The Ultimate Guide To Rolling Papers

Written by Anthony Franciosi | 30 Nov 2019
📷 Greencamp

Smoking a joint isn’t just a way to pass the time. Neither is it just a quick means to an enjoyable end. Whether you’re smoking a joint, puffing on a spliff, or blazing a blunt, getting your ganja on is an art form.

From procuring the weed, to buying the best rolling papers for your needs, to mastering your rolling style, to inhaling deeply from the first drag of your freshly made J — each step is integral to the creative process.

The modern marijuana smoker is spoiled when it comes to spliff creation. Not only are there now a variety of cannabis strains on the market, there are also a multitude of rolling papers and an abundance of accessories to make the experience even better.

Choosing what rolling paper to buy will either bake or break your next 4:20 session. So to ensure you get the best bang from your next smoke, here’s all you need to know about rolling papers.

The history of rolling papers

The exact history of rolling papers is clouded in the smoke of time, but many legends point to Spain as their country of origin. Christopher Columbus returned from his first voyage to the Americas with tales to tell and tobacco to smoke.

Tobacco cigars caught on quickly with the Spanish aristocracy. The peasants, not wanting to miss out, would wrap the dregs of these cigar butts in newspaper and attempt to smoke the very last tendrils of tobacco. Newspaper was, of course, hard on the health, and so rolling papers were invented in the paper making capital, Alcoy.

These small, thin leaves of paper became popular in North America and Europe during a time when cigarette taxation flared up. Understandably unhappy cigarette smokers began buying rolling papers so they could avoid the taxes while still savouring their tobacco fix.

It wasn’t long after that the stoners followed the smokers and the first ever joints enjoyed their debut.

Rolling paper specifications

Rolling papers are made from materials like hemp, rice straw, flax, or wood pulp. They are usually between 70mm – 110mm (2.75 – 4.33 inches) long and come in a variety of widths depending on your specific spliff needs.

If longer joints are your thing, you can also get slightly thicker, rice-based material. Because of the materials from which they are made, rolling papers are “wispy” when compared to cigarette wrappers.

The size, length, thickness, and type of glue used on the paper you choose will all have an effect on how well your blunt burns.

Papers can also come as bleached or unbleached. During production, chemicals are added to make the paper lighter, stronger, and more resistant to burning (which makes the joint burn longer).

Calcium carbonate (chalk) and chlorine are some unsavoury chemicals that could eventually find their way into your cannabis. Some blunt wraps and coloured papers also contain potassium nitrate, which has been linked to respiratory tract damage and lung disease.

How to choose the right rolling papers for you

Choosing the right rolling papers is a uniquely personal decision that has a huge impact on your marijuana-smoking experience. Size and flavour play the biggest role, so we’ll focus on those components in the next two sections.


Selecting the right rolling paper size depends on what you’re going to smoke and how you want to smoke it. Generally, papers come in one of five sizes:

  • Single
  • 1 1/4″
  • 1 1/2″
  • Double
  • King

Let’s investigate each of these sizes individually.


You might find single wide rolling papers difficult to deal with at first because of their small size. But once you get the hang of rolling a small, tight joint, you’ll see why these are the perfect rolling papers if you’re smoking for one.

If you plan on passing your pièce de résistance to others in the room, you’ll definitely want to consider a larger rolling paper.

1 ¼”

One-and-one-quarter-inch (1 ¼”) rolling papers are one of the most popular sizes. Once rolled, they are similar in size to your standard cigarette (with a slightly more conical shape).

One-and-one-quarter inch rolling papers are a good choice for groups of one to three.

1 ½″

If you’re looking for a longer hit, opt for the bigger one-and-one-half-inch (1 ½”) rolling papers. Once rolled, these papers yield a joint that is larger than a cigarette but not quite as big as a blunt.

One-and-one-half-inch rolling papers properly packed are suitable for a group of 3 or 4 seasoned smokers (or one brave ganja guru).


Double wide rolling papers are among the least popular sizes on the market. Yes, double wide papers allow for a larger joint (yay!), but if you don’t roll them properly, you’ll be inhaling more paper than marijuana (boo!).

If you’re new to rolling joints, you could certainly start with a double wide rolling paper so you have plenty of room to work with. Practice rolling the joint as tightly as possible. Once you’re a whiz with the double wide, move down a size to the 1 ½” rolling paper.

This will save you money (double wides are more expensive) and create a better marijuana-to-paper ratio.


If you’re planning on puffing and passing with a bigger circle of smokers (i.e., four or five), you’ll need a king sized paper to really spread the love. King size rolling papers allow for more tokes and better ventilation, and are easier to handle than smaller joints (especially when you’re high as a kite).

King size rolling papers are also available in King Slims. With these rolling papers you can produce a slimmer (but still very potent) spliff for larger groups (or one really great afternoon just for you).


Now that you know what size to get, you might find yourself distracted by the variety of flavoured rolling papers on offer. If you like a citrus zing to your weed, or a slight hint of blueberry to your buds, you can add extra oomph to the terpenes by cocooning your cannabis in an aptly flavoured paper.

The rolling paper flavour debate is a hot topic in the pothead world. Whereas some branded varieties truly do add to the sense sensation of smoking a spliff, other flavours have been known to harm the taste, and possibly your health too.

There’s no strong evidence to support this, though, so it could just be a puff of hot smoke.

Flavoured papers do burn quicker, putting the timer on your smoking session. But, then again, on the plus side, flavoured papers add greatly to the improved sensory experience of dried out or rank smelling weed.

Double chocolate, blueberry, coconut or just pure cannabis — the choice is yours.

Source: Honest Marijuana