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March 3, 2014 | by  | in Features Homepage | [ssba]

How to Roll a Durry/Joint

To preface this column, I would like to paternalistically offer one piece of advice that should supercede the following column – don’t start smoking, and if you do smoke do your utmost to quit. Seriously. The government doesn’t put those gross pictures on the packets for its own perverse amusement. On the other hand, I ain’t your goddamn parents. So, without further ado, I present to you a couple of tricks of the smoking trade that will hold you in good stead – like riding a bicycle, learning how to roll is a skill that you will never unlearn.


Cigarette prices, as any smoker will bemoan at length, are exorbitant – a decent pack will set you back nigh-on 20 bucks. The good news is that pouches are much more cost-effective. A 30 gram ‘pouch’ of tobacco, which retails at about 40, will generate anywhere between about 70 and 100 cigarettes depending on your rolling style. You’ll need to buy some accoutrements with it – filters and papers, commonly shortened to ‘papes’. If you’re just learning to roll, I’d recommend starting with yellow Zig-Zag papers and ‘yellow’ filters, as these are the easiest to learn with and don’t break easily, although as you become proficient you may want to switch (many smokers swear by Rizlas, for example).

To begin: curl the paper with your fingers so there’s an enclave in the paper. Place the tobacco in first, leaving enough space at the end of your dominant hand to place the filter in later. Then, using your thumb on on one side and index + middle finger on the other, make a rolling motion. You should feel the tobacco start to compress. After doing this for about five seconds, slide the filter into the end of the cigarette and repeat the ‘rolling’ motion until everything looks even. Here comes the tricky part – roll down the paper until it’s even with the tobacco, and then roll it upwards until it forms a cigarettish shape, lick the sticky part of the paper – delicately, like a postage stamp or, as one café-worker advised me once, “like a woman” (NO SLOBBER) – and complete the roll. Voila! A hand-rolled cigarette. If at first it seems time-consuming, be assured that afterwards the ritual becomes almost as addictive as the ‘baccy itself. If you don’t get it the first, second or even third times – don’t panic! Practice makes perfect, and you’ll no doubt find your own idiosyncrasy somewhere in the process that makes it easier for you. If you’re worried about wasting tobacco, a yellow paper is the exact length of four filters neatly in a row, so practice rolling those – and incidentally, that should provide you with a good rule of thumb of how much tobacco to use in the rolling process.


The art of rolling a joint is an entirely different beast altogether. First things first: marijuana (also known as: weed, pot, hemp, bud, da green, sticky) is the most benevolent buzz Class C has to offer, but the commonly espoused myth that claims it isn’t addictive or harmful in large doses is woefully incorrect and, y’know, it is illegal (the nanny state gone mad, but I digress). Use caution in partaking.

Marijuana differs from tobacco in that, because of its consistency, it cannot be rolled straight off the bat (unless you buy what’s known as ‘chop’, but ironically that is much better consumed in brownies unless you want to chain-blunt three in a row). To this end, you’ll need a pair of scissors and a receptacle of some kind, preferably a shot glass or film cannister. Place the bud in the receptacle and chop away until you achieve a rollable consistency. You’ll also want to use Blue Papers, not Yellow – Blue Papers are slow-burning, which is a pain in the ass if you’re inhalin’ Port Royal but useful if you’re looking to conserve as much marijuana as possible. Another difference is that instead of a filter you’ll need to construct a ‘roach’ in order to get the most bang for your buck. A roach is essentially a filter with space in the middle – tear off some of your paper packages, or a nearby Magic: The Gathering card or whathaveyou, and curl it up so there’s space in the middle. Insert it into the joint as you would a filter in a hand-rolled durry.

You can opt to cut the weed with a sprinkling of tobacco to ensure an even roll – however much you like is purely a matter of preference. However, ensure that you place the marijuana on the paper first. This is to avoid losing da green off the top and to make for a less lumpy roll – tobacco’s clumpiness works well in further pressing the weed into a rollable shape. If you’ve bought a special strand (you’ll know if you pay more, if your dealer tells you or if it looks different – White Rhino, to use one example, looks like weed cut with flecks of cat-crap but smokes like nothing else. You’ll be cresting the top of a wave in no time) it’s imperative that you don’t cut it though – that shit has to be smoked clean to get the full effect. Finally, you’ll want to make a twist at the top of the joint, which has the dual purpose of avoiding spillage and designating your piece as a proper joint so you don’t get confused, you pre-roller you.

To conclude, a couple of tips on weed-smoking etiquette – if you’re in a group, use the time-honoured ‘puff-puff-pass-to-the-left’ method, with the supplier getting an extra puff. Take it into your lungs. If you’re doing it in public, do it in a surreptitious location and light a cigarette to mask the unmistakable odour of dank bud. If you’re having a bad high, run your face under a cold tap for a couple of minutes or sleep it off. And, in a definitive piece of advice: 420 BLAZE IT $$$$


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