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Top 5 hacks for when you run out of smoking papers

Every dedicated cannabis user ought to be carrying around a kit of essential items at all times. Omitting this crucial aspect of the stoner routine is just unprofessional. But even the best of us get caught out at times, and go to roll a joint only to discover there are no smoking papers to be found. You may find yourself asking: what can I use as rolling paper?

1. Find a substitute for paper

We all remember schooldays when someone managed to smuggle in an eighth but—surprise surprise!—didn’t manage to steal any smoking papers from out of their big brother’s stash box.

And then eventually you all end up huddled behind the sports hall frantically trying to roll joints out of toilet paper, magazine covers and old receipts, and you’ve wasted most of the weed so far trying to do it…

So thank heaven that those days are long behind (most of) us, and we now have an array of superior options to go for, in the astoundingly rare event that we plan poorly enough to run out of OCB’s and there’s nary a head shop to be found.

If you happen to be artistically-minded, or just the type of person that likes to do brass rubbings when out and about, you may be the kind of person who carries around tracing paper in their pocket!

Tracing paper is actually a pretty good alternative for smoking papers, if you have the thin, high-quality stuff. Much better than a magazine or a receipt, anyway—but yeah, perhaps not the most common pocket item.

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2. Gum paper

On the other hand, if you’re just a regular, uncreative Joe with no tracing paper about your person (you poor peasant), you may still be in luck if you happen to have a few sticks of gum in your pocket. That silvery foil stuff that your sticks of gum come wrapped in?

If you can rub the foil part off without damaging the paper underneath, that paper can act as a pretty reasonable substitute Rizla—and as a bonus, all the sugary-gummy residual goodness left on the paper should help stick it together, with a little help from your tongue.

3. Roll up a corn husk

Although this technically counts as a replacement rolling paper, it’s so good it deserves a section of its own. The outer layers of an ear of sweetcorn can be dried and used as a natural rolling paper, and probably represents the least harmful option listed so far!

The husk is naturally soft, flexible and fibrous, and retains these qualities even when dry.

Many countries that produce both corn and cannabis use corn husks to roll joints as a traditional method of consumption. In Jamaica, an island that is globally known for its high-quality cannabis, sun-drying corn husks to later use as rolling papers is a widespread practice.

Here they are typically soaked in water briefly prior to rolling, to ensure that their flexibility is maximised.

Mexico and the USA are other countries where cannabis users report use of this method—in the USA, pre-dried corn husks can be purchased in the Mexican section of many large supermarkets, particularly in the South.

As well as corn, fibres from several other plants can substitute for rolling papers—and may even prove preferable in terms of flavour, as many report the ‘papery’ taste to be absent. The fibrous inner membrane of bamboo is one substitute, and the bark (or the layer beneath the bark) of several trees is light and flexible enough to be used.

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4. Make a bucket/lung

Making substitute pipes is another approach to the problem of being caught out without smoking papers or bong. There are various different ways to achieve this, from using an apple or a bell pepper to constructing ambitious devices out of old electronics and scrap metal.

Here we’ll briefly describe two related methods that are capable of packing a serious punch, but do not require any hard-to-find items.

Both techniques require a 2-litre (or similar) empty bottle, such as one used to contain water or soft drinks. The bottle must be cut in two, approximately 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. A piece of tin foil shaped to fit the mouth of the bottle and pierced several times to allow airflow is also needed.

To make a lung, simply use tape to attach a plastic bag to the cut end of the bottle; once secure, scrunch the bag up inside the bottle.

  • Then place some cannabis onto the foil ‘gauze’, which should be loosely placed on the mouth of the bottle.
  • Use a lighter to burn the cannabis while using your other hand to pull the plastic bag out of the bottle—by doing this you create a vacuum inside the bottle, which causes air (and smoke) to rush into the chamber.
  • When the bag is fully extended, remove the foil from the bottle and inhale the smoke from inside the bottle.
  • A bucket (also known as a gravity bong) functions similarly, but uses a large (at least 10 litre) bucket filled around 2/3 full with water. The bottle is placed into the bucket and held down so that it does not float up.
  • The foil is placed on the mouth of the bottle, cannabis is placed on it and burned, and the bottle is slowly raised up, causing the vacuum inside to become filled with air and smoke.

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5. Do hot-knives

“Hot-knives” is one of the oldest and most well-known methods of consuming cannabis in the absence of a paper or pipe. It is also one of the simplest—but can potentially be quite dangerous, so great care must be taken especially if already intoxicated! All you need is a heat source such as a gas or electric stove, two knives and some cannabis.

Some also prefer to use a straw or a rolled-up piece of paper to inhale the smoke, to avoid getting too close to the source of the heat, but this is not always necessary.

  • Simply switch on the stove and bring it up to a medium-hot temperature. Once it is hot, hold the blades of the two knives immediately above the heat source for a short time (usually 1-2 minutes is sufficient).
  • Ensure that the handles of the knives are away from the heat source to avoid damage to them (and injury to you!). Then, carefully place a small piece of cannabis on to one of the knife blades, and press the other knife blade down onto it so that the cannabis is ‘sandwiched’ between two hot metal blades.
  • The cannabis should begin to smoke immediately, so be ready to inhale as soon as contact has been made to avoid wastage. The advantage of this technique is that it can be used for any type of cannabis—flowers, hashish and even concentrates! This wide ranging application is the reason that hot-knives remains one of the most popular and well-known techniques in the book.

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6. Buy a vaporizer

A permanent solution for the forgetful cannabis users is to find a different way of using. If you never want the problem of getting caught without smoking papers again, have a look at the pocket sized vaporizers that are out there.

It happens to the best. You go to roll a joint only to discover there are no smoking papers! What to do? Don't panic we have the best alternatives for you.

How to roll a blunt

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Contents

  1. What is a blunt?
  2. What you need to roll a blunt
  3. Step-by-step instructions for rolling a blunt
  4. Why people like blunts
  5. Why people hate blunts
  6. Bottom line

What is a blunt?

A blunt is similar to a joint, in that it is essentially a marijuana cigarette. But unlike joints, the defining feature of a blunt is that it is wrapped in a tobacco leaf paper, rather than a standard rolling paper. This feature provides many of the distinctive qualities of a blunt, including taste, smell, effect, and burn time.

The defining feature of a blunt is that it is wrapped in a tobacco leaf paper. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Within the cannabis community, blunts can be a bit polarizing. Some smokers are avid fans of blunts, essentially smoking nothing else, while others are turned off by the sometimes strong smells and tastes associated with the tobacco leaf wrap. Learning how to roll a perfect blunt takes practice, so if at first you don’t succeed, keep trying!

What you need to roll a blunt

To roll and smoke blunts like a pro you will need a handful of key components. Obviously, you will need your cannabis strain of choice. Since you’ll have to grind your bud before rolling your blunt, it is best to also have a reliable grinder. To keep your work space tidy, a rolling tray will also come in handy.

To roll and smoke blunts like a pro you will need a handful of key components. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Additionally, you will need rolling papers. Rolling papers are the most important element of a blunt, since the tobacco leaf wrap is the very definition of what makes a blunt a blunt. Selecting the right tobacco wrap is at the heart of rolling blunts, as blunt aficionados tend to be very loyal to one particular brand of tobacco wrapping paper, using their brand of choice almost exclusively.

There are two main ways to procure your tobacco wrapping paper. Traditionally, you purchase a pre-rolled cigar or cigarillo, empty out the contents, and then repurpose the tobacco wrapping paper by filling it with weed before re-rolling it into a blunt. Popular cigar and cigarillo brands include:

  • Swisher Sweets
  • Dutch Masters
  • Backwoods
  • White Owl
  • Phillies

The other type of blunt wrap is a tobacco leaf paper that comes as-is and is not a pre-filled cigar or cigarillo. Zig Zag Blunt Wraps are probably the most common wrap in this category.

Step-by-step instructions for rolling a blunt

Step 1: Grind your weed

Before you start rolling your blunt, it’s a good idea to complete a little prep work. Most importantly, that means having your weed ground up and ready to go. That way when you’ve broken down and cleaned out your wrap, you can move right into rolling your ground cannabis.

The best way to grind your weed is with a grinder. This tool gives you the most consistent grind, which translates into a smoother, more even burn. If you don’t have a grinder, carefully break apart your weed with your fingers. Shoot for picking it apart into small pieces that are more or less the same size. As you go, be as delicate as you can to minimize damage to the cannabinoid-rich trichomes.

Before you start rolling your blunt, grind your weed with a grinder. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 2: Select your wrap

As mentioned above, die-hard blunt smokers tend to define themselves by their wrap of choice. If you’re new to blunts, experiment with a handful of different brands. You might even want to test a flavored wrap. Enjoy figuring out which blunt wrap you like the best. Or, if you like a couple of different brands, feel free to switch things up according to how you’re feeling at the moment.

Step 3: Break down the wrap

The cleanest and most precise way to break down the wrap is to use a razor blade to split the cigar or cigarillo lengthwise down the middle. You can also use your hands; just be very careful that you break apart the wrapper without tearing it all the way through or cracking it. Once you’ve opened the cigar or cigarillo, simply empty out and discard the tobacco inside the wrap.

Once you’ve opened the cigar or cigarillo, simply empty out and discard the tobacco inside the wrap. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 4: Moisten the wrap

It’s a good idea to get the wrap slightly moist, as this makes the tobacco leaf more pliable and easier to work with. You can use either water or saliva for this. Some folks lick the blunt wrap while others use a paintbrush moistened with water. Whatever you do, don’t get it sopping wet — you don’t want the entire thing to disintegrate. Just moisten the wrap enough to make it easier to handle.

Step 5: Place weed in wrap

Hold the tobacco wrap in one hand, typically your non-dominant hand. Position your index fingers and thumbs in such a way that you form the wrap into a U-shaped trough. Now, grab a pinch of your ground-up marijuana and place it inside the tobacco wrap, forming a line that runs the full length of the wrap. Be sure you don’t overfill it—you still need enough space to wrap the tobacco leaf into a cylinder that completely encases the marijuana.

Grab a pinch of your ground-up marijuana and place it inside the tobacco wrap, forming a line that runs the full length of the wrap. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 6: Roll up your blunt

Use both hands to gently rock the wrapping paper back and forth. As you engage in this motion, you should be tamping down and evening out the marijuana. This technique will begin to shape your blunt into a cylinder that is uniform in thickness. When you’ve got the right shape formed, bring one edge of the wrap up and over the marijuana, and tuck it underneath the opposite side of the wrap. At this point, the wrap should completely encase the marijuana.

As you gently rock the wrapping paper back and forth, you should be tamping down and evening out the marijuana. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 7: Seal your blunt

Hold the edge of the wrap that is now on top of the other edge and use your tongue to dampen it. Lick the inside of the wrap and, when it’s moist, press it down on top of the other edge of the wrap. The moisture should make the tobacco stick to itself, thereby sealing the blunt shut. Be sure that the seam you just made is sealed along the entire length of the blunt.

Lick the inside of the wrap and, when it’s moist, press it down on top of the other edge of the wrap. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Finally, use a lighter and run the flame up and down along the seam. This dries out the tobacco and locks the seam into place so the blunt doesn’t fall apart when you’re smoking it.

Finally, use a lighter and run the flame up and down along the seam. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Step 8: Light up your blunt and enjoy

Now it’s time to light up one end of your blunt and pull the smoke through the other end. Enjoy!

Now it’s time to light up one end of your blunt and pull the smoke through the other end. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Why people like blunts

Many marijuana consumers have strong feelings about blunts. Those who love blunts tend to really love them. There are a handful of reasons why blunt lovers prefer this method of smoking above other methods:

  • Taste and smell – Many blunt fans enjoy the added tastes and smells that come from the tobacco leaf wrap. Aficionados often like mixing and matching wraps with different strains. Some blunt smokers also like experimenting with flavored blunt wrappers, introducing even more complexity to the taste and scent profiles of their smoking experience.
  • Slow burn – Blunts tend to burn a bit longer than standard joints, giving smokers an experience more akin to slowly puffing on a cigar or cigarillo.
  • Versatility – Compared to other, less mobile smoking methods, such as a bong or dabbing, blunts are incredibly versatile. You can easily and quickly roll one up anytime and anywhere, and they’re equally effective for solo and social smoking.
  • Effects – The tobacco leaf wrap introduces a new and often heightened sensation of feeling high. In fact, it’s fairly common for first-time blunt smokers to feel a bit overwhelmed by the combined tobacco-plus-cannabis buzz. But this is precisely the effect that many blunt fans want.

Why people hate blunts

Interestingly, the reasons some people love blunts are also the reasons other people hate blunts. Specifically, people who hate blunts tend to be turned off by:

  • The smell and taste of the tobacco wrap.
  • The sometimes harsh smoke produced by the tobacco wrap.
  • The additional “buzzy” effects typically produced by inhaling smoke from the tobacco wrap.

Bottom line

Blunts are excellent choices for cannabis connoisseurs who favor strong aromas and flavors accompanied by a slow burn and intense high.

How to roll a blunt Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is a blunt? What you need to roll a blunt Step-by-step instructions for rolling