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Saturday April 30, 2022

By Erin Hiatt

Women with red hair smoking a joint, held by a gold roach clip, with smoke blowing around in the wind. Education

Lighting a joint isn’t rocket science. Or is it? Judging by what can go wrong, like canoeing, burning unevenly, not staying lit or being hard to toke on…well, it still isn’t rocket science. But, it can be frustrating and a waste of perfectly good weed.

The best way to get a steady burn and avoid running (aka canoeing) and some of these other travails is to light the joint evenly. But how is this accomplished? Let’s dig in.

How to Light a Joint Evenly

First things, first. Your joint is not a cigarette, so don’t try to fire it up like one. No putting it between the lips, lighting up, and inhaling. This will most certainly cause canoeing, where your joint burns longer on one side.

guy in a flannel shirt lights a joint with a blue lighter
Follow the tips below on how to light your joint for a perfect burn! photo credit

To properly light a joint, of course, you’ll need an implement of fire. We suggest hemp wicks (hemp twine coated in beeswax), because when you utilize them you only need to light up once – thereby avoiding repeatedly flicking the lighter and emitting butane each time. Plus, with a hemp wick you won’t need to worry about burning your fingers with a lighter or matches.

Once you’ve got your flame going, you may proceed:

How to Light Your Joint for an Even Burn:

  • Hold the joint between your thumb and forefinger in one hand, with your fire in the other
  • Slowly bring the tip of your joint to the flame
  • Rotate your joint slowly in the flame – aka roasting your joint – until you get a nice cherry. You’ll know when you get a burning red color at the tip
  • Take a couple of short, slow puffs without drawing into your lungs. These pre-puffs ensure that the joint is burning evenly
  • If it isn’t burning evenly, apply a little flame to the parts that aren’t lit
  • Now that your joint is evenly lit, you can take your first proper pull

If you’ve followed all the steps above and still haven’t achieved an even light, you’ll need to move into the troubleshooting phase:

How to Troubleshoot an Uneven Burn:

  • Canoeing: most likely, the weed has been ground unevenly or has been taken apart by hand. The best way to avoid this is to use a grinder
  • Burning too fast or unevenly: your joint has been probably been rolled too loosely
  • Keeps going out: your joint has probably been rolled too tightly

Now that you know how to properly light a joint, it’s time to give it a try with your perfect strain.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Burn a Joint Evenly?

Start with nicely ground ganga, a joint that is rolled just right, and follow all of the above steps.

How Do You Even Light a Joint?

With flame, my friend. Roast your joint, take a few short puffs to get a nice cherry, and enjoy.

How Do You Light a Joint Without Canoeing?

To light a joint without canoeing, follow all of our steps above to ensure you get a nice, even burn.

Why Does My Joint Light Uneven?

If your joint is lighting unevenly, it could be due to several things, including not roasting your joint, a bad grind, and packing it too loosely.

What are your tips to ensure evenly lit joints? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Erin Hiatt Erin Hiatt

Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work - which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor - covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.

Erin's work and industry insights have been featured on the podcasts The Let's Go Eat Show, In the Know 420, and she has appeared as a featured panelist on the topic of hemp media. Erin has interviewed top industry experts such as Dr. Carl Hart, Ethan Nadelmann, Amanda Feilding, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Dr. James Fadiman, and culture icons Governor Jesse Ventura, and author Tom Robbins. You can follow her work on LinkedInWordpress, @erinhiatt on Twitter, and @erinisred on Instagram.

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