A pre rolls is cheap, discreet, disposable, and easily shared among friends. It requires neither the financial investment of a bong nor the time commitment of an edible. But unless you’ve got nimble fingers or hours to spend practicing, it can be tough to learn how to twist one up.
Before legal, regulated markets, consumers themselves were the ones rolling joints. But as medical dispensaries and recreational shops emerged, demand grew for ready-made smokeables. By now, Pre rolls are almost everywhere, serving as go-to gifts and common suggestions to cannabis newcomers.
“Out of maybe the 50 pre roll that I’ve got from dispensaries, two of them have been smokeable,” laments one cannabis-focused YouTuber.“The rest have just been disgusting. They’ve gone in the trash, they’ve gotten broken up, they’ve just not been smoked. It’s pretty gross.”
He’s not alone. Many in the cannabis community steer clear of pre-rolled joints because of the perception that they contain low-quality cannabis. But where did that reputation come from? Is it deserved? And does it really mean pre-rolls aren’t worth it? We spoke to budtenders, producers, dispensary owners, and cannabis enthusiasts to find out.
The biggest takeaway? When it comes to, pre rolls, it’s hard to generalize. But at least in some markets, they don’t always deserve the bad rap.
pre roll joints
“The quality really varies a lot,” said Lauren, who spent three years working in a Seattle medical dispensary and who requested anonymity in order to preserve her industry ties. While some producers use higher-quality flower, she said, others add what’s called trim — the leaves and stems that are cut away from the bud before curing.
“A lot of the pre-rolls that are out there are made with a combination of plant material, and sometimes that includes smaller stems,” she said.
The biggest problem with a pre roll is the paper, because it hides what is inside. That makes it easier for producers to get away with using sub-par cannabis or trim. Even when a store includes high-quality cannabis, consumers still can’t judge what’s inside — so the store may see little advantage in stocking high-quality pre-rolls.
Here’s how most pre-rolls are made: As budtenders in dispensaries shift nugs of cannabis in their jars, smaller bits of flower, known as shake, fall off. “The jars get shifted all the time,” explained Corey Schwartz, who manages Coast to Coast Collective in Los Angeles. “As you’re dispensing to patients, they want certain buds. After a day or a half a day, that strain gets broken down.” The shake gets collected for use in, pre rolls which in Coast to Coast’s case are rolled on-site.
nugs themselves to their, pre roll mixture. “When it comes to the nugs, we break them down and we actually grind them down in a grinder,” Schwartz said. From there the mix is loaded into pre roll paper cones. A machine shakes the joints to help settle the mixture and remove air pockets. Once the joints are filled, an employee gently tamps down the contents of each one to make sure it’s not too tight or too loose, which could cause it to burn poorly. With a twist of the tip, the pre rolls ready to go.
FUTURE pre-rolls are years ahead of the game. Each one is made with SFV OG flower, infused with hash oil, and then carefully rolled in golden kief.