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What are Rolling Papers?

Rolling papers are a staple for cannabis and tobacco consumers who prefer to consume their product via inhalation – through smoking. For consumers who prefer crafting the perfect marijuana cigarette, or “joint”, rolling papers are a must-have.

Rolling papers are made of special materials for which tobacco or cannabis consumers can use to prepare – roll – their choice products for consumption.

Rizla – A brief history of rolling papers

The earliest company to produce rolling papers was called Pay-Pay. Pay-Pay was formed in Spain sometime around 1703. The known history of rolling papers, however, can be traced to a Frenchman called Alexandro Rizlette de Cramptone Lacroix.

According to history, in the year 1532, Lacroix traded a bottle of champagne for rolling papers which French Soldiers had been carrying after fighting in Spain. Lacroix then fashioned papers after the samples obtained from these soldiers.

In the year 1660, Lacroix began producing rolling papers. In 1736, the family acquired a mill and set up a company. This company was called the Lacroix Rolling Paper Company. His first grand scale contract was awarded to him by Napoleon Bonaparte. History records that Napoleon wanted to stop his soldiers from ripping up valuable books in order to roll their tobacco.

In 1865, the company rebranded itself as ‘Rizla+’. Today Rizla is one of the most popular rolling paper brands in the world, and certainly in New Zealand. In fact, the brand name Rizla has become synonymous with rolling papers to the extent that some smokers simply refer to rolling papers of any brand or kind as rizlas.

Types of Rolling Papers

Rolling papers can be created from a myriad of naturally occurring and chemical materials including wood pulp and flax. The main component of the rolling paper usually depends on the brand used. There are three major types of rolling papers.

  • Classic wood pulp rolling papers
    Classic wood pulp rolling papers are the most common rolling papers on the market. They are made of 100% wood pulp or blended in with materials such as flax, which can improve their texture and make them easier to handle. On average, wood pulp papers are thicker than hemp and rice papers. They can either be bleached – with chlorine or calcium carbonate making them white in appearance – or unbleached – appearing brown.

    Classic wood pulp papers are arguably the easiest rolling papers to use when rolling tobacco or cannabis. However, they come with the most discerning aftertaste when compared to hemp and rice papers. Wood pulp papers also burn at a medium to high rate. These papers remain lit even when they are not being consumed, hence producing the most ash of all three. Wood pulp papers are also regarded as the lowest quality of papers where the environment and personal health is concerned.
  • Hemp rolling papers
    Hemp rolling papers are made from hemp fibres. They are available in a variety of thickness but are generally thicker than rice papers. Hemp papers are usually brown as most are unbleached.Hemp papers offer consumers a great grip due to their texture, making relatively easy to use when rolling. They add a slightly sweet, musky aftertaste to cannabis or tobacco when consumed and they burn at a relatively medium rate – they also remain lit for moderate periods of time – when not being smoked. Environmentally, hemp papers are the best option. This can be attributed to the fact that no trees are harmed in the production process. 
  • Rice rolling papers
    Rice rolling papers can be made with 100% processed rice or blended in with additives such as flax and even sugar. They are usually white in appearance. These papers are the thinnest papers in comparison to wood pulp and hemp papers.The thin and smooth texture of rice papers makes them a bit more challenging to roll. However, they offer the smoothest and slowest burning rates with little to no product aftertaste. Despite these advantages, products with rice papers need to be constantly smoked in order to remain lit.

How Much Do Rolling Papers Cost?

Rolling papers differ in prices based on a number of factors, including:

  • Material – hemp, wood pulp, or rice.
  • Size – single wide, double wide, king, etc.
  • Flavour – many brands come in an assortment of flavours fashioned after fruits and candies.
  • Quantity – they come in different sheet quantities, depending on the purchased brand.
A rolling paper size chart. src

Depending on any of these factors, rolling papers can range anywhere between $0.79 (for singular packs) to $60 (for boxes).

Roll-Your-Own (RYO) cigarettes are prevalent in New Zealand. According to a study published in the Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 53% of 1,376 current adult smokers of Maori, Pacific and Asian New Zealanders have used RYOs when consuming tobacco. Despite the fact that figures will likely differ where marijuana smokers are concerned, these figures suggest the general popularity of rolling papers on the New Zealand market.

Some other popular rolling paper brands in New Zealand are:

  • Rizla
  • RAW
  • Smoking
  • Zig-Zag
  • Cyclones (pre-rolled papers)
  • Pure Hemp

Other cannabis accessories you might need

Other than rolling papers, cannabis consumers may enhance their smoking experience by adding the following to their collection:

Final words

For cannabis consumers who prefer smoking their product, rolling papers are a staple. There are a number of brands available, as well as different types that cater to the preference of the user. These papers are also sold openly, in stores – they are legal due to the fact that they can be used for tobacco and other herbs or spices. Purchasing one anywhere in New Zealand shouldn’t be a problem.

Published by Neil

Neil believes Cannabis has medical benefits and should be prescribed by a Doctor. This site aims to provide accurate information on the science and legality of Cannabis so you can make informed decisions.

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