homemade filter for joint

How To Make a Crutch: a Step-by-Step Guide

The art of rolling a joint is sacred within stoner culture, the gospel of group smoke sessions and true cannabis connoisseurs. To make the most of that freshly twisted joint, most weed smokers lean on the simple, yet effective crutch when rolling up.

Also known as a filter or tip, a crutch is an essential part of the joint rolling process. You can’t roll the perfect joint without one. It functions as an extension that keeps fingers and lips from being burned by the fiery cherry, and also makes it easier to hold and pass around in a social setting.

Another benefit of using a crutch is that it allows for better airflow, preventing the bottom tip of the joint from closing in on itself or becoming clogged with sticky resin buildup. Not to mention, you also use your weed more efficiently, as the crutch allows you to burn through all of your bud before you reach the end of the rolling paper.

Still wondering why the crutch is such a coveted part of the joint rolling process? Here’s what the internet has to say about it …

I’m not rolling up or smoking a Joint without making or adding a crutch ☝🏾🤷🏾‍♀️

[rolling a joint]
Friend: Do you have any crutch paper?
Me: *hands them my social security card*

It may seem like origami, but relax, creating a crutch isn’t hard. In fact, it’s incredibly easy to do and, once you get the process down pat, takes just a matter of seconds. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make a crutch and bring your joint rolling skills to the next level.


  • Cardstock paper or index card
  • Joint papers
  • Grinder
  • Ground weed

How to Make a Crutch

Step 1 – Tear Cardstock Paper

Take the cardstock paper or index card and evenly tear off a piece that is roughly a half-inch wide, or a little more than 1 centimeter. If you’re rolling with longer king-size papers, you may want to increase the width to three-fourths of an inch, or about 2 centimeters. You don’t have to be extremely accurate with the width, just eye it out to the best of your ability if you don’t have a measuring tool handy. Fold a crease into the paper to help ensure that you get an even tear.

Step 2 – Fold the Paper

Take one end of the paper and fold it into a zig-zag “M” shape. To do this, make four creases folded back-to-front until the tip of the paper resembles the letter M. Try to keep an adequate amount of length leftover for the next step.

Step 3 – Wrap it Up

Taking the remaining length leftover from the folded tip, wrap it around the folds until there’s a circle surrounding the zig-zag M-shaped pattern. If there’s not enough paper left over to complete the wrap, you can unwind your M and try to remake it with smaller folds.

Step 4 – Crutch, Meet Rolling Paper

Once you have the perfect crutch folded and rolled up, drop it into the tip of the rolling paper.

It’s easiest to grind up your weed and put it inside of the rolling paper after inserting the crutch. Depending on whether you want a pinner or cone-shaped joint, place the crutch at the end tip and disperse the ground weed accordingly throughout the inner crease of the rolling paper.

Step 5 – Roll it up

Now that you have your crutch and weed situated in the rolling paper, you’re at the final stretch. Simply roll it up, seal it up, sit back, spark it up, and enjoy.

And remember, when desperate times call for desperate joint rolling measures, a potential crutch can come to you in many unexpected forms.

your business card a crutch in my joint

Frequently Asked Questions

What Material Can You Use for Joint Filters?

Thick paper or cardboard makes for the best joint filters, commonly called crutches. A crutch allows for better airflow through the joint, prevents excessive moisture from making the end wet and reduces waste. Glass and wooden crutches are great alternatives to paper and can be found at tobacco shops, head shops and some dispensaries.

Where Can You Get Joint Papers?

Most dispensaries and delivery services carry joint papers, also called rolling papers. Brand-name joint papers like Joker and ZigZag are for sale behind-the-counter at most gas stations and grocery chains. Papers are also available at head shops, your local tobacco shops and online.

Can You Reuse Filter Tips?

Whether you can or should reuse a filter tip depends on what it’s made with. Paper crutches absorb oil and resin left behind in the process of smoking a joint. While you can use a crutch more than once, it will likely alter the flavor and become less effective with each re-use. Glass tips are meant for reuse and can be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol.

Can You Use Cigarette Filters in Joints?

Yes, you can use cigarette filters in cannabis joints if you have them available. The generic cigarette filter tip is made of cotton, cellulose acetate fiber, paper or activated charcoal.

Feature image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

How To Make a Crutch: a Step-by-Step Guide The art of rolling a joint is sacred within stoner culture, the gospel of group smoke sessions and true cannabis connoisseurs. To make the most of that

Joint Filter Substitutes

Using a filter in your joints can make the smoking experience much better, and smoother. There are many reasons for why you would want to use a filter (as explained below). So why not start now? In fact, you won’t even need official filter tips to do this. You can use some homemade filter tips that are easy to put together, and are disposable! Some options will not even require assembly, simply stick it in the end of your joint and you are good to go! Check out our joint filter substitutes!

In this post, we will take a look at three different options for creating joint filter substitutes. These three options are simple and affordable, choose the one(s) that is best for you! In addition, there are many other options that we have not listed; just get creative and you can come up with your own! But first, let’s talk about why you would want to use filters in the first place.

Why You Should Use Filters

Joint filter tips offer a few benefits compared to simply rolling a joint and smoking it as is. While these small benefits are not substantial, they may make your smoking experiences a bit better and your long-term smoking lifestyle a bit healthier.

One of the main reasons for using filters is to prevent scooby snacks. These are the tiny pieces of weed that tend to slip through the joint and into your mouth. If you frequently smoke joints, or even blunts, you know exactly what these are. They are very unpleasant and can simply be avoided by using a filter.

Another reason why filters are great is that they offer more space for the smoke to travel through. This allows more time for the smoke to cool, making it less harsh and a bit smoother. Of course, filters are nowhere near as long as the actual joint itself, so this does not make a significant difference. However, this is one small thing that filters can help contribute to.

Filters can also help you to smoke the entire joint, using all of your weed. Most of the time joints are rolled with weed sticking out at both ends. Without a filter (and a roach clip), you will not be able to smoke all of that weed. There would be no place for you to hold on to it! Filters give you a place to hold your joint so that you can finish the entire thing.

I should mention that not only joints need filters. The other option for using filters is in blunts. Commonly, blunts do not include filters, however there is no reason why you should not add one in. They offer the same benefits as with a joint. But what should you use as joint filter substitutes if you do not have some already?

Construction Paper

The first option for creating your own filter tips is to use construction paper. This type of paper is preferred over regular lined paper since it is thicker. Joint filters are suppose to be thicker than the actual rolling paper or blunt wrap used so that the filter does not burn along with the weed. Also, a sturdy filter ensures that it will hold up throughout the entire smoking session.

In order to roll a filter with construction paper, simply refer to the image above. Cut out a piece (about 1/3 the size of the paper) and make small folds in a zigzag shape until you have a small piece left to wrap around the zigzags. Make sure your filter is rounded, or will at least fit inside your rolled joint.

As with any other joint filter, make sure you do not accidentally combust and smoke the construction paper. If you do, it will be very harsh. Many stoners use this as an indicator as to when their joint is completely out. When the harshness hits, your joint is finished. Skip the harshness by simply paying attention to the amount of weed left in your roll.


Imagine using pasta inside a joint? Now you don’t need to imagine it, you can actually make it happen. Rotini pasta noodles work great as filter tips. Simply buy a box and you will have tons of filters!

The best part about these filter substitutes is that you do not need to put them together as a filter, such as with the construction paper above. You can pick up a box of rotini from your local grocery store and then you will have filters at hand ready to be used.

It’s not a good idea, however, to cook with or eat the same rotini noodles that you have used as a joint filter. Since boxes of these noodles typical come with many, you can set a handful aside to use as filters, and cook with the rest. Or, use the whole box as filters. That should last you awhile (unless you smoke all day, everyday).

Index Card

Lastly, we have index cards. These paper cards work very similarly to construction paper. One index card can make about 1-3 filters, depending on how big you want them. In addition, these cards are typically sold in packs, so you can buy a set and have many filters to make. This is unlike construction paper, which are usually sold one-by-one.

To make a joint filter from an index card, simply follow the same guidelines as you would with construction paper. And remember, do not smoke them! The smoke will be very harsh and unpleasant. Also, index cards are typically lined, meaning they have ink in them which you definitely do not want to be smoking.

That was three different household items that can be used as joint filter substitutes. Do you know of anything else that could be used? There are tons and tons of other ways to make filters, and the stoner community seems to always figure out something new. Have a filter substitute that you would like to share? Drop a comment down below! Thanks for reading!

In this post, we will take a look at three different options for creating joint filter substitutes. These three options are simple and…