To pre-roll or to hand-roll? That’s the question. And at first glance, it seems like a no-brainer. Pre-roll, of course! Who doesn’t like pre-packaged, tightly rolled joints that involve zero effort on your part to smoke other than light the joint tip? Turns out, through our exploration of pre-rolls and hand-rolls, that pre-rolls aren’t immune to criticisms. Here we outline the pros and cons of both pre-rolled and hand-rolled joints.
The most obvious pre-roll pro is convenience. There’s nothing like opening a fresh box of perfectly rolled J’s, taking in their beauty, their scent and then lighting one ablaze. They’re simple, they’re compact, there’s no mess and nothing to roll. All you have to do is buy them! Speaking of buys, another pre-roll perk is the fact that buying from your local dispensary might actually include heavily discounted – or even free – pre-rolled joints with certain purchases or on certain days. This means the added convenience of having a joint rolled for you can also come with little to no expense.
Pre-rolls also come in different sizes and different strains, which makes them perfect for sampling. Suppose you buy an eighth of a new strain and end up disliking it. You’re stuck with it. With pre-rolls, you can often sample individual strains via individual joints, and some companies even offer variety packs. This way, you can try something new without fear of wasting coin. If one flavor isn’t doing it for you, on to the next! Pre-rolled mini-joints are also a nifty newcomer that are great for sampling by yourself or sharing with friends, without the “what do I do with the rest of this joint” feeling.
The unfortunate truth these days is that most pre-rolls – even from established brands – are filled with shake, or nugs that are leftover and won’t sell on their own for whatever reasons. While this doesn’t mean you’re purchasing a severely inferior product, it does mean that you’re not having total control over what goes into your joints. While a lot of the weed in pre-rolls is indeed trim, it’s not stuff you were rolling at home on a magazine that fell on the floor, picked out of the carpet and still put in your J. So while the quality might be less than the weed you’re rolling yourself, you’re still getting a solid joint.
For all the hand-rollers out there, rolling a perfect joint is both an art and a ritualistic part of the weed smoking process. Rolling an awesome joint is definitely a skill, and a skill set that not everyone possesses. So if you’re a skilled hand-roller, props to you. You’re directly responsible for people enjoying a good time while getting high, since a wackly-rolled joint can destroy a smoke session. With hand-rolled joints, you select the greenery you’ll be consuming and – unlike pre-rolls – can consciously eliminate all seeds and stems. For some, hand-rolling joints is meditative, with each stage of the joint rolling process a cherished joy. There’s also no better reward for your skill and hard rolling work than smoking that fatty at the climax.
The one looming drawback with hand-rolling is cleanup. With pre-rolls, there’s no mess. You remove the joint from the packaging and spark up. With hand-rolling, not only can there be housekeeping work to do after the roll, but you also have to have the proper rolling conditions before rolling! For example, if you’re at a fancy restaurant or driving in traffic, chances are you’re not going to be able to roll a joint properly, for obvious etiquette and safety reasons, respectively. With pre-rolls, you’re always loaded and ready to go.
Like with most cannabis smoking related methods and activities, it all comes down to personal preference. If you’re smoking what you love in the way that works best for you – pre-rolled or hand-rolled – you’re doing it right.