Unevenly Burning Joint (Canoeing)
4 min

How To Prevent An Unevenly Burning Joint (Canoeing)

4 min

While the word "canoe" might conjure up images of a relaxing time on the water, it's something you almost certainly want to avoid when smoking cannabis. A joint that burns unevenly will undoubtedly tarnish the moment, leading to you rolling again. With this in mind, we've put together a few tips to prevent canoeing from harshing your buzz.

There are few things more infuriating than a joint that doesn’t burn evenly. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but taking the time to roll a joint at the end of a long day is a reward we all look forward to. However, a canoeing joint is annoying and can make the whole process feel like a waste of time. If this sounds like something you can relate to, or just something you want to avoid at all costs, we're here to help.

What does joint canoeing mean?

What does joint canoeing mean?

So, let's get into it; what is canoeing, and why is it such a problem? Essentially, it's a term that describes a joint burning unevenly—resulting in a roll-up that smolders on one side but not on the other—and looks a bit like a canoe, hence the name. But it's not just its appearance that's a problem. It can also result in faster burning herb, a harsher, smokier flavour, less-satisfying pulls, and is generally just a waste of weed and paper. So you can understand why it's something that smokers are keen to avoid.

How to roll a joint that won't canoe

When it comes to preventing a canoeing joint, we must start at the beginning—before you even roll. Whether you're new to smoking or are a dab hand at it, we all have an off day where our joint is loosely rolled and filled with air pockets, or lit in the wrong way. The result? An uneven burn that provides hits of only half the satisfaction as usual. So, here are a few steps to follow when rolling your joint to ensure you don’t run into these issues.

Grind your cannabis properly

How to roll a joint that won't canoe: Grind your cannabis properly

The first step to a perfectly rolled joint that burns evenly is properly ground weed. It might sound obvious, but unevenly ground cannabis is a major culprit of canoeing. With that in mind, ensure your weed grinder is capable of rendering plant matter into equal-sized particles. This will prevent the occurrence of different particle sizes burning at different rates, which would otherwise result in the very issue we’re trying to avoid.

Pack your joint evenly — not too tight or too loose

How to roll a joint that won't canoe: Pack your joint evenly

This is another offender behind an uneven burn. Once you've got your evenly ground herb, distribute it across the rolling paper, making sure there are no areas with more or less plant material. Use your fingers to pack the herb down, and begin to roll. Consistency is key here, as you want to achieve a tight roll and prevent gaps of air, but you also don’t want to overpack and make your joint impossible to smoke. Make sure the joint is smooth, without any protruding lumps or bumps.

If you find yourself having trouble achieving an even roll, you may want to consider investing in a rolling machine, as these are primed to make for an even burn.

Light your joint in the right way

How to roll a joint that won't canoe: Light your joint in the right way

Now that you've got your perfectly rolled joint in hand; you might think any possibility of canoeing has been avoided. However, lighting your joint correctly is a hugely important step in preventing an uneven burn. It's not just a matter of sparking up and puffing away.

Rotate the joint slowly as you gently light the tip, doing your best to keep the flame at the same distance as you turn. Now, bring the joint up to your lips. Be wary of taking deep pulls as you light, as this can cause one side to start burning faster than the other. Instead, take short little puffs as you continue to rotate. You’ll know when you’ve achieved a robust, even burn.

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How To Perfectly Light Your Joint

Tips for preventing your joint from canoeing

While there are multiple factors behind a canoeing joint, there are also several preventative steps you can take to ensure your chances of a duff joint are diminished. Let's take a look.

Use high-quality rolling paper

preventing your joint from canoeing: Use high-quality rolling paper

The quality of your rolling paper is a make or break part of joint rolling. If you've bought budget papers, it's almost certainly going to reflect in your roll-ups. High-quality rolling paper made from rice or hemp is thin but robust, allowing for an even burn that you won't get from cheaper varieties. So it's best to get acquainted with a paper that's going to serve you well. Everyone has their preference, so don't be afraid to try several different types before settling on one you can't live without.

Rotate your joint while smoking

We touched on this in our discussion of lighting your joint, but it's equally important to continue to rotate it while you're smoking. This will stop one side from taking the brunt of the flame and resulting in a canoe you could sail away in! A gentle and slow rotation in between hits will be enough to do the job. If you're sharing your joint with friends, there's a chance you'll end up doing this without even thinking about it.

Take your time with curing

preventing your joint from canoeing: Take your time with curing

When growing cannabis at home, it's tempting to smoke your buds right after harvest, skipping the curing stage. However, without proper time to dry and cure, you'll be in for a joint that's susceptible to canoeing. Properly cured cannabis not only results in a richer, more flavourful, and most importantly, more potent smoke, but it's easier to grind into evenly sized particles. This will allow you to avoid any uneven burning when you spark up your spliff.

Consider cones

If you feel your rolling skills aren't up to scratch, don't feel disheartened! In addition to our earlier advice of securing a rolling machine, you can improve your rolls by switching to pre-rolled cones.

Available in a variety of sizes, cones are a very popular choice among marijuana smokers, and for a good reason. As the paper cones are already formed, all that's required is to add in some finely milled herb, twist to seal, and you're good to go! Your perfectly formed joint is ready to blaze or slip into your pocket for later use; the choice is entirely up to you.

Master backrolling

preventing your joint from canoeing: Master backrolling

Backrolling is another popular rolling method that can also potentially prevent canoeing. It essentially involves rolling a joint inside out. Start by placing the paper with the glue strip facing down, instead of upwards. Then load your weed, and roll the joint so that glue strip is folded under the paper, instead of over it. This results in a tighter roll, and uses less paper, allowing you to burn or tear off any excess.

It may take a few goes to get right initially, but when talking to fellow stoners, you'll find that many swear by backrolling and won't roll any other way. Best of all, this tightly rolled joint will help to prevent canoeing if done correctly.

Add concentrates

Now, this might not be ideal for all smokers, but it's entirely possible to mix a little of your favourite hash, resin, or other concentrates with your herb. Because of the different temperatures required for combustion, it can actually slow down the burning of the joint, thus helping to avoid any canoeing. Combined with a bit of rotation, you've got a consistently smooth burn. However, as you're bringing a concentrate to the party, it will be significantly more potent. So be wary.

Ready to roll? — kick canoeing to the curb!

There you have it; some tried and true methods of avoiding a canoeing joint. Just follow our steps and be sure to take your time when rolling, and you'll be absolutely fine.

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
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