UK smokers love to debate over which rolling paper reigns supreme. A pack of rolling papers is a cannabis smoker's best friend, other than some herb of course. As a smoker, we often get used to purchasing the same pack of rolling papers regularly - and perhaps unintentionally, we become loyal to certain brands. This can be a bit of a problem if those loyalties form with a pack of rolling papers that lack in quality.
We set our team on a mission to determine which rolling papers they think are the best in the UK. After pulling 5 random names out of a hat, we had our participants - all long time smokers with different rolling paper preferences. We had them each write their top 10 rolling papers down so that we could pick the 5 most common brands mentioned to enter in our test. They selected the following rolling papers:
- Raw Blacks
- The Goods Ultra Thin Papers
- Pure Hemp Papers
- Gizeh Hemp Papers
- OCB Blue Papers
Before we got them to start rolling joints and rating the rolling papers, we asked them what they think makes a rolling paper good or bad.
What Makes A Good Rolling Paper?
The team agreed that a slow and consistent burn is the most important thing that matters to them when choosing a rolling paper. This helps to make the most out of your herb, as a slow burn slowly unlocks the cannabinoids and terpenes that make you feel good.
The team was slightly split on their preferred paper thickness, however most expressed the importance for rolling papers to be as thin as possible. The reason for this is that thinner paper is less likely to disturb the pleasant flavor of cannabis, and potentially cuts down the carcinogens that come from burning paper.
Also mentioned was the advantage of good glue on the rolling paper. There’s nothing worse than rolling up a beautiful joint, only for the glue to let you down at the last minute. While there are vegan and natural glue options, they can often be unreliable and become undone.
What Makes A Bad Rolling Paper?
Unanimously, the team agreed that a bad paper burns unevenly. There are few things worse than a rolling paper that only burns on one side and wastes valuable weed.
Equally unpopular are rolling papers that taste foul and overshadow the taste of your cannabis. This can be due to low quality glue or heavily bleached paper material.
Rolling papers that tear too easily are often a problem too. There is such a thing as papers that are too thin, and they are far too frustrating to roll with.
Some papers contain heavy metals and impurities in them that can be harmful for your health. This is more likely to be a problem in papers made from plant cellulose. An analysis report prepared by SC Laboratories found that cellulose-based rolling papers contained the highest levels of pesticides and heavy metals. It’s hard for regular customers to get the information required to know which papers can be harmful for your health. We’ve vetted out those that feature on our list already, but one way to mitigate the risk is to switch to vaping.
Top 5 Rolling Papers In The UK
Raw Blacks - Best Burn
Famously known as the thinnest paper produced by the legendary smoking brand, Raw. The team is fond of how slowly and evenly these papers burn, regardless of how fat or skinny the joint is. The papers are made entirely from hemp - with a natural adhesive made from sustainably harvested organic gum from Acacia tree sap. This means that when you roll a joint with these papers, you’re pretty much only smoking cannabis, unlike other papers that are made from rice etc.
The Goods Ultra Thin Papers - Most Sleek
Unlike Raw blacks, these papers come with a booklet of filter tips which are essential in the rolling process. No more roughing it with makeshift filters made from railway tickets. The filter tips are high quality and have a great weight to them that allows for perfectly round filters to be made. The papers are as thin as you would expect from an ultra-thin paper, without compromising strength. They can be stretched with relatively strong force without tearing which is a big plus. The adhesive is reliable and unlikely to unroll, and the burn is smooth and consistent. The texture is slightly different to Raw Blacks, as they are completely smooth.
Gizeh Hemp Papers - Most Natural
Similar to Raw Blacks, Gizeh Hemp Papers are made from all hemp material. The Adhesive is made of natural arabic gum and from our testing, has a brilliant grip. The papers give off a very natural feel, even the packaging gives off that vibe that you’re holding onto a natural product. We like that they are certified 100% organic hemp, as we understand the challenges in getting a certification like that. Unlike The Goods Ultra Thin Papers, these don’t come with a booklet of filter tips, however our team had something interesting to say… The packaging of the Gizeh papers apparently make the perfect filter tips - albeit there is not enough packaging to make filters for each paper.
Pure Hemp Papers - Most Provenance
Pure Hemp is an iconic rolling paper brand founded by Miquel Y Costas in Barcelona, Spain. They have been manufacturing rolling papers since 1879 - making them one of the oldest companies in our article. There are some things that only time can teach, and that is certainly the case with Pure Hemp Papers. They use pure hemp pulp that has been tested and analyzed to ensure no contaminants. The adhesive is similar to Raw Blacks as they use Acacia gum. Everything from how the booklet cover feels to the perfectly cut slices of hemp paper lets you know that this is a quality product. The burn and flavor live up to the beautiful presentation of these papers. Of all the papers tested, these had the strongest paper taste, giving off a rather pleasant sandwood/hemp taste that in many ways enhanced the experience for our participants.
OCB Blue Papers - Niche
OCB stands for Odet Cascadec Bollorè, a company founded in France near the Odet River in 1822 - making it the oldest company in our article. Their original paper mill was powered by the local river, however the company has changed in recent years, and no longer uses these fascinating old school traditions to make their papers.
For some reason, OCB Blues have become a bit of a cult in the UK and much of Europe, even though there is no difference between their Blue rolling papers and the orange and green variants. Perhaps cannabis smokers wanted to claim one of the colors for the community?
OCB blues are watermarked for an even burn and are low combustion meaning they burn your herb nice and slowly. It came last because of all the papers tested one of our testers had a very uneven burn.
All in all, our test found that pretty much all these rolling papers offer a similarly good smoking experience, with Raw Blacks taking the first place. Interestingly, cannabis culture is changing, and people are choosing dry herb options over combustion at an increasing pace. It will be interesting to see what this means for the rolling paper industry.
We believe there will always be a place in the cannabis space for high quality rolling papers. There’s something satisfying and fulfilling about rolling a bit of herb with the perfect rolling paper and achieving a smooth and slow burn. We hope you found this article interesting - let us know if you think we should consider any other rolling papers to test out!