Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 6, 2023

If you’ve been using marijuana for a while, you probably have a favorite cannabis consumption method and a favorite place to smoke weed in. Whether you enjoy to vape cannabis concentrates, light the bong, or make some cannabis edibles, you’ll have to agree that the most common and most popular method of consuming weed is rolling a joint. After all, this simple and budget-friendly method of cannabis consumption only requires purchasing your favorite cannabis strain made up of the perfect amount of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids and terpenes, some rolling papers, and you’re ready to light up.

But there comes a time in the life of every cannabis user when you run out of rolling papers and there’s nowhere to buy them or you’re just feeling lazy, so you’re bound to make do with whatever you have lying around the house to roll a joint with . Your mind goes to any type of paper and leftover recyclable materials that don’t involve you leaving the house, such as regular paper, gum wrappers, phone book paper, cans, and even tissue paper, which is the topic of this article. We’ll give you the answer to the question “Can you use tissue paper to roll a joint” as well as answer the most common questions related to smoking weed with everything but smoking papers, so read on.

Can You Actually Use Tissue Paper to Roll a Joint?

We all know that it’s best to roll your joint with rolling papers, but sometimes you just don’t have one on hand so you need to make do with alternatives. So, let’s give you a few alternatives starting with tissue paper.

Tissue paper is a soft, thin paper which is generally used for wrapping or protecting delicate articles. Since it’s pretty similar to rolling paper, some cannabis users wonder whether it’s possible to substitute the rolling papers with tissue paper when rolling a joint. It definitely is possible, but it can be a bit tricky. Since tissue paper is a bit more delicate than rolling papers, it may be harder for you to roll the joint. Read on to figure out the best way to roll a joint with tissue paper.

How to Use Tissue Paper to Roll a Joint?

As we’ve previously said, tissue paper is thinner than rolling papers, therefore it may burn a little differently. However, there are ways you can make the tissue paper work for you if you want to use it to make a joint, and we’ll give you the exact steps below. In general, the process isn’t that different from using regular rolling papers:

  1. Take your tissue paper out to prepare it for rolling. Just make sure that it’s uncolored so it doesn’t contain dye.
  2. Cut the tissue paper into squares sized 68 mm in length and 34 mm in width, which is the size of the standard rolling paper.
  3. Use your grinder to grind the weed.
  4. Add a crutch if you’re using one.
  5. Shape your joint, pinch it between your fingers and start rolling from the crutch towards the end.
  6. Pack the end of the joint and twist the top so it closes.
  7. Your joint is ready for your next smoking sesh.

Even if your joint burns a bit faster, you’ll still get a decent smoke without having to go out and purchase rolling papers.

What Happens if You Smoke Paper?

While you may be tempted to use any type of paper as a substitute when you don’t have rolling papers on hand, smoking paper continuously can pose some serious health risks. Plain paper or recycled paper is generally made from wood pulp that can contain over 200 chemicals which are added while processing and manufacturing the paper. 

Commonly used chemicals include chlorine, dolomite, DTPA, EDTA, FSA, guar gum, gypsum, hydrogen peroxide, sodium dithionite, chlorine dioxide, ozone, and many more. When burning paper, the toxic chemicals that are often released include nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), and polycyclic organic matter (POMs), which go directly into your lungs if you smoke it.

Can You Die if You Smoke Paper?

As we’ve mentioned above, burning normal paper releases a number of chemicals which are harmful to your body. Paper can also be treated with additional chemicals or ink which make it much more hazardous than smoking untreated paper. It’s also difficult to know what exactly went into the paper during the manufacturing process, but even if a piece of paper is completely free of both chemicals and ink, smoking still results in smoke inhalation which can scar your lungs over time and cause irritation. 

While a one-time smoking session where your joint is rolled with paper won’t cause immediate health problems, smoking papers over a longer period of time may damage your lungs and cause you serious side effects. While there are no specific studies related to smoking paper on whether death is one of the outcomes of smoking paper long-term, it’s safe to say that if you start rolling your joints in paper rather than rolling paper specifically made for joints, you will cause a significant amount of damage to your lungs.

Other Alternatives to Rolling Papers

Because a lot of cannabis users get very creative when they don’t have smoking papers or zig zag papers (hemp paper) on hand, they often make DIY marijuana vessels to smoke their weed with. Whether you’re making a spliff (joint that also contains tobacco along with weed), or you’re making a regular joint, you can use the following things:

  • Corn husks. Sun-dried corn husks are a great option if you want to use an alternative method to roll your weed. They’re commonly used in Jamaica as a way to smoke weed, so if you can find them where you live, give them a try.
  • Rose petals. Another alternative to rolling paper are rose petals. To use them, heat three in a pan for three seconds, connect them, and use them as you would rolling papers.
  • Apple pipes. Making a pipe at home has never been easier if you decide to make an apple pipe. To make it, just drill a hole from the top of the apple and drill one on the side that connects to the central hole. Line the top hole with aluminum foil, place the weed inside, and light it. Start smoking from the side hole and you’ll also experience the apple pie flavor as you’re inhaling.
  • Hot knives. If you don’t want to DIY anything, this is one of the easiest methods of smoking marijuana. You just need to place the top of your steel knives over a heated hot plate, wait for them to warm up, place the weed on one knife and squeeze it with the other. You’ll notice cannabis smoke coming out of your weed, which means it’s time to start inhaling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Roll a Blunt With Printer Paper?

Printer paper isn’t intended to be used instead of cigarette paper or rolling papers since it contains toxic chemicals as ingredients during the manufacturing process. It’s also a thicker paper with a high cellulose content which means you’ll be inhaling much more smoke than if you’d use the standard rolling paper. It’s essential to use the thinnest paper possible when making joints, so printer paper doesn’t fit this requirement.

Can I Use Toilet Paper as Rolling Paper?

While you can’t use the actual toilet paper or paper towels for rolling a joint, you can use the toilet paper roll and make a pipe out of it. Commonly known as the steamroller, your DIY cardboard tube pipe can be made in just a few single steps. First, you’ll need to poke a hole on the side of the paper where you’ll place a makeshift bowl from tin foil (aluminum foil) and you can add the weed on top. Next, you’ll need to place the carb hole on the other side of the roll. Finally, you can light it and enjoy your favorite strain.

Can Smoking Notebook Paper Harm You?

This is another method that a lot of cannabis users try, though it isn’t recommended. Firstly, because smoking paper may result in you inhaling harmful chemicals. Also, if the paper you’re smoking is short, the heat from it may scar your throat. And lastly, notebook paper burns much faster than rolling paper, so your joint may burn out before you’ve inhaled all of the cannabinoids and terpenes. 

Can You Use Parchment Paper as Rolling Paper?

Parchment paper is the nonstick paper that you use when baking something in your oven. Because silicone is applied to most parchment paper, it might not be a good idea to use it instead of rolling paper. Furthermore, because parchment paper is designed to be nonstick, once you roll the joint, you won’t be able to seal the seam as you’ll need an adhesive. Your best option is to avoid making this substitution.

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.