Best Substitute for Rolling Papers

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There's nothing worse than wanting to smoke a joint of your favorite strain of cannabis just to realize that you've run out of rolling papers. You search far and wide and scrounge under every pillow, but there are no papers to be found. So, now it's after regular business hours and you have nowhere to buy any papers from. What do you do?

This is why it is so important to have some substitutes for rolling papers around. Luckily for you, there are close to a dozen different substitutes for regular rolling papers that you have at your disposal. The trick is of course to have one on hand if you run out of your regular papers. Let's take a look at what some of the best rolling paper alternatives are.

Key Takeaways

    There are many alternatives to rolling papers, including pipes, bongs, vapes, various cannabis edibles, and even corn husks. There are various considerations to keep in mind when choosing a suitable substitute for rolling papers, which will be discussed below.

The Importance of Rolling Papers in Cannabis Culture

Interesting to note is that rolling papers were not always used to consume cannabis. Before the invention of rolling papers, mainly rudimentary bongs and pipes were used to smoke cannabis and hemp. It was only in the late 1400s, most likely, when smoking tobacco was brought to Europe and Asia from North and South America, that rolling papers started being used to roll cannabis.

The first official rolling paper company was called Pay-Pay, and it started producing rolling papers in 1703 when supposedly a group of Dominican monks figured out that rolling papers were easier to use if they were cut to size and protected in a small booklet.

Another interesting fact is that one of the oldest rolling paper companies in the world, Rizla got its start back in the 1500s, with a man named Pierre Lacroix. He traded a bottle of champagne for some high-quality paper, at which point he started refining that paper into rolling papers. By 1736, this paper grew very popular for the purpose of rolling, at which point the Lacroix family purchased a paper mill and started the Lacroix Rolling Paper Company.

The process of making rolling papers was refined, and in 1865, the company started using rice as its base, and the name was soon changed after. Riz, French for “rice”, and La, short for “Lacroix”, were combined, thus forming Rizla, a brand of rolling papers that is still extremely popular today.

We also have another very popular brand of rolling papers, Zig-Zag. During the mid-1800s, a French North African soldier used a strip of paper from his gunpowder bag to use as rolling papers, which is where they got their initial start. Whatever the origin or brand name, rolling papers have been used to consume cannabis for hundreds of years. Tea joints have become very popular in today’s world. Learn how to roll a tea joint right here!

Types of Rolling Papers

There are three main types of rolling papers, or in other words, materials that rolling papers can be made out of, so let's take a quick look at each of them.

Wood Pulp

The most classic rolling papers that you're probably familiar with, such as Zig-Zags, are made with wood pulp. In other words, there are quite literally very thin pieces of paper specifically designed to be burned and inhaled.

This is often considered to be the original or first material used to make rolling papers, which is one of the reasons why it is so popular.

Wood pulp or paper Zig-Zags are also very easy to use, they burn well, and they taste just fine. The only issue is that some paper-based rolling papers may contain some harmful chemicals that are best avoided.


As mentioned above in our little description of the history of rolling papers, there are companies out there that make rice rolling papers. Rizla is a prime example of this. Rice rolling papers are often viewed as being a much healthier alternative to wood pulp or paper rolling papers.

Furthermore, many people also find that rice papers are not nearly as harsh, they're thinner, and may also allow for a better taste. That said, rice rolling papers tend to burn much faster and may burn irregularly as well, which can be a problem in some cases.


We then have hemp rolling papers, which are quickly growing in popularity. Hemp rolling papers are made from the hemp plant, therefore keeping in line with cannabis culture. This is often viewed as one of the healthiest and most natural materials to use for rolling papers.

This is especially the case because byproducts from producing hemp and cannabis can be used to make these papers, therefore making them very eco-friendly and efficient. Most people would also say that hemp rolling papers produce the best overall experience and results. Infused pre-rolls are often made with hemp papers.

Best Substitutes for Rolling Papers – What to Look for

So you don't have any rolling papers, and now you're looking for alternatives. However, before you start rolling up the first bible page you see, it might be a good idea to know what you're looking for.

Safety Considerations

You always need to consider how safe the material in question is. Are there any dangerous chemicals or toxins that might be inhaled if you burn it? If the answer is yes, then you best stay away from it.


The material in question also needs to be available. If it's something that you could technically roll or smoke with, but you don't have any way of procuring it, then it is useless to you.

There are of course household items that are much easier to find than others. The point here is to not spend the next hour looking for something to smoke out of.

Ease of Use

You also want to find something easy to use. If we are talking about a close alternative to rolling papers, something that you can still roll and smoke like a joint, you need that material to be relatively pliable and flexible so you can manipulate it.

It also needs to burn to a certain degree, or else it's totally useless. Furthermore, is there any way to stick it together so the joint doesn't come apart?

Rolling Paper Alternative: At Home

Let's take a quick look at some of the best rolling paper alternatives that you might find lying around your house.

Corn Husks

If you happen to be a big fan of eating corn, and you buy lots of fresh cobs, chances are you might have some corn husks lying around the house.

Although corn husks may not taste the best when smoked, they are one of the most natural and healthiest alternatives to regular rolling papers.

The cool thing about corn husks is that they can be pretty big, which effectively makes them a good replacement for something like a super blunt. Another interesting option would be to roll a rose blunt.

Gum Wrappers

If you're looking for small rolling papers, and your zigzags run out, using gum wrappers with the tinfoil removed is another option. It's very important that you remove the tinfoil, however, because in no way should you smoke that.

Although it's probably not the healthiest alternative, using a gum wrapper can be pretty neat because it will infuse your weed with the flavor of the gum. This Cheetah Piss strain is a great one to try rolling up in a gum wrapper.

Pre-Rolled Joints

If you don't want to have to deal with rolling at all, it might be a good idea to get yourself some pre-rolled joints.

These are joints that already come fully formed, so you never have to worry about rolling again. Some very popular options include Delta-8 Sugar Queen Pre-Rolls, these Godfather OG Pre-Rolls, and Lemon Diesel CBG Pre-Rolls.

Rolling Paper Alternative: Smoking Devices

If you want an alternative to your rolling papers that doesn't involve you rolling at all, there are a few simple devices and household items you have at your disposal.


One of the easiest substitutes for rolling papers is a pipe. Pipes have been around for thousands of years, and they make for an efficient way to smoke your cannabis. You don't have to roll anything.

Simply stuff your weed in the bowl, light it up, and inhale. There are pipes that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and ones made out of bearing materials as well, such as glass, wood, metal, and even corn husks. Grape Jelly is a great strain to try in a pipe!


If you are looking for a really big hit with large amounts of THC-filled smoke, and you want something that could potentially cool that smoke down a little bit, then a water bong or water pipe is your next best option. Water bongs also come in many different sizes, and shapes, and are made out of many materials.

However, one thing they all have in common is that they contain water which is designed to cool down the smoke and to filter it, therefore potentially making it slightly less unhealthy. The cool thing is that if you don't have an actual bong on hand, you could easily make one out of a water bottle and several other materials. Sugar Queen smokes really well in a bong!

Fruits & Vegetable

Although this is a bit of a stretch, it is technically possible to form a variety of fruits and vegetables into pipes or bongs, which you can then smoke out of. One of the simplest and most popular options here is to make an apple pipe.

Just be aware that fruits and vegetables will of course alter the flavor of your smoking experience, and it's not particularly healthy either. Burning and inhaling fruit or plant matter isn't always the best, especially when it comes to sugar-filled fruits.


If you don't want to smoke at all, one of the best alternatives to rolling papers is a vaporizer. There are both disposable vaporizers and reusable vaporizers. These are filled with many different types of cannabis concentrates, usually made out of specific strains.

This means that you can get the same great strains in your cannabis vaporizers as you would usually smoke, all without the risks generally associated with combusting cannabis.

Rolling Paper Alternative: Edible Options

If smoking and vaping don't suit you at all, you also have the option of ingesting your cannabis orally, or in other words eating it.


Many people choose to make what is known as cannabutter, which is simply regular butter infused with cannabis.

Cannabutter can be made in a number of ways, including with specialized machines, or with just household kitchen equipment. You can then use this cannabutter to bake with, cook with, or even smear it right onto a piece of post.

Cannabis Infused Snacks

If eating straight cannabutter doesn't tickle your fancy, you can always try some regular edibles, such as gummies, chocolates, lozenges, and more. There are plenty of cannabis edibles out there infused with many different types of cannabinoids, ones with different flavors, varying THC levels, and much more.

The choices you have in terms of edibles are nearly limitless. These Delta-9 THC Gummies and these Nano Delta-9 Microdose Gummies both make for great options. If you’d like some variety, check out this Delta-9 THC Gummies Sampler Pack, where you get a little bit of everything.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what all of the best substitutes for rolling papers are, you should always have at least one good backup on hand.

Best Substitute for Rolling Papers: Frequently Asked Questions

Let's quickly answer some of your most frequently asked questions about substitutes for rolling papers.

Are These Substitutes Safe?

The substitutes we've talked about today are generally considered to be relatively safe, although beware that smoking anything is not considered healthy.

Can I use Regular Paper as a Substitute?

Regular paper contains bleach and many other chemicals which make it completely unsuitable for use as rolling paper.

Can I use These Substitutes Long-Term?

Many of the rolling paper alternatives discussed today, such as vapes, pipes, bongs, and more, can be used long-term.

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