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December 1, 2022 Rolling Papers 101

Rolling Papers 101

Rolling a joint is a time-honored method of smoking cannabis. With the introduction of new ways of consumption into the mainstream, you may feel as if rolling a J has shifted from a task that everyone used to be able to perform to one that leaves your group of friends wondering, “alright… who here knows how to roll one of these things?”

 However, with the introduction of some new types of papers to the market, the art of rolling one up may be experiencing a resurgence. Now is a great time to revisit rolling your own – let the good times roll.

Rolling Paper Varieties

The best rolling paper allows you to get the longest burn and best flavor out of your bud, but where should you start your search with so many options? Here are a few alternatives to help you narrow down your choices:

  • Additives Vs. No Additives

Though this may appear a simple question, your opinion may be swayed if you smell a delicious blueberry-scented rolling paper. We advise against succumbing to these temptations. Why would you want to dilute your quality weed, which has its distinct flavor profile, with some overpowering flavor that has been added to your paper?

Furthermore, just because the scent is lovely does not mean it is safe to burn and inhale. We all enjoy the smell of a new vehicle. Still, it becomes less appealing when you consider that the lovely scent results from off-gassing produced by all of the vehicle’s plastics and manufactured components.

Some brands add more than just flavors to their papers. Calcium carbonate and chlorine are other compounds to look out for in your papers. Most legitimate brands avoid using synthetic, but added flavors are something to look out for.

Rolling Papers

Here are a few rolling papers being used today:

  • Pulpwood

Traditional wood-pulp papers are classic because they’re the most uncomplicated and durable to roll. While they are the quickest and easiest way for a beginner to make a joint, they burn quickly and hot, which can result in a joint that smokes too quickly or unevenly.

  • Flax

Flax paper combines the best of both worlds: it’s as thin as rice but as easy to roll as wood pulp or hemp. Flax joints have less combustion because of their low profile, so you taste less smoke and more of the good stuff.

  • Fiber blends

Since each rolling paper material has advantages and disadvantages, a blend is sometimes the best option. Zig-zag typically blends wood pulp with other natural plant fibers for an easy roll and a slow, even burn. Natural flax fibers are used to make their famous white papers and classic orange packs.

  • Hemp

It’s nice to roll a hemp joint because you’re just adding more cannabis on top of the cannabis. Hemp papers are thinner, stronger, and easier to roll than other plant fibers, and their mild flavor will not interfere with the natural flavor of your cannabis.

They’re a little more challenging to work with than wood pulp, but they’re a great place to start. Hemp is a highly sustainable crop, making it an excellent choice for the environment.

Hemp papers are also reminiscent of the versatility of wood pulp papers. They are thicker and more malleable than rice papers but lack the dreaded harshness of wood pulp.

Another widely praised advantage of hemp papers is that they rarely require the smoker to re-light the joint. If you’ve smoked a lot of rice paper, you’re probably used to seeing your tip burn out before you can pass it to your buddy.

  • Rice

Because of their ultra-thin profile, rice papers are challenging but extremely rewarding. They can be a little slick, but they burn slowly and look great.

Stick with sap

It’s helpful to finish off your roll with an adhesive edge on your rolling paper, but the adhesives built into rolling papers can conceal a lot of chemicals. It’s best to avoid rolling papers that don’t list their glue ingredients.

Zig-Zag adhesive is made entirely of gum arabic, a kind of tree sap It’s made of the same material as postage stamps and provides a natural, secure grip.

Other all-natural options exist—some rollers use sugar glue. Gum arabic is the obvious choice in terms of safety and dependability.

The Bleach Debate


While there is much debate in the cannabis community about whether unbleached papers are safer, there is only one significant difference between the two: color.

While some believe that “unbleached” means that white papers are made with household bleach or something similar, this is not the case. Zig-Zag white papers are produced using an oxygenation process that leaves no residue on the paper. The whitening process makes no use of “bleach” or chlorine. “Unbleached” means that the paper was not bleached, so it has the natural color of the fibers rather than the classic white look.

You can confidently smoke the tried-and-true white and orange packs if you like them. However, if you prefer unbleached, Zig-Zag has you covered. Their standard 1.25-inch papers are available unbleached, but they are just as easy to roll and smoke.

The ultra-thin King Slim unbleached papers are ideal if you prefer a larger joint. The packaging is also unbleached and printed with vegetable inks. All of Zig-organic Zag’s hemp papers are also unbleached, as nature intended.

On a Roll

Let us not abandon the long-standing tradition of rolling joints and blunts. Experiment with some different papers and see what works best for you. Sure, with all of the options available to smokers, the art of rolling may not be the most popular, but do we believe there will come a time when rolling will become a lost art? 

No way!