Five cannabis pre-rolls in different colored rolling paper

What is a Pre-Roll, or Pre-Rolled Joint?

Pre-rolls, or pre-rolled joints, are becoming increasingly popular among both seasoned cannabis connoisseurs and newcomers to the world of marijuana. These ready-made joints offer a convenient way to enjoy cannabis without the hassle of grinding, rolling, and packing your own. In this guide, we'll explore pre-rolls, answering questions like:

  • What is a Pre-Rolled Joint?
  • Pre-Rolls vs Joints: What's the Difference?
  • Pre-Rolls vs Blunts: What's the Difference?
  • Pre-Rolls vs Infused Pre-Rolls: What's the Difference?
  • What’s Inside a Pre-Roll?
  • Can I Save a Joint If I Don't Finish It?
  • Answering FAQs About Pre-Rolls 

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.

Pre-Rolls vs Joints: What's the Difference?

Pre-rolls are sometimes confused with traditional joints, but there are some key differences between the two:

  • Convenience: Pre-rolls are ready to smoke, making them perfect for people who don't want to deal with the process of rolling their own joints. Traditional joints require you to have rolling papers, a grinder, and some degree of rolling skill.

  • Consistency: Pre-rolls are typically uniform in size, ensuring a consistent smoking experience. When you roll your own joints, they may vary in size and density, affecting how evenly they burn.

  • Packaging: Pre-rolls come in protective packaging, which keeps them fresh and prevents damage. Traditional joints are more exposed and susceptible to being crushed or damaged.

  • Variety: Pre-rolls often come in a variety of strains and can be found at dispensaries in different options, including indica, sativa, or hybrid blends. When you roll your own, you're limited to the strains you have on hand.

Pre-Rolls vs Blunts: What's the Difference?

Another common source of confusion is the difference between a pre-roll and a blunt. Here are some key differences between them:

  • Hemp Leaf vs. Tobacco Leaf vs. Rolling Paper: Traditionally, homemade blunts are rolled with tobacco leaves or a cigar wrapper, while pre-rolls are rolled with rolling papers. However, dispensaries are not permitted to sell any form of tobacco product, so any blunts you purchase from your local cannabis store are likely rolled in hemp leaves.

  • Flavor and Aroma: Blunts tend to have a more robust flavor and aroma, depending on the brand and the flavors added. Pre-rolls, on the other hand, allow you to experience the unadulterated taste of the cannabis strain without added flavors.

Pre-Rolls vs Infused Pre-Rolls: What's the Difference?

In the world of pre-rolls, you may also come across infused pre-rolls. These offer yet another variation in the pre-roll experience. Here are the differences between a pre-roll and an infused pre-roll:

  • Infused with Concentrates: Infused pre-rolls contain not only ground cannabis flower but also cannabis concentrates like wax, kief, or shatter. This adds an extra layer of potency and flavor to your smoking experience.

  • Increased Strength: The addition of concentrates makes infused pre-rolls more potent than regular pre-rolls, so they're best suited for experienced cannabis consumers or those seeking a stronger effect.

  • Variety of Flavors: Infused pre-rolls often feature unique flavor profiles due to the addition of concentrates. You can enjoy the rich tastes and aromas of different strains enhanced by concentrated extracts.

What’s Inside a Pre-Roll?

Pre-rolls make enjoying a joint easy because they are typically filled with ground cannabis flower, rolling paper, and a filter. Here’s a breakdown of what’s inside a pre-roll:

  • Flower: The heart and soul of any pre-roll is the cannabis flower itself. The strain can vary, offering a wide range of flavors and aromas. Because you’re purchasing a product with cannabis already in it, you don’t have to spend a small fortune to get your hands on your favorite strain like you might if you were purchasing top-shelf bud.

  • Rolling Paper: This is what holds the whole thing together. Rolling papers for pre-rolls are usually made of hemp, flax, or other natural materials. They burn evenly and don't add any unwanted flavors to your smoke, allowing you to enjoy the pure taste of the cannabis within.

  • Filter: A filter, or crutch, is included to keep the cannabis from entering your mouth as you inhale. It can also keep your pre-roll straight, ensuring you don’t get a wonky burn. 

Can I Save a Joint If I Don't Finish It?

Pre-rolls are a convenient way to enjoy cannabis, but what if you can't finish one in a single session? The good news is that you can save a partially smoked joint for later use.

If you're unable to finish a joint, the key to preserving its potency and most of its flavor is to ensure it remains airtight and moisture-free. You can do this by using a few methods:

  • Re-Sealing: If you have the original packaging, often called a doob tube, use it to reseal the pre-roll. If the original packaging is plastic, we do not recommend reusing it as you risk melting the plastic with a still-warm joint.

  • Container: Place the pre-roll in an airtight container, such as a small glass jar, a specialized joint tube, or a glass doob tube.

  • Humidity Control Pack: Adding a humidity control pack to the container can help maintain the ideal moisture level. These packs are readily available at many dispensaries.

By following these steps for proper storage, you can return to your pre-roll at a later time, and it should still deliver a pleasant smoking experience.

Answering FAQs About Pre-Rolls

Do you have a few more questions about pre-rolls? We’ve got a few more answers, including:

Do pre-rolls go bad?
Pre-rolls have a shelf life, and their quality can deteriorate over time—especially if you light it, put it out, and then relight it. Factors such as the storage conditions and the type of packaging can influence how long a pre-roll remains fresh.

How long do pre-rolls stay good?
The lifespan of a pre-roll can vary depending on factors such as the strain, storage conditions, and packaging. Most pre-rolls have an expiration date on them, so we recommend following that. If yours doesn’t have an expiration date, you’re going to want to enjoy your pre-roll within the first six months of purchase. After that, it’s just not worth it.

Do I smoke the whole pre-roll?
You don't have to smoke the entire pre-roll in one session. You can save it for later as long as you store it properly. Ultimately, start slow, enjoy your pre-roll, and stop when you feel you’re hitting your tolerance levels. 

Purchasing Pre-Rolled Joints

Pre-rolls offer a hassle-free way to enjoy cannabis without the need for grinding, rolling, and packing your own joints. Whether you prefer the simplicity of pre-rolls or enjoy the added potency of infused options, these ready-made joints provide convenience and quality. If you’re not sure where to start with your pre-roll purchase, just talk to your budtender at your next dispensary visit. They’ll help you find the right bud-rolled 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 Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.