Lots of people are interested in buying cannabis to smoke, but they don’t even know where to start. All sorts of terms and options can trip them up, making them wonder if they’ll be able to hold their own when they actually go to make their purchase. Luckily, you can learn everything you have to about cannabis right here on the internet, starting with the difference between pre-roll and hand-roll joints.

These are terms you’ve probably been hearing constantly since the legalization of recreational cannabis in California. Understanding what they mean is the first step toward deciding whether pre-rolled or hand-rolled joints are right for you.

Pre-Roll Joints: What’s The Deal?

Pre-rolled joints, often called simply “prerolls,” are joints that have been fully prepared for smoking before purchase. Vendors, dispensaries, and brands all offer pre-rolled products to make life easier for the consumer. Many are made using a machine, but some vendors take the time to roll them by hand. Since they’re already ready for smoking, all the purchaser has to do is light the tip and inhale.

Prerolls come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are a uniform thickness from the mouthpiece right to the end, while others have more of a cone-like shape. They are also available with different types of cannabis inside. A Sativa preroll is perfect for creating a head high and boosting creativity, while an Indica preroll can help you relax and fall asleep.

Pre-rolled joints have become a major phenomenon in recent years with consumers taking advantage of cannabis dispensaries. They’ll likely maintain their popularity as recreational cannabis grows as an industry.

Hand-Rolled Joints: What’s The Deal?

The alternative to buying a pre-rolled joint is to create a hand-rolled joint on your own. This process, which involves buying all the components of a joint and then creating the joint yourself, was a traditional method of smoking for generations. It’s only since the advent of legal recreational cannabis that pre-rolled joints have become so popular.

Creating a hand-rolled joint requires a bit of practice, but most enthusiasts quickly get the hang of it. The first step is to buy all the ingredients, which always include cannabis flowers and rolling papers. A grinder, a pack of filters, and a pen or pencil can also come in handy. Once you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to actually produce the joint. You’ll need to break up the flowers into manageable bits, either with your hands or a grinder. Then, you’ll have to roll the ground bud into a cigarette shape with the dexterous use of your fingers. If you don’t have experience with hand-rolling joints, then you’re better off learning directly from a patient, practiced teacher.

Hand-rolled joints have long been a part of cannabis culture. Despite the recent ubiquity of their pre-rolled cousins, they’re sure to remain a mainstay in the years and decades to come.

Pre-Roll Pros and Cons

The main benefit of buying pre-rolled joints is the convenience they provide. All you have to do when you get back to your house is light up and enjoy. You can save a lot of time and effort by avoiding the hand-rolling process that some people consider a hassle. Pre-rolled joints are also sure to be expertly rolled. This makes them a great option for cannabis enthusiasts whose hand-rolling skills leave plenty to be desired. What’s more, prerolls are perfect for sampling different types and strains of cannabis. If you’re used to smoking Indica, for example, you try a Sativa preroll without having to buy a bag of Sativa flowers. The same is true of an Indica preroll for habitual Sativa smokers.

The only real issue some people have with pre-rolled joints is the lack of control over the flowers that go into them. You’re left smoking whatever the creator decided to roll up, which could be the remnants from a jar that wasn’t selling. While this doesn’t necessarily mean the product is inferior, it leaves you at the mercy of whoever rolled the joint.

Hand-Roll Pros and Cons

When you roll your own joints, you’re in complete control of every step of the process. You can customize the joint according to your own preferences, adding just the amount of bud to suit the needs of the session. You can also act as your own quality control agent, removing stems and seeds from the bud and even using kief from the bottom of your grinder. Many people find rolling to be a peaceful process and a worthy skill to develop. You should notice steady improvement as you practice, and you’ll become quite popular among like-minded friends if you truly master the art.

The main problem with hand-rolling joints is that it’s a relatively time-consuming process. You could have finished smoking a pre-rolled joint with friends by the time your hand-rolled joint is finally ready to go. Smoking can also be a suboptimal experience when hand-rolled joints aren’t properly made. You’ll probably have to deal with some wasted cannabis and lackluster sessions as you really get the hang of rolling.

Conclusion: It All Comes Down to Personal Preference

For years, hand-rolled joints were the only joints most people had access to. Now, with the sudden explosion of recreational cannabis in California and beyond, pre-rolled joints are readily available. There’s really no saying which type is better. Each has its pros and cons, and every individual smoker must determine which is right for them.

If you’re habitually lazy, a sucker for convenience, or simply new to the world of cannabis, then pre-rolled joints are probably right for you. If you’re a natural-born artisan who enjoys having complete control, then buy some bud and roll your own. For anyone who’s not sure which is the right method for them, a short period of trial and error should be enough to make the decision.