Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 8, 2023

We’ve all been in a situation at some point in our weed journey when we’ve wondered if smoking weed, or even more precisely, rolling a joint, can be done with regular paper. And let’s be real, a lot of us have probably tried this at some point and already have the answer.

Whatever the case, the paper you use to roll your joint or spliff in can make or break your weed smoking experience. That’s why, in this article, we’ll talk about why rolling papers are the best, whether regular paper can replace them, and what you can use as an alternative when you’re out of rolling papers.

Why Are Rolling Papers the Best Option for Smoking Cannabis?

Rolling papers are the best choice for rolling a joint simply because that’s their purpose. It’s what they were designed for – to offer the best smoking experience to weed enthusiasts who enjoy smoking doobies. Zig Zag and RAW hemp papers are only some of the manufacturers that produce high-quality organic hemp papers for rolling. 

Seasoned weed smokers are familiar with all the brands and if you’ve been smoking doobies for some time, you’ll quickly learn that even rolling papers from different brands can feel different.

Can You Smoke Weed With Paper?

You will hear all kinds of things about adequate replacements for smoking papers, from regular paper to toilet paper, so let us clear it up. Regular paper will never be a good replacement because it not only burns much faster and releases chemicals, but it’s also too thick and hard to work with. It’s only a waste of time and a waste of weed. Paper may have numerous good uses, but for smoking weed, there are much more adequate replacements out there.

Better Alternatives to Rolling Paper Than Regular Paper

We established that regular paper is not even close to a good alternative to rolling paper, so what are the acceptable replacements? Let’s check them out.

Corn Husks

If you haven’t heard of corn husks, it’s time you do, because they’re used in Jamaica and California for rolling joints. They hold the weed nicely and provide good airflow, plus they don’t burn too fast. They’re also healthier than paper because they’re not processed. To use a corn husk, cut it into the desired size and roll it up. Just make sure that the husk is a little dry so that it can burn.

Gum Wrappers

Gum wrappers, or the thin paper that’s stuck together with the thin aluminum foil, can also work instead of rolling paper. While it’s a little on the small side, you can still roll a doobie and enjoy it just as well. Just be careful when you separate the thin paper from the aluminum foil as they’re tightly stuck and can rip easily.

Empty Cigarette 

Cigarette papers are very similar to rolling papers in that they’re very thin and easy to work with. Therefore, emptying a cigarette and filling it back up with weed can be a decent solution. All you need to do is doll the cigarette between your thumb and index finger so that the tobacco can fall out and then use tweezers to remove the filter and put a crutch in its place.

Alternatively, you can leave the filter in, cut it to reduce its size, and poke a number of holes through it. This will filter out some of the smoke and make it a little lighter, though some users say that it also impacts the potency and may not get you as high as without the filter.

Blunt Wraps

Blunt wraps are an obvious alternative to smoking papers, though they’re not everyone’s favorite. However, if you like the aroma of tobacco or like rolling spliffs, then blunts will probably be a good enough alternative.

Rose Petals

It may be surprising that rose petals can be used as a rolling paper replacement, but they’re actually quite effective, plus they smell nice. Prior to rolling your doobie in rose petals, you need to dry them up a bit so there’s no excess moisture. 

Preheat your oven and put 3-4 rose petals in for about 10 seconds. Then, lick their edges and stick them together before you add the weed and roll the rose blunt. After you’re done, you can put it in the oven once again for 10 seconds, wait for it to cool, and then light it and enjoy the luxurious rose scent.

Soda Can

The soda can pipe may be the most well-known DIY smoking device. Simply, bend the soda can in half and use a needle or the tip of a knife to poke holes in the crease. Poke another larger hole to the side so it can act as a carb hole. Now, just put the weed in the crease over the holes and light it, and pull the smoke through the mouthpiece of the soda can.

Gravity Bong

Gravity bongs are powerful DIY devices that can be a great replacement for the real deal when in need. All you need are a smaller and a larger plastic bottle (soda or water bottles), scissors or a knife, and aluminum foil. The process is as follows:

  1. Cut off the top part of the larger bottle;
  2. Cut off the bottom part of the smaller bottle;
  3. Fill the bigger bottle with water leaving some room at the top and submerge the smaller bottle in it. There should be enough room at the top of the smaller bottle and the water should not spill from the mouthpiece;
  4. Make a small bowl out of the aluminum paper using a couple of layers and poke little holes through it. Place the weed in the bowl;
  5. Put the aluminum bowl on the mouthpiece of the smaller bottle and light the weed;
  6. As the weed burns, you will notice that the top of the smaller bottle is filling up with smoke. You should start lifting the smaller bottle up so that more smoke could get inside, but don’t take it out of the water;
  7. When there’s no more room for smoke to fill up, remove the aluminum bowl and start inhaling the smoke from the mouthpiece while you’re pushing the bottle back down;
  8. This will force the smoke right into your lungs, so expect it to be a little intense.

Hot Knives

The hot knives method is the weirdest one, but it’s also incredibly effective. What you need to do is take two butter knives and heat them on the stove, and then put some weed on one knife and sandwich it with the other. A trail of smoke will appear almost instantly, which is when you should inhale it. It helps to use a grinder to grind the weed finely to make it easier to burn. Please use potholders to protect your hands as it will be hot.

Classic Smoking Devices, If You Can’t Be Bothered

Even though it’s good to know some tricks in case you find yourself with a baggie and nothing to smoke it with, if you can’t be bothered with DIYs, you can always stick to a foolproof classic method of smoking marijuana. You can easily find any of these devices in a dispensary.


Bongs are a classic for a reason. They offer a cleaner smoke than a joint and can get you high with only one toke, but they can be overpowering for beginners. On the other hand, they are a favorite among seasoned users precisely because they can hold larger quantities of smoke. Bongs come in different shapes and sizes, but they’re not very portable and are too clunky to carry with you daily.


Bowls are great smoking devices. Many cannabis users like their portability and ease of use. You don’t need to worry about running out of smoking paper, all you need is your weed and a lighter, and you can light it up anywhere. Bowls are reusable, so if you enjoy smoking weed more than any other method, you’ll probably love them. Finally, one-hitters are a type of bowl that’s great for microdosing since it holds weed enough for one toke.


Vaporizing is often considered the healthiest way to smoke weed because vaporizers and vape pens don’t combust the weed, so there are a lot fewer chemicals released in the vapor. Moreover, the loss of cannabinoids with vaping is significantly lower, and you get more flavor and less harshness. You can use vapes with either dry herbs or concentrates, depending on the model.

Dab Rig 

Out of all the smoking methods, dabbing may offer the most unique smoking experience. Starting from the dab rig setup to the fact that you need to use a blowtorch (pretty cool, right?), plus you get to smoke the purest form of cannabis which are concentrates. 

Cannabis concentrates have a THC content between 60-99% and they’re abundant in terpenes, making the smoke very flavorful. Similar to vaping, dabbing also preserves a lot of THC and CBD, so you only need a small amount to get really high. Be careful, though, dabbing is for experienced users only.

Bottom Line – There Are Plenty of Better Options for Smoking Weed than Just Regular Paper

Smoking a joint isn’t hard science, but it can feel like one when you’re out of rolling papers. Many inexperienced users often wonder if using regular paper would be a good temporary replacement to smoking paper, but sadly, it’s not even close. 

Instead, there are many other much better alternatives that you can use, including some DIY smoking devices, or classic methods that are foolproof and will never let you run out of rolling papers because you won’t even need them.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.