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A man prepares ground cannabis to be smoked, by Lazlo Mates via iStock

Best Ways to Smoke Weed Without Rolling Papers

Keegan Williams

By Keegan Williams

March 16, 2022

It’s happened to the best of us: You’re gearing up to smoke marijuana, you reach for your coveted collection of weed paraphernalia and realize the rolling papers are nowhere to be found. A less-resourceful stoner might surrender, but an innovative cannabis industry calls for innovative consumers.

There are plenty of ways to consume marijuana, and getting creative with tips, tricks and weed smoking hacks can even enhance the smoking process as a whole! Relish in some cannabis education, and you’re likely to find something in today’s article to help usher in your next paperless smoke sesh. Let’s dig in.

Find a Rolling Paper Alternative

The perfect size, consistency and sticky edge built into smoking papers makes matters easier if you’re looking to smoke weed, but who needs them? Some people prefer smoking weed through a joint at all costs, and for those in our audience, we have answers!

Note: All methods listed below are for entertainment purposes only and should not be tried at home. Please stay healthy and safe with your consumption. 

Corn Husk

It might sound strange, but try out corn husks instead. They predate the smoking paper as an old-fashioned form of smoking weed, not to mention their eco-friendly nature. Smoke weed without rolling papers, also embrace a great natural alternative for anyone looking to try a classic method of smoking weed. 

How to:

Start with the most inner layer of the husk; it’s much thinner, smoother and easier to twist than the outer layers, along with carrying a tastier flavor. Dry out the husk’s inner layer by leaving it out in the sun for a day, or even a warm oven; air movement and lack of humidity is key to the drying process.

Once the husk is dried (be sure to check on it to gauge the consistency), cut apart the corn husks. Start by cutting off the ends, but the rest is up to you: If you prefer the taste and aroma of the corn husks, feel free to leave a bit more for the width of your soon-to-be paper.

When you’re ready to smoke weed, hit the husk with a small amount of water and let it sit for a couple minutes, which will allow the husk to stick together when the joint is rolled.

Finally, hand dry with a paper towel, and use the joint-shaped husk piece to roll up your weed. 

If the joint is too loose, you can always tear a long strip from another husk to use it to tie off the end of the joint. The corn husk makes the weed burn slowly and evenly, so much so that corn husk smoking papers are even available for purchase.

A group of rose petals, by Nguyen Dinh Minh Quan via iStock
Photo credit: Nguyen Dinh Minh Quan via iStock

Rose Petals/Rose Blunts

Sure, this method may just be one of the coolest and most aesthetically pleasing, but who wouldn’t want to double down on the aromatic pleasures of smoking cannabis with some floral flavor? Get yourself some rose blunts!

How to:

You’ll find this method involves comparable prep to the aforementioned husk papers: Start with three rose petals overlapping on an oven-safe pan for each “paper,” set the oven to broil and put the pan in for 10 seconds. The rose petals should appear slightly darker when removed.

Lick the bottom of the flower petals to give them some stick, and arrange them in a slightly overlapping row, but don’t turn off the oven – you’ll pop the layered petals right back in, on the broil setting, for an additional 10 seconds. You can let the petals sit for about two minutes to firm up.

Place weed in the center of the homemade petal papers, and start by rolling the joint extra tight. Once closed, seal the deal on your new rose blunt and place it back on the pan for an additional 10 seconds in the broiling oven.

Give your perfect rose blunt an extra two minutes to settle after the third oven excursion, then it’ll be ready to smoke!

A word of caution, however, to be careful about where your rose petals are from. Always use organic flowers, or flowers you know for certain haven’t been treated with pesticides or chemicals!

Empty Cigarette

Sure, it’s maybe not the most glamorous, and those not wanting to run the risk of consuming any nicotine might want to stay far away, but desperate weed times call for desperate weed measures. 

How to:

Smokers might not like to empty out a full cigarette of smoking tobacco, but the simplest way to go about this one is to obtain a cigarette, use your fingers to gently massage the tobacco out and then fill it back up with weed. Simple enough, right? 

If you happen to have any cone-packing tools, or anything that can help to push the weed down into the empty cigarette, it surely doesn’t hurt.

While not required, if you go this route, you might as well remove the cigarette filter with a needle or tweezers and insert a joint crutch for the optimal experience; this will also prevent any cannabinoids from getting caught in the filter as you smoke.

If you’re smoking marijuana without papers, this method is inconspicuous and fairly low-effort. If you want to get extra creative, and aren’t averse to tobacco use in general, you can utilize some of the tobacco from your cigarette to make a spliff, adding a little extra stretch to your stash!

Gum Wrapper

When the time to smoke cannabis beckons, true stoners know how to do what they’ve got to do. Should you happen to have some extra chewing gum lying around, this rolling paper alternative is a classic – but not recommended – solution; still, we’d be remiss if we left this old school method out of our list.

How to:

While many gum wrappers today don’t even come with aluminum foil anymore, if there is foil on the wrapper, heat up that side with a lighter, a few inches away from the wrapper, to loosen, not burn, the foil.

After that, you should be able to easily peel off the aluminum foil part of the wrapper. Ensure there is no aluminum foil left over on the wrapper before continuing.

You know the next part: Get your ground-up flower, and get to rolling! You’ll also need to prepare an adhesive for the wrapper ahead of time. Some folks like using agave nectar or honey, or go to the next level with a THC tincture or distillate, which will also boost the joint’s potency.

Again, this isn’t a recommended method due to the unknown health risks that could be involved with smoking a literal gum wrapper. But points for ingenuity to whomever created this technique – never let it be said that a dedicated smoker won’t find a way. 

Alternative Pipes

Should your rolling paper outage have you ready to steer clear of joints entirely, there are a number of common household items that can easily provide the same airflow functionality as a smoking pipe or other standard tools for marijuana consumption.

An apple weed pipe, by 400tmax via iStock
Photo Credit: 400tmax via iStock

Apple Pipe

Sure, we want to eat our produce to get big and strong, but with a bit of finesse, we can also use our fruits and veggies to smoke weed without rolling papers. Start with a classic, and craft a pipe from an actual apple.

How to:

A tried and true solution, snag a fresh apple, and with a small, skinny tool of your choice (a pen is perfect), carve a hole through the top of the fruit to about halfway into the core. You can use that same tool to poke through the side to make a mouth hole. The top of the apple now acts as the bowl to place and pack your cannabis – just light it, inhale out the side and enjoy.

Carrot Steamroller

Perhaps you’re looking for something that packs a bit more of a punch, and the carrot steamroller could be that very solution.

How to:

Take a thick carrot and use a screwdriver to poke a hole at the center of the carrot length-wise, from one side to the other. A twisting motion will help you bore out your hole; make sure to pause occasionally to tap out some of the now-shredded carrot trapped inside.

On the top of the carrot, carve an area to pack your weed inside, closer to one side. Be prepared to craft another foil bowl or add a glass one. Finally, put your mouth on the side furthest from the weed, cover the other hole, and light the bowl. Once you’ve gotten your fill of smoke, release your finger from the other side to inhale all the smoke into your lungs at once. 

Watermelon Bong

Looking to go the extra mile for your produce pipe? We’re all about options, and the watermelon bong could be the right one for you.

How to:

Start by cutting a circular piece out from one side of the watermelon (and save it for later), then insert two skewers perpendicular to the cut-out until they reach the other side of the shell. Use a spoon to dig straight down from the first hole to create your chamber, and then pull out the two skewers.

Take the wedge you saved from before, poke a hole through it with one of the skewers and place it back in its initial side hole. There should now be enough of an indent to place your ground flower on this extra piece, and you can use the skewer holes you made before to inhale.

It’s simpler than it seems, reminiscent of straight tube bongs, and who doesn’t love some extra sweet flavor while you smoke weed?

Gravity Bongs

Now that we got the beast that is the watermelon bong out of the way, let’s talk gravity bongs. This option will get you far more blazed than your standard pipe or set of rolling papers, so prepare for a very stoney evening should you go in this direction.

Note: There are a number of ways to craft a gravity bong; we’ve included a basic overview below, but for for those wanting a bit less hassle, check out our guide to the best gravity bongs you can purchase!

How to:

To build a gravity bong, start with both a one-liter and two-liter plastic bottle (or another large plastic container), along with some water and a box cutter. 

Start by removing the top of the two-liter plastic bottle and the bottom of the one-liter bottle with the box cutter, then fill the larger bottle with water. Next, carve a hole in the cap that can fit a bowl made of aluminum foil or tin foil.

Try cutting in a cross pattern—It should create the perfect spot to fashion some foil on top in a bowl shape. Just make sure to poke holes in the foil with a paperclip or toothpick so the marijuana smoke has somewhere to go.

Put the lid/makeshift bowl back on top, fill it with your flower of choice and light up. As you do this, you’ll slowly lift the smaller bottle upwards out of the water and continue as it fills up with milky smoke. Finally, remove the lid, push the bottle down and inhale over the cap hole. 

Staying true to the name, the gravity will push the smoke up and into your lungs, just be ready! This method is known for offering users a major high without necessarily using a ton of weed.

An improvised bottle pipe, by z1b via iStock
Photo Credit: z1b via iStock

Bottle/Can Pipe

While this isn’t necessarily our first recommendation, most of us have a spare bottle or some soda cans lying around if we’re truly in dire need of consuming marijuana.

How to:

This works similar to some of these other DIY pipes: Use the cap hole in a bottle or can to create an aluminum foil bowl, poke a hole at the bottom to use as a mouthpiece and another one the side to use as a carb to hold while you light the flower.

It bears mentioning that this, and the above method, involves aluminum and plastics, meaning if safety is a concern (and it should be) this isn’t a recommended method. Always stay away from heating plastic if you can.

Other Options For Smoking Weed

If you’ve come this far, still without rolling papers and a solution that works for you, good news: There are still other alternatives.

Using Hookah Pipes

While a carrot or a water bottle might be a bit easier to find than a hookah pipe, it’s surely a great option for anyone looking to smoke some weed. 

How to:

Hookahs will offer a similar experience as a water bong or other glass pipes. The main piece you need to know is, rather than adding hookah tobacco (or solely using hookah tobacco), you’ll throw some weed into the bowl.

Many prefer to mix the two so the weed doesn’t burn too quickly, and to add a bit of additional flavor. When mixing the two some will also add just a touch of water to the mix, so the dry cannabis herb and the wet shisha can blend together.

A few additional suggestions: Use two pieces of foil to cover your mixture, which will help ensure the heat spreads more evenly through the bowl.

Smoke slowly, and if you are partaking with friends and have multiple hoses, be careful to also limit smoking to one hose at a time, as more can burn up the weed sooner than you might like.

You can truly take the experience over the edge if you have a bit of hashish to throw in—It burns a bit slower, but the process is essentially the same. Note, though, that cannabis resin can clog up most standard hookah hoses, and make them unsuitable for long-term use; if going the hookah route, be prepared to do a lot of cleaning. 

Two heated knifes, being used to smoke hashish, by madsci via iStock
Photo Credit: madsci via iStock

Knife Hits

When we picture modern day vaping it’s easy to think of the sleek products of today, but vaporizers haven’t always taken this shape. Before concentrates and disposable vape pens took off, many weed connoisseurs and those familiar with marijuana culture were all too familiar with the hot knife method.

How to:

You’ll need two (ideally unwanted) butter knives, a stove top or portable burner, an old bottle with the bottom removed and, of course, your flower.

Turn the stove on at low-to-medium heat with the knives between the burner coils, allowing the blades to heat while the handle remains cool.

While the knives heat, break up your bud. You’ll need to ensure they are the proper size to fit between the two butter knives, and it’s useful to be ready once the knives are heated.

Once you’ve got yourself some hot knives, place the lid of the partial bottle in your mouth (you may need to hold it with your teeth), and with the blade of one heated knife, touch one of your herb pieces.

Bring that knife to the bottom opening of the bottle and use the other to press the herb flat between both hot knives.

You’ll then use the bottle to inhale the vapor – just a bit differently than inhaling regular cannabis smoke – emitting from the knives.

You might not throw away your vape pens in favor of this method, but be aware this works for flower and concentrates alike. Once the vapor stops, that bit of herb is spent, but feel free to grab more marijuana and heat the knives for round two.

Smoking Marijuana Right From the Bud

Maybe you’re finding yourself at the end of this list in peril, without a single item at hand but your lighter and flower. Fortunately, that’s all you need.

How to:

Keep in mind that this will only work with larger bud and cannabis that isn’t too dry, so if you’re rocking with popcorn, shake or trim, this method might just end with frustration and wasted weed.

The method has you take your bit of bud, ideally with a stem or piece to hold onto, as you light the opposite end. Get it nice and red hot. Once you blow the flame out, that piece of the bud should stay smoking, red in the center.

Being extra careful not to burn your mouth or finger, you can essentially place your lips at the opposite end of the bud and inhale.

Should you decide not to pursue this level of intimacy with your cannabis, you can also create an indent hole for a mouthpiece and inhale that way, depending on the size of the nug.

Again, this method is truly a last resort, as not all flower will be ideal to consume in this way and will likely lead to wasted product even when done properly.

Wrapping Up

Whether you go with one of these methods or swallow your pride for a trip to the nearest head shop, always stay safe no matter your method of consumption. Remember that heated plastics and other materials can release chemicals and toxic fumes, so while many of the above methods may work? That doesn’t mean they’re good for you and your general health. Taking the extra 30 minutes to go buy a cheap pipe might sound like a drag, but your body may just thank you in the long run.

No matter what you choose, though, as always we wish you happy smoking!

Keegan Williams

About The Author

Keegan Williams

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