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Lifestyle, Products and Services

Types of Cannabis Pre-Rolls: A Comprehensive Guide

Ashley Priest

by Ashley Priest

May 20, 2024 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 9 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho
Types of Cannabis Pre-Rolls: A Comprehensive Guide

Even if you’re new to the cannabis scene, you’ve probably heard people refer to a product known as a “pre-roll.” With all the different types of pre rolls on the market, smokers of any kind can find their perfect pre roll. This quick guide will cover everything you need to know about them before you head to the dispensary to get one yourself.

What Are Cannabis Pre Rolls?

Pre-rolls are literally what they sound like: pre-rolled joints (i.e., cannabis cigarettes). They have grown in popularity over the years with the progression of legal cannabis markets and can be found in nearly every dispensary across the nation. While a traditional pre-roll is rolled using rolling paper in the same way many consumers make their own joints, many dispensaries use machines to pack pre-formed cones with cannabis flower (dried cannabis plant material), cannabis trimmings, or cannabis shake, the flower that falls off of the nugs naturally over time.

Pre-rolls data analysis reveals surging popularity, and, especially recently, the pre roll market has been booming, thanks to the products’ convenience and consistency. Of all the differing ways to consume cannabis, cannabis pre rolls have started carving out a serious place for themselves in the contemporary cannabis industry.

Types of Cannabis Pre Rolls

Pre-rolls come in a wide variety of forms. They’re available in indica, hybrid, and sativa, as well as endless types, sizes, potencies, and strain variations. Let’s take a closer look.

Mini Pre Rolls

Mini pre rolls are ideal for those who don’t want to smoke an entire gram of cannabis. Because mini pre rolls contain less cannabis plant material, these pre rolls are not only smaller in weight but they’re often shorter and thinner. In other words, mini pre rolls are simply a smaller version of the average cannabis pre roll.

THC Pre Rolls

THC pre-rolls contain THC-rich cannabis flower. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that produces the “high” or euphoric effects commonly associated with marijuana use. THC pre-rolls typically contain ground cannabis flower with varying levels of THC potency, depending on the strain used and the desired effects.

CBD Pre Rolls

CBD pre-rolls contain CBD-rich cannabis flower. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that is known for its potential therapeutic effects, such as relaxation, stress relief, and pain management, without causing the intoxicating effects typically associated with THC. CBD pre-rolls typically contain ground cannabis flower with higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC compared to THC pre-rolls. They offer a convenient and smokeable option for individuals seeking the potential benefits of CBD without getting high.

Blunt Pre Rolls

Blunt pre-rolls are made using cigar wraps or blunt wraps instead of traditional rolling papers. Blunt wraps are made from tobacco leaves and are typically larger and thicker than rolling papers. They can add a unique flavor profile to the cannabis and can often contain nicotine, depending on the specific wrap used. These pre rolls are generally larger and thicker than the standard pre rolled joint.

Hybrid Pre Rolls

Hybrid pre-rolls are created with a hybrid variety of cannabis. Most typically, hybrid strains are a mix of both sativa and indica lineage, bringing consumers the best of both worlds. Most strains on the market today are hybrids, as there are not many true landrace indica or sativa genetics circulating

Hemp Pre Rolls

Hemp pre rolls are similar to CBD pre rolls in that they typically contain CBD-rich flower. However, hemp pre rolls contain little to no THC, unlike the standard CBD pre roll. Hemp is qualified as having less than 0.3% THC concentration.

Sativa Pre Rolls

Sativa pre-rolls are made with a sativa chemovar of cannabis. These types of cannabis strains are thought to provide a more uplifting, focused, and energetic effect.

Indica Pre Rolls

Indica pre-rolls have been made with cannabis flower from an indica chemovar of cannabis. It is believed that indica strains typically produce a more sedating effect in comparison to other forms of cannabis.

Organic Pre Rolls

Organic pre-rolls are pre-rolled cannabis joints made from organically grown cannabis flower. “Organic” refers to the cultivation method used to grow the cannabis plants, which involves avoiding synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals. Instead, organic farming relies on natural methods to nourish and protect the plants, such as composting, crop rotation, and the use of natural pest control methods.

Flavored Pre Rolls

Flavored pre-rolls have been infused or coated with various flavors to enhance the smoking experience.

There are several methods for flavoring pre-rolls:

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  • Infusion: Some flavored pre-rolls have the cannabis flower infused with flavoring agents during the curing or drying process. This way, the flavor permeates the flower itself, providing a consistent taste throughout the joint.
  • Coating: Others may have the exterior of the joint coated with flavoring agents, such as terpene-infused oils or extracts, before or after rolling.
  • Flavored Papers: Some pre-rolls use rolling papers that are already flavored.

Premium Pre Rolls

Premium pre-rolls typically offer higher quality cannabis flower, meticulous craftsmanship, and sometimes unique features or enhancements compared to standard pre-rolls

  1. Infusion: An infused pre-roll is made using dried cannabis flower along with cannabis extract/concentrate. Most commonly, THC distillate is added to the inside of the pre-roll’s paper as it is being rolled or packed with flower. This gives the pre-roll higher potency and more flavor than it would have with flower alone. Some infused pre-rolls are also dipped in kief for exceptionally strong effects.
  2.  Hand-crafted: Many premium pre-rolls are hand-crafted by professional rollers, who ensure consistency and quality throughout the joint. Some professional rollers are also skilled at rolling different shapes, too, which can enhance the smoking experience (by adding an element of silliness).
  3. Top-shelf Strains: Some premium pre-rolls include high-quality organic and/or lab-tested cannabis. These top-shelf strains are generally fresher and typically carry stronger potency, and flavor profiles.

Benefits of Pre-rolls

There are a few reasons that pre-rolls have risen in popularity over the years: They’re generally cheap, cut out the hassle of rolling, and are very easy to use, share, and transport.


Why are pre-rolls often cheaper than buying flower to fill a joint or pipe yourself? Simple. Most pre-rolls don’t use top-shelf (i.e., premium) flower. On average, you can find pre-rolls in cannabis dispensaries ranging from just a few dollars to upwards of $20 depending on the size and quality. They become more expensive if you opt for infused or top-shelf pre-rolls.


Prerolls are easy to consume and share—they’re ready to use upon purchase at the dispensary and require no technical knowledge to smoke (as opposed to a bong, for example). They also take out the work of rolling a joint, which includes breaking up the flower, forming the filter, and rolling the flower neatly. This is very helpful for medical marijuana patients with conditions like arthritis or muscle spasms as well as cannabis consumers who simply don’t want to learn the art of joint rolling.


Pre-rolls ensure consistency through standardized production processes, precise weighing, and uniform packing techniques.

Typically, pre roll manufacturers must adhere to strict quality control measures, including visual inspection and lab testing, to identify and eliminate inconsistencies. Premium pre-roll brands alternatively use high-quality cannabis flower sourced from reputable growers and employ skilled rollers who use standardized techniques to ensure uniform shape and tightness. Coupled with premium lab testing that verifies potency, cannabinoid content, and safety, most cannabis pre rolls are designed with consistency and qualty at the forefront to ensure a reliable and overall enjoyable cannabis smoking experience.

What’s in a Pre-roll?

As mentioned above, many pre-rolls do not contain top-shelf flower. Instead, most pre-rolls are made with shake or trim, lower-quality forms of flower. Because of this, the THC content of pre-rolls is often lower than a joint you rolled yourself, so you may need to smoke more to achieve the same effects. You also tend to get less of a flavor profile with pre-rolls, as they do not contain the same cannabis trichomes and terpene content as high-quality flower.

Pre-rolls most commonly come in half-gram and 1-gram joints. There are other pre-rolls on the market that are considered specialty pre-rolls and contain several grams of cannabis and sometimes even a good amount of cannabis concentrate.

Do Cannabis Pre-rolls Go Bad?

Yes, pre-rolls can definitely go bad, though the risk of such is no higher than with any other cannabis flower product. If stored properly—in an airtight container away from light and heat—pre-rolls could potentially stay good for up to a year. Over time, however, cannabis degrades in quality, meaning flavor and potency could be affected. It’s best to smoke your pre-rolls as soon as possible or within a few months.

Check out these articles for more information on keeping your cannabis fresh:

Final Takeaway

There are many benefits to cannabis pre-rolls that have helped fuel their popularity over the years, including their usability and typically low price tag. Lots of folks love them, while others prefer to roll their own joints or use a different consumption method entirely (e.g., edibles, dabs, vapes). Pre-rolls are the easiest, most convenient way to smoke cannabis flower, but they often lack quality. Are you a fan of pre-rolls? Let us know in the comments!

Frequently Asked Questions

Cannabis Pre-Rolls Vs. Joints

The main way pre-rolls differ from joints is that they’re prepared in advance, but there are a couple of other differences. Joints can obviously be made with whatever flower the consumer wants, but pre-rolls are often made with lower-quality rather than top-shelf cannabis. Pre-rolls also always have a filter, whereas joints rolled by consumers may or may not.

Are cannabis pre-rolls legal?

Yes, cannabis pre-rolls are typically legal wherever smoking medical and/or recreational cannabis is legal. Check your local state cannabis laws to ensure that smoking cannabis is legal in your area.

Can I mix different strains in a cannabis pre-roll?

Most dispensaries only sell single-strain pre rolls. However, some dispensaries sell pre roll variety packs that give you access to a number of strains for one flat rate.

This article was originally published in October 2022 and most recently updated in May 2024. 

Post Your Comments

Eva Clark says:

October 24, 2022 at 5:51 pm

Good article. Informative. Thank you.


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