There are many rolling papers on the market today and several factors to consider when choosing one. One factor is the glue, or gum, that is used. Most of these are made from sugar or the gum of the acacia tree, while some are still made from animals. Another factor is what the paper is made from. Papers are more commonly made from hemp these days, which saves trees and makes for a thicker, stronger paper. Others are still made from rice paper, which is thinner but also slow-burning, while others are made from flax, which imparts no flavour, or cellulose, which can make for a harsher flavour. The last factor is thickness; the thicker the paper, the faster it burns. Thick papers are easier to learn to roll.
In 1865 the Lacroix family started making rolling papers from rice; hence the name Rizla, "Riz" from rice and "La" from the family name Lacroix. Rizla uses only vegetable-based glue from the acacia tree and still uses rice for its papers. Rizlas are usually referred to by their package colour. Rizla blue regular, king-size and self-extinguishing are thin and burn slowly, with very little ash. Rizla green, a medium-weight paper with 2000 perforations, makes for a smoother taste, and the cut-corner ones make for easier rolling. Rizla whites are the thickest, making them the fastest-burning ones and the best for using with filters. Rizla orange is liquorice flavoured. Rizla also has extra wide, extra narrow, longer and hemp papers.
Zig Zag got its name in 1894 when the Braunstein brothers began interweaving papers in a zigzag manner. Zig Zag uses vegetable-based glue, and the papers are made from wood pulp and flax. Zig Zag yellows are their most popular and are medium-thick and slow-burning. For a slower burn, try the translucent ultra thins. It's a good idea to lick these on the back of the paper, not directly on the glue, or you might lick all the glue off. For an easier roll by hand or with a machine, try the "Kut Korners." Zig Zag also has longer, king-size papers as well as double-wide ones.
OCB had its start in France in 1822 as a paper manufacturer. In 1918 it began manufacturing and selling rolling papers. OCB uses only natural acacia tree gum for its papers. OCB Classic papers are thin, made from hemp and flax, and are chlorine free. They come in a range of sizes such as regular, double thickness, slim and extra long. The Premium papers are ultra-thin, made from hemp and flax, and come in the same sizes as the Classics. Their organic hemp papers are unbleached and are slimmer and longer than normal papers. OCB blues are a hemp and flax mix with cut edges for easy rolling. For expert rollers there are the "X-Perts," which are extra wide and extra thin.
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