Do you know enough about rolling papers?

bull durham paper

Rolling papers is the inseparable companion of marijuana. Although there are other consumption alternatives such as vaporization or ingestion

Rolling papers is the inseparable companion of marijuana. Although there are other consumption alternatives such as vaporization or ingestion, they are still minority options. Since its invention, smoking or rolling paper has been made from wood pulp, to rice straw, flax, hemp or cotton fibers.

Cigarette paper emerged in the middle of the 18th century in the Alicante city of Alcoy from fiber and cellulose obtained from hemp, rice and even clothing. Little later it was spreading throughout Europe and America. It became popular in France from 1796, when Napoleon Bonaparte commissioned the national paper manufacturer Pierre de Lacroix to produce cigarette papers for his troops.

At the end of the 19th century, the Braunstein brothers devised a machine that interlaced the sheets of paper, in such a way that when one removed from a package the next one automatically appeared. It would be the birth of the rolling paper booklets that we know today. But what differentiates a good role from others?


The combustion of cigarette paper is one of its most important aspects. Some contain additives with retarding or accelerating effects for a slow or faster smoke. The natural porosity of paper or air permeability controls its combustion. A porous paper is consumed faster due to the greater ventilation of the air.


The cigarette paper has a gummed longitudinal strip on one of its edges that, after being moistened, adheres to the other end of the paper, forming a cylinder. The most widely used gum is made with polyvinyl acetate or gum arabic, the latter more natural since it comes exclusively from the Senegalese Acacia, a tree native to Oman, Pakistan, northwestern India and semi-desert regions of sub-Saharan Africa. It does not have any toxic effect, and in fact it is widely used in the food industry, where it is an additive known as E414.


Grammage refers to the weight of the paper per square meter. It is important not only for combustion, but for strength and flavor. Lightweight paper burns slower than heavyweight paper. In addition, a heavy paper, that is, thicker, damages the flavor although it is also more resistant. Depending on the type of grammage they are classified into:

  • Thinnest: weight of 10 gr / m2. Its combustion is the slowest.
  • Ultrafine: weight 12.5 gr / m2. Its combustion is very slow.
  • Very fine: 13.5 gr / m2. Its combustion is very slow.
  • Fine: 14.5 gr / m2. Its combustion is slow.
  • Medium: 15 gr / m2 – 17.5 gr / m2: its combustion is normal.
  • Regular: 19 gr / m2 – 21/23 gr / m2: its combustion is fast.


The composition of a paper refers to the raw material from which it is obtained. The papers are made from virgin cellulose pulp. It can be made of wood or textile, among which are linen, rice, hemp, esparto grass and jute, or a mixture of some of them. Cellulose from wood was the most common until other materials began to be used, mainly linen. In addition, wood cellulose provides a stronger flavor while flax has a neutral flavor. Hemp paper, on the other hand, does not usually use bleaches. In addition to having a neutral flavor, rice paper is very fine, slow-burning and produces very little ash.


Appearance refers mainly to its texture, degree of whiteness and opacity. The texture is given by its finish, which can be smooth or laid. The laid or vergé are lines marked on the paper and in the transverse direction, made during the production process by the paper machine. The degree of whiteness depends on whether the material that composes it has been subjected to a bleaching process, in addition to the origin of the fibers used and the level of fiber loads. The natural color of a paper is brown. As for opacity or transparency, it is determined based on its weight, the type of fiber and degree of whiteness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *