It’s no secret that rolling papers of any variety are a staple in head shops across the country (and outside of it) for their flexibility and convenience. Dating back to 1532 and a scandalous trade between the French native Alexandro Rizlette de Cramptone Larcoix (try saying THAT 3 times fast) and a French soldier returning from Spain, rolling papers have been a prominent trade item and undergone very few changes. The only changes employed by the various companies and consumers have been in its’ composition. Originally comprised of numerous mixtures of rice, hemp, pulp, and flax, manufacturers have been known to use esparto (“needle grass”) or wood pulp, which is commonly used in pre-rolled, factory-made cigarettes, in their papers.
How do each of these components compare? Firstly, any and all of the materials used in rolling paper can be natural or unnatural, may include an assortment of additives, or can contain copious amounts of treatments for aesthetics, depending on the manufacturer and the desired effect. While hemp paper is a budding contender on the paper front, many consumers prefer rice paper for its’ thinness and slow burn, despite its’ tendency to not grip (often causing your tobacco to go slip-sliding away). Though inexperienced rollers (or low rollers, if you will) may be chasing their tobacco around their rice papers, transparent rolling papers, made of primarily natural plant cellulose and trivial amounts of glycerin and water, offer a high-grip, easily-sealable, and organic alternative (however, many rolling paper companies, such as OCB, RAW, and Afghan Hemp have organic papers in their product lines). Lastly, the almighty hemp paper has good grip, is environmentally conscious, and only affects the taste of tobacco slightly (and is fairly negligible in comparison to other papers).
Another contributing factor to the enjoyability of a rolling paper is size. With so many choices and possibilities, it can be difficult to choose, but papers typically come in five sizes: single wide, 1 ¼", 1 ½”, double wide and King size (or King slim). From smallest to largest, single wides offer a small, tight cigarette often for a solitary person, while King Size’s are generally meant for a group of people (the size of the Beatles). The one-and-one-quarter inch papers are popular because they are closer to a standard cigarette despite the conical shape, while the one-and-one-half inch papers are larger than a cigarette and are favored with larger groups (think the Rolling Stones). Double wides are ideal for practicing rolling since there is quite a bit of paper to fill and *usually* aren’t preferred.
So many delicious flavors have come on the market that it’s like walking down the cereal grocery store aisle. Thanks Juicy Jays. While some may opt for maple-syrup-flavored hits, others may fancy the taste of bubblegum or the mysterious “Black Magic”. Just as smokers are idiosyncratic about their choices in paper type and size, which flavors consumers choose is completely subjective.
Now the best part: rolling! While there are devices such as wholesale rolling machines and wholesale rolling trays to aid in the rolling process (for those lazy millennials), why not do it the good ol’ fashioned way (okay, the hard way).
Steps include but are not limited to:
- 1.Grind your tobacco (not to a dust, though). Don’t have a grinder? We just got a bunch of new bulk grinders in that you can view here.
- 2.Make a filter (or roach, tip, crutch, etc.) to help the smoke flow and prevent burning of something other than the paper (fingers, lips, etc.). You can also purchase a filter, if you like doing things the easy way.
- 3.Lay out the rolling paper with the glue facing up, on the side farthest away from you.
- 4.Add the tobacco to the middle of the paper going longwise. Like a finely crafted burrito, leave room on the ends.
- 5.Cocoon the tobacco in the paper. You’re ready to roll! Roll from the side closest to you (a.k.a. not the glue end).
- 6.Once you’re done rolling, lick the glue (as you would an envelope) and press it against the other side of the paper and twist it all together.
Congratulations! Once your paper is all sealed up, you’re ready to roll (in the smoking way). While there are other forms of rolling a cigarette, not many beginners dive in that deeply. It’s sort of like playing an instrument or playing with Legos: people will practice simple music and structures repeatedly until mastered.
In addition to all the aforementioned factors, burn rate is one of the most crucial in regard to your customers’ smoking experiences. With thinner papers, more air is introduced to the tobacco inside thus burning slower; likewise, with thicker papers, less air is able to pass through causing a quicker burn and shorter smoking experience. Furthermore, additives may cause the paper to burn more quickly (think of adding oil to a wood-burning flame), so for a longer lasting smoking experience, go organic. It’s not unheard of for smokers to add an extra paper to slow the burn. Another factor that affects burn rate is how tight the tobacco is packed within the paper – the tighter the better for a slower burn.
Outside of rolling paper, (usually) pre-rolled rolling cones are a popular facet of rolling culture, as they can theoretically “enlighten” a fairly large group of people, depending on tolerances and how many hits everyone takes. Rolling cones typically ensure that each cigarette is rolled the same and that each is more consistent rather than the variability one might find with rolling papers, though the dimensions are more controlled in papers than in cones. They are also easier for those who suffer from arthritis or other joint/persistent pain issues but are more difficult to control when it comes to the size of the hit. While rolling machines have a similar effect, why take the chance? Why worry? Ultimately, the answer comes down to personal preference. If no wanted to roll or if they wanted everything to be perfect, they’d just buy any one of our bulk hand pipes or bulk water pipes.