What are Rolling Papers

Rolling papers are an important tool for those that like to craft their own cigarettes. As the name implies, rolling papers are used to roll tobacco, dry herbs, or your choice of smoking material into a convenient, handheld item. Since the paper is smoked along with whatever is inside, choosing a rolling paper that will complement the flavor of what you are smoking is extremely important for a pleasant experience.

You may be wondering why anyone would choose to roll their own cigarettes when other options, like glass pipes or vapes, are readily accessible. Using rolling papers offers some unique advantages that you will not find in other methods of smoking or vaping.

Hand-rolled cigarettes and blunts do not require repeated relighting, making them more convenient to smoke over longer periods of time (or smoking in a group). It is also easier to pack more tobacco or dry herb into a hand-rolled cigarette, so if you want to smoke a lot at once, hand-rolling should be your go-to. Finally, once you are done smoking, there is not much cleanup. Everything used to smoke is consumed in the smoke process.

Getting started using rolling papers is a fun, low-cost way to experience a new take on whatever you love to smoke. However, do not let the simplicity fool you. There are an enormous variety of rolling papers to choose from, so be sure to take your time and shop wisely!

Types of Rolling Papers

There are all different kinds of rolling papers that you can purchase. They can vary by the materials they are made from, like wood fibers, rice fibers, hemp fibers, even clear cellulose fibers, all of which give unique taste and burning characteristics to what is being smoked.

There are flavored rolling papers that in amazing flavors you could never imagine. You can find berry flavored, cotton candy flavored, and many more that give whatever you roll an extra kick in taste. Depending on the material your rolling paper is made from, the texture can vary and how quickly or slowly everything burns can vary as well. 

Companies that produce rolling papers frequently will latch on to a characteristic that sets them apart from the rest of the rolling paper market, and these special differences can aid you in choosing your ideal rolling paper. For example, RAW rolling papers are considered to be the first vegan rolling papers on the market, for those that want to smoke cruelty-free. ZIG ZAG lays claim as one of the oldest, longest lasting brands of rolling papers, having gotten its start in the 1800s.  Some rolling paper companies try to be more eccentric, like Shine, who was the first to produce edible, smokable 24K gold rolling papers.

This is just a snapshot of the kinds of rolling papers you can expect to find!

RAW Rolling Papers

As mentioned, RAW rolling papers were the first to create a vegan rolling paper. But more than that, their product is focused on an environmentally friendly production that includes no additives of any kind. Their rolling paper comes from untreated plants, and the paper itself is unbleached. There are no chalk or burning additives in the paper (which are sometimes used for aesthetic effect). 

RAW rolling papers can easily be identified by their crisscross pattern on their papers, which helps the paper burn evenly and smoothly. A great choice for those focused on an all-natural flavor made in an environmentally conscious way.

Zig Zag Rolling Paper

Zig-Zag has a long, rich history of manufacturing some of the best rolling papers in the world. Founded more than 130 years ago, Zig Zag rolling papers made a name by creating booklets that could dispense rolling papers one at a time. Each time a paper was dispensed, a z like design would be left, hence its namesake. 

Since then, Zig-Zag has grown to international recognition and its product line has grown as well. They offer paper cones, hemp rolling papers, unbleached rolling papers, and more. Many of their products are focused on being environmentally friendly (similar to RAW rolling papers), but they also continue to carry their classic white papers.

Wiz Khalifa Rolling Paper

Famed rapper Wiz Khalifa has partnered with RAW rolling papers to provide a unique line of rolling papers and related products. Branded with the likeness of Wiz Khalifa, there are a variety of different sizes of rolling papers to choose from, as well as rolling trays, smoking tips, and smoking packages containing a combination of products. All products follow the mission of RAW rolling papers, coming from sustainable sources and containing no harsh additives. Fans of Khalifa wanting an all-natural smoking experience should give these rolling papers a try!

Gold Rolling Papers

Developed with the idea of giving everyone a chance to smoke in luxury, Shine was the first company to develop 24k gold rolling papers. More accessible than golden cigars, gold rolling papers not only are edible and safe to use, but also burn more slowly than traditional rolling papers and leave behind gold, glittering ashes (Shine refers to your golden ashes as gems).

Now, Shine is no longer the only manufacturer of gold rolling papers, though they are still the most recognizable brand. If you are looking to turn some heads while you light up, consider gold rolling papers!

Clear Rolling Papers

Some like to show off what they are smoking, and for that, clear rolling papers are a fun choice! In their infancy, clear rolling papers had the reputation of producing strange flavors that negatively impacted smoking, but they have come a long way since then. Consider brands like Clear, which use Asiatic Cotton Mallow to create clear rolling papers that are also completely taste-free. Another reputable brand is Trip, which also offers a high-quality rolling paper made from cellulose.

Hemp Rolling Papers

Among the myriad of materials that rolling papers can be made from, hemp is a choice growing in popularity. Hemp is a low-cost, easy to grow material that is far more sustainable than other choices (like tree materials). They also tend to be thinner and naturally taste free, for those concerned with taste. 

Hemp is also a naturally hardy plant, not needing fertilizers or pesticides to grow. This makes hemp rolling papers naturally free from potential residues found on other rolling papers.

Most of the popular brands carry hemp rolling papers, including RAW, Zig-Zag, and more. If you have a favorite brand but have not tried hemp papers, they definitely deserve a try!

Flavored Rolling Papers

Sometimes you want to add a bit of a kick or new flavor, flavored rolling papers are a great choice to mix up a familiar flavor. If you have tobacco or dry herb that has a flavor you do not like, flavored rolling papers can lighten the harshness, or flavored rolling papers can complement certain tasting notes of what is being smoked as well.

Available flavors will vary by brand and cover a broad spectrum of tastes. You can expect candy flavor, fruit flavors, and even savory flavors, like fried chicken. Again, most major brands carry some kind of flavored rolling papers, while others, like Juicy Jays, specialize in offering a wide variety of both common and uncommon flavors.

Wired Rolling Papers

Wired rolling papers are a jump in rolling paper technology. They function more or less like normal rolling papers, but they have a great benefit that is most important towards the end of the joint.  Normally the joint is too small to hold at the end, but the wire extends out from the papers to be used as a handle so that you can smoke everything versus waste or dealing with a roach.

Concerned about the potential health effects of smoking wires in wired rolling papers? Worry not! The wires are non-toxic, produce no fumes, and do not even produce a taste! Wired rolling papers definitely add a level of easiness to rolling your own tobacco or dry herbs. There are several brands that offer wired rolling papers, but a reputable place to start is Randy’s Wired Rolling Papers.

Rolling Papers vs Blunt Wraps

While rolling papers and blunt wraps serve similar functions, they offer very different experiences in smoking tobacco or dry herbs. Rolling papers are generally thin, nicotine free, and tasteless (though, as we have mentioned, there are many rolling papers that offer flavors). Blunt wraps accommodate far more tobacco or dry herbs when being used. They also have traditionally been made from cigar wraps, which themselves are made from tobacco and contain nicotine. Blunt wraps also tend to burn longer and that, along with their large capacity, makes them ideal for extended smoking sessions or smoking with a group of friends. 

Nowadays, blunt wraps can be found made from other materials, including hemp, if you want to avoid nicotine in your smoking experience. Both rolling papers and blunt wraps offer their unique take on homemade smoking, and it is up to you to decide which fits your lifestyle best!

Rolling Papers vs Glass Pipes

The contrast between rolling papers and glass pipes is pretty stark. Rolling papers are consumed upon use and can offer a variety of flavors within the smoking experience. Glass pipes, on the other hand, can be used again and again but generally will not alter the flavor of what is being smoked. The reusability makes glass pipes a more economic choice (unless you tend to drop and break things), but rolling papers are more convenient if you do not want anything leftover to clean or tend to.

During the actual smoking experience, rolling papers are a bit more convenient. You only have to light what is in the rolling paper one time, whereas, with a glass pipe, you will need to light for nearly every draw you plan on taking. Glass pipes that utilize water can also offer a smoother, less harsh smoking experience because they are able to cool the smoke and filter some of the tar out of what is being smoked. Rolling papers, of course, do not cool or filter the smoke being inhaled, however, if you get yourself a Martian Bubbler Pipe you can turn your joint or blunt into a bubbler! 

Both rolling papers and glass pipes offer very different and unique experiences when smoking. You may find that you prefer one experience over the other, or maybe you will end up enjoying both!

Rolling Papers vs Vape Pens

Are you looking to buy a vape pen? The comparison between these two options is simplicity vs utility. Using rolling papers is easy, low cost, and requires no extra tools outside of your hands, the rolling papers, and whatever you are smoking (though a rolling tray definitely helps the process along). Vape pens come in a huge assortment of brands and options, some coming with several parts that can be interchanged and replaced, others are more straightforward with few parts, and they all can either vape one or more materials, from herbs to oils. 

Rolling papers can really only be used with one products: dry herbs of some kind, whether tobacco or something else. Vape pens, on the other hand, can handle dry herbs, e-juice, CBD oil, waxes, specialty oils, and more. The precision offered by vape pens includes variable heating options, powerful batteries, and some (like box mods) can easily fit a number of vape parts that can vaporize all kinds of things.

Vape pens, even with dry herbs, vaporize the product (meaning that they do not rely on combustion to produce what is inhaled). This often makes for very smooth, comfortable draws. Rolling papers, on the other hand, must use combustion or you will just be sucking on paper.

Depending on what you want, vape pens can offer the versatility you need or rolling papers can provide the simplicity you want. It is up to what you are looking for.

How to Roll Papers

Rolling papers can be a tricky process, so do not get discouraged if you mess up a handful of papers trying to get that first perfect roll. There are a couple of methods that can be used to roll papers, but we will just detail the most common, basic method here. Also, maybe buy yourself a rolling tray, it helps keep things organized. 

First, you need to get your tobacco or dry herb ready. Make sure that the consistency of what is being smoked is even and that there are no large lumps of product. This may cause uneven burning when you start to smoke.

Next, you will place what is being smoked in the paper. This is also called the shaping process because depending on how the product is distributed on the paper will determine the shape of what is being rolled. If you are just starting out, stick with just making sure that you evenly distribute your tobacco or dry herb in the paper. 

The following step will vary depending on what is being smoked. For tobacco, you may be placing a filter, for dry herbs, simply a mouthpiece. This will help anchor the paper when rolled and will make it far easier to smoke when the process is complete.  You can make your own mouthpiece out of cardboard or paper, or you can often buy tips from the same stores you bought your papers from. Regardless of what you use, it will be placed at a far end of your paper.

Finally, the tricky part; rolling. Pick up the entire piece and begin rolling the paper outwards away from you. Use your thumbs to slowly roll the paper and your fingers to keep the paper tight. If this process is done correctly, you will start to see the product begin to tighten and firm within the paper.

If you have successfully rolled the paper, the final step is to seal it. Most rolling papers will have a thin strip of glue that you can wet with your tongue. Lightly lick it and smooth it shut (kind of like licking an envelope to seal it).

Congratulations! You have successfully rolled paper!

What are the Best Rolling Papers?

The best rolling paper entirely depends on what you want. Do you want to taste what you are smoking, or do you want an extra kick of flavor? That might be the choice between an all-natural paper or a flavored paper. Do you want a product that is environmentally conscious? You might be looking at hemp rolling papers. There are all kinds of reasons to buy specific papers, so you are not going to find one best paper. You will likely end up trying all different kinds of papers and, depending on what you like, will end up with a few favorites.

Where to Buy Rolling Paper

Rolling papers are pretty easy to come by. Most tobacco shops or cigar shops will carry some, as will local head shops. If you do not like the selection at your local retailers, online stores are a great option. Most major brands either retail their products through retail stores or sell directly themselves. Take your time shopping and enjoy the rolling papers you buy!