How to differentiate your pre-rolls from competitors?

differentiate your pre-rolls

More and more the cannabis space is becoming crowded with new brands offering the same product on the dispensary shelves. This decreases the pricing power and leverage with the retailer and so growers will start to hear that dispensaries aren’t interested in your pre-roll unless it hits a certain price point where the store can sell them for $5 per 1-gram pre-roll. If this is happening in your recreational or medical cannabis market, instead of filling pre-rolls with trim/low quality cannabis you need to consider how to differentiate your pre-rolls from competitors and raise the bar! 

Here at Custom Cones USA we offer the widest variety of pre-rolled cones, blunt cones, palm leaf tubes, custom branding options, pre-roll packaging and filter tips. We help you create a pre-roll which stands for your brand specifically, that achieves the smoking experience you want your consumers to have with your flower, and most importantly raises the bar for pre-roll brands.  

How to make your custom pre-rolled cone achieve the smoking experience you want? 

In order to understand how to develop the perfect custom differentiated pre-roll cone for your customer base and differentiate your pre-rolls, you first need to under the dynamics of smoking and what affects the smoking experience. 

Briefly below are the variables which you can control outside the cannabis and affect consumers’ pre-roll experience is: 

  • Tip diameter 
  • Filter Type 
  • Paper Type 
  • Length 

Compactness / Grind Size

Variables which affect the pre-roll smoking experience

Tip Diameter

Tip diameter affects the amount of smoke which flows through the joint and in turn controls a few variables; harshness, amount of smoke per puff, and impact of the smoke as it hits the back of a consumer’s throat. The larger the diameter of the tip the more smoke which will flow through this means more smoke per puff, more harshness and more impact. Harshness is basically irritation which causes coughing and a generally smoky undesirable flavor. While impact is related to the feeling one get when you initially take the first drag. You do want some impact as that is the feedback you get when you smoke a joint, so you know the pre-roll is hitting and doing its job. Smoke per puff is basically how large the cloud is in proportion to how long of a drag you took. The larger the diameter of the tip, the more smoke which flows through, and the larger the smoke cloud. Some consumers like the feeling of a lot of smoke while others find it overwhelming. The amount of smoke per puff also affects flavor – the more smoke per puff the more flavor. However, if the base flavor of the pre-roll is smoky or harsh it will only enhance that bad flavor not improve it.  

Filter Tip Types

Filters also affect the amount of smoke flowing through a pre-roll and so will affect harshness, amount of smoke and impact. 

There are a variety of filters you can go for standard w tip, spiral filter tip, cornhusk filter, glass filter tip, wood filter tip, and bio-cooling filter tip. 

The standard w is what you see on most pre-rolls – it is basically a paper filter tip folded and rolled up. It helps to prevent small particles from getting through and does some basic filtration to reduce harshness. 

The spiral tip filter is a variation of the standard w filter. Instead of being folded it is tightly rolled and turned into a spiral. The spiral tip helps to cool the smoke and increase filtration by creating additional surface area for filter to draw out harshness. 

The cornhusk filter tip is similar to the spiral tip but instead of being made from paper it is made from the husk of a corn. Another big difference of the cornhusk filter is that it is much tightly rolled than the regular paper spiral filter tip. 

The glass filter tip / wood tip is a premium add-on to a cone but helps to greatly reduce the harshness of the smoke by cooling it down. It also adds a nice tactile hardness in the mouth while being smoked. 

The bio-cooling filter is a biodegradable filter for pre-rolls which is essentially paper pulp woven together to create a spiral tip like filter. The bio-cooling filter tip cools down the smoke by using micro-perforations in the material which allow the smoke to flow through the filter reducing harshness greatly.   

Paper Types 

There are basically 3 classes of paper; regular rolling paper, blunt wrap type paper, and natural leaf type paper. 

Regular rolling paper is the very thin paper most of us are used to smoking. The rolling paper is generally manufactured in Europe or in China. All of our pre-rolled cones are made with ultra-fine French rolling paper. Rolling paper can be made from a few different pulps like wood pulp, hemp pulp, flax pulp and a few others. 

The wood flax pulp smokes very similarly and offers a clean smoking experience. The hemp pulp paper we offer is organic however does smoke similar to the wood pulp. 

Customers occasionally ask us about rice paper – however this is not a real type of rolling paper. You cannot turn rice into rolling paper – rice paper is the type of paper that we eat and is commonly seen in Vietnamese food. Other brands which claim to be rice paper are using a thin wood pulp rolling paper. Rice just sounds better. 

Blunt wrap type papers are thicker rolling papers that offer a slower burning smoking experience – they can be made from many different materials. The most common material to make blunt wraps from, beside tobacco, is hemp. However, there are other types of blunt wraps made from sage, chocolate, goji berries and more! 


The length of the pre-roll will also change the smoking experience – one of the interesting thing about smoking is that the experience changes as you smoke the pre-roll. The closer the ember is to your mouth the harsher it will be. This is why the length of the cone or tube will change the smoking experience. The longer the joint is the cooler it will feel as you have more material first filtering the smoke.

If you want to have a short joint like a dogwalker that is still smooth to smoke you may want to increase the length of the filter so that you have a greater length to allow the smoke to first cool down. 

Compactness / Grind Size

One of the most important parts of the pre-roll is how compact the joint is and what is the grind size. Why I chose to put grind size and compactness together is because they are often inter-related. When you grind the cannabis too fine you also tend to have too much compactness and when you grind the cannabis too coarse you tend to have not enough compactness. 

What you want is a fluffy consistency – not a powder and not big chunks. You definitely don’t want hard chunks. The flower should be ground to the same consistency that comes out of your grinder at home. 

You want the pre-roll to be firm but you don’t want it hard as a rock. You need to get airflow through the joint in order to get good pulls and you also have to keep in mind if your material is very resinous or it is an infused joint – you need to make it a little less compact then you normally prefer to ensure proper airflow through the whole session. 

Creating your differentiated pre-roll brand

Now that you understand the basic variables of what makes a good pre-rolled cone and a smoking experience you are now armed with the tools to define what the perfect joint for your pre-roll brand is.  

If you have any questions at all or you just want to learn more about how to differentiate your pre-rolls – contact us at  Custom Cones USA –



  1. doug c on April 5, 2020 at 7:38 am

    Sell decarb’d rollups so I can do a ethanol wash rather than smoking it.

  2. A Guide to Buying Pre Rolled Cones Wholesale on August 12, 2020 at 10:53 am

    […] The filter is where you can have some fun, too. You can choose foiled or patterned tips. A distinct-looking joint will help you stand out from other shops.  […]

  3. Phyllis R. Manning on February 16, 2021 at 5:03 am

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