If you’ve smoked cannabis pre-rolls before, you certainly know what a joint filter is. Also referred to as crutches, filters make your smoking sessions more comfortable and enjoyable. They are usually placed at one end of a joint to protect your mouth from heat, bits of herbs, or harsh carcinogens that are released while you smoke. Filters also help keep your joint intact even when you’re having a “puff, puff, pass” session with your friends.
Although you already know the benefits of joint filters, it also helps to know how to make the right filter for your joint. Here are some tips that can help you create a joint filter on your own.
Type of Materials to Use
To make an awesome joint filter, you’ll need to gather the right materials. Ideally, avoid using filter paper that’s infused with chemicals or bleach. Keep in mind that the filter is the passageway for all the smoke you’re inhaling. So, using filter paper that’s bleached or laced with harmful chemicals may endanger your health with every hit.
You can purchase premium pre-made filters from a smoke shop. Pick the all-natural type if possible. However, if you can’t go to the smoke shop, you can use other materials as a substitute for pre-made filter tips. The trick is to choose stiff paper. You’ll have excellent results with the following materials:
- Index cards
- A piece cut from a cigarette carton
- Magazine subscription cards
- Manila folders
- Thin business cards
- A checkbook’s back flap
- An empty toilet paper roll
Getting Started With a Basic Joint Filter
Trim Your Paper to the Right Size
The first step is to trim your paper to the right rectangular size since you don’t want to roll up the whole index card or business card. So, what’s the perfect size to begin with? Well, cut the index card into a rectangular shape measuring around 17mm wide and 60mm long. While the cuts do not necessarily have to be exact, you’ll have an easier time rolling your filter with something congruent.
Fold the Paper Into Shape
Next, fold the trimmed paper into shape. Create as many accordion-style folds on one-quarter of the filter paper as possible (like the type of accordion fans you used to make in kindergarten to fan yourself). To do this, you fold one side toward you and the next side away from you to form a W shape. Do not crease the filter paper while folding it because it will make the crutch too tight to inhale smoke from.
Roll the Rest of the Paper Around the Accordion Folds
The W-shaped accordion folds will be fairly springy. Press the folds down gently with one hand, and then roll the rest of the unfolded paper toward the zig-zag accordion folds to finish off the circle. This step needs patience and focus, so you shouldn’t be stoned when attempting to do this.
Roll the W-shaped accordion folds toward the opposite side of the filter paper that you’ve finished rolling. This double-direction roll action ensures your filter doesn’t unroll by itself when you’re enjoying your joint smoking session.
Trim Off Any Excess Paper
Your filter should roll into a fine spherical shape between your fingers. Any excess paper around your filter should be trimmed. At this point, your filter is now ready. You can then put it at one end of the rolling paper and roll your joint. Leave a small section of the filter sticking out when rolling your joint. Finally, you’re all set.
You’ve now learned how to make a basic joint filter. You can now get creative and start trying out other awesome designs. Some creative designs to experiment with include:
- Marijuana leaf pattern
- Peace sign
- Heart shape
To Create a Marijuana Leaf Pattern Joint Filter
- Start by making seven accordion-style folds in your filter paper. To make the shape of the marijuana leaf, the length of the folds in the middle should be longer than on the outside borders.
- Then, continue to roll your joint filter using the basic roll instructions above.
To Make a Peace Sign Joint Filter
You need two pieces of joint filter paper for the peace sign design.
- Take one joint filter paper and fold it four times into accordion-style or an inverted “Y.”
- Now, roll the rest of the unfolded paper firmly around the well-defined shape to form a circle that protects it.
- Apply some glue to keep everything in place. It should resemble a stick man with no head and arms enclosed in a circle.
- Finally, cut a piece of the other joint filter paper horizontally and slide it under the inverted “Y.” It should fit in perfectly to complete the peace sign.
To Make a Heart-shaped Joint Filter
- Fold back about a centimeter from the end of the joint filter paper.
- Then, roll the piece of joint filter paper around on both sides of the created fold. The aim is to create small arcs on either side, forming the heart shape. Next, press down the filter’s inner layer toward the middle.
- Complete the heart shape by folding the end down. Start to roll the joint filter paper to create a circle around the heart shape.
- Roll the rest of the filter paper around the heart, similar to the basic “W” roll. Move and squeeze the filter paper continuously until it remains rolled up all on its own.
The Bottom Line
Joint filters elevate your joint smoking session. They also protect your lips and provide joint stability. Yet, many people forgo the joint filter when rolling up a joint. Of course, rolling a joint filter may take a bit of time and adds to the overall time taken to roll a joint, but the benefits far exceed the cost of the additional work.
Luckily, it is easy to learn how to roll a joint filter. The first step is learning how to create the basic “W” joint filter. Later, you can experiment with awesome designs like marijuana leaf, peace sign, and heart-shaped joint filters.