy’s seafaring tradition that involved passing port decanter to the left to remember which way to pass and for everyone to partake.

The second theory purports that the joints were passed to the left for safety purposes. By passing to the left, the sword arm would remain free. However, it all boils down to most people being right-handed, so passing to the left is easier. Note that you should never break this sequence since it will shortchange others in the circle.

Don’t Smoke if You Are Unwell

We live in pandemic times, and you can easily infect the whole circle if you are unwell. As much the THC can potentially kill the bacteria, you shouldn’t spread it to your peers. For that reason, it will be best if you avoid smoking or even joining the session if you are sick or suspect. And if it happens accidentally, warn them to seek medical attention before they are overwhelmed.

Don’t Suck the Joint

As straightforward as it is, smoking a joint can be challenging if you are a beginner. However, you should try your best not to suck the joint. Doing this might disqualify you from the next invite. Instead, you should keep your lips pooped to avoid making contact with your tongue or the inner parts of your mouth.

Don’t Pass the Remaining Roach

If you happen to be the one with the roach—remaining joint after you have smoked most of it, don’t pass it to the next in the circle. Doing so is ritualistic and unhygienic because it contains residual saliva. So, unless it was passed over to you, put it out and go to the next if available.

Be Kind to New Smokers

As you get used to smoking, you will build tolerance and gain skills in grinding and rolling. You will also know how to light a joint. However, that shouldn’t give you a reason to be unkind and bully new smokers. If anything, you should teach them your ways so they can also master the skills.

FAQs About Lighting A Joint

What is baptizing a joint?

Baptizing a joint is the controversial act of moistening a joint with saliva to make the joint burn slowly. It also refers to putting a little saliva under the lit tip as it burns. This act can be gross to some smokers in your circle. So, before you do it, ensure that everyone is comfortable with it and you are healthy.

Can you light a joint without canoeing?

Yes, you can light a joint without canoeing. It might seem impossible initially but eventually becomes a reality if you follow the steps and tips you have read in this article. To do so, you can roll tighter before starting the ignition process. You should also carefully choose the rolling paper you use and ensure that you grind the weed into a uniform and fine texture.

How long does it take to light a joint?

It takes five minutes to light a joint successfully, provided you rolled it well. You will also need a good heat source such as a hemp wick or butane lighter that won’t go out before your joint lights up. However, note that butane lighters come with health cautions.

What are the effects of lighting a joint using butane lighters?

Traditional lighters such as those using butane come with many health risks. Inhaling butane can cause kidney damage, seizures, and liver damage. Therefore, it’s best to use safer alternatives such as hemp wick. Hemp wick contains all-natural ingredients whose combustion gives a smooth and flavorful hit.

Why does your joint catch fire?

Your joint may catch fire because you didn’t roll it tight enough. The space between the paper and your weed makes uneven toke which in high wind scenario propagate the burning. You can start by choosing the right rolling paper and ensuring that you tightly roll the joint to prevent it from burning unevenly or catching fire. You can also baptize it if you are alone.

How can you make a joint burn slowly apart from baptizing?

If you have done everything right, but the joint is still burning fast, you can opt for using honey to coat the joint. Note that this isn’t the normal honey but a honey-like cannabis concentrate. Alternatively, you can transform your joint into a twax one. This refers to adding hash in the mix or on the rolling paper. However, note that twaxing increases potency, and you can be overwhelmed if you are new to smoking.

Why won’t your joint stay alight?

Like burning faster, some factors prevent your joint from staying light. For starters, your joint may be too tight, preventing air from flowing inside, hence no combustion. Another reason might be your grind which isn’t fine. Others like curring and paper might also be affected. You can solve the problem by unpacking and redoing it by leaving some airspaces or changing the rolling paper.

How do you put a joint out to reserve it for later?

Sometimes you may feel you have had enough and need to preserve your weed for later. You can use a stub on a hard surface, flick on the ashtray, graze, or knock it off. However, leaving your joint in the open air will expose it to oxidation resulting in the aging of the weed. It helps to store it in tightly closed items like a mason jar or doob tubes to keep it fresh.

Conclusion: Can You Roll A Joint Using These Steps?

The culture of weed smoking has gained much popularity, mostly among smokers who are health conscious and want to avoid tobacco usage. However, before you start smoking, it will help if you learn how to light a joint properly using safe methods like using hemp wicks.

Besides, you should know how to get the ultimate satisfaction from weed and the etiquette involved. After an extensive review, we have compiled the information in this article to ensure that it is correct. You can implement it if you want to switch to cannabis smoking or get started.

Doing so will avert the frustration of unevenly burning weed and the awkwardness of breaking the unwritten rules of smoking cannabis.

About the author

Nikhil Goswami

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