For many smokers, its the last resort. For many more stoners its a skill that they never picked up. But knowing how to roll a good joint is the key to stoner heaven. Whether you are hiking through the mountains or chiefing on a walk, a joint is the perfect companion, and great for sharing (not right now though.). While there are going to be a few ‘doobies’ rolled on the road to a perfection, a little practice and a little patience will get you a home-rolled joint burning between your fingertips in a second. So we put together a simple 12 step guide to help you perfect your joint rolling skills.
Whether you’re rolling your joint on your dinner table or on a book while you’re at the beach, its always helpful to have a wide, clean, smooth surface to roll on. If you plan on making joints a habit you might invest in a weed tray with tilted edges, but you can make do with a book or a bowl just as well.
Grab a few nugs, try to aim for about 3/4 of a gram. Don’t grind it too fine or it will be harder to roll with. You’ll start to get the amount you need down, but even if you over shoot by a little, you would be surprised by how much weed you can pack into a well rolled joint.
Bend one end of the papers between your pointer finger and thumb of your non-dominant hand. The paper has a glue edge, make sure it is putting up, and towards you.. At this point you can place a crutch on the paper under your pointer finger, but they aren’t necessary.
Pour your ground weed onto your paper, starting at your finger tip and working up. Try to leave as few gaps as possible so the flower is dense, even if that means cutting your joint a little short. Gaps will cause your joint to canoe, burning poorly and wasting weed.
Using both thumbs, massage the weed with a rocking pattern. Start at the edges, and work your way in, slowly and lightly massaging the weed. Tails will begin to form as you do this. The shape to aim for is a cone. Don’t compress the weed too much because it will be hard to draw through when smoked.
As the cone shape forms, stop rolling and fill in any gaps in the roll. Massage the weed into the cone shape. Well rolled weed is fluffy, rather than densely packed. Although if the weed is too lightly rolled it will burn unevenly. Any gaps in the weed will cause it to canoe and can ruin your joint.
With your non-dominant thumb, push the paper tip of the paper closest to you under the thin section of your weed. If you have trouble tucking, you can bend the paper so that it is flush with other-side. Use your finger to jam this section down so there is no gap.
From the bottom up, lick the glued edge. From the bottom up apply the now wet edge to the dry paper. Run your finger over the seam and leave the joint be for a minute so that it can dry. You do not need to use much saliva to make the seal, but be sure there are no air gaps.
Any weed left on your plate can be packed into the top of the joint. Twist the open paper shut, pressing down the weed. A pen or pencil eraser is a great tool for packing. Don’t pack too much, because the weed can become too dense to smoke through and the paper can tear. But you would be surprised how much you can get in there.
Grab a business card or some card-stock and cut it to about the width of your fingertip. Any paper can work, but something tough gives the joint a little structure. You can tear it too, although frayed edges can clog up your joint.
Bend a short zig-zag into your crutch paper. Wrap the rest of the paper around the zig-zag so that you form a cylinder. It shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. It is meant to catch weed from falling in your mouth, and to give you something to hold on to and pass around.
Tighten your crutch slightly and slide it into the unsealed side of your joint. You’ll probably be pushing weed, so be slow in pushing the crutch into your joint so that you do not tear the paper or pack the weed too tightly under your crutch. Now it is…
Zia McCabe is the bassist & bass/synth player for multi-platinum recording artists The Dandy Warhols of Portland, Oregon, who have released 10 full length records, several EPs, and a full length live album, since 1994.
Z came to Tacoma and partied down with us at the House of Cannabis – Tacoma location in June of 2019. She had our crowd dancing in line as she laid down a thick catalogue of urban dance to brit-pop with a fog machine and laser show.
Thanks for agreeing to do a little Q&A for the House of Cannabis blog. Here are a few questions we have decided to ask you!
1. What Dandy Warhol’s song do you most want to play live, that you all haven’t?
[Our song] “Easy” (Spotify | Apple Music). I think this would be so fun live. Especially for me because I would get to play bass guitar for the first bit and synth bass for the last section.
Editors Note: This is one of my favorite The Dandy Warhol’s songs…. I’d love to hear it played, live.
2. Do you have a ritual or standing tradition of consuming cannabis before or after shows, and if so, what is that ritual like?
I have learned the hard way that I just can’t play stoned. I forget parts, I forget when to, and when not play. It’s a mess! But, I can get high right after soundcheck for a little attitude adjustment with plenty of time for any confusion to wear off. I also enjoy getting stoned after the show. I don’t drink all that often anymore so it really helps keep me entertained by all the people that have been drinking all night.
3. Do you have a great weed story from the tour/road archives?
Hmm, well, I had grabbed an ounce before hopping on the bus to start a month long US tour. Enough to split up and keep everyone pretty well stocked for the month. Before I could split it up or really even smoke any of it, we got pulled over on the I-10 in Arizona. The idiot bus driver lets the cops on with their K9 to search the bus. The dog didn’t find anything (I now believe this was no K9, just a silly cop’s dog that he tried to train with german commands [as] the other cops seemed a little embarrassed). Anyway, they went back on without the dog and found the big bag of weed sitting in my bunk. Of course no one stepped up to take ownership (even though I had picked it up as a convenience to everyone) so I raised my hand. Not sure it would help at all, I showed them my carrier card for medical marijuana (I can’t remember what year this happened but pot wasn’t legal in Oregon yet).
As they walked me across the highway to their mobile offices, I told them this was my medicine, they replied, “in Arizona, we call this a drug”. So they put me a cell of sorts, metal walls and chain link door. I sat in there in my pajamas, with my hair in curlers and tied up in a bandana.
The cop came back and asked me how much I was allowed to carry. His eyes about popped out of his head when I told him two pounds. Ha! He then left me alone for a while longer. Finally he let me out and led me to his desk. He informed me that they were actually feds (gulp), and that there jurisdiction starts at 40 lbs (small sigh of relief). He said he’d been trying to find a local officer to come arrest me but since it was Sunday, no one wanted to come in on their day off (huge sigh of relief!).
So he led me back to the bus, came on behind me as I’m quickly sssh-ing the cheers from my band mates and crew. He gave us some silly lecture and we were on our way. The best part (besides not getting arrested) was that they didn’t search my purse with has a personal stash and pipe. Which I immediately passed around and we all had a good laugh. Crazy thing is, same thing happened two night later in El Paso but we had smoked every last crumb and just rolled our eyes as the cops tried to intimidate us by letting their dogs hump our luggage.
****Note to self, don’t bring enough weed for the entire tour and don’t carry anyone else’s share.
4. Do you have a favorite strain, and what is your favorite way to consume cannabis?
I don’t have a favorite strain, because it’s more fun to switch it up and keep it fresh. Typically what I’m looking for is a heavy duty Indica. I mostly consume cannabis for relaxation and sleep. So I want it to turn my brain to mush and knock me out. I do dabble with Sativa hybrids during the day when I want to be creative or just enjoy my back yard.
5. “Why You So Crazy” is a great album, but when is the next one?? Is it underway, already?
We do have another album on the way! I just tracked three new bass lines yesterday in fact. As you know we are slow pokes when it comes to getting new albums out so don’t hold your breath but do know it’s in the works. : )
Yeah, so it’s a cover…. So what? The video, alone, makes it worth its weight in pressed vinyl. Music by Tommy Chong, and lyric credits include both Cheech & Chong, they originally inked this modern pop/country classic with the movie ‘Up in Smoke’ in mind.
However, this version features a better metered approach to the music, which makes it a bit more peppy. Immigrant Union is an Australian band fronted by a dude named Bob that I met once in Portland, at a cool recording studio. When they first got going, this band featured Courtney Barnett for a while. Another dude, Mitchell, who grows weed for Bondi Farms introduced me, and we all smoked a fatty blunt together on New Year’s Eve of 2019 -> 2020. Good times.