The first time you enter a tobacco shop, if you are not familiar with the use of rolling papers, you could succumb to the infinite choice proposed by the retailer. What are the best papers for smoking tobacco?
In this article, we’ll discuss the most common papers, the ideal measurements to roll for one or more people and the choice of material. Obviously, you’ll be the one to decide which ones are perfect for your needs, but certainly, after reading these lines your choice will be easier in front of the tobacconist!
Obviously, we remind you that smoking cannabis and even cannabis light (which is a collector’s item) is illegal in Italy.
The choice of paper material
If you are faced with the dilemma of choosing a rolling paper, first you will have to decide which material to use. In fact, the composition is very important both in terms of taste and health.
A quality product contains few to zero toxic substances and guarantees a discreet taste as well as good handling.
Here are the materials of some of the most widespread and used papers among those on the market.
Wood pulp papers
The most used papers are those in wood pulp, easy to roll and cheap. They are usually of a slightly higher weight compared to other products and for this reason, they are quite comfortable to use because they keep their shape well.
The white ones are artificially bleached (which implies traces of chemical products), but more wholesome unbleached versions (those with a light brown colour) are also available. They are widely used papers due to their average combustion speed and low prices, they also have a specific, not very strong taste. But be careful, because nowadays if you do not want to contribute to deforestation and other ecological dramas, these rolling papers are not a good choice. There are much more ethical and eco-sustainable materials.
Rice papers are highly appreciated by the most expert consumers because they are completely of natural origin and therefore very healthy. They are also really thin and have practically no taste. Unfortunately, this makes them very difficult to handle and very susceptible to humidity. If you are very good at rolling you can try using these high-quality papers. The price is slightly higher than those in wood pulp, but the product is very valid even if they have a medium / fast combustion, which does not satisfy all consumers.
Ethical (hemp plantations have a very low environmental impact), slightly aromatic, a more consistent and rough coat than those of rice and therefore quite comfortable to handle. Usually, they are much darker in colour than the others, almost brown, precisely because they are made with hemp fibres; the combustion speed is medium. The only obvious defect is a certain tendency to absorb moisture, so it is recommended to keep them in a dry place.
These papers have truly unique characteristics: they are transparent, they contain no glue, they are completely odourless and totally natural. They are a bit complex to roll, have average burning speed and cost a little more than regular papers in circulation. Let’s say that they are the elite ones, but not everyone is crazy for them. It’s all a matter of taste!
Rolling papers: when size matters …
In general, papers are divided into long (> 80) and short ones (<62 mm). Then, almost every brand further divides the categories into extra-long and extra-short or slim (slightly narrower papers). If you are alone, the short ones are certainly the most recommended, but if you plan to smoke with friends you may prefer long ones.
There are also less used papers of mixed sizes, or the so-called “double” much wider or the very long papers of more than 300 mm (known in the USA as Foot-Long) which are really very difficult to manage. Alternatively, there are rolling papers to be cut according to the desired size, but these are almost always impractical for daily use.
The slim versions are used to make thinner joints and to have less paper in combustion (therefore less taste interference), but they are often more difficult to manage in the rolling phase.
To sum up, if you are a novice or have little manual skills, we advise you to start with the non-slim; obviously, the short ones are more easily manageable, so maybe you can start by practising with those ones and then switch when you have more skills.