Five cannabis pre-rolls in different colored rolling paper

What is a Marijuana Pre-Roll?

If you enjoy smoking marijuana but you prefer not to have to go through the trouble of grinding your cannabis and rolling your own “joint” or packing your own pipe, then pre-rolls might just be the solution for you. 

In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about cannabis pre-rolls, including:

  • What is a Pre-Roll?
  • What’s Inside a Pre-Roll?
  • What Are the Pros and Cons of a Pre-Roll?

What is a Pre-Roll?

A pre-roll is a marijuana “joint” that is already packed with flower, wrapped in rolling paper, and ready for sale at a dispensary. While you can purchase flower and roll your own, this can be messy and complicated. Pre-rolls are available at most dispensaries in a variety of strains and quantities.

You may also hear these referred to as “cones,” which is due to their cone-like shape. This shape is much easier to fill with cannabis, rather than individually rolling each one.

What’s Inside a Pre-Roll?

Because of their popularity and prevalence in the market, pre-rolls can be as simple or as complex as you like them to be. Generally speaking, most pre-rolls contain three parts:

Flower: Depending on the pre-roll, you can find all different qualities of cannabis inside. Some pre-rolls are made with shake, popcorn flower, or even premium flower. You can also find infused pre-rolls at many dispensaries, which contain extracts like kief and hash.

Rolling Paper: To make a pre-roll, you have to roll your marijuana in paper—hence the term, rolling paper. That is exactly what that thin paper is that makes up your pre-roll. 

Filter: A filter, or sometimes referred to as a “crutch,” is typically a little piece of plastic inserted into the pre-roll while it’s being rolled. While a filter does exactly what its name indicates (filters large particles), it can also provide a barrier between the burning paper and marijuana and your lips. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Pre-Roll?

When it comes to pre-rolls, for most cannabis enthusiasts, the pros vastly outweigh the cons. For example, the great thing about pre-rolls is that you don’t have to make or roll them yourself. You don’t need to grind the marijuana, purchase and roll the right paper, or practice the skill required to get the roll right. Instead, you can find high-quality, budget-friendly options ready-to-purchase at your favorite dispensary

As for the downsides of pre-rolls, there aren’t many. When pre-rolls were first introduced, there was a higher chance of encountering low-quality pre-rolls. Now, most dispensaries are stocking reputable, high-quality products. This means that the only con we can really think of is that if you don’t use them relatively soon after purchase they can get stale. That said, it is possible to store your pre-roll properly to preserve its lifespan. 

Learn how to store marijuana flower in our guide. 

Answering Pre-Roll FAQs

As pre-rolls increase in quality and popularity, many cannabis enthusiasts come to us with questions about them. We’ve answered some of our most frequently asked questions here: 

How do you make a pre-roll?
You don’t—and that’s why pre-rolls are so great. No grinding, no sticky fingers, and no practice required. Pre-rolls are made for you so you can purchase them and consume them as soon as you get home. 

How long do pre-rolls last?
The answer to this question depends entirely on you. If you’re someone who prefers to microdose your cannabis, you may be able to make your pre-roll last an entire week. Other people prefer to enjoy an entire pre-roll in one sitting (though we would not recommend that, especially if you are new to cannabis). The key to pre-rolls it to make certain you store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to consume them or between sessions. This will keep the cannabis fresher longer. 

How do you consume a pre-roll?
Pre-rolls are consumed via smoking, but there is a bit of a science behind smoking them—according to some cannabis connoisseurs. For example, most people use a lighter to “roast” the end of the pre-roll. This means you hold the end of the pre-roll in the flame for a few seconds. This creates an even burn across the paper and flower. Then, place the filtered end in your mouth and inhale. 

If you notice one side of your pre-roll burning faster than the other, gently wet that side with a little bit of saliva. This will prevent it from burning so quickly and ruining the pre-roll. 

Purchasing Pre-Rolls

Pre-rolls are so prevalent at dispensaries that they sometimes even include pre-rolls for free with a certain order amount. If you’re lucky enough to get a promotion like this, it’s a great way to try a pre-roll for yourself. If not, ask a budtender about their pre-roll selection. They can find exactly the right cannabis product for you. 

Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.