The Smokey History of Rolling Papers. When I first started to roll joints there was only one brand of papers you could buy. This was the still famous Zig-Zag that my grandfather used to roll cigarettes with I never stopped to think of the history of rolling papers. Quite an interesting history it is. The earliest recorded rolling paper manufacturer was a Spanish company by the name of Pay-Pay founded in 1703. The story goes that a wealthy Frenchman Alexandro Rizzlette de Crampton Lacroix exchanged a bottle of fine Champagne for some rolling papers. This trade resulted in the French duplicating the papers.

The Smokey History of Rolling Papers – Spanish Origin

So in all fairness, you can say that it was the Spanish that can be credited with the invention of rolling papers. Lacroix family began to produce rolling papers in 1660. Over a hundred years later in 1736 the Lacroix family purchased a mill and to produce in earnest large amounts of papers. Their first big contract was with the famous Napoleon Bonaparte. Now the paper was named Rizla+. The “la” part is from Is the first part of Lacroix and Croix is French for cross. Thus the cross you see at the end of Rizla+. This company was the first to apply glue to the edge of the which made them even more popular. The family patented this process and became very wealthy.

The Smokey History of Rolling Papers – Rizla+

The Lacroix family eventually sold the company in 1978. Before rolling papers, people used to roll their cigarettes with pages from old books. Most components of rolling papers today are the same. The use of combinations of hemp, rice, flax, and pulp can be found in most rolling papers these days. So with the popularity of smoking cigarettes growing in the 1800’s other companies came on the market.

JOB brand came on the scene in 1838. This along with the invention of the rolling machine in 1883 ( by the lacroix family ) made cigarette smoking more popular than ever. Shortly thereafter Zig Zag appeared with their interweaving method of connecting the papers together for easy dispensing.

The Smokey History of Rolling Papers – Flavours

Times change and so did the rolling paper industry. In 1906 Rizla+ came out with the first flavored rolling papers, strawberry, and menthol. With the advent of popular culture and the smoking of marijuana, flavored papers are making a comeback. Now its possible to purchase rolling papers that are fruit and candy flavored. This adds a new dimension of taste to your herb. Until the late 80’s the country of Jamaica had banned rolling papers to try to curb marijuana smoking. However would just roll huge cones with brown paper bags. Not a very pleasant smoke I should say. Now they sell Lion Pride and Bob Marley papers are all over the Island. So with marijuana being more accepted and popular, these days rolling papers have changed.

The Smokey History of Rolling Papers – Marijuana

You can now choose sizes between regular, one and a quarter, and one and a half. Also with these sizes come various weights ( thickness ) which correlates with sizes. Everybody has different tastes and preferences. Some people, therefore, prefer a  standard, medium, fine, ultra-fine, medium fine. Moreover these days there is a wide variety of materials that are used in rolling papers.

These days you have a choice of having your papers made from rice, hemp, flax, corn or a combination of these materials. Personal preference will dictate what you will use to blaze up your favorite herb. With cigarette smoking rapidly declining, rolling papers are now almost exclusively for smoking marijuana. Here are just a few of the numerous rolling papers available. Abadie, Bambu, Gizeh, Hero, Job, Joker, OCB, Raw, Rizla+, Samson, Twister and Zig-Zag just to name a few.