Smokers who love to roll joints up aren’t typically accustomed to seeing their weed kindle while they puff on it. Papers used for cigarettes, cigars, blunts, and joints are known to block the view. But, If you’ve got fire bud, show it off. Translucent or clear rolling papers let you display your dank, bringing a whole new aesthetic to smoking a joint. After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Though clear rolling papers are more of a novelty item than your everyday RAW rolling papers, the option is gaining popularity and can be easily purchased online and at smoke shops. The price for clear papers is comparable to standard papers and there are even different options available like pre-rolled cones and blunt sized papers. Hell yeah. So, freshen up your everyday smoke sesh with something new and let the weed shine through.
How are clear rolling papers made? And what are they made of?
Clear rolling papers are commonly made from a mixture of water, glycerin and a plant-derived form of cellulose called cellophane. Wait, cellophane? Isn’t that what wraps a pack of cigarettes…and Saran Wrap? Uh… am I essentially inhaling plastic?
No, you’re good. The cellophane used in clear rolling papers is naturally derived. Unlike chemically-produced plastic cellophane used to make things like sandwich bags, the material used in clear rolling papers is the result of processed cellulose made from a natural source like cotton, flax, rice, hemp or wood pulp. Cellulose is a complex carbohydrate found in a plant’s cell wall and is used in many commercial products like paper, clothing and textiles, and pharmaceuticals. It’s essentially a long chain of linked sugar molecules.
The most common sources for cellulose used in clear rolling papers are from the eucalyptus tree and Asiatic cotton mallow. Asiatic cotton is a type of high-quality cotton, like the Egyptian cotton used for super soft bed sheets. Cotton mallow is most commonly produced in countries like China, India, Asia, and Turkey and used in clothing, furniture, and even medical supplies.
In the manufacturing process, cellulose is harvested from the plant source and treated to form flat, rollable sheets that are dipped in glycerin to create a shiny and slow-burning final product. Vegetable glycerin is an organic compound made from vegetable fat found in soybeans and other veggies. It’s thick, odorless, and has a slightly sweet taste.
Are clear rolling papers safe?
The hype around this question was fueled by brands whose marketing companies and packaging claimed their clear papers were ‘healthier’ than the standard rolling paper, and made from 100% plant cellulose—that’s when this novelty item’s reputation began to get a bad rap… as a bad way wrap. Ok, sorry. I’ll stop now.
Anyway. We already know most clear papers are made from a mixture of plant-based cellulose, glycerin, and water. When the marketing claims for a healthier paper came out smokers aware of the issues with heating and inhaling glycerin started to chime in.
Their argument was simple. Glycerin combustion is an issue because it releases acrolein and aldehydes—both known carcinogens. But, let’s not forget that most combustion, including cannabis combustion, releases various carcinogens. So, if the glycerin is a deal-breaker for you, smoking weed probably isn’t your ideal hobby.
Some other concerns for safety stem from the chemical process used to turn natural cellulose found in plants into papers that can ultimately be used to roll up your weed. Harsh chemicals like alkali and carbon disulfide are used to alter the plant form to film during manufacturing. The film then undergoes treatments to remove sulfur and other chemicals of concern before being coated in glycerin. The argument here is that all of the chemicals can’t possibly be purged during these rinses. But, that’s up for debate.
Bottom line: If you’re in search of the most ‘natural’ way to smoke weed, opt for a glass pipe. That eliminates chemicals and carcinogens that come with any and all types of rolling papers or blunt wrap. But, if you’re looking for a novelty way to smoke a jay—check out these brands below.
4 best clear rolling paper brands:
These papers are some of the thinnest cellulose papers out there and are compatible with standard rolling machines. Try the ‘Trip 2’ for the latest generation from this brand.
A clear cone? That’s right. Cyclones offer a bunch of different types of clear rolling papers, some that are even flavored like grape and watermelon. Our favorite is the cones that come rolled with tips and ready to stuff. If you can’t roll a regular joint, this is your best option.
Tasteless papers let the flavor of your bud shine through. And that’s just what aLeda offers. When compared to other brands, these papers are ultra-slim. They offer kingsized, standard, and mini booklets.
This brand from Brazil promises that their papers made from Asiatic cotton mallow, burn evenly with no runs, and even back it with a money-back guarantee. They offer 1 ¼ and King sized papers.
Pros and cons of clear rolling papers
- 100% Biodegradable: Mother earth will thank you for litter-free roaches.
- Naturally transparent: You can see your weed. That’s cool.
- Adhesive free: No adhesive means fewer chemicals. Just lick it and stick it, friends.
- Slow-burning: The glycerin keeps the cherry rolling nice and slow.
- Doesn’t crease: Aesthetic AF.
- Won’t stick to sweaty hands: Isn’t that the worst when you’re trying to roll a jay?
- No taste (unless you get the flavored papers): Let the flavor of your bud shine through.
- Less likely to tear in the rolling process: Actually, THAT’S the worst when you’re trying to roll a jay.
- Can burn unevenly.
- Some say they are more difficult to roll than regular papers.
How to roll a joint with clear or transparent rolling papers.
- Remove any stems or seeds from your weed and load it into the grinder.
- Grind it up nice and fine.
- Lick your thumb and run it horizontally across the bottom of the paper to help the paper shape and curl.
- Place the rolling paper on top of your index (pointer) and middle finger and secure it with your thumb on top, at the paper’s middle. Sprinkle your weed evenly along the middle of the paper. Keep it nice and even.
- Take the paper at both ends with both hands. Use your thumb and index fingers to replicate the world’s tiniest violin motion. Continue this motion to pack the weed and shape the joint.
- Lick the joint lengthwise to create an adhesive end and roll it up.
- Pack both ends. Twist-up one end and place a tip in the other.
- Light it up and enjoy it.
So, there you have it. Whether you see this smoking accessory as a novelty or a necessity–you know what it’s made of and how, the background on safety claims and issues, top brands, pros and cons, and how to roll with it. We hope you found this guide helpful. Shoot us a comment if you have any questions or feedback.
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