Rolling papers have seemingly been around since the beginning of time. Let’s investigate shall we?
It is said that Napoleon Bonaparte lost his tobacco pipe during an especially grueling war tour and decided to start rolling his tobacco in any paper he could find. Leaves, scraps of cloth and linen and even pages from books. This desperation was witnessed by his troops and mimicked, then taken back home.
Christopher Columbus was presented with bales of tobacco as a gift from the natives of the Caribbean countries he eventually claimed for Spain. Little did they know about this guy and how he would change their culture forever. They changed his culture a little bit too. He took the act of smoking tobacco rolled up in leaves back to the old world, and it caught on like fire.
At first, only wealthy or noble Europeans smoked tobacco out of gigantic cigars. They would throw the butts of these large cigarillos on the ground and peasants would collect this refuse and roll their own second hand cigarettes out of it. Rolling papers began as large sheets of paper that would then be cut and rolled. To eliminate this waste, a priest in the 1700s decided that having the papers pre-cut and in a small package would be ideal. Pay-Pay (a rolling paper company that is still around and sold through Everyone Does It)
Rice paper was used initially for making this delicate special brand of parchment. It’s ideal for smoking as it leaves little ash and burns stealthily. Watermarks are definitely an attractive and efficient way to brand your paper, but they also serve another functional purpose. If you have ever burned one down, you may notice that sometimes the roll isn’t quite right. This mistake can show itself by runs in the burn down or canoeing (a system of unbalance that occurs when the rolled cigarette started to look like a boat or canoe due to it being rolled too loosely or tightly). Some companies like RAW place patented criss-cross watermarks to direct the burn and destroy the paper evenly.
Rolling papers have evolved so much some of these babies are even made of gold now! Decide which size and style are best for you and get to smoking, son.