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How to Light a Joint (Yes. There’s a Proper Way)

Oh, no.

A whole discussion on how to light a joint? Can you even mess that up?

Well, you sure can, and that’s why we’re here.

We’ve set up a whole post just for you if you were ever in a scenario where your joint just didn’t burn right, as there’s more to it than just the 1-2-Go type of steps you normally take.

Interested to know more?

Then follow along as we discuss how to properly light a joint so that you’ll savor every bit of it.

With that said, let’s get started.

Why Should You Light a Joint Properly?

Properly lighting a joint is important for a good smoking experience.

It ensures an even burn, allowing you to fully taste the flavors and experience the intended potency. Also, uneven lighting can result in wasted flower and a different taste so your not only can your smoking experience be bad, you’d also be wasting your money by wasting your joint and not have a good time.

How to Know If Your Joint Is Not Lighting Evenly?

Correctly identifying the signs of an unevenly lit joint is the first step towards perfecting your smoking experience.

Here are some common indicators:


This is when one side of the joint burns faster than the other, causing it to take on the shape of a canoe. It’s a clear sign of uneven lighting and can lead to wasted flower.


A ‘run’ refers to when a streak of resin appears, and the paper begins to burn off its intended course, often speeding up the burn rate.


This is when the inside of the joint burns faster than the outer layers, creating a hollow tunnel-like effect inside. This can be due to densely packed cannabis or moist content.

Frequent Extinguishing

If you find your joint going out often, it’s a sign that it’s not lit uniformly or the weed inside might be too moist.

Also Read: How to Save a Joint for Later

Harsh or Altered Taste

An uneven burn can lead to certain parts of the joint getting over-burnt, resulting in a harsh, unpleasant taste instead of the smooth flavor you’d expect.

Recommended: Why Does My Breath Suddenly Taste Like Weed?

Identifying these signs early on can help you adjust your lighting technique and have a better experience.

How Do You Properly Get a Good Light On a Joint?

Now let’s talk about the main discussion of this article.

When it comes to smoking a joint, it is important to pay attention to how it is lit in order to ensure an even consumption and enhance the smoking experience.


Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to light your joint properly:

Step 1. Choose the Right Tools

Ensure you have a hemp wick coated in beeswax, which avoids inhaling butane from a lighter or sulfur from matches. This wick provides a clean burn.

Step 2. Hold Your Joint Correctly

Hold the joint between your thumb and index finger, ensuring it’s secure. This position also facilitates easy passing if you’re smoking socially.

Highly Recommended: Why Do People Hold Cigarettes Differently Than Joints?

Step 3. Position The Flame Correctly

Bring the flame about an inch or two away from the end of your joint. Allow the twisted end of paper to burn off slightly before inhaling.

Step 4. Rotate for an Even Burn

Rotate your joint while keeping the flame at a distance. This ensures that the entire circumference gets an even heat.

Step 5. Puff Correctly

Once lit, take small and even puffs initially. Check to ensure the joint has lit evenly. If not, you might encounter canoeing which results in uneven burning.

Consider Checking: How Do You Even Inhale a Joint Properly?

Step 6. Maintain Even Burn

If one side burns faster, moisten your finger and gently rub the paper underneath the side that’s burning faster. This will help slow down the burn on that side.


Here are some tips to ensure you get the right burn on your joint.

Selecting Your Rolling Paper

The choice of rolling paper can impact the burn rate. Thin papers such as our RAW Black Single Wide Rolling Papers tend to burn slower while thicker ones burn faster. Hemp papers are preferred for their slow burn and minimal taste interference.

Try checking out our rolling papers section if you want to browse products similar to the one we recommended above. We have Juicy Jays, Justin Beavers, Pure Hemps, and more. Do check it out.

But did you know there are many rolling paper alternatives out there? Materials such as gum wrappers, tampon paper, rose petals, empty cigarette tube, tissue paper roll, and more are alternatives that you might consider checking out.

Proper Grinding

The cannabis flower should be evenly ground. Uneven pieces can lead to an uneven burn. A high-quality grinder similar to our BMWO Pocket Grinder ensures consistency in grinding, leading to better airflow and an even burn.

Check out more high-quality grinders in our Weed Grinders section.

Packing The Joint

Ensure the joint is packed tight and even. Proper packing prevents uneven airflow which can lead to canoeing. A well-packed joint ensures a consistent burn rate.

You can also consider ditching making your own joints and try checking out our pre-rolls section if you want a joint that’s packed and tight.

Our pre-roll product range includes our very own regulars, our king-sized, and our premium blunts.

Rolling Technique

Rolling your joint tightly and evenly creates a consistent burn. The type of rolling paper and the direction of the paper grain can influence the burn. Proper rolling ensures a perfect joint.

Try reading our guide on how to use an automatic joint roller if you want to save yourself the effort or if you don’t have the time.

Proper Lighting

Avoid large flame lighters. Instead, use a hemp wick or a small lighter. Rotate the joint while lighting to make sure all sides are evenly lit.

How to Troubleshoot Your Joint If It’s Not Burning Evenly

Having problems as you follow through with this guide? Don’t worry.

Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of potential joint lighting problems and their solutions.


One side of the joint burns faster than the other, giving it the appearance of a canoe.


  1. Moisten and Tap: Wet the tip of your finger and gently tap on the side that’s burning faster. This can help slow down the burn on that side.
  2. Hold Horizontally: Try to keep your joint as horizontal as possible when smoking. Holding it at an angle can cause uneven burning.
  3. Re-light with Care: If canoeing continues, consider extinguishing the joint and re-lighting it, ensuring an even burn from the start.


A streak of resin appears, and the paper begins to burn off its intended course.


  1. Alter Your Inhalation: Sometimes, drawing too hard can cause a run. Try taking softer, more consistent drags.
  2. Burn Off the Run: Using your lighter, lightly singe the run’s leading edge, trying to even out the burn.

Also Read: How to Stop Coughing When Smoking Weed


The inside of the joint burns faster than the outer layers, creating a tunnel effect.


  1. Repack Gently: If you notice the start of tunneling, you can use a thin object, like a paper clip, to gently repack the unburned cannabis closer to the cherry (burning end).
  2. Consider Your Rolling Technique: Tunneling can often result from rolling a joint too tightly. Next time, try using a slightly looser roll while ensuring even distribution of the cannabis.

Frequent Extinguishing

Your joint keeps going out.


  1. Dry Your Cannabis: Moist cannabis is harder to keep lit. Ensure your weed is adequately dried before rolling.
  2. Roll Less Tightly: A too-tight roll can restrict airflow. When rolling your next joint, ensure it’s firm but not overly compressed.
  3. Regular Puffing: Remember to take regular drags. Letting the joint sit for too long can cause it to extinguish.

Try Reading: Why Does My Throat Burn After Smoking Weed?

Harsh or Altered Taste

The joint produces a strong, unpleasant flavor instead of the smooth taste you were anticipating.


  1. Check for Over-Burning: If part of the joint is burning too fast, it might char the cannabis, leading to a harsh taste. Try the solutions for canoeing and running to even out the burn.
  2. Inspect Your Material: Sometimes, the taste can result from the quality of the cannabis or the rolling paper. Ensure you’re using fresh, high-quality materials.
  3. Limit Direct Flame: Avoid putting the joint directly in the flame for extended periods, as this can over-burn and alter the taste.


Everyone can improve at something with effort, and once you grasp the nuances of how to light a joint properly, you’ll be burning it more evenly than ever.

Now, if you’re eager to delve deeper into everything cannabis-related, we highly recommend visiting our blog section.

From understanding why your jaw hurts when smoking weed to figuring out how to dislodge that piece of weed stuck in your throat, BMWO offers solutions you’ll find invaluable, no matter how trivial they may seem. And this includes essentials, like knowing how to light a joint properly.

We would also love to hear about your experiences with lighting a joint.

Many of our readers are curious about any additional tips from other users that we might not have covered in this article.

So, in conclusion, don’t worry if you haven’t been lighting your joint optimally up to this point.

We hope you’ve learned something from our discussion and look forward to seeing you in our next one. Here’s to many perfectly lit joints and memorable sessions ahead.

Happy smoking!

FAQs About Properly Lighting a Joint

Here are some FAQs about how to properly light a joint that you might find useful:

What if I don’t have hemp wick available? Is it okay to use a regular lighter or matches?

While hemp wick is preferred for its clean burn and absence of chemical flavors, using a regular butane lighter or matches is acceptable. Just be aware of the potential flavor interference, especially with sulfur from matches.

My joint often feels too hot when I’m nearing the end. How can I avoid this?

If your joint gets too hot near the end, consider using a joint holder or roach clip.

This allows you to smoke the joint without directly holding the burning end, preventing finger burns and providing a more comfortable experience. It’s also a good idea to roll slightly longer joints to ensure you have enough space to hold without the heat being an issue.

Does the type of cannabis strain affect how the joint burns?

Yes, the type of cannabis strain can influence how a joint burns.

Some strains may be more resinous, causing a slower burn, while others might be drier and burn faster. Additionally, the moisture content, curing process, and quality of the flower play crucial roles in how evenly and smoothly a joint burns. 

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