Cannabis Newbie Guide: What Are Pre-Rolls?

person smoking prerolled joint

The Aztec gods gifted the first rolled cigarettes [both cannabis and tabacco] to humanity sometime around the 9th century AD, in what is today Mexico. Humans have been smoking “joints” ever since. But what exactly are modern pre-rolls, and who’s turn is it to pass the puff anyway?

Keep reading for your stoners guide to the greatest invention since the lightbulb: the pre-rolled marijuana cigarette!

History of the Joint

Marijuana and tobacco have deep historical roots. While marijuana has been smoked all across the globe since before historical times, tobacco is a new world product: Made in America. The American Indians definitely smoked rolled tobacco cigars, and there is evidence they mixed in hemp flower [marijuanna] and other ingredients.

American cowboys “rolled their own” tobacco with thin corn husks the old Mexican-Indian way. Historically weed was of lower potency and worse taste than it is today. Ancient people everywhere in the world smoked cannabis hash, and oil, but the pure cannabis paper wrapped “joint” probably didn’t arise until after paper tobacco cigarettes were popular.

The first paper cigarettes were not meant to be smoked. They were sort of carrying containers for tobacco. Either to be broken up, crewed, or puffed like a cigar and not inhaled.

The idea of smoking tobacco in pieces of thin paper probably originated during the Crimean War, where British and Americans witnessed Ottoman Turks rolling their cigarettes with newspaper. These, mostly white soldiers returned home with their habit where it was witnessed by, mostly black and Mexican marijuana smokers.

Much controversy and mania have since ensued [see Reefer Madness, and The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937]. One thing is for sure, as Jimmy Buffet said of the roaring twenties in his hit song, Paper Thin Mustache:

“And Rama of the jungle was everyone’s Bawana

But only jazz musicians were smokin’ marijuana!”

By the jazz age, at least the cooler Americans were smoking marijuana cigarettes. And what do you think those hep-cats got their girls to do for them? “Roll the joints up baby, I got a show to do!”

Modern Pre-Rolls

A “pre-roll” is a cigarette [marijuana, tobacco or otherwise] that is made in advance before it’s smoked. In an American cannabis dispensary like Cannabisy, a pre-roll is a marijuana or CBD cigarette, usually called a “joint”.

Pre-rolled, get it? Nothing beats the convenience of a pre-roll! A good pre-roll comes in two general categories, although there are many variations.

1. The Standard Joint

Some pre-rolls are good old fashioned joints made with traditional rolling paper. These are unfiltered marijuana cigarettes. The ends of the joint are usually sealed by twisting the paper into a little nub.


Standard pre-roll joints require no instructions. There isn’t an up or down, or front to back – you can smoke either end of a standard joint and you would be doing it right. Light, puff, and pass it.


You probably have to roll your own. Most stores don’t sell this old-school style. You will be left with a roach.

2. The Cone

A modern invention, the pre-roll cone is a quantum leap in marijuana cigarette pre-roll technology! These handy joints have a hard paper filter at the end and proceed from there into a slightly conical shape to hold your reefer. Finally, a standard joint twist of is common on the one end.


The filter is awesome. It’s not like a manufactured tobacco filter. Cone filters are very loose and only block large flaming pieces of weed.

You can smoke all the cannabis in the joint! Because the weed ends before the filter, you don’t have to smoke the entire physical object to smoke all the weed. Puff until the filter, then discard.


Since there is one end for your mouth and one end for the cherry, a stoned individual may need instructions in order to light this type of joint. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty simple.

The Modern “Doob Tube”

There are many different ways that pre-rolls are sold. Another great invention is the hard plastic “doob tube” that most pre-rolls are sold in. A doob tube is a small disposable container that holds one joint.

A secret known to expert stoners is that a doob tube can be used to save a half-smoked joint for later! Place the lit joint filter side down, and drop your joint into the doob tube. Close the container with the hard plastic cap that comes with the tube.

In the enclosed space, the joint will quickly use up the oxygen needed to burn and go out within seconds. You shouldn’t even feel any heat through the tube.

If it starts getting hot, that means you didn’t close the lid all the way [or there is a crack]. You better get your joint out before it burns away!

The Blunt Pre-Roll

A “blunt” is a weed roll made with a tobacco wrapper. Usually, the wrappers come from tobacco cigars that are disassembled and used for the leaf wrapper. You can make a blunt pre-roll, and enjoy it later when you want to relax.

Because the tobacco and marijuana industries are totally separate, and regulated by different government entities, it’s illegal to sell cannabis blunts with tobacco wrappers. If you’re of legal age to buy both products [cannabis and tabacco] where you live, there is nothing stopping you from enjoying the traditional combination on your own, or making pre-rolled joints for your own use.

CBD Pre-Rolls

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a hot retail product. It is a cannabinoid oil of the cannabis plant. CBD is different from THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in pot. A CBD rolled joint is legal almost everywhere since Cannabidiol is not a controlled substance. 

CBD pre-rolls are cannabis hemp [the non-psychoactive stalk], not marijuana [THC laden flower]. CBD pre-rolls don’t get you “high” the way marijuana does. People claim that it is a mild relaxant and stress reliever.

The Age of Aquarius

The promised age is upon us. A robot car will deliver any kind of food you want, and you don’t even have to make your own pre-rolls anymore. Smoke a regular joint, or a cone, or whatever makes you happy!

You’ve reached the end of the article. It’s now probably time now for you to spark up a pre-roll, and I don’t blame you. Check out our blog for more hot information on your favorite subject: how to get legally high!