How to Smoke a Joint – A First Timer’s Guide

how to smoke a joint

Like any new venture, smoking a joint can look quite daunting to newbies — but it’s incredibly easy once you get the hang of it. It does take a bit of effort on your part to learn how to smoke a joint, light and hold it, but if you can hone the skill required to roll a perfect joint, you’ll always be chief of the smoke circle. 

If this all seems a bit perplexing, don’t fret! We’ve compiled this informative guide to help clear the smoke about any confusion you may have about how to smoke a joint, roll and share it, so let’s begin! 

How to Smoke a Joint 

One of the biggest rookie mistakes newbies make is drawing the smoke directly into the lungs. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable hit, slowly inhale the smoke into your mouth using your cheeks, then inhale it down into your lungs, and hold for two seconds before slowly exhaling. 

To get the most out of your hit, remember that sometimes less is more. Don’t try to take the biggest toke possible as this often results in coughing up more than half your hit and leads to a sore throat and cottonmouth

Instead, try to take a small to medium-sized hit that won’t lead to gagging, irritation, and wasted product. 

Now that you have the basic knowledge about how to smoke a joint, it’s time to learn the differences between the common terminologies used to describe various types of joints. 

To save yourself a lot of embarrassment, the first thing you’ll want to remember is that not all rolled weed products are joints. 

Depending on the construction and paper used to wrap the marijuana in will determine what type of a joint-adjacent consumable it is: 

  • Joint: Cannabis flower rolled in a thin, semi-translucent paper.
  • Blunt: Cannabis flower rolled in a hollowed cigar wrap or thick tobacco paper, and blunts are much larger than a joint. For more information on blunts vs joints, check our guide.
  • Spliff: Cannabis flower and tobacco rolled in a thin, semi-translucent paper. Click on our guide ‘Spliff vs Joint’ for more information.

How to Roll a Joint

rolling a joint

Before you bust out your rolling papers and weed — you also need to learn how to roll a joint

You’ll need a marijuana flower, a weed grinder, rolling papers, and an index or business card. 

Technically, you can roll a joint without a crutch (filter), but it massively improves the stability and prevents singed fingertips, so we highly recommend using one. 

Now let’s get to the technical part, how to roll a joint.

  • First, make the filter (crutch). 
  • Cut your sturdy paper (business/index card) to ½” to ¾” in size. 
  • Fold three to four accordion-style folds to create an M or zig-zag shape. 
  • Pinch and roll the folds to form the crutch to reflect how thick you want your joint to be. 
  • Insert half to a whole gram of marijuana flower into the grinder and grind until it becomes an even, grain-like consistency. 
  • With your rolling paper laying out on a flat surface, put the crutch you make in step 1 along one end so that the paper can be wrapped around it.
  • Load up your rolling paper with your ground up weed. 
  • Slowly shape your joint using your fingers to curl up the edges of the paper. 
  • Pinch the paper at both ends, begin rolling it back and forth to pack it down and coax your herb into a uniform shape. 
  • Fold the side of the paper without glue on it underneath the side with the glue, then use water or saliva to activate the glue before applying pressure and sealing it.

How to Smoke a Joint – Weed Smoking Etiquette

Since smoking joints are usually a social activity, there are a set of established rules and guidelines you should know about if you don’t want to be labelled a pariah and be cast out from all future smoke sessions. 

Let’s review some of them below.

Don’t Hog the Joint

The common phrase puff, puff, pass, isn’t just fun-to-say — it’s a rule. Strictly speaking, take two drags, then pass it along. Don’t hold it while you finish your story. Instead, take your two tokes and keep it moving. 

Don’t Jump the Gun

The person who rolls the joint gets to take the first hit or decides who gets the first hit. Just like it’s rude to cut in front of others in line, it’s rude to grab the joint before your turn.   

Watch the Spit

Try to refrain from wetting your lips or touching the joint with your tongue when taking your hit. Nobody wants a mouthful of your saliva. 

Don’t Pass a Roached Joint

If it’s obvious you’ve reached the end of the line with your joint, don’t pass it to the next person. There is nothing left to inhale, and you’re handing trash at this point, which is rude. 

Are Joints Right For You?

rolling marijuana joint

If you want a healthy way to smoke weed, you’ll never find it. 

There is no completely safe way to smoke anything without some risk being involved because of the combustion. However, marijuana smoke is much less damaging than tobacco smoke.

If you have asthma or other respiratory illnesses — it’s safe to say that smoking joints probably isn’t the best option for you. Some methods are much less harmful than others because they’re 100% smoke and carcinogen-free. These healthier alternatives you may want to consider include vaporizers, edibles, beverages, topicals and tinctures.

For example, edibles bypass the harmful combustion and inhalation process. 

They don’t contain the carcinogens and toxins that marijuana smoke does, making them a much safer and healthier joint alternative. 

Final Thoughts on How to Smoke a Joint

If you still have anxiety about how to smoke a joint, please don’t worry! 

The best thing to do is to embrace it and continue practicing. If you’re worried about wasting money if you mess up, don’t. 

Rolling papers are very inexpensive and come in packs of 30 or over 50 depending on which one you opt to buy — but either way, that allows a lot of room to hone your skills and keep at it until you perfect it.

Just make sure to purchase your weed, and rolling papers come from a reputable dispensary to get a high-quality product. And if you’re worried about combustion and want to try a safer alternative to consuming weed, use edibles, beverages, topicals and tinctures to avoid inhaling carcinogens and toxins. 

Stay safe and happy toking!

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