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Rolling a Pre-roll

Pre-roll cones, Raw papers, Backwoods, cigarette style pre-roll tubes, and more. There are so many different form factors, sizes and shapes with pre-rolls and we’re here to break down the difference and why we went with the cigarette style super slim tubes for our cannabis and hemp CBD pre-rolls.

Before we dive into the different styles of pre-rolls, let’s break down a couple of key elements:

Pre-roll Sizes:
You need to think in millimeters. Why? Because most things in the land of pre-rolls are described in millimeters. Thinking in inches is painful. Horrifically painful. Do you know how big 3/32 of an inch is? What if I said 0.11811 inches? Any better? Not really. Now what if I said 3mm or 45mm. That really simplifies things. Even if you don’t physically know how big 3mm is, at least it’s a lot easier to imagine than 0.11811 inches. Fractions suck, decimals are lame, and inches are confusing.

Pre-roll Filters:
There are different types of filters out there. Generally you have 2 types, crutches and acetate/cotton.

  • Crutches are generally thick pieces of cardboard and/or cardstock which is rolled up. Most pre-roll products in the market use a crutch. This allows for maximum airflow. The downside to this is that the smoke can be harsh since it’s not passed through any kind of filter and sometimes the flower can be sucked through the crutch. It’s not as common, but can happen.

Raw Crutches

  • Acetate or cotton filters are the type of filters you’d traditionally find on a cigarette. Some filters have a shape cut out to allow more airflow through the filter, but it does little in the way of helping to smooth out the smoke. The benefit of a full acetate or cotton filter is that it lessens the harshness of the smoke and reduces the tickle on the back of the throat, which in turn reduces coughing.

Zig Zag Cigarette Filter Tips

Pre-roll Paper:
Pre-rolls can be made out of lots of different materials. Raw, for example, focuses on using hemp for their paper. Elements makes their paper out of rice and sugar. Backwoods is essentially a raw tobacco leaf – it’s a bit hard to roll, but makes for an tasty experience if you like a bit of nicotine with your pre-roll. Then there’s traditional cigarette paper which is generally made from flax and wood pulp. All paper can be either bleached (white) or unbleached (generally brownish). Each of these types of papers have their pros and cons. Some have better flavor, others burn more evenly, and others mix in tobacco or flavors to spice things up.

Elements Rice Rolling Paper

Pre-Roll Styles
Pre-roll cones:
Pre-roll cones come pre-made. When you open up a box all of the cones are stacked on one another and make it easy to put into a pre-roll filling machine. Brands such as Raw make cones, however there are a ton of manufacturers who make it out of various paper materials. All cones generally have a crutch. The unique thing about cones is that they come in a variety of sizes. On the smaller side you have 70mm lengths and they can go all the way up to 280mm (~11 inches). They even have specialized cones that go up to 600mm in length (24 inches). We make pre-rolls out of the 110mm size (called 109s). These fit about 1g to 1.35g of ground flower depending on your grind size. 

Raw Cone Sizes

On average, most cones will either be 83mm, 98mm, or 109mm. These fit 0.7g, 1.0g, and 1.3g respectively. For the bigger 1.5g pre-rolls, they tend to use the 115mm cones.

Futurola Cones in a Box

At home blunts are generally made from tobacco leaf, but since we can’t sell tobacco with cannabis products they tend to be made from industrial hemp (cannabis testing under the 0.3% federal legal limit under the 2018 Farm Bill). Blunts are often infused with a variety of flavors and smells. Some people really enjoy that, while others find that it can be chemically or perfumy. Blunts can either have a crutch, a glass filter or sometimes no filter at all.

Blunts can be filled with as little as .75g, but often filled with much more. They’re traditionally seen as devices to smoke a lot of cannabis. If you’re not a fan of mixing nicotine and cannabis together, don’t like additionally flavoring, and don’t want to smoke a ton of cannabis in one sitting, then blunts may not be for you. If you do like getting really high, then it’s likely a great fit.

Packwood Blunt Example

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The traditional cigarette tubes come in a variety of sizes and filter types. Standard sized cigarettes run 8.1mm in diameter and around 80mm in length. King Size cigarettes are a bit longer coming in at 84mm in length. Then you have 100s, which as you can guess are 100mm in length. Outside of a standard diameter, you can have super slim (6.5mm) and ultra slim (5.5mm). Those sized tubes usually have 80mm in length.

Cigarette Tube Sizes

For filters, often you’ll find an acetate or cotton filter. Lately we’ve been seeing a lot of filters with shapes, stars, moons, etc., cut out to allow for maximum airflow. When cutting holes through the filter, like crutches, it can cause too much smoke with a bit of harshness to it.

Standard tubes generally fit about .7g of cannabis in it and there’s still some room at the top where it appears empty.

Pre-roll with too much empty space at the top

Tubes are great for their discrete design and standard format, but less popular than traditional cones. Cones are generally easier to fill than straight tubes as well, so it’s less likely you’ll fill one yourself.

Super Slim Tubes:

Floating AK Tube
So out of all these styles, why did we create our pre-rolls in such a unique form? For us it was a couple of factors. When we started this concept we looked at all of the above styles, papers, and filters. We’d fill them up with different grammage amounts and THC percentages to see how high we’d get.
Out of all our testing we found a couple of things.

  • We don’t like crutches
  • We really like filters
  • Anything over .4g is a lot of cannabis to smoke in 1 session
  • We wanted something that gave us a lasting experience – not something that would be over too quickly

For crutches we found them to be too harsh and it over smoked us. For people who are new to smoking THC cannabis or hemp CBD cannabis, we found that too much smoke turned people off. It was overwhelming and there was far too much with each hit. Using a filter also helped smooth out the smoke. Based on our initial testing, we immediately decided to go with a filter.

Size was an interesting one for us. We didn’t want people to have a big cone that they’d have to relight, so we tossed that out the window. We looked at the available cigarette sizes for our pre-rolls and discovered these super slim sizes. We found that we could put in around .3g of cannabis and still have a long and enjoyable smoke. We tested out putting that small grammage in a King Size and super slim tube (6.5mm), but it was far too small.

Testing different cigarette tube sizes

Our pre-rolls are unique in that they’re 5.5mm in diameter and 70mm in length. It’s a little shorter than a standard sized cigarette tube and definitely more narrow.

Well, now you know why we picked what we picked. We love talking about pre-rolls, so if you ever have any questions, drop us a line.

Alive & Kicking Pre-roll Tube Examples