We’ve all been there before, you’ve got a joint that by all accounts looks great on the outside but will not stay lit (despite your best attempts). Your friends look on in anticipation, shivering in the cold, as each light flick scorches the joint blacker, with no hint of a cherry in sight… a.k.a. The Ultimate Downer. At this point, can your joint be salvaged? Do you take the time to reroll? Are you being smited by the cannabis gods? And what makes it happen in the first place?
Below we’ve put together 4 reasons your joint won’t stay lit and our advice to make sure it never happens again.
- The joint is too tight: Anyone who knows how to build a campfire can tell you that fire needs oxygen to “breathe”. Similarly, If the cannabis in your joint is packed too tight, airflow cannot pass through it. If this ever happens to you, give it a shake or roll it back and forth between your palms to loosen the cannabis inside. If this doesn’t help, your next option is to re roll your joint. If going the re-rolling route we recommend snipping off the scorched tip so that the burnt cannabis doesn’t affect the flavor of your next (more successful) joint.
- Your grind isn’t fine: Chances are, if your joint isn’t burning and you’ve broken your cannabis up with your fingers or scissors, the grind may not be uniform or fine enough to burn well. When using a grinder, you should aim for a light, fluffy and even grind.
- It wasn’t cured properly: Certain resinous strains require a longer curing process because of their density. While plentiful resin is the ultimate goal in cannabis cultivation, too much “sticky icky” can make for a difficult burn. If this happens you can leave your cannabis jar open for a couple nights or two in a cool dark place. You’ll know your bud is at a happy humidity when the stems snap rather than bend.
- You’ve got paper problems: Papers come in a wide variety of materials, some designed to burn slower than others through the method of bleaching. A slow burn Is more preferable as it can help the joint last longer than it otherwise would. The rolling paper’s thickness is the greatest factor when it comes burning speed. In general, thinner paper burns slower because it allows a larger amount of air is able to pass through.
In addition to all of our troubleshooting advice above, if you gently rotate your joint while slowly increasing the amount of direct heat from your flame it should create a long-lasting and slow-burning cherry. One that will hopefully last until the end!