By T-Town Terps
Cones 4 Bones! If the display shelf at my local shop is any indication, more and more cannabis consumers are buying cones instead of traditional rolling papers. But there are so many types and brands—how do you know what’s best for you?
Rolling papers versus pre-rolled cones
First off, I used to be a purist who believed that real cannabis enthusiasts should learn to roll their own joints. This is a skill that has been elevated by some to an artform. However, as I have gotten older, I realized, I just don’t care about my rolling skills. As cannabis becomes more mainstream, rolling your own joint feels like trying to craft your own beer can. There’s just something really convenient about cones and how well they burn. It’s a dependable, consistent experience every time.
But I get it, some of you will always prefer to roll your own for the sake of it or because it is still the cheapest way to produce joints. For those of you who are into cones, let me break down some of the different types along with the pros and cons of each. Then I will recommend a couple of my favorite brands.
Hemp Cones, Bleached or Unbleached Paper Cones, and Bamboo Cones
These are the three most common types of cones you will find on the market. There are also rice cones and probably some other types I haven’t even heard of, but these seem to be the types that most major brands are producing.
Bleached or Unbleached wood pulp paper cones are the OG cones. Companies like RAW realized that you could prepackage papers rolled into cones with cardboard filters and sell 6 papers for the same price as 24. Eventually, other big rolling paper brands like Zig-Zag caught on and started selling their own cones. Bleached cones have the standard white color we’ve always associated with joints and cigarettes. However, some studies indicate that smoking bleached paper is worse for your health than non-bleached, so that’s why you see brown, non-bleach alternatives on the market. In my experience, there’s no real difference between these when it comes to taste or how they burn.
The pros of bleached or unbleached cones are that the paper tends to be a bit thinner, which gives them less harshness than many alternatives. The cons are that the production process is harmful to the environment.
Hemp paper cones are, of course, made of hemp instead of standard paper which is made from trees. This is much more environmentally friendly and sustainable than using wood pulp. While it is not any healthier to smoke hemp, you’re already smoking cannabis—so, I guess the logic is it’s a little more of the same rather than introducing wood pulp toxins into the mix, too.
Cons are that some hemp paper is thick and harsh. Although, I have found this varies by brand.
Bamboo paper cones would probably be my favorite wood-pulp alternative if not for the considerable downside. Bamboo burns great, is super thin but strong, and you can’t taste it at all when you’re smoking. The problem is that bamboo is absolutely crucial to our ecosystem and fighting climate change, and it cannot be replanted and replaced as readily as hemp. Buying bamboo products just further incentivizes corporations and countries where it grows to further diminish the world’s supply of this vital plant.
The Best Brand of Prepackaged Cones
I’m going to break down my top five brands of prepackaged cones for smoking cannabis. These are just my preferences based on the considerations I have already outlined and, of course, their price point.
#5 – RAW unbleached wood pulp cones
They get points for being the brand that made cones a popular trend, but they’re honestly sleeping on their competition at this point. If a cone comes apart in my hands while I’m smoking, I can bet you it’s a RAW cone. That said, they’re still ubiquitous and burn well when they’re not falling apart.
#4 – Zig-Zag bleached wood pulp cones
Honestly, you can’t really go wrong. They’re dependable and smoke really nice. One pet peeve that absolutely drives me nuts is the shoddy packaging that slides right open. I’ve seen numerous cashiers dump my cones all over the ground.
#3 – JOB unbleached wood pulp cones
JOB doesn’t have a lot of brand devotees, but they’ve always made a quality paper. These remind me of RAW cones but feel a bit sturdier and well-made. If I am going to smoke wood pulp papers, it’s probably going to be JOB.
#2 – OCB hemp or bamboo cones
OCB makes two types of cones I enjoy: hemp and bamboo. As I stated before, the bamboo undoubtedly burn better, but once I learned about the ecological impacts of bamboo harvesting, I decided the difference was all that important or even noticeable. These cones always deliver, making them my favorite offering in the $3-$4 range.
#1 – EZ Wider hemp cones
I think I might be alone here, but I absolutely love EZ Wider cones! They’re always uniform, sturdy, and I think their filters actually work better than other cones (seems to filter better and provide a more even burn). They’re a tad wider, which I am convinced delivers better hits. They are hemp, which can be harsh, but these are not, probably because they are super thin for hemp papers. The best part? Whereas most cones go for $3-$4 a six-pack, I score a 32-pack of EZ Wider cones for only $8 at my local smoke shop. They perform the best and their price is unbeatable.
Use Cannabis Responsibly! T-Town Terps does not promote or endorse illicit or underage use of cannabis. Consult your local laws and ordinances to ensure you are using lawfully and be sure to always keep all cannabis products away from children.