By Luke Sumpter

Pre-rolled joints are ready-made cones full of weed that provide an on-demand smoking experience. But do they belong in your cannabis regimen? And how can you identify the best products available? Find out below.

What Are Pre-Rolled Joints?

Pre-rolled joints are rather self-explanatory—they’re premade joints that smokers can enjoy instantly. These cones are rolled by another person, or a machine, to streamline the smoking process.

Instead of having to roll a cone themselves, consumers can simply skip the process, withdraw a pre-rolled joint from their pocket, and instantly feel its effects. Pre-rolled weed certainly offers a range of benefits, but not all joints are made equally. Some of them offer the perfect smoke, whereas others are poor in their craftsmanship, taste, and effects.

If you’re thinking about purchasing some pre-rolled joints, it’s important to know how to assess them for quality. This way, you’ll get the most for your money every time. Keep reading to learn how to identify top-shelf pre-rolled cannabis.

Pre-rolled Joint
Pre-rolled Joint

How Pre-Rolled Joints Are Made

Pre-rolled joints are made in several different ways, from the hands of humans to the cogs and claws of machines. Check out the most common ways that pre-rolls are created:

  • Hand-crafted: Small-scale artisan sellers keep things old-school by rolling by hand. They’ll craft roaches from cardboard, use manual grinders, and skillfully form near-perfect cones with no machines involved.
  • Joint rollers: These low-tech machines still involve a bit of handiwork. Dispensary or coffeeshop workers must load them with paper and bud, but they don’t need to roll the cone itself.
  • Machine-assisted: This option comes into play in larger operations. Technicians scoop ground buds into large templates designed to load hundreds of joints at a time. They align the template with the top of the pre-rolled cones, remove a slide-out barrier, and let the weed fall into the cones below. The machine will then shake aggressively to pack the cones properly.
  • Machine-made: Used by the largest commercial operations, these machines remove almost all human input. They grind the weed, roll the cones, load them, pack them down, and even twist their tops.

Joint Roller
Joint Roller

Are Pre-Rolled Joints Licked?

You shouldn’t feel strange about having this concern—the thought of blazing up someone else's saliva is pretty gross. However, most of us will happily sit around in a circle of friends and share a joint, knowing somebody within the same circle sealed it shut with their own spit. Regardless, something about buying a contaminated pre-roll is particularly unappealing.

If you buy your pre-rolls from a reputable supplier, you can bet they aren’t licked. Why? Because companies have paid the price for this, and other businesses don’t want to tread the same path. Back in 2020, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) in Michigan, United States, ordered the recall[1] of over 3,000 pre-rolled joints after it was discovered they were sealed via licking. To get around this issue, many manufacturers use a moist paintbrush to dampen the glue strip and seal their pre-rolled joints.

The Benefits of Pre-Rolled Joints

Right now, you’re slightly more clued up when it comes to pre-rolled cannabis! But what drives some weed users to select pre-rolls over simply crafting their own joints? And why should you even consider opting for this way to smoke weed? Find out below.

They’re Convenient

One of the most obvious advantages of pre-rolled joints boils down to their convenience. These ready-to-use joints remove the need to carry around an armoury of rolling gear, such as papers, a roach card, a grinder, and even a tray. On top of that, they’ll also save you time when it’s of the essence. Whether you’re pressed in the mornings or on your lunch break, pre-rolled joints will save you an extra few vital minutes. To some, it might seem inconvenient to carry around a joint—surely they get crushed, soaked, and distorted? Maybe, but if you use one of the many joint-protecting products available from every seed bank and head store you browse, this won’t be an issue.

There Are Plenty of Options

When buying and using pre-rolled joints, consumers are restricted to whatever’s on offer on store shelves. While this might seem limiting, the diversity of pre-rolled products has vastly increased in recent years, and continues to expand. We’re not just talking about standard joints anymore—far from it. You’ll come across huge blunts, joints of all shapes and sizes, and joints filled with every type of flower you can imagine, from high-CBD strains to those with rare and highly sought-after terpene profiles. Moreover, depending on where you store, you’ll also come across those coated with kief, resin, and all manner of sticky concentrates.

They’re Ideal While You’re Learning to Roll

Rolling joints doesn’t click for everybody right away. Some people pick up the art form after just a few attempts, and it doesn’t take them long to put their own spin on it. However, it can take the less dexterous among us far longer to roll a cone that they’re happy with and confident enough to pass around to friends. While you continue to put your fingers to the test, pre-rolled joints are an excellent option to ensure you have something to smoke as a backup plan. What’s more, you can even puff on them during planned practice sessions.

What to Look for in the Best Pre-Rolled Joints

There you have it: pre-rolled joints offer a host of benefits. They come in extremely handy whenever you’re in a rush, if you don’t want to carry around a bunch of gear, or if you’re learning to roll. If you’ve decided that pre-rolled joints are right for you, then you need to learn what to look out for to make sure you buy a quality product. Discover what makes a worthy pre-rolled joint using our guide below.

Best Pre-Rolled Joints
Best Pre-Rolled Joints

Roll Quality

As the hallmark of a well-crafted joint, roll quality ranks as one of the most important factors when shopping around. Why? Because good roll quality will make taking hits a joy, whereas poor roll quality can make a joint completely unsmokable. You’re looking for a tight—but not too tight—and even roll that doesn’t appear overly congested close to the roach. Avoid any pre-rolls that appear unevenly packed or feature lumps or inconsistencies.


You won’t always catch much of an aroma from pre-rolled joints, especially from those that are sealed in packaging. However, some outlets will let you handle the joint and take a sniff. You’re looking for signs of well-cured weed here; expect to smell pleasant skunky, fruity, floral, and herbal aromas. Scents of dampness and hay, or a lack of any smell at all, indicate poorly processed cannabis flowers that you’d do well to avoid.

Cannabinoid Content

Not every cannabis user is comfortable playing a game of cognitive roulette. If you’d like to have at least some idea of what you’re about to experience when smoking a pre-rolled joint, you’ll need to check in on the cannabinoid content. Most regulated products will come with enough information to inform you of the THC and CBD content of the joint—the two most influential determinants of its effects. As you’re aware, THC underpins the quintessential cannabis high, whereas CBD provides a clear-headed effect with no high. Pre-rolls possess varying levels of both of these cannabinoids, so consider the figures carefully.

Terpene Profile

Cannabinoids aren’t the only chemical constituents in cannabis that determine the effects of each strain. Terpenes also play a large role in the subjective experience served up by each cultivar. Some terpenes, such as limonene, are energising and motivating. Others, including myrcene, are stoning and relaxing. Get clued up on the role of terpenes, their effects, and their tastes, and use this information to make an informed decision every time you pull out your wallet to grab a pre-rolled joint.


In the age of sky-high tolerance, you can bet that many pre-rolled joints come slathered in outlandish concoctions of cannabinoids. You’ll come across pre-rolled joints packed with all manner of gooey concentrates that house humongous levels of THC. Now, you need to exercise some caution here. If you’ve consumed weed for many years and fail to get high even when using relatively strong flowers, these will tickle your fancy. If you’re less experienced than this, you’ll either want to build up your tolerance beforehand, or truly take things one hit at a time when enjoying concentrate-laden pre-rolls.

Burn Pattern

You can’t test the burn pattern of a pre-rolled joint before you’ve bought it, arrived home, and sparked it up. However, keeping an eye on this factor will help you to decide where to spend your money in the future. Ideally, the tip of your joint should burn evenly and slowly, with all sides moving down toward the roach at a similar speed. Joints that are packed unevenly frequently fall victim to sideburn, a term that describes one side of the joint burning much quicker than the others. Not only does this look undesirable, but it impacts the smoking experience and will often cause uncombusted weed to fall out of the end of the joint.


Again, you’ll have to wait until you’ve purchased to assess the taste of a pre-rolled joint. But you can use this as a benchmark going forward regarding what bud you wish to buy. The flavor of a pre-roll will vary drastically depending on the weed inside. Overall, it should taste spicy, earthy, sweet, sour, or some other pleasant taste. Each hit should also be relatively smooth on the throat and lungs. Harness, dryness, grassiness, and other unpleasant flavors are an indication of poor-quality buds.

Where to Buy Pre-Rolled Joints

You know the benefits of pre-rolled joints and how to assess their quality. Next up, you need to know where to buy them!

  • Dispensaries: You’ll find these outlets across legal territories across North America. Because they’re tightly regulated, you’ll come across some of the best pre-rolled joints anywhere in the world.
  • Coffeeshops: Found in numerous cities in the Netherlands, these outlets produce some good-quality pre-rolled joints. You won’t have the variety and consistency of individuals shopping at dispensaries, but the majority of products are worth the money.
  • Cannabis clubs: Found in parts of Spain and elsewhere in Europe, cannabis clubs are known for their high-quality weed and near-perfect pre-rolled cones. You’ll have to sign up for membership before purchasing, though.

Royal Queen Seeds Thailand Store
Royal Queen Seeds Thailand Store

You’re Ready to Purchase the Best Pre-Rolled Joints

Congratulations, you know absolutely everything you need to know about pre-rolled joints! You know about their key benefits and how to tell the bad from the good. Adding to this, you know where to go to seek them out. Now, start to put your nose, taste buds, and brain to the test by trying some pre-rolled joints. Experience their convenience and decide if they have a place in your cannabis routine.

This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

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