What to Use as Rolling Paper - Alternatives That Might Surprise You

What to Use as Rolling Paper - Alternatives That Might Surprise You

In a pinch, knowing what to use as rolling paper alternatives when you’ve run out is extremely useful. 

You’ve probably been there yourself: you used your last rolling paper this morning. A trip to the corner store feels like so much effort, but you’re craving a quick spliff. You search your space desperately for anything that could possibly be used as a smoking device. 

Luckily, some ordinary household items can be used to roll up. Read on to discover some alternatives to rolling papers that may surprise you. 

Rolling paper alternatives

When searching for that perfect rolling paper substitute, stay creative but cautious. While many household items can be used in place of a rolling paper, some alternatives are safer than others. 

Tissue Paper

Plain tissue paper is the closest alternative to rolling papers. With a thin (but not too thin) consistency, tissue paper best mirrors the flexibility of cigarette papers. It catches easily but is sturdy enough for a decently long-lasting burn. 

Though tissue paper is easier to roll with, normal paper can be used in desperation--but only if it’s ink free. 

While stoner’s lore claims that Bible pages are the perfect rolling consistency, inhaling the ink on pages of any book can be hazardous. With that being said, if you must enhance your smoke session with the wisdom of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, make sure you’re using a page with little to no ink. The same goes for newspapers and receipts. 

Reusable pipes and cones

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If you frequently find yourself looking for rolling paper in a pinch, you might want to consider a reusable pipe or cone for cannabis. It's a one-time purchase that you can throw in your purse or pocket and use on the go. A few options to consider is a reusable dry herb vape, a dry herb cone (which is similar to a joint), or a reusable weed pipe

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Pages from a book

Aside from tissue paper, you could always repurpose that old book on your shelf that you’ve never (or will ever, probably) read before. Usually, books come with blank papers at the beginning and end called “flyleaves.” These flyleaves are great for rolling since they don’t have any ink, making them safe for the lungs. 

But before tearing out pages willy-nilly, make sure you choose paper that feels organic and isn’t glossy. Glossy paper is chemically treated, which may release chemical fumes that aren’t good for your lungs.

Paper gum wrapper

If you’re out of rolling papers but have a pack of gum lying around, you’re in luck. Gum wrappers can also be used as an alternative to rolling papers.

If you’re smoking heavily, try using saliva to stick together multiple gum wrappers. This will make for a wider surface--and a fatter roll.  

Additionally, when using this method, be sure that the gum wrapper you choose has no aluminum coating. Though bowls made from aluminum foil are a longtime favorite among desperate smokers, smoking out of aluminumcan be extremely dangerous. 

Heating aluminum is likely to cause burns, and burnt aluminum also produces toxic fumes that should never be inhaled. Plus, rolling up with aluminum foil makes for an icky tasting blunt. As such, it is essential that you stick with paper gum wrappers when using this alternative. 

Corn husks

Using a corn husk as a rolling paper is not only a natural, tobacco-free alternative. It also makes for a pretty pleasurable smoking experience.

Corn husks burn slowly and have a reputation for producing smooth hits. For optimum rolling potential, dampen your corn husk and let it sit for a few minutes. The slightly wet husk will stick together easily for a simple roll-up. 

Flower petals 

Take a note from King Palm’s handbook, and wrap your dry herb in something from nature. While you may not have access to a palm leaf, rose petals are a natural and safe way to roll up your cannabis--and they’re far more easily accessible. Smoking with rose petals might promote stronger relaxation, though the rolling process is a little advanced.  

To roll yourself a roseblunt, start with dried rose petals. Line up a row of these rose petals on your rolling tray, and pack your rose blunt as you normally would. Just like you would roll an average blunt, tuck the bottom edges of the rose petal underneath the top edge, using saliva to seal as you roll. Unlike with a normal blunt wrap, however, you must also seal your dried roses to one another. The key to rolling a rose petal blunt is patience. 

Pro tip: To prime your petals for rolling, toast them in the oven on 250 degrees for a few minutes until dry. 

Empty cigarette

When in a rolling paper drought, bum a cigarette from one of your friends. Gently massage the cigarette to loosen the tobacco inside. Dump out the loose tobacco, leaving an empty, already rolled cone. 

You can then pack in your ground dry herb of choice and smoke as you would a normal cigarette. 

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Coffee filter

As an absolute last resort, a coffee filter can be used as an alternative to a rolling paper. Though it may mimic the standard rolling paper in consistency, coffee filters are often thinner and, therefore, much more flammable. As such, they burn extremely fast when used to roll dry herb. They’re also more liable to catch fire in unwanted places: when you smoke using a coffee filter, you risk losing your joint to a quick-burning flame.

Glass pipes and bongs

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When you find yourself paperless and literally have nothing else on the list, maybe it’s time to whip out your glass pipes and bongs. With these, you can enjoy your herbal blends without the need for any paper. Not only do they provide a smooth and often cooler smoking experience, but they also allow for a different kind of session altogether. A tip for beginners: always keep your glass clean for the best taste and experience.

Alternatives To Avoid

As you probably know by now, you can get really creative with what you can use as rolling papers. However, not everything that rolls is gold! Here are a few alternatives that you might come across but should steer clear of:

  • Receipts: Although they feel like paper, most modern receipts are coated with BPA or other chemicals that may produce toxic fumes when burned.
  • Plastic bags: This may be obvious already, but you’d be surprised. Some might think it's a makeshift solution, but burning plastic releases toxic fumes that can be harmful when inhaled. Not to mention, it's an environmental disaster.
  • Magazine pages: Colorful and glossy might look cool, but magazine pages are treated with various chemicals and inks. When burned, these can produce carcinogens and other hazardous compounds.

To sum it up

If you’ve run out of rolling papers, don’t panic. Many household items can be used as an alternative to rolling papers. Whether it's a rose petal, a corn husk, or just an empty cigarette, you can still roll a decent joint if you get creative, use your imagination, and, above all else, stay safe. When in doubt, do your research, and don’t smoke anything that might contain dangerous chemical additives. 


What kind of paper is best to roll with?

A lot of cannabis enthusiasts swear by unbleached hemp paper. They're natural, devoid of chlorine and other chemicals, and offer a smooth burn. Hemp papers are also thin and have the right amount of stickiness, ensuring your roll is tight and even.

What are the healthiest joint papers?

For health-conscious tokers, organic hemp papers or rice papers stand out. Both options are thin, free from artificial chemicals and bleaches, and burn evenly. Organic hemp papers, in particular, come from sustainably sourced hemp, making them a top choice for both your health and the environment.

Can you use a coffee filter as a rolling paper substitute?

While coffee filters may appear similar to rolling papers, they’re a subpar alternative at best. They burn extremely quickly, and, as a result, you risk an engulfed joint with every hit. 

What paper can I use to roll marijuana cigarettes?

Standard tissue paper is the closest substitute to your average rolling paper. With a similar consistency to rolling papers, plain tissue paper mirrors many of the same qualities, making for a comparable smoking experience. Additionally, if you have corn husks available, these natural encasings are another smooth and slow-burning alternative to regular blunt wraps. 

Can you use aluminum foil as rolling paper?

While aluminum foil may seem like an easy option to roll up with, it produces fumes that are dangerous to inhale. Instead of aluminum foil, look around for a piece of tissue paper, a gum wrapper, or a corn husk to roll up with. 

Can you smoke parchment paper?

Parchment paper should not be smoked. While rolling up with this kitchen essential may seem tempting, this paper is treated with various chemicals that are unsafe to inhale. 

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