Idiot’s Guide to Joint Rolling: The Cannon Method | Marijuana

Idiot’s Guide to Joint Rolling: The Cannon Method


My favorite way to enjoy weed is traditional: smoking joints.

It’s simple, communal, and usually, someone else has already rolled it. Whether it be a preroll or rolled by hand, joints have always been my preferred method of consumption (i.e., my jam)

While rolling a joint isn’t exactly rocket science, it can prove to be tricky for some — impossible for others. If you have big, clumsy fingers, or just don’t know how, rolling joints can be a big source of anxiety. No one likes the person who never rolls, but no one likes joints that come out loose, burn too fast, or look ugly, either. Rolling a bad joint is embarrassing.

Before you swear off weed/socializing, take a look at our Five-Step Cannon Method to rolling (aka packing) a joint. While this method requires more tools (see below) and steps than other methods, it’s a relatively simple and manageable approach to producing a good-looking, long-lasting joint.


  • Rolling Paper
  • Filter Paper
  • Piece of Notebook Paper
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Grinder
  • ½ to 1 gram of Weed
  • Chopstick (optional)

Step 1: Grinding

First things first: we need to break up that bud. You can break down your weed any number of ways, but using a grinder is the easiest and most effective. Your weed will break down finer and more consistent. The finer the weed is broken down the easier it will be to pack later and the slower your joint will burn (we like slow-burning joints).

Step 2: Folding

A good filter is essential to rolling a good joint for several reasons: a filter prevents you from burning your lips, keeps the joint from getting too hot, allows you to smoke the joint in its entirety, and keeps the weed in the joint and out of your mouth.


Carefully begin to fold your filter paper in a zigzag formation. When you get halfway, the filter will look like an accordion; roll the remaining paper around the accordion part to secure. Make sure the filter isn’t rolled too tight. We want it to be able to expand a bit.

Step 3: Shaping

We’re now going to shape our joint. If you’re using a pen or pencil you’ll be rolling a straight joint. If you’re using a chopstick you’ll be rolling a cone. Carefully wrap your rolling paper around your pen/pencil or chopstick and seal it with saliva.


Now put your filter in through the wide, open end of the joint. Use your pencil/pen or chopstick to push it all the way through until it reaches the opposite, tighter end of the joint. Our filter should expand, fitting snug in the filter end of the joint while the other end of the joint remains open. Great! We’ve “rolled” the shape of our joint and it’s looking pretty cute.

Step 4: Packing

Now we’re going to pack the weed. Take your single sheet of notebook paper and fold it in half to give ourselves a nice, defined crease right down the middle of the paper. Make a V shape with the paper and carefully place your broken down weed in the crease. Spread out the weed evenly.


Take your cone and gently scoop your weed into the open end. It’s important to make sure your first scoop is packed tight, otherwise your joint will be limp. No one wants a limp joint.


Use your pencil/pen or chopstick to pack the weed tight against the filter. Continue to scoop your weed into the joint until it’s completely packed. This is why it’s called the “Cannon Method,” because it’s like we’re packing a cannon. Repeat using your pencil/pen or chopstick to push your weed down and make the joint tight.

Step 5: Twisting

OK, so our weed is all packed and looking cute as hell. Let’s wrap it up and get smoking, right? Twist the loose, open end of the joint tight.


When you’ve twisted as tight as it’ll go, carefully push the outer edges in, creating a crater at the end. This will make it easier to light and will burn more efficiently. It will also keep the joint from becoming loose if you’re saving it for later.

Step 6: Enjoying


Photos courtesy of Weedmaps

You’re done! Take your joint rolling skills to a party and walk-in like. There is no better feeling in the world than rolling up with the perfect joint. So, light up, sit back, and get down with the joint you just “rolled.”

“Let’s stay up late and smoke a J.” – Rihanna, real-life human-goddess

Amen, RiRi. Amen.

About Author

Nic is an associate editor for Weedmaps running the culture desk. He spends hours on the internet exploring online communities, trends, technology, consumerism, and social issues. You know, all the cool shit you want to know about.


  1. C’mon, that’s not rolling a joint- that’s stuffing a tube. You want to make it even easier? Stuff an empty cigarette (which can be bought for around 8 cents) tube with a filter already installed. Rolling a joint is one of the simplest of tasks- it just takes practice. The cannabis on the market now is of such consistency that it’s easy to get the cylindrical shape required- and it will hold together due to it’s stickiness- that actually rolling your own is something everyone should be able to do.

    This post is shamefully embarrassing.

  2. Oh come on! Filters? All you need — as you may find out if the Gov comes after us seriously, the way they did forty years ago — are papers, a flat surface, and weed. Practice makes everyhing better. Roll one up. If it falls apart or isn’t compact enough, tear it apart and roll again. You will get better at it.

    Joints are not for solo smoking unless you don’t care how much you waste.

  3. Way too time consuming. The party ended two hours ago. Where’s that joint? Just practice. Pipes suck, joints are the only way to roll. I’m old School

  4. Back in ’74 when I started toking, I’d empty a king-size cigarette and refill with well-dried meristems using a thin forceps ─ the filter was then removed and a roach inserted…

    But you know, that was Zen ─ this is Tao?

  5. I am the first nude in HIGHTIMES magazine………………….MAR 1976 issue on pg 10….standing in my pot field. After that issue they started having a nude w/pot and I think they still do that. One of my major claims.

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