A Guide to the Best Rolling Papers for Cannabis Enthusiasts

In the last couple of decades, the amount of ways we can consume cannabis has exploded, and honestly, even I find it sometimes intimidating walking into a head shop with all those various items. Despite all the high-tech latest inventions, the classic joint is still incredibly popular. Whether you’re hanging out with friends or lighting up for a relaxing bath, when you want to roll a joint, you need the best rolling papers. But which one you’ll want will depend on your needs. 


What Makes a Rolling Paper Stand Out?

Material Quality

 We can make rolling papers with several different materials. You may already know this if you were ever in a pinch and relied on a newspaper or a page from a certain holy book to roll a joint. But not all material is created the same, with most preferring hemp or rice for their even and slow burn. 


As a fan of slow-burning joints, I tend to prefer thinner papers as they burn slower and don’t impart much flavor. Now thicker paper is nice if your joints are tearing easily. 

Size and Shape

Rolling papers are available in various sizes and shapes, catering to different preferences and rolling styles. Some papers are designed for standard-sized joints, while others are longer or wider for larger rolls. Hanging out with a lot of friends, go bigger! Looking to just roll a joint for yourself and maybe one other, smaller papers are perfect. 


Some rolling papers come flavored with additives like fruit extracts or sugar gum. These can add a nice spice to the overall flower, especially, since combusting tends to tear up the natural cannabis flavor. 

Slow Burning

Not much to say here. If a paper is labeled ‘slow-burning’, hopefully, it’s, in fact, slow-burning. If you’re inexperienced with that rate, check reviews. 

Adhesive Quality

Lower-quality papers often come with adhesive strips, while higher-quality ones will use gum. I generally recommend going for higher-quality papers.


Due to growing environmental concerns, many users prefer rolling papers like hemp that are made from sustainable materials and produced using eco-friendly practices. This is great since hemp is a great rolling material and can be grown in an environmentally-friendly way. 

Brand Reputation

If you haven’t bought rolling paper before, checking out the popular brands is a good first place to start. When looking at reviews, make sure you don’t just check the ones on the brand’s website. 


This is a big debate about bleached rolling papers. While bleaching allows for tighter wraps that don’t tear as easily they can contain chemicals like chlorine and calcium carbonate. As such, you may want to look for sun-bleached rolling paper if you’re struggling to get tight wraps. 


Rolling Papers for Every Smoker’s Need

I said above that one of my favorite ways to learn what makes a rolling paper good for joints is by checking out the most popular brands, so let’s look at some. 

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RAW is probably the most frequent paper I come across since they are my drummer’s preferred choice for band practice. Featuring non-GMO organic plant material, vegan-friendly, and free of burning additives, the Raw Classic Cones are perfect for those who don’t want to mess around with rollin’, rollin’, rollin’. But wait, unfortunately, RAW faced a long lawsuit due to claims they were smudging the truth with the who (made it), what (materials were used), where (were they made), and how (was it made) all being questioned. These questions have been answered, however, and RAW is still the most popular choice. 

Best Flavor

When it comes to flavor rolling papers, you’ll either love them or hate them. Currently, Juicy Jay is likely your best bet if you want to give them a try — they offer mix packs, which I love. Some will find the sweetness overpowers cannabis’ flavor and that the glue doesn’t always stick as well as it could, but much of that is just a result of their design. 


About a decade ago, and a decade before that, and another decade before that, gold flakes and wraps were all the craze, but during those times we didn’t have brands like Shine, that uses hemp-based rolling papers that are covered in food grade 24k gold. But now we do, and we can finally relive those decades and maybe even bring the gold craze back in style. 

The Classic Choice: Unbleached and Hemp Papers

For those looking for the best of the best, i.e., most sustainably, healthiest, etc., RAW Organic Hemp and Zig-Zag have long stood out. While smoking isn’t the healthiest way to consume cannabis, that doesn’t mean we can’t do things to clean it up, and RAW and Zig-Zag are two brands that set out to do just that. 

While we did note some concerns with RAW above due to a lawsuit regarding their transparency, the lawsuit will probably ultimately help RAW, who now has some of the most transparent info, as a result. If that is still leaving you a bit apprehensive about them, you may prefer to check out Zig-Zag, whose rolling papers are often compared to RAW. There is some debate about the ‘bleached’ status. However, Zig-Zag says their papers are sun-bleached and all-natural. 

For Those Who Love a Slow Burn: The Thinnest Papers

Unlike vapes, once a joint is lit, it will usually keep burning away your flower until you physically put it out. While a bong does the same, they conserve weed in comparison since they don’t hold anywhere near as much flower as a joint can. There is nothing like being in a puff, puff, pass session, where the person holding the joint is locked away in a conversion, and you’re just watching all the goodies burn and waste away. This is why ultra-thin papers like RAW Black King Size Slim are so popular. They tear more easily, but it’s well worth the time to learn how to roll them. Plus, thinner papers allow cannabis’ natural flavors to come through better. 

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Adding a Splash of Flavor: The Rise of Flavored Papers

Grape, mango, and even maple syrup, flavor joints are pretty fun if you’re into all the fun flavors cannabis can naturally produce but get lost during combustion. Cannabis products are no strangers to flavor enhancements, often, it’s done by adding in additional terpenes, whereas with rolling papers we rely more on flavored sugars and additives. 

Now, it’s important to remember that while these flavored papers can enhance the smoking experience, they can also hurt it by design. Flavored joints tend to burn unevenly due to factors such as uneven sugar coating, etc. As well, the FDA doesn’t always take too kindly to flavor rolling papers due to their attractive flavors and packaging that entices kids. Juicy Jay is one of the few brands that were able to bear the brunt of the FDA’s recent action against flavor papers. 

Eco-Friendly Options: Bamboo and Rice Papers

Bamboo and rice papers are touted as an eco-friendly way to consume joints. So how do they compare to hemp paper in that regard? Well, due to poor regulations, hemp plants aren’t always grown in the most sustainable manner, potentially making bamboo and rice paper a better option. Additionally, rice paper, such as ones by Elements, and bamboo paper such as those by OCB, may lead to producing the least amount of ash and flavor

A Touch of Luxury: Gold and Artisanal Papers

We briefly touched on Shine and their love for creating hemp-based rolling papers that are covered in 24K gold, but they are far from the only brand that delivers artisanal rolling papers. There is also Blazy Susan, who uses a food-safe dye to give their papers a pink pastel color. But they don’t stop there offering other options such as tea leaf wraps made with black tea, chamomile, and cacao. Others like Lion Rolling Circus also offer a range of high-class papers from their Alfalfa Green Rolling Papers to their 24K Gold Plated King-Size Cones. 

Finding Your Perfect Match

Despite so many ways to consume cannabis, the classic joint is still favored by many, especially when they are out on the go. Rolling papers come in many different styles, and it’s important you ask yourself what you prefer. It’s always a noble pursuit to reach for papers that are more environmentally-friendly. Thin papers are great thanks to them burning slowly and imparting less of their flavor, but beginners will need to be careful going for the thinnest due to them tearing easier. Looking to light up to celebrate a special occasion? Then check out some of the luxury brands we mentioned and grab yourself a gold-plated rolling paper. 

Nicholas McKenzie - Cannabis Research Specialist

Nicholas McKenzie - Cannabis Research Specialist

Nicholas has spent the last ten years teaching gardeners, businesses, and enthusiasts how to succeed in the exciting and ever-changing world of cannabis. Whether he’s in the field getting his hands dirty or in the lab studying cannabinoids and their uses, Nicholas is passionate about bringing well-researched, factual, and concise information to an industry that very much needs it.

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