Lighting a joint is the same either way

Smokers who know how to roll a cone by hand may prefer them over manufactured pre rolled cones. What’s the difference, you may ask, and doesn’t hand rolling or using a pre rolled cone result in the same thing? Let’s take a look at both methods and see if we can understand why some smokers prefer one way over the other.

The Hand Rolling Experience

If you can hand-roll the perfect cone or joint consistently, that is a skill you should be proud of. This skill requires practice, fine motor control, a steady hand, and experience gained over time. For some smokers there is joy in learning how to hand roll cones and nurturing these skills is important to them. For them, using pre rolled cones may feel impersonal or artificial.

The first step in hand rolling or filling pre rolls is prepping your smoking mixture. Crumble the flower to a consistent size and remove hard pieces. 

Hold your paper in one hand and use the other to fill it. For cones, the bulk of weed goes into one end, and for joints, some people place two small piles of flower near both ends and proceed with the warp. Seal the gumline to complete the job.

A woman rolling a joint

What Can Go Wrong

Learning how to roll a cone takes time to learn. Unlike using a manufactured, pre rolled cone, there are different ways to hold the paper and nuances that must be experienced. Any of the following could occur. 

Packing Too Tightly/Loosely – Overpacking can happen more easily with sticky flower and can make it almost impossible to get a good hit. Underpacking makes lumpy cones that flare and drop hot ash. Both errors lead to wasted weed. 

Piercing And Tearing – It’s easy to damage the paper during hand rolling, especially if a hard piece of flower gets into your blend, and just holding the paper incorrectly can rip it. Damaged skins can be patched but the joint may smoke unevenly and be hard to light and keep lit. 

Other Factors To Consider

Rolling by hand can be slow, and you must learn how to shape the cone as you roll it. Inserting a filter during the process can make it harder. Learning takes time, and it takes practice to not spill weed. The last step, sealing your cone, is another skill that takes time to master. 

The Pre Rolled Cone Experience

Manufactured papers that are pre-shaped into a cone or a pre roll joint tube are widely available. Filling them requires skills similar to rolling by hand.

Prepping the weed is just as important when learning how to use pre rolled cones as it is with hand rolling. Grind your flower appropriately, check it for consistency, and feel through it for hard bits. 

Some smokers scoop up flower from a pile with the pre rolled cone and finish stuffing it with their free hand. Others may hold the cone vertically and sift flower into it through their fingers and tamp down the filling as they go.

How you choose to fill a pre rolled cone is up to you, and some smokers can be very creative. Other methods include using a joint tube to hold the flower so you can transfer it to the cone more easily and using a filling tool that holds the cone while you fill it. You may come up with a unique filling method of your own.

A group of pre rolls with twisted ends that are ready for smoking

What Can Go Wrong

Less can go wrong with pre-shaped cones and tubes, but learning how to make a cone using manufactured, pre rolled papers does not mean you’ll always get a perfect cone every time. Some errors, like packing too tightly or too loosely, or ripping and tearing the paper can still occur but are less likely when using pre-shaped products, especially if you use a filling tool or a holder for the empty cone. 

Other Factors To Consider

Making a cone or joint with pre-shaped paper is fast and easy, especially if you prefer a filter tip. Failures from dexterity issues are minimized since cones are easier to hold. The learning curve is short, and almost anyone can learn how to fill pre rolled cones in one or two attempts. 

Pros And Cons

Here are the pros and cons of hand rolling and using pre-shaped products. 

For hand rolling, pros include learning a traditional skill and availability, since standard rolling papers can be found in most stores that sell cigarettes. Cons include the time it takes to hand roll, a moderate to steep learning curve, and the need for two hands, coordination, and fine motor skills. 

For pre rolls, pros include simplicity and speed. Learning how to fill a pre roll is simple and fast, and most people can make a smokable cone on the first attempt. It’s easier to make each cone look alike with pre rolls from a manufacturer, and you can fill a cone with one hand if you use a holder, which can be a major pro. Cons include availability – you may have to order pre rolls online in some areas – and susceptibility to damage in storage. 

Decide For Yourself Which Is Better

If you’re a cone user and you have never tried rolling by hand, you may want to learn to roll a cone just for the experience. If you’ve never tried using pre rolled cones, then you should try them to make sure you’re not missing out on something good. Either way, the next time you buy flower, buy some new papers and try a new rolling technique.

You can get good manufactured pre roll cones, bulk pricing, and more at The Cones Factory. We have hemp blunt wraps, rice paper cones, and artisan cones with a selection of premium filters. So if you are new to cones, order some today! You won’t forget how to make a hand-rolled cone, and you may find that using pre rolled cones is faster and easier.

About Author

Akshaan George - Cofounder / Chairman

As Co-Founder and Chairman, Akshan George helps dispensaries, growers, and processors of cannabis get access to the best pre rolled cones and packaging solutions. Since 2016, he’s helped establish The Cones Factory as a leader in the pre rolls field with a fully stocked inventory of expertly manufactured pre rolled cones and private labeling and branding solutions.