The Curious Cannabist: Various cannabis cigarettes

You’re acquainted with old school rolled cigarette-style joints, but in your new found exploration of cannabis have seen the Instagram photos of crazy joints in windmill shapes and fancy wax designs with kief dusting. What the heck are all those and what are they about? Are they just a novelty or a new craft to indulge in?

Here’s a breakdown of all the joints you can check out and see if it’s time for a new hobby.


Rolling a marijuana cigarette by hand.

Classic Joint

Three ingredients are required for a classic joint: rolling paper, cannabis and a lighting utensil, the simplest way to consume cannabis.

Sometimes referred to as a “tipped” joint, a filter/roach/crutch is a popular added element which is basically a rolled piece of postcard that sits at the mouth end of a joint roll. It is not literally a filter, instead its function is that it provides a foundation on which your herb will stack inside the rolling paper. It provides a hand-hold for your joint. It stops loose cannabis from getting into your mouth. It keeps the mouth-end from getting too unwieldy and wet from saliva. It’s one of those things you should probably make a habit out of including in your rolls so please do not be intimidated by these things.

Proper filters or long joint-holding stems with filters are available for use, but are not as necessary as with cigarettes which are riddled with so much tar and carcinogens that they’re impossible to smoke without the filtration.

There is a slightly more advanced style of rolling called a backroll that reduces the amount of paper rolled into the joint which creates less paper to burn and fill your lungs with smoke.

Cannabis joints or marijuana cigarettes.


Pinner or Pin

This joint is thin and evenly cylindrical. You can of course pass it around with your friends, but these are most often rolled with a single, quick, personal use in mind.

Cone Joint

Cone joints are mostly an aesthetic choice. Some people find them to be easier to roll. Others like that there is more cannabis to be had in this design. Most pre-rolls on the market are cone shaped.


Blunts are rolled with cigar paper which is made out of tobacco leaves. You can split a cigar, empty it and then reuse the skin. Or you can just buy empty blunt wraps available in flavors such as mango or strawberry.


Blunt paper or cigar wrap.


A spliff is a joint that splits tobacco with cannabis. There are a couple of reasons why you’d roll one of these. Some like to conserve their stash by diluting their herb with tobacco. There’s the desired effect of tobacco-cannabis medley hits, which have been likened to a coffee buzz kind of feel. Perhaps the pleasant taste and smell of the two leaves combined is the main attraction.

Some insist the health concerns of using tobacco is too risky but will compromise to achieve some of these tobacco-based effects with a blunt wrap. If you prefer a strong tobacco presence in your rituals, use a cigar to get your blunt paper, and then use that cigar tobacco in your spliff blunt.


Tobacco and cannabis together make a spliff.

Apparently in other parts of the world, the name for joint versus spliff are swapped. To them, a joint is a joining of tobacco and cannabis.

Origami rolls


Joints can take on many shapes and sizes.

Made famous by Seth Rogan in Pineapple Express, the cross joint made its debut in mainstream culture. In reality the possibilities are endless. Scorpions, windmills, kites and other creative abstracts, all you need is an end to light and another from which to inhale. Often created as an art form as a delight to impress your friends, these party favors are no easy feat. They often require thoughtful architecture and engineering.

Twax joint

You can take your simple joint or elaborately designed rolls to the next level with cannabis wax concentrate and kief, the small crystals from the cannabis bud that can be like decorative and tasty sprinkles on a cake. All it takes is some cannabis concentrate that, depending on consistency of that particular wax, can be rolled and snaked around your joint or webbed onto the end for an amazing cannabis effect. Then it can warmed and rolled in kief, for an even stronger kick.


Sometimes you’ll see joint creators run their lighter up and down the joint when they’re done rolling. What they’re doing is drying up the excess saliva left behind from licking the glue and sealing the final product.

In general the idea is to create a masterpiece that burns evenly and smokes smoothly.

Breaking down the ingredients of joints, let’s discuss the various attributes of the skins you’re rolling with. Blunt wraps tend to burn slower. Rolling papers vary in taste, ease of use and novelty depending on if you’re into hemp paper, rice paper, clear paper or flavored papers. There are different sizes of papers and various burn rates.

Sometimes this thing called canoeing occurs and the solve is to get a small bit of water or spittle on your finger and tap the burning area lightly until it goes out and burns evenly again.

One way to ensure best practices for air flow is to grind your cannabis medium consistency so there is diversity of loose leaves and small nuggets to keep the distribution even. Don’t go too fine with the grain because it will burn way to fast and super chunky cannabis nuggets causes blockages.

Then there’s the issue of dealing with the “roach”, or the joint once it has burned down to a nub: too short to handle with your fingers without getting burned. Some people use a variety of makeshift roach clips but we wholeheartedly endorse Kizzle Kit’s Weezie for this. It’s stylish and looks cool, yes, but also has reverse tension and doesn’t squeeze your filter so hard it blocks the airway. The term “roach” can also be a reference to the tipped end or filter discussed above.

With some practice you can get the perfect joint for you and your friends. You can even cheat and get a rolling machine which isn’t that bad of an idea either. Why not? For your first foray into joint creation, nail down the basics and then explore.