CBD Pre-Rolls: How to Roll Your Own

Starting a Pre-Roll company? Building your brand?

In this guide, we’ll show you how boutique hemp companies make their own CBD pre rolls. We’ll show pictures and videos of the process and let you in on tips and tricks to get rolling fast.

Thinking about starting your own CBD pre roll company? Looking for information on what equipment to buy or what scale to start at? Generally curious about how pre rolled CBD joints are made? Then read on …

CBD Pre Rolls … 5 Steps to Success

Step 1: Choose the right CBD hemp flower

The first step is to choose the type of CBD hemp flower that will go into your pre rolls. Some companies use only the highest grade flower, while other companies use lower grade material that’s often considered a by-product. Of course, the highest quality pre-rolls are made with premium flower, but many successful brands use more economical options. Who are your customers? What is your brand message? Is your company focused on providing a refined, artisanal experience? Alternatively, is cost-savings more important to your customers?

Choosing the right CBD hemp flower is the most important step in the pre-roll process. “Smalls” and “B grade” flower can be an economical choice, but avoid the temptation to buy low-grade trim unless you have a solid market for this kind of pre-roll product. Most retail shoppers expect to smoke something better than trim.

See our other blog for more information on how to find the best value CBD Hemp flower for Pre-Rolls.

Step 2: Grind the hemp flower

CBD hemp flower must be ground or shredded before rolling into a paper. This step sounds simple, but subtle differences between coarse and fine material can make a world of difference to the smoker. Overly coarse, and the pre roll burns unevenly and too fast. Overly fine, and the pre roll can’t get enough oxygen to stay lit; sometimes in this case, the smoker struggles to pull enough air through the pre roll to draw any smoke at all.

When it comes to grinders, there are plenty of options depending on the scale of the pre roll operation. The fastest way to get started might be with a coffee grinder from your home kitchen. Here’s a tip for small/medium scale processors: try grinding in a food processor or blender. No matter what, make sure you have plenty of alcohol on hand to clean up!

You can spend thousands on an industrial “shredder”—machines made specifically for manufacturing pre-rolls. But are they worth it? We tested a Futurola Shredder for a weekend to find out. Watch the video and read on for results:

  • Solid Construction — should last a long time
  • Easy to Use — simple and safe
  • Super Fast — 8 seconds of grind time was enough
  • Consistent Results — plastic ‘whips’ shred flower evenly

We loved the speed and consistency of an industrial shredder, but ultimately it didn’t seem to be worth the price tag. If you’re making 10,000 pre-rolls per week, this would probably be a good investment. Otherwise, stick with a smaller household machine and commit a little more time to your grinding process. From all the machines we’ve tried, the best results actually come from a Ninja blender … just be careful not to overgrind!

Step 3: Screen the grind

Now you have to remove the stems and other bits of bud that didn’t completely grind. Pass your ground up hemp flower across a screen, moving it back and forth and even rubbing it over the screen with your hands. Don’t press too hard, as you want to filter out the large chunks and especially the sharp stems, which can poke through the papers. Achieving a uniform mixture will help your pre-roll burn evenly.

You can play around with different sized screens, but we recommend around a 1/16” screen for a smooth, consistent blend. We ’ve tried all kind of approaches, but ultimately we found a household window screen that gives us the best results.

Other Blog Posts

Step 4: Fill the Pre Roll cone

Now we can finally reveal the big industry secret … pre rolls aren’t really “rolled” at all! Instead, nearly all manufacturing methods start with paper cones and then stuff the smoking material into the cones from the top. You can do this by hand, filling your cones one-by-one. Alternatively, there are several types of machines used to fill cones at a larger scale. In basic machines, a simple slotted plastic tray holds the empty cones upright, while a vibrating base compacts the material, as an operator pours it in from above. Watch the video to see 200 high quality pre rolls getting filled at once!

More expensive set-ups use centrifugal force, spinning the cones around a center axis, like the Gravitron ride from the county fair.

Step 5: Close the Pre Roll

No matter how the pre roll cone is filled, there will be some excess paper at the end. The pre roll can now be finished by closing the end with a classic “twist tip,” or with a more refined “fold over.” On our farm, we’ve found that both methods are effective, but twisting can be done a little faster. (Ultimately we stick with the fold-over closure for our brand, Lucky Elk, because our customers like the way it looks.)

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I can’t tell you how much these tinctures have helped me! I’d recommend it for anyone dealing with chronic pain.
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