Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 1, 2023

Nowadays, there are many different ways in which weed can be consumed. Whether that’s using a cannabis smoking device, such as a bong, vape pen, vaporizer, or dab rig, or making cannabis edibles, like the popular weed brownies, each cannabis user can tailor their experience according to their preference. However, smoking joints is still one of the most popular methods of marijuana use all over the world, and in this article, we’ll give you the answers to all your burning questions on the subject.

Whether it’s your first time or you’ve smoked your last joint a long time ago, we’ll go into all the details about how you smoke a joint and give you tips on how you can prevent coughing while enjoying your hit. Finally, we’ll go into the unwritten rules about smoking a joint with your friends as well as the components of a typical joint. 

Let’s get right into it.

How To Smoke A Joint Like A Pro?

Before we get into the process of smoking a joint like a pro, we need to go over some basic information that each cannabis consumer should know:

  • Choose your favorite cannabis strain. The amount of cannabinoids (THC, CBD, and others) and the effects you’ll experience will vary depending on which cannabis strain you choose. For example, an Indica produces sedative and relaxing effects, while a Sativa produces energizing and anxiety-reducing effects, while hybrid strains can give you a mix of both. And if you don’t have a favorite strain, check out your local dispensary and ask the budtender for a recommendation.
  • Be mindful of the dose you’re consuming. Each user has a different tolerance level, so make sure to start slow, and wait until you take another hit to prevent overconsuming weed and experience unwanted side effects. When smoking a joint, you can expect the first effects just minutes after taking your first hit.

Now that you know the basics, we can go into the details of how you can smoke your first joint.

Gather Your Gear

The first step towards smoking your joint is gathering all your essentials. You don’t need a lot of equipment, you just need your weed grinder, your favorite strain, rolling papers, a lighter, and an ashtray. It’s useful to keep all your gear in one place so you don’t have to look all around your place when you need to roll a joint.

Roll the Joint (Or Get a Pre-rolled One)

After you’ve gathered your gear, it’s time to roll your joint, and you can do it in just a few simple steps:

  1. Grind your cannabis. Place your weed in the grinder and break it down into small pieces.
  2. Make a crutch/filter. Making a crutch for your weed is not as hard as you may think. Just take a piece of cardboard or a part of a business card, do a few accordion folds, and finish it by rolling the material to your desired thickness.
  3. Fill your joint with cannabis. Take a rolling paper and place your ground up weed on one end, and your crutch on the other end. And if you enjoy your joint with a little tobacco addition, you can make a spliff by mixing half of the ground up weed and a bit of tobacco.
  4. Pack the joint tightly. Pinch the paper between the fingertips and roll it back and forth to get the joint to its cone shape.
  5. Roll the joint. Start rolling the joint from the crutch side, tuck the weed in, and seal the joint. The unglued side should go inside the roll, and the glued edge can be used to finish the joint by applying just a small amount of moisture.
  6. Finish the joint. To ensure an even burn, pack the end of the joint tightly by using a pen or pencil, and roll the tip to close it. 

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making one by yourself, you can always buy a pre-rolled joint and move on to the next step. 

Apply Light To The Tip Of The Joint

Lighting a joint is very similar to how you would light a cigarette. First, light the tip of the joint and make sure you don’t remove the joint’s tip as that can tear the rolling paper and your whole joint might get ruined. Simply light the end and wait until the tip burns off before proceeding with the next step.

Rotate The Joint Slowly

To ensure an even burn, rotate the joint between your index finger and thumb prior to placing the joint in your mouth. Once you’ve lit the joint, it’s finally time to relax and start with your first hit.

Do Not Inhale While You Are Lighting The Joint

One way in which smoking weed is different from smoking a cigarette is the timing of the first inhale. When lighting up a cigarette, you need to inhale as you light it up, however, when lighting a joint this isn’t recommended because you’ll likely end up with an uneven and fast burn. Make sure your joint is properly lit and only after that can you start inhaling.

Inhale Correctly

Another important step when smoking a joint is proper inhalation. To inhale the psychoactive smoke the right way, first draw the smoke in your mouth and then inhale it. Use your diaphragm when you inhale and exhale to get the best experience. For more detailed information on how to take a hit of weed, check out our article on the subject.

Hold Your Breath For A Few Seconds

To make sure that you absorb more terpenes and cannabinoids with each inhale, hold your breath for only 2-3 seconds at most after your inhale. But remember that this is also not a contest on whoever can hold their breath for the longest time – and the longer you hold it, doesn’t at all mean that you’ll get more high. Smoking a joint will be an easy and pleasant experience after you’ve mastered the inhale.

Don’t Overdo It

As with all good things, it’s important not to overdo it. Make sure you know how much you can tolerate, and if a toke or two is enough for you, just enjoy the high and pass the joint to the person sitting next to you.

Prepare For The Munchies

One of the most common side effects of smoking cannabis is the munchies. You’ll find that you can eat everything in your fridge after smoking weed, so make sure you keep it stocked so you always have something to eat after smoking.


You’ll find that nothing is as good as proper hydration levels after toking. Remember that some of the most common side effects of smoking weed are due to dehydration. So it’s a good idea to have your water bottle next to you as you smoke. That way, you’ll not only have a good time as you smoke but also after you’re done. Water is always the best idea, but you can also have a warm cup of tea or a glass of lemonade.

Safety First

Finally, a few things to keep in mind as you prepare yourself for a smoking session:

  • Don’t drive after smoking as cannabis affects your coordination and reaction time.
  • Don’t operate heavy machinery or you risk injury.
  • Don’t consume weed before going to work if the strain produces a head-high.

Rather, try some of the alternatives:

  • Watch a movie;
  • Listen to your favorite music;
  • Read a book;
  • Play video games;
  • Play weed games;
  • Do something creative.

How to Smoke Weed Without Coughing?

To make sure your weed smoking experience doesn’t involve coughing, always keep the following points at the back of your mind.

Use a Grinder

Similar to how the first step towards smoking marijuana is grinding the cannabis flower, the first step towards a smoking experience that doesn’t include you coughing your lungs out is a fine grind. Finely grinding your weed will ensure an even burn, which will prevent the coughing.

Draw The Smoke Into Your Mouth First

Inhaling marijuana properly means you should first draw the smoke into your mouth and then inhale it. As you can see, smoking weed is kind of in-between smoking a cigarette and a cigar.

Slow and Steady

For the best experience, use your diaphragmatic breathing (abdominal breathing). Do the 4-2-4 count which means inhale for 4 seconds, pause for 2, and exhale for 4 seconds.

Add Fresh Oxygen

A good amount of natural airflow is great for reoxygenating your body, especially when you’re smoking weed. Adding fresh oxygen also helps you to cool down the smoke that you inhale with every hit.

Don’t Hold It (For Too Long)

Hold the smoke in, but don’t hold it in for too long as this can cause less oxygen to get to the brain and you can start to feel dizzy. Go at the 4-2-4 pace, breathe with your stomach, and enjoy the experience.

Release at the Same Pace

Exhale as softly as you inhaled for the best smoking experience. Smoking weed should be pretty similar to your natural breathing – so if you hold your breath for a longer time, you may start coughing.

How To Smoke A Joint With Friends?

Smoking by yourself can be enjoyable and very relaxing, but few things are more enjoyable than blazing with your buds.

But before you jump into your first toke circle, there are some unwritten rules — weed etiquette or weediquette for short — that you should be aware of.

These suggestions will maximize the fun for all when things get a little wacky and help everything go off without a hitch.

If You’re Sick… Don’t Share a Joint!

Nobody enjoys sharing a joint with a sick person, so if you have the flu, make sure you recover before you invite your friends over for a weed session. Or you can always make a small joint for yourself and not risk infecting anyone else.

Don’t Expect to Hit It Without Contributing

Similar to how nobody likes a person who always drinks, but never offers to buy alcohol, nobody likes the person who sits in the joint rotation circle and doesn’t contribute. It’s always appreciated when you bring food and drinks, or chip in with some cash for the next session if you don’t have weed. Don’t be a free-loader or you risk not getting invited the next time.

Respect Rolling Seniority

It’s best that you let the person with the best rolling skills take the reins. If you know that there’s someone in the group who can roll a joint better than you, don’t try to take over. But keep practicing, so you can improve your joint-rolling skills for next time.

He Who Rolled Shall Light

It’s only fair that the person who rolled the joint gets to take the first hit. This person can choose to offer this privilege to someone else, but it’s their choice in the end. This is especially true if you are asking to take the first hit, but you don’t know how to light the joint properly. Leave it to the more experienced users and just enjoy the process. 

Puff, Puff, Pass

When participating in a smoking circle, one of the most common unwritten rules is that you take a hit or two and then pass the joint along to the next person. Unless your group has a different rule, this is the norm, so don’t hog the joint for too long. 

Ash Before You Pass

Most weed users have probably ruined a piece or two of clothing with ash from their joint. So if you don’t want to be responsible for ruining the furniture or your friend’s piece of clothing, remember to ash the joint before passing it.

The Joint is Not a Microphone

We all know that person who just gets involved in their story and treats the joint as a talking stick, and the whole group gets frustrated. So, don’t be that person and just pass the joint after you’re done with it so you can move on with your story without any interruptions (or piercing looks from your friends).

Keep Your Saliva to Yourself

Another important rule is to keep your saliva to yourself. Swapping spit with your friends is not a fun experience, so try to not pass on the joint with a soggy end by not leaving any saliva residue on the joint.

Keep Your Exhale to Yourself, Too

Another common accident is exhaling the smoke in your friend’s face which isn’t a fun experience as you may already know. Even though everyone enjoys the cannabis smoke, nobody enjoys inhaling other people’s exhales, so make sure you tilt your head upwards or downwards as you exhale.

Stick to the Original Rotation

Typically, the joint is passed to the left after the person who rolled it lights the joint. It’s best to keep to the original order to avoid confusion as to whose turn it is next.

Don’t Pass the Roach

Finally, if the joint is gone, make sure you put it out in the ashtray and avoid passing it to the next person. There’s no need to pass the roach after all of the weed is gone.

What Is A Joint?

A joint is one of the most popular methods of smoking weed and it’s made by placing ground-up weed inside a thin paper (rolling papers). Compared to blunts which use cigar paper and are significantly longer, joints are a more budget-friendly option for smoking weed. If you enjoy smoking tobacco, you can try adding some to your joint and turn it into a spliff.

Joint Components

All joints contain these few essential components:

  • Interior;
  • Exterior;
  • Color;
  • Size;
  • Flavor.

Let’s investigate them one by one.


The inside of the joint is where the weed is placed – and around it, you have the rolling paper. 


Rolling papers can be made from different materials such as wood pulp, rice, as well as hemp. Each paper has a different thickness, flavor, size, and burn length. Some of the most popular brands for rolling papers include: Randy’s, Bambu, Elements, Zig-Zag, Raw, NoGlu, Club, and others.


While in the past joints were generally white or light tan, today you can find joints in a lot of psychedelic colors, and also gray, gold, and white. There are also those with specific designs and even with clear designs.


The general size of rolling papers is about  3 inches long. This is basically the size of a standard cigarette, however, they can be larger or smaller compared to how much weed you’re planning to roll inside.


Rolling papers are generally flavorless, so the flavor of your joint will be due to the weed strain you chose. However, nowadays you can also find flavored varieties of rolling papers at your local dispensary. Furthermore, you can always go for the flavored blunts since they not only give you an interesting sensation while you’re smoking, but they also have the added tobacco flavor due to the cigar paper.

Final Tips on How to Smoke a Joint

Now that you’ve reached the end, you have all the information about smoking a joint for the first time. If you require further information, take a look at our other articles to learn more about where in the US you can smoke weed legally, as well as how to smoke weed if you don’t have any rolling papers around your house. 

Finally, enjoy your experience, and don’t forget to consume only as much as you can tolerate to prevent any unwanted side effects. Smoking a joint will never be easier than if you decide to give our tips a try. Enjoy your sesh!

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.