A Definitive Guide to Rolling Papers - International Highlife

A Definitive Guide to Rolling Papers

Smoking cannabis cigarettes, better known as joints, has been common practice for decades. Although it is believed to have started in Mexico sometime around 1850, before prohibition began, cannabis cigarettes were commonplace. Smoking cannabis joints isn’t new, but the papers to roll them has diversified greatly.

In this three-part series, we’ll talk about the materials used in making rolling papers and why it makes a difference, specific brands in the market, and finally, a few ways to use them.

Common Rolling Paper Materials

While the process itself hasn’t changed in more than a century, the materials used to produce rolling papers has definitely evolved. Whether you’re looking for something healthier, something delicious, or something with a lot of novelty potential, there is a rolling paper perfect for you.

Hemp Rolling Papers – Quite possibly the most logical way to way to smoke your cannabis… is with more cannabis, and since hemp is a sustainable crop, using hemp papers is also one of the most environmentally conscious materials when rolling your joints. 100% hemp fiber papers are generally beige or brown in color as they are unbleached and unprocessed.

Wood Pulp Papers – The most common paper on the market, wood pulp is just a technical way of saying “paper.” These papers are made from trees as with other paper products. Usually white, as they’ve been processed and chemically bleached, wood pulp papers burn quickly

Rice Rolling Papers – The other white paper. Rice paper is made by processing and pressing rice into sheets. Rice is thinner than traditional paper and burns more slowly. Rice can be blended with other ingredients like flax and sugar for flavor, and adding liquid terpenes to the paper is also quite common.

Gold Rolling Paper – For the cannabis smoker seeking a little more bling in their life and a little less cash, 24K gold rolling papers may be perfect. Loved for the novelty, gold rolling papers sell for around $40 for a 12 pack of papers. So, if you’re hosting Snoop Dogg this weekend, or just want to splurge for a special occasion, this may be the ticket. Safe to consume as they are made from a blend of edible gold and hemp.

Flavored Rolling Papers – Adding a burst of flavor to joints everywhere, flavor-infused papers are intended to tingle the taste buds. While some may be artificially flavored, others may be infused with organic terpenes, there are dozens of flavors to choose from including traditional fruit flavors, honey, root beer and even peanut butter.

Clear Rolling Papers – 100% natural and made from organic plant cellulose, these papers let you view your flower while you’re smoking it. These papers burn slowly and do not alter the flavor or aroma of your cannabis.

A Note About Gum

While how your joint is sealed may seem trivial, there are a couple of notes to make about gum. Most quality brands will use gums made from sugar or hemp, however, some use animal-derived glues, which may be disconcerting to some. Clear papers are naturally self-adhesive, and others are ungummed or use no glues at all.

Understanding the different available options available in rolling papers can help you tailor your smoking session to fit whatever the occasion. In part two of this series, we’ll share information about specific brand names.

In part one of this series, we discussed the various materials used in making rolling papers, as well as, a few notable points of interest about different gums. In this piece, we’ll get a bit more specific and talk about name brands found in the market today.

What’s in a Name?

Rolling papers today can be found in dozens of brands. These are some of the most prevalent brands in the market and what makes them unique to help you get the perfect roll.

Raw Rolling Papers

Consistently taking first place for rolling papers, RAW Rolling Papers are some of the most popular hemp papers on the market today. Available in multiple sizes, as well as, pre-rolled cones which require no rolling technique whatsoever.  RAW papers are available in Classic, Organic, and the exotic, Black paper. Wiz Khalifa has recently partnered with RAW to bring a new line of printed RAW papers, too. One of the coolest things about RAW papers is that you can help support their Foundation where they help bring clean water sources to places in Africa.

OCB Rolling Papers

This company has two lines of rolling papers. Their premium line is made from natural flax fibers for ultra-thin papers which burn slow and consistently. Their second line is made of 100% organic hemp. Both lines use a natural, vegetarian, non-GMO adhesive.

Rizla Rolling Papers

The name Rizla is actually a French play-on-words, for “La Riz” or “rice” in English, dating back to 1865 when they changed their process to use rice instead of tissue. A top selling brand worldwide, Rizla papers are sold in more than 120 countries.

Elements Rolling Papers

These papers are made from rice and sugar, which means it burns down to virtually nothing. In addition, they are watermarked to provide an even burn and help prevent running. Environmentally friendly, the Elements manufacturing facility is also powered by wind which makes them an eco-conscience choice.

Zig Zag Rolling Papers

Maybe one of the most popular brands of rolling papers of all time, Zig Zag has been in business for more than 130 years. Zig Zags are made from natural flax plant fibers and their gum is derived from the sap of an African tree. 100% natural, these papers are available in multiple sizes and thicknesses.

Futurola Rolling Papers

Out of Amsterdam, Futurola offers pre-rolled cones and papers, similar to the RAW brand, however, Futurola tends to work with more with dispensaries and coffee shops by selling their automatic rolling machine which can fill 100 cones at a time. Made with chemical-free, wood pulp paper.

Juicy Jay’s Rolling Papers

These rolling papers are not only cute, but they are also tasty. Infused with your choice of more than 30 different flavors, Juicy Jay’s rolling papers have a broad variety of options. So, regardless of your craving, Juicy Jay’s will have the flavor for you.

Shine Rolling Papers

Quite possibly the most expensive way to wrap your bud, Shine Rolling Papers are made of 24K gold. Definitely an opportunity to make a statement at your next social event.

These eight rolling paper manufacturers are only a sampling of the options available. Choose your papers carefully, because in part three, we’re going to talk about a few unique ways to use them.

Now that you got to understand the types of rolling papers on the market, and you’ve picked out the perfect papers for you, let’s talk about all the ways you can use them now.

Rolling the perfect joint has become an art form over the years. Imagination and creativity have taken cannabis cigarettes to whole new level.

Types of Joints

From the simple to the exotic, whether you’re a cannabis novice, or an expert looking to step up your game, you’re sure to find the perfect match here.

Regular Joint

Rolling the perfect joint is a skill which is perfected over time. Don’t expect to start out a master, but practice makes perfect. The goal is to roll it tight enough to burn evenly, but not so tight it’s difficult to pull air through.


A pinner is just a cute name for the skinny joint. Smaller, a little more discreet, and perfect for micro-dosing your flower or solo smoke sessions.

Shotgun Joint

Another unique and relatively simple way to smoke two joints at once is the shotgun joint – two joints bound together by one extra paper.


These joints resemble a baseball bat because they are wider on one end, which lends to why they are sometimes called “bats”. Consumers can also purchase pre-rolled cones, like Raw and Futurola, which can be packed instead of rolled. These are handy for those who never really perfect the perfect hand-rolled joint.

Cross Joint

The infamous cross-joint, which received most its popularity from a scene in the movie, Pineapple Express, is a fun and relatively easy way to step up your game from the basic joint. As Saul tell us in the movie, “The future, this is like the apex of the vortex of joint engineering.” (Tip… this works great with a cone and a pinner!)

Dutch Tulip

A tulip joint is aptly named for its shape, with a thick bulb at the end of joint shaped into a cone which resembles a closed tulip. Its unique shape allows for a much greater amount of flower in the joint, which makes it perfect for sharing.

XXL Joint

If your motto is “Go big or go home,” then this joint is probably just what you’re looking for. Made by gluing multiple papers together before adding the flower which could hold several grams of cannabis or more.


More common in European countries, the spliff is just a regular joint with a blend of cannabis and tobacco. Any style of joint mentioned above can still be a spliff – just add tobacco.

While this is just the tip of the iceberg, rolling joints can get just as creative or artistic as the individual rolling them. Factor in a plethora of cannabis strains and alternate wraps, from using organic rose petals for an elegant, floral experience or using the tobacco wraps to build a Backwoods Blunt, the diverse possibilities for your next smoke session are limitless.

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