Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on December 24, 2022

Every weed smoker knows that when you have a hankering, you have a hankering, and no amount of magic brownies or chocolates or cannabis drinks will replace that feeling when you take a hit. For many cannabis users, smoking weed is their preferred method of consumption, and if they could help it, they wouldn’t change it for anything.

That said, running out of smoking paper can be quite underwhelming and frustrating. Luckily, there are so many different methods and gadgets for smoking cannabis, which is what we cover in this article, to help you in times of need. 

Keep reading for some weed paper replacements as well as some DIY smoking devices made out of household items. Prepare your plastic bag and best weed grinder, and let’s go!

Don’t Sweat It, Here Are Some Rolling Paper Replacements

First things first, when you’re out of rolling papers, you need to find an alternative to roll up a nice joint.

Empty a Cigarette

This one may be a no-brainer, but it’s actually a pretty good alternative to smoking paper. Cigarette paper is thin enough, so, save for the faint tobacco smell, it’s really a nice replacement. 

Just flip the cigarette with the filter end facing upwards and gently roll it with your fingertips so the tobacco can fall out. Make sure to remove the filter using tweezers or a needle and replace it with a joint filter, also known as a crutch, before you load it with weed. Finally, put some nicely-ground dry flowers in there and enjoy. Just know that it’ll burn pretty fast.

Try a Corn Husk, It Works

Corn husks may make you go “huh?,” but in reality, in Jamaica and California, they’re commonly used as rolling paper replacements, among other things. Corn husks are thin and fibrous, which is why they make a really nice joint. They hold the weed in place and burn slowly, just like smoking papers, plus they’re a natural material, which makes them healthier.

To roll a corn husk joint, make sure the husks are a little on the drier side so that they can burn. Cut up a nice square piece and roll it up.

Roll Up the Doobie With a Gum Wrapper

Gum usually comes wrapped in two layers, one is a thin piece of aluminum foil and the other is thin paper, very much akin to smoking paper. Even though they may not be big enough, gum wrappers are a nice alternative for smoking marijuana because they’re the closest thing to smoking paper you can get. Since the two layers are very closely stuck together, be careful when separating them.

You Can Use Rose Petals, For Real

Rose blunts are not a joke, you can ask any seasoned weed smoker. Rose petals are edible and they burn nicely when they’re rolled up in a joint, plus they give off a decadent floral aroma, which can make any reg weed far more pleasant.

To prepare the petals for rolling, you’ll need to dry them up first so the excess moisture can evaporate. You’ll need about 3-4 rose petals, or more if you want a bigger joint. Set your oven to broil and place the rose petals inside for 10 seconds. Take them out and wait for them to cool, and then lick the edges in order to stick them together.

Next, roll up your blunt as you normally would, and place it back in the oven for another 10 seconds. Finally, take it out, wait for it to cool, and light it up. One tip though, monitor the petals very closely when you bake them as they shouldn’t be crisp.

Use Blotting Sheets

Blotting sheets are those small pieces of highly absorbent paper designed to absorb excess oil from the skin. Apart from being convenient to carry in your purse or pocket on a hot summer day, these wondrous pieces of paper can also serve as rolling papers. How, you ask? Blotting sheets are really thin and delicate (similar to rolling papers) and they’re easy to work with, plus they don’t burn as fast – making them a really good alternative. Therefore, next time you’re in a pinch and can’t think of anything else, think of using blotting sheets.

But, You Can Also Smoke Weed Using DIY Smoking Devices

If you’re feeling more adventurous, or want to have an ace up your sleeve for when you find yourself with few smoking options, check out these DIY devices made out of common household items.

Everyone Knows About Apple Pipes

You can’t find an apple pipe in a dispensary, that’s for sure. However, this is one of the classic and popular ways to smoke weed that has persisted for decades, as apples are a common grocery staple. Plus, they impart a citrusy and refreshing flavor to any weed, which is always an enjoyable experience.

Apple pipes are easy to make. You’ll need an apple, a piece of aluminum foil, and a pen barrel. Take the pen barrel and make a hole from the top of the apple (where the stem is) up to the middle. Then, make another hole from the side towards the middle, to meet the first hole. Make a small bowl out of the aluminum foil and poke some holes in it so there is enough airflow. 

Finally, put the bowl on top of the apple where the first hole is, put some weed in there, light it up, and inhale from the hole on the side. You can also poke a third hole to use as a carb, but it’s not necessary.

Gravity Bong, or, That’s-a-Lot-of-Smoke

Gravity bongs are DIY devices made out of plastic bottles that can hold a lot of smoke. They’re great for get-togethers because they can get a lot of people high in a short span of time. They’re quite powerful, so while experienced users will enjoy smoking from a gravity bong, beginners should proceed with caution.

To make a gravity bong, you’ll need a 2-liter bottle, a 20-oz water bottle, aluminum foil, and a sharp knife. Here’s how you make it:

  1. Cut off the top of the 2-liter bottle, then cut off the bottom of the 20-oz bottle;
  2. Fill the 2-liter bottle with water and submerge the 20-oz bottle in it. The water should be about an inch or two below the top;
  3. Make a small bowl out of the aluminum foil by using several layers and poke tiny holes in it, then put it on the mouthpiece of the 20-oz bottle;
  4. Place the weed in the bowl you just made and light it;
  5. As the weed starts to burn, the top half of the smaller bottle will start filling up with smoke. This is when you start slowly lifting the bottle up, but not out of the water;
  6. When it’s filled up to the maximum level, remove the bowl you just made and immediately place your mouth onto the mouthpiece and start inhaling immediately.
  7. While you’re inhaling, you should simultaneously be pushing the bottle back into the water. Doing this will force the smoke out of the bottle and into your lungs, so make sure you really inhale.

For more information about bongs, we’ve put together this list of the best bong brands.

Soda Can, the Simplest DIY Pipe

When there’s nothing else you can find, you can try using a soda can. Along with the apple pipes, soda can pipes are also very well known in the weed community as a reliable backup.

To smoke weed out of a soda can, bend the can in half and use something sharp to poke holes in the center of the crease, then poke another hole to the side of the can to serve as a carb hole. Put some weed in the crease where the holes are and inhale through the mouthpiece of the can.

Even though soda cans are a great alternative smoking device, keep in mind that they shouldn’t be used too often as the dyes and coating on the can may release harmful chemicals.

Use Hot Knives, Like in the Olden Days

Back in the day, hot knives were commonly used for smoking weed. You’ll need two knives, preferably with wide blades, and your weed. Make sure your weed is not too coarsely ground, so it can burn more easily.

Basically, what you need to do is to heat your two knives on the stove, and when they’re hot enough, place some weed on one of the knives and sandwich it with the other. 

To do this more easily, you can place the weed on a small saucer and pick it up directly with the knife. The smoke will start coming out shortly after, so all you need to do is inhale the smoke trail. One word, though, be very careful with the heat and protect your hands.

Alternatively, Try These

If you’re not feeling adventurous and would rather use a ready-made smoking device, then check out these suggestions.

Dust-Off the Good Ol’ Bong

Just like joints, bongs are classic smoking devices. If you have one lying around at home, why not give it a good clean and make use of it. Bongs can give you a nice high, and the smoke is quite pleasant as the impurities are filtered in the water.

Or Make it More Compact With a Bubbler

Bubblers are more compact versions of bongs. They have the portability of a hand pipe and the filtration method of a bong. You can find a bubbler in any dispensary if you want to try something new and exciting.

Go Modern With a Vape Pen or a Vaporizer

Vaporizing is on the rise, and no wonder! Many smokers are converting to vaping and with a good reason. Vaporizers and vape pens don’t combust the plant material, so the cannabinoids and terpenes remain intact. They are portable, discreet, and convenient, and the smoke is very smooth. If you want to switch up your consumption method sometime, vaping might be the best alternative.

Use a Hookah, Because Why Not

Hookahs are legendary. Even though they’re traditionally used to smoke shisha, which is flavored tobacco, they can also be used for smoking weed. You can mix the weed with tobacco or even shisha for some added flavor. If you do so, put the weed on top of the shisha or tobacco to provide enough moisture for the weed.

Try a Chillum aka One-Hitter

Chillums, or one-hitters, are narrow glass pipes that can hold enough weed for exactly one hit. They may not be an ideal shareable or for get-together weed sessions, but for micro-dosing and quick hits throughout the day, they are perfect.

For a Potent High, Try Dabbing

If you’re just getting into weed, the thought of dabbing may make your head spin because dab concentrates are mighty powerful. Their THC and CBD content is at an optimal level which is why the high is so intense. However, the smoke itself is very light as dab rigs use a vaporization method and don’t combust the concentrate. So, if you want to try something other than smoking dry flowers, give dabbing a try, but only if you have some cannabis experience behind you.


Can you use tissue paper to roll a joint?

Having a nice baggie of weed and no rolling papers to smoke it with can make you look into all sorts of alternatives, some good and some terrible. Using tissue paper to roll a joint belongs to the latter category. Just don’t do it. Tissue paper is bleached and treated with chemicals to make it soft and smooth. And while it’s not hard to work with, it’ll burn way too fast, which will be a waste of a nice bud. Not to mention the chemicals you’d be inhaling, you definitely don’t want that. There are tons of better alternatives to rolling papers than tissue paper.

Can you smoke with parchment paper?

Parchment paper is also processed with a lot of chemicals that you’d be definitely better off not inhaling. Additionally, parchment paper is coated with a very thin layer of silicone to make it non-stick, and lighting it would just result in unnecessary toxic fumes. Plus, it’s much thicker and stiffer than rolling papers (which would make it hard to roll it), so it’s not a good alternative at all.

Bottom Line – Relax, You Have Plenty of Smoking Options

When you find yourself in the desert, don’t despair, you can still smoke weed without rolling paper (but please don’t roll weed in regular paper). The methods of smoking marijuana are versatile enough to give you a lot of options to choose from. Sure, some may be a little outrageous and require some effort, but in the end, it’s the experience that matters. Plus, it’s always good to have a backup for when you have a baggie but no paper.

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.