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How To Make a Crutch: a Step-by-Step Guide

The art of rolling a joint is sacred within stoner culture, the gospel of group smoke sessions and true cannabis connoisseurs. To make the most of that freshly twisted joint, most weed smokers lean on the simple, yet effective crutch when rolling up.

Also known as a filter or tip, a crutch is an essential part of the joint rolling process. You can’t roll the perfect joint without one. It functions as an extension that keeps fingers and lips from being burned by the fiery cherry, and also makes it easier to hold and pass around in a social setting.

Another benefit of using a crutch is that it allows for better airflow, preventing the bottom tip of the joint from closing in on itself or becoming clogged with sticky resin buildup. Not to mention, you also use your weed more efficiently, as the crutch allows you to burn through all of your bud before you reach the end of the rolling paper.

Still wondering why the crutch is such a coveted part of the joint rolling process? Here’s what the internet has to say about it …

I’m not rolling up or smoking a Joint without making or adding a crutch ☝🏾🤷🏾‍♀️ https://t.co/BxHNrkTO9f

[rolling a joint]
Friend: Do you have any crutch paper?
Me: *hands them my social security card*

It may seem like origami, but relax, creating a crutch isn’t hard. In fact, it’s incredibly easy to do and, once you get the process down pat, takes just a matter of seconds. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make a crutch and bring your joint rolling skills to the next level.

Materials

  • Cardstock paper or index card
  • Joint papers
  • Grinder
  • Ground weed

How to Make a Crutch

Step 1 – Tear Cardstock Paper

Take the cardstock paper or index card and evenly tear off a piece that is roughly a half-inch wide, or a little more than 1 centimeter. If you’re rolling with longer king-size papers, you may want to increase the width to three-fourths of an inch, or about 2 centimeters. You don’t have to be extremely accurate with the width, just eye it out to the best of your ability if you don’t have a measuring tool handy. Fold a crease into the paper to help ensure that you get an even tear.

Step 2 – Fold the Paper

Take one end of the paper and fold it into a zig-zag “M” shape. To do this, make four creases folded back-to-front until the tip of the paper resembles the letter M. Try to keep an adequate amount of length leftover for the next step.

Step 3 – Wrap it Up

Taking the remaining length leftover from the folded tip, wrap it around the folds until there’s a circle surrounding the zig-zag M-shaped pattern. If there’s not enough paper left over to complete the wrap, you can unwind your M and try to remake it with smaller folds.

Step 4 – Crutch, Meet Rolling Paper

Once you have the perfect crutch folded and rolled up, drop it into the tip of the rolling paper.

It’s easiest to grind up your weed and put it inside of the rolling paper after inserting the crutch. Depending on whether you want a pinner or cone-shaped joint, place the crutch at the end tip and disperse the ground weed accordingly throughout the inner crease of the rolling paper.

Step 5 – Roll it up

Now that you have your crutch and weed situated in the rolling paper, you’re at the final stretch. Simply roll it up, seal it up, sit back, spark it up, and enjoy.

And remember, when desperate times call for desperate joint rolling measures, a potential crutch can come to you in many unexpected forms.

your business card a crutch in my joint

Frequently Asked Questions

What Material Can You Use for Joint Filters?

Thick paper or cardboard makes for the best joint filters, commonly called crutches. A crutch allows for better airflow through the joint, prevents excessive moisture from making the end wet and reduces waste. Glass and wooden crutches are great alternatives to paper and can be found at tobacco shops, head shops and some dispensaries.

Where Can You Get Joint Papers?

Most dispensaries and delivery services carry joint papers, also called rolling papers. Brand-name joint papers like Joker and ZigZag are for sale behind-the-counter at most gas stations and grocery chains. Papers are also available at head shops, your local tobacco shops and online.

Can You Reuse Filter Tips?

Whether you can or should reuse a filter tip depends on what it’s made with. Paper crutches absorb oil and resin left behind in the process of smoking a joint. While you can use a crutch more than once, it will likely alter the flavor and become less effective with each re-use. Glass tips are meant for reuse and can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol.

Can You Use Cigarette Filters in Joints?

Yes, you can use cigarette filters in cannabis joints if you have them available. The generic cigarette filter tip is made of cotton, cellulose acetate fiber, paper or activated charcoal.

Feature image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

How To Make a Crutch: a Step-by-Step Guide The art of rolling a joint is sacred within stoner culture, the gospel of group smoke sessions and true cannabis connoisseurs. To make the most of that

Alcohol & Other Drugs

Safer Cannabis Use: Marijuana, hash, hash oil

Reduce your risk of lung problems, mental health problems and legal issues

Author: Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research

On this page:

You and safer cannabis use

While using cannabis may be safer than using some other drugs, there are things about using cannabis that can be harmful. Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of harms and bad experiences.

Before you start.

Be sure you trust your source. Cannabis for adult personal use is now legal in Canada. Legal cannabis products are tested for quality in BC, and thus safer to use than cannabis you may get from your dealer or a friend. Avoid using cannabis if contaminants like mold and mildew are visible.

Try a small amount first. Some strains of cannabis may have higher THC content and may have a stronger effect than you were expecting. If you know it’s a stronger strain, you can use less and avoid unnecessary smoke and toxins in your lungs.

When using cannabis.

Be smart. Possessing up to 30 grams of cannabis for your own use is legal in Canada. Cannabis is regulated by the province of BC. You must be 19 or over to purchase, possess or use cannabis or cannabis products. Be sure you know where and when it is safe to use.

Avoid cannabis smoke if possible. Cannabis smoke contains tar and toxins. The safest choice is to use a vaporizer—it delivers the THC in mist form instead of smoke. But they cost a lot of money—$100-700. The second best choice is to smoke it in the form of a joint.

Prevent burns on your lips or fingers. Use a small piece of rolled unbleached cardboard as a filter.

Take shallow puffs, not deep inhalations. About 95% of the THC in the smoke is absorbed in the first few seconds so you don’t need to puff hard or hold your breath.

Leave tobacco out of the mix. Tobacco contains many cancer-causing toxins, so it’s safer to smoke cannabis by itself.

Did you know.

Water bongs are not as safe as joints. Bongs filter out more THC than tars since water tends to absorb THC. This requires you to puff harder, increasing the amount of tar that is inhaled.

Some pipes and bongs give off toxic fumes. If using a bong, avoid those with a plastic bottle, rubber hose or aluminum cone. If using a pipe, make sure it’s made of glass, stainless steel or brass (avoid wood and plastic).

Cannabis and driving.

Stay away from the steering wheel. Cannabis can impair your motor coordination, judgment and other skills related to safe driving. It’s safest to wait three to four hours after using cannabis before driving or operating machinery.

If eating or drinking cannabis.

Take your time. It can be hard to find the right dose when eating cannabis cookies or drinking cannabis tea. You may get much higher for much longer than you wanted to. To prevent this, use a small amount and wait at least one hour to feel the effects before using more.

Things to avoid

Using regularly at an early age. Human brains are not fully developed until early adulthood.

Using cannabis daily or almost daily. Regular habitual use can lead to dependence, meaning you feel you need to use it just to feel normal.

Using cannabis as your main way of having fun or coping with stress. There are healthier ways to enjoy yourself or deal with negative moods.

Using cannabis with alcohol. The effects of cannabis are intensified and may last longer than expected or wanted if you drink alcohol or use other drugs at the same time.

Using cannabis when you are at risk of a mental health problem. Cannabis use may increase the risk of psychotic symptoms for those with a pre-existing vulnerability to psychosis. And, it may worsen the symptoms of psychotic disorders.

Getting help

Self-help tools:

Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service:

604-660-9382 (Greater Vancouver)

For more information on cannabis regulation in BC:

While using cannabis may be safer than using some other drugs, there are things about using cannabis that can be harmful. Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of harms and bad experiences. ]]>