The Bern Gallery

Rolling Paper Buying Guide

When you sit down to roll your own herb, you’d be pretty lost if it wasn’t for a good rolling paper. Even though these thin paper wrappers are a necessity for rolling your own, most people don’t realize just how many options there are with rolling papers and how those options can affect the end experience. Here is a quick-rolling paper buying guide to give you an idea of which joint paper may be right for you.

What are rolling papers?

A rolling paper, which may be referred to as a blank or joint paper, is a sheet of thin paper made from either wood or plant materials that is used to roll herb for smoking. The papers usually come with a thin strip of adhesive along one edge to seal off the joint after rolling and can have various attributes depending on the manufacturer.

What are the best rolling papers made of?

No matter what way you prefer to enjoy your spliff, you can find a rolling paper to accommodate your preferences. These days, you can find options where sizes, materials, and even flavors or appearances are concerned.

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The Different Types of Rolling Paper

The common assumption is that joint rolling paper is all made out of wood fiber just like any ordinary paper, but that’s not actually the case. Many join rolling papers available today are all about safety, so many are made with various non-wood or plant fibers like:

  • Flax
  • Rice straw
  • Hemp
  • Esparto
  • Sisal

When joint papers are made out of wood pulp or fibers, they typically have to be treated with additives to keep them burning slow. For those who prefer a more natural smoke, however, it’s best to go with papers made from other plant materials that don’t require the same treatments.

Most papers are relatively wispy or thin and flexible, but this simply means you get a good, clean burn without a lot of excess smoldering material. However, you will find that some materials make for a thicker rolling paper than others. For example, those made out of rice paper can be especially thin in comparison to papers made out of wood pulp.

Rolling Paper Sizes

The standard rolling paper will be somewhere around 2.75 to 4.33 (70 to 110 millimeters) inches long, and the widths can vary. However, you can find everything from “slim” and “minis” to “king-sized” papers. The usual sizes include:

  • Single wides
  • 1 1/4-inch
  • 1 1/2-inch
  • Double wides
  • Kings
  • King slims

Each paper size has its own perks. For example, single wides are good when you’re rolling herb just for yourself. The papers are smaller in length and width and don’t hold a lot of herb. However, if you are rolling to share, you may prefer a king-size paper that can hold more herb and offers more hits per joint.

Flavored Rolling Papers

Mint, coconut, bubblegum, blueberry—you can find rolling papers in all kinds of flavors. Essentially, the papers are going to add another layer of flavor to your herb, and can actually yield a complementary flavor to some terpene profiles. However, proceed with caution with flavored paper; you will be inhaling the smoke and whatever burned flavor additives were used in the creation. So, synthetic flavor additives may be something to avoid for safety.

Novelty Rolling Papers

Rolling your own herb can get pretty interesting with novelty papers. From crystal clear joint papers made of plant cellulose to actual gold joint papers made of 24k gold, you can get all kinds of creative with your rolling endeavors. Some papers even come printed with different designs like flags, wording, or graphic images. You can even find papers like Benjis, which look straight up like a one-hundred-dollar bill.

Bleached vs Unbleached Rolling Papers

Some rolling papers are treated with a chlorine-based agent to whiten or lighten the material and make it more white. While some people prefer this, many prefer a more “raw” paper without those chemical treatments. You can usually spot papers that are unbleached simply because they may be more tan or brown in color.

Top Rolling Paper Brands

Raw logoWhich joint rolling papers you prefer is really a matter of preference. Some people find they enjoy the all-natural options, while others like the more traditional burn. No matter which rolling paper is your fave, you can always count on some of the best-known brands to make sure you get a quality roll and a good smoking experience. A few of the top rolling paper companies include:

Zig Zag

Rolling papers by Zig-Zag are premium-grade and crafted from organic materials. Zig-Zag uses ultra-thin cuts of paper to keep the joint burning at a slow and steady pace. The company has standard and king-sized versions of rolling papers. All pieces include a thin line of glue to optimize the sealing process. Zig-Zag uses natural sealants to create adhesives, including the sap from acacia trees. The brand also has organic hemp rolling papers with a very slim cut.


RAW produces all-natural rolling papers from materials like hemp. Most pieces come in the standard 1 ¼ size, but you can also buy king-size versions. Product lines include RAW Classic, RAW Black, and RAW Organic Hemp. The Classic line allows you to choose your preferred size before smoking. Classic versions won’t contain additives and come from plant-based ingredients. RAW Black also permits size customization when purchasing any of the rolls. RAW Black has a super thin cut. Order the RAW Organic Hemp through the Classic and Black product lines. 

Pure Hemp

Pure Hemp is an eco-conscious company launched more than 25 years ago. Rolling papers are crafted from 100 percent organic hemp pulp. The sealants on the papers also come from sustainable sources, most notably West African acacia trees. Pure Hemp has two types of rolling paper for sale: Classic and Unbleached. The Classic versions come in standard and king-size. The Wide Hemp Rolls allow you to select your preferred size and come on spools. The Unbleached types have the exact sizing but include an unbleached tip. 


Smoking Eco Rolling Papers are another tree-free type used for joints. The rolling paper uses 100 percent hemp to create thin cuts. Find many of the brand’s papers in the standard 1 ¼ size. Instead of harsh glues or additives, the company crafted the sealants from all-natural sugars. The Smoking Brand sells both white and brown versions of rolling papers. An unbleached option is also available. The papers burn clean to not alter any flavors.


With Elements, you’re also purchasing rolling papers from earth-friendly ingredients. The designs make them burn with very little ash. The papers are available in 1 ¼ standard size and 1 ½ king size versions. Many rolling papers come from rice, while the sealant is sugar gum. Some of the rolling papers from Elements also include a magnetic closure. You can also get a custom-sized pack to make the rolling papers last even longer.

The History of Rolling Papers

Rolling papers were most likely created out of necessity when people had no tobacco leaves to roll and smoke their tobacco. The true source of where rolling papers actually started is debatable. Some claim French soldiers carried their own homemade rolling papers with them in the 1500s. Others claim rolling papers were created because European settlers were using old newspapers to roll tobacco here in America and someone decided there had to be a better way. The very first rolling paper company was the Lacroix Rolling Paper company, which was started in 1660.

Pick Up Quality Rolling Papers and Smoking Accessories for a Quality Experience

When it comes to smoking herb, the quality of the paper that envelops that herb can make all the difference in the entire experience. Therefore, make sure whatever rolling papers you choose, you always opt for good brands with a reputation for quality. Take a look at our collection of rolling papers at Bern Gallery, and don’t forget to grab a good rolling tray to keep the process neat and tidy.

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