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How to Make a Filter (Crutch) and Roll a Filtered Cannabis Joint

Thursday November 21, 2019

W hether home growing your own cannabis flower or picking up some tasty nugs from a dispensary, there’s something about the process of rolling and smoking a cannabis joint that makes the experience so much more rewarding. Though we’ve discussed the basic procedure for rolling a joint in the past, today we want to discuss another element of the whole doobie-rolling process: rolling a filtered joint.

Why Use a Filter in a Joint?

A filter, or crutch, is a great way to improve the joint smoking experience by improving airflow, maintaining the integrity of a joint, and blocking little bits of weed from hitting the back of the throat upon inhale. Additionally, many joint-rolling experts use filters as a form of creative expression, for example, by shaping them into a pot leaf or other 420-friendly symbol.

How to Roll a Filtered Joint

Filters are the stiff cardboard-like paper on the mouth end of most dispensary joints. Though most dispensaries use pre-formed “cones” in which to stuff ground cannabis, you can roll something similar using regular rolling papers and a crutch or piece of card stock. There are even brands that make books of filter tips that allow you to roll a filter consistently every time.

To roll a filtered joint, gather the following items:

What You’ll Need:

  • Rolling papers such as Raw or Element brands
  • Cardboard crutch or a 1X2” piece of untreated cardboard stock
  • Fully cured cannabis flower, ground
  • Herb grinder

Instructions:

  1. Begin by grinding about half to one gram of cannabis flower into a soft texture then set to the side
  2. Next, hold the unused filter or card stock by the short side and fold quarter-inch of the filter up toward the opposite end
  3. Turn the filter over and fold another quarter-inch up toward the opposite end so that an accordion shape starts to form
  4. Turn the filter paper over and fold a third time, creating an “M” or “W” shape. There should be just over an inch of unfolded filter at this time. You can also make a spiral shape instead of a “W” if you prefer
  1. Hold the three folded sections together and wrap the remaining unfolded filter around the three folds so that the “W” is wrapped in the rest of the filter
  2. At this point, you should have a round filter with the letter “W” (or “M”) proudly displayed in the middle
  3. You can adjust the size of the filter by tightening or loosening the wrap around the “W. Set your filter to the side
  4. For the next step, hold a rolling paper in your non-dominant hand with the glue strip farthest away from you
  5. Sprinkle your ground bud along the crease of the paper ensuring even distribution across the length of the paper. Place your filter along one side of the paper, usually the side closest to your non-dominant hand
  6. Pinch the rolling paper between your thumbs and index fingers and roll gently back and forth until the cannabis begins taking a cigarette shape
  7. Once the bud has taken form, roll the flower to the base of the paper (closest to your body), tuck the end of the paper closest to you between the rolled flower and the other side of the paper then gently roll up so that the flower becomes trapped inside of the paper. Lick the glue strip on the rolling paper then finish rolling to glue the loose end in place.

If necessary, you can push the filter back inside of the joint, ensuring that there is no gap between the filter and the cannabis inside of the joint. Use a pen or other tool to poke cannabis from the end opposite of the filter deep into the joint then twist the end to hold all cannabis in place and give you an easy place to light your joint. Take a moment to admire your work them spark it up, and enjoy!

We love using filters on our home-rolled joints. Do you? Share your thoughts, tips and techniques in the comments below!

Abby is a writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace designed to connect cannabis writers and creatives with businesses in the industry. She has been a professional cannabis writer since 2014 and regularly contributes to publications such as PotGuide and M&F Talent. She is also the Content Director at Fortuna Hemp, America’s leading feminized hemp seed bank. Follow Abby on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

Rolling a filtered joint is considered the standard for cannabis consumers nowadays. Learn how to roll a filter tip for your joint and how to include it in your next rolling session.

How to Roll a Better Crutch for Your Joint or Spliff

A crutch—also called a filter or a tip—is one of the easiest improvements to make to the standard joint. It’s effectively a mouthpiece, and it serves a number of purposes: It keeps the end of your joint open (even when sharing with your wet-lipped friends), blocks bits of plant matter from getting in your mouth, and ensures you don’t burn your kisser as you puff your way down to the roach.

Some people, including a few of my best friends, insist on rolling joints without crutches. I think those people are silly. Others include a crutch but treat it as an afterthought. While I respect that everyone has their own methods, I thought I’d share my preferred way of building a crutch. It’s quick, easy, and has earned the seal of approval from co-workers here at Leafly.

What are Crutches Made From?

Unless you opt for a reusable glass tip, the best material for a crutch is stiff paper. You’re looking for something thicker than printer paper (which is too flimsy) but thinner than a cereal box (too bulky). Some of my favorite options include:

  • An index card
  • A manila file folder
  • The back flap of a checkbook
  • A magazine subscription card
  • Some business cards (not the thick ones)

There is also a bunch of pre-cut crutches on the market these days. My favorites are RAW’s standard tips, which use long-fiber paper made on a special mill. They’re designed specifically to roll up smoothly and have enough rigidity to hold their shape in your mouth. (I initially thought these were dubious marketing claims, but after two years of using ‘em, I’m convinced.)

I’m partial to use these RAW tips, which is what I’ll be using to demonstrate. (Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

The Easy (but Flawed) Way

Most people I’ve smoked with tend to roll a crutch by literally rolling it into a cylinder. When viewed head-on, it looks like a spiral.

One of the most common methods to make a crutch or filter tip is to roll it into a cylinder. (Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

This is an easy technique, but it has some drawbacks. The main weakness is that the opening in the center of the crutch is big enough to let through small pieces of plant matter, which can end up getting in your mouth. Another problem is that it’s not particularly sturdy and can sometimes pinch closed. Does it work? Sure. But there’s a better way.

The Better Way

You can make a much better crutch simply by adding a few accordion-style folds before rolling it up. It takes a tiny bit of practice to master, but the end product will keep those pesky flecks of cannabis out of your mouth and ensure a smooth draw.

To start, make a few folds at the end of your crutch material. Make the folds about as wide as you want the final crutch to be. Be sure not to crease the paper when you’re folding it; otherwise the final crutch will be too tight.

Start by putting a few accordion-style folds in your crutch material. Keep in mind, the space between your folds will determine the crutch’s width. Don’t crease! (Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

How many folds to use is up to you. Some people talk about making an M shape inside the crutch, while others opt for a simple V. I tend to toss in a few more. Experiment to find out what you like best.

Once you’ve made those first few folds, roll the remaining crutch material around the folded part. Make sure you have enough unfolded paper to wrap completely around the crutch—you want the final product to roll easily between your fingers.

After a few folds, start to wind the remaining paper around the folded part. Make sure to leave enough left over to wrap all the way around the crutch. (Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

Wrap up all the excess paper—you can rip some off if you have too much—and roll the finished crutch between your fingers. You might find that it wants to unroll or expand on its own. That’s OK. Once you roll the crutch into your joint, that springiness will help keep the crutch from falling out of the end of your joint.

Your finished crutch should look something like this. Just keep winding that excess paper. (Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

Put the crutch at the end of your rolling paper and roll it into your joint. I like to leave a little of the crutch exposed, then push it flush with the edge of the rolling paper once I’m finished rolling.

Here’s what it looks like when I’m done:

The accordion-style crutch helps keep bits of plant material out of your mouth while still allowing for a smooth draw. (Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

The More Expensive Way

Can’t be bothered to practice tiny origami? That’s fine. Either buy a reusable tip, skip the crutch altogether, or opt for a pre-rolled crutch. There are all sorts of pre-rolled options these days, including choices by RAW, Elements, and a handful of others.

The tips work just fine, but they’ll cost you a bit more. RAW’s standard tips, which I used above, cost around $0.75 for 50. The company’s pre-rolled tips go for about $1.75 for 20—or more than twice as much.

What are your tips and tricks for rolling the perfect joint? Share them in the comments below or give me a shout on Twitter.

Want to make a filter for your joint? It's known as a crutch and here's how to roll one for your joint or spliff. ]]>