How to Light a Joint

How to Light a Joint - Step by Step

Posted by INHALCO Editorial Team on

In just one year, 192 million people light up a joint. Some people may smoke every day, while, for others, it is a rare treat. 

The problem is, do you know how to light a joint? It is an art form that is hard to master. You can spend time grinding and rolling or even buying pre-rolled joints. But, if you can't light it correctly, the whole thing is ruined. 

When you're by yourself, it's annoying, but if you're with a group of friends, it's downright embarrassing. Trust us.

Luckily for you, we've all been in that situation. So let us guide you through our foolproof way of how to light a joint perfectly every time. 

What Is a Joint?

How to Light a Joint

A joint is cannabis rolled into a conical shape with paper or hemp wraps and possibly a filter. In many European countries, people mix tobacco into their joints.

Over in the USA, we'd call that a spliff, but that's a whole different debate. 

How To Light a Joint Correctly

Firstly, make sure you hold the filter end of the joint between your thumb and index finger. The other end of the joint has a twist in it.

Now, keeping it away from your face (because you won't puff as you light), slowly move the twisted end into a flame. You want to start right at the tip.

As you move the joint, rotate it so that all sides have direct contact with the flame. When your joint is lit and cherried (has a red ring around the top), bring it to your lips, and get ready to puff.

What to Pay Attention to While Lighting a Joint?

Imagine you are outside making a fire, you would gently blow on the flames repeatedly to get it going. Lighting a joint is the same, except that, instead of breathing out, you will breathe in. If you take lots of short little tokes, you'll see whether or not the joint is lit all around.

If it isn't fully lit, focus on that section again. Rotate the joint tip in a flame until it catches, and then take a few drags. Avoid deep drags at first because that may draw the fire down just one side of your joint. 

How To Put Out A Joint To Save It For Later?

If you have a few tokes and decide you want to save the rest, flick off the hot embers and rotate the end into an astray. Later, when you fancy another smoke, pick it up and light it again. 

That's it! Congratulations, you have lit your first joint like an absolute pro.  

How to Light a Joint Without Canoeing?

Canoeing is a term used when someone lights a joint and it burns just down one side. If this keeps happening to you, you might be rolling your joints too loose.

Also, be sure to use a straight flame because a flickering flame can cause canoeing. A lighter has a straight flame which is easier to use.

Followed the Correct Steps, but It’s Still Not Burning Right, Why?

First of all, don't panic. Being patient and lighting the joint carefully is the key. Here are our tips for those of you who are still struggling. 

Why Joint Extinguishes Too Quickly

Is your joint going out faster than you can count to five? You may have rolled it so tight that not enough Oxygen can get through. Try rolling a little looser next time.

Also, check your cannabis. You want your grind uniform in texture, so not over-done or under-done. 

Why Joint Burns Too Quickly

There are two causes for this. Firstly, if your cannabis is a season old or not tightly stored, it might be too dry. Also, loose rolling might be the cause. 

The quickest way to solve this problem is to roll with hemp wraps. These will replace your regular paper and are excellent for creating a slow, even burn. The extra positive is that they are 100% organic, non-GMO, and tobacco-free. 

Best Tools to Light a Joint

These three tools are currently the most popular ways to light your joint. The question is, what are the pros and cons of each? 

Hemp Wick

How to Light a Joint

Hemp wick is twine that has been sealed with beeswax. You wrap it around a lighter and cut pieces off as needed. Light the hemp wick and then use that to spark your joint.


  • A small flame that is easy to direct and manage
  • 100% Organic, non-GMO versions
  • Can use outdoors


  • It can be a hassle to light the hemp wick before your joint
  • Some people can taste the beeswax


Lighters are filled with butane gas. The difference between a standard lighter and a torch lighter is the flame. A torch lighter creates an intense blue flame.


  • A straight (non-flickering) flame that is easy to control
  • Windproof and wind-resistant models
  • Looks stylish


  • The highest point of the flame is invisible, so be careful
  • Some people can taste the chemicals


How to Light a JointThe traditional tool now comes in various lengths and styles. Some people still use matches to light their joints. 


  • Cheap and readily available
  • Cedar matches are sulfur-free 


  • Single-use
  • Regular length matches burn too quickly
  • Not great in outdoor conditions

A Smoker Is Only as Good as Their Tools

Okay, we may have changed the famous quote by Emmeret Wolf a little bit. But, preparing tools such as hemp wraps and a torch lighter will see you in good stead.

Remember that you can light a joint quickly, but mastering the process will take some time. Just don't give up!

Hopefully, we've troubleshot your problems, so you feel confident and know how to light a joint when it's your turn. Good luck! 

For guidance on tools and all things marijuana-related, contact us today.  

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