Way back in 1736, the Pay-Pay company based in Alcoy, Spain began manufacturing what we would come to know as rolling papers. Though so much has changed, the basic composition of these papers has largely stayed the same. Yet, there are still a few pioneering companies striving to make your joints healthier, tastier, or, at the very least, an interesting ice breaker at parties. The Pay-Pay company did such a great job launching the fleet that we’ve taken the composition of rolling paper for granted. But through the enlightening knowledge of modern health, we can now appreciate standard rolling papers with some scrutiny.
The 599 Additives
The U.S. government allows for the tobacco industry to use a staggering 599 chemical additives in cigarettes
, with many of those chemicals utilized in the paper itself. And if you’re still for some reason giving these companies the benefit of the doubt, it’s been thoroughly proven that several of these additives are addictive and, you guessed it, carcinogenic. Some of the rock stars among these chemicals include ammonia, carbon monoxide, and the Just-Say-No darling nicotine. But some surprise heavy hitters make an appearance on the additives list, including ingredients used in battery acid and chemical sewage treatments. We’d like to think that our 420 community is more health-conscious but the truth is that rolling papers adhere to the same standards, whether they be used for weed or nicotine cigarettes.
For some smokers, these chemical additives are simply the price of pleasure. They want to enjoy the slow burn of a joint or the convenience of thin, yet reliably strong papers augmented through bleaching and other chemical processes. In addition, synthetic gums add another level of toxicity, albeit a convenient one. Until somewhat recently, the only alternatives were thick, cumbersome sheets that burned too quickly to really be conducive to a decent smoke session, infringing on the experience with a characteristically potent, rough taste. So where do the smokers go that enjoy the artistry of a rolled joint but not enough to willingly contract cancer?
All Natural Rolling Papers Improve the Formula
In recent years, quality rolling papers created through natural processes have started to dominate the market. A great example is the Raw brand, who also started in Spain, the birthplace of the rolling paper. Raw have been around since the ‘90s but, due to an increase in health consciousness stateside, are growing in popularity by leaps and bounds in the cannabis industry. Raw papers bypass tobacco additives to offer up ultra-thin all-natural rolling papers free from the noxious dyes that taint many brands that came before them. Owing to the reliability of their fine thatch-style design, Raw papers consistently burn evenly, giving you plenty of time to enjoy your smoke. You can also taste your strains without any interference. Like other all-natural rolling paper brands, Raw serves up a variety of paper types including the healthier hemp and rice options. They even offer vegan papers. Many brands that opt for providing a healthy alternative to the standard rolling paper also make sure to use all-natural gums.
If you’re more concerned with style and novelty than health when searching for the perfect papers for rolling your doobies, you’ve got a lot of colorful choices. Arguably the most obvious variety is the Shine edible gold rolling papers which are obviously way pricier than your average brand but also send out a distinct impression of wealth. If your taste is more literal, Juicy Jay’s joint wraps present 30 different flavors mingled into their papers. Randy’s wired papers are almost too ingeniously resourceful to be considered a novelty, taking advantage of a supportive wire that reinforces the joint and acts as a roach clip in the epilogue of a smoke.
A lot of marijuana aficionados refuse the joint in favor of the glass pipe or vaporizer but there’s no ignoring the pivotal importance of a rolled marijuana cigarette. In many cases, our first experience with cannabis came in joint form. That joint has been passed from generation to generation and it’s likely that it will keep being passed long after we are gone. With this echoing in effect, it’s a relief to know the quality of rolling papers just continues to get better.