Rolling papers are made from natural fibers that are extracted and then rolled into very thin sheets. Companies often bleach paper with calcium carbonate along with pressure and heat, but hemp rolling paper contains far fewer chemicals and additives than regular paper. Hemp papers have a medium burn rate and are turned off less frequently than their rice counterparts. Hemp plants can be harvested after just four months, while hardwood trees take 8 to 12 years to grow and softwoods take 20 to 80 years.
Hemp contains 55 to 77% or more cellulose, while trees contain only 40 to 45% cellulose. Hemp contains only 5 to 24% lignin, but trees contain 18 to 35% lignin. Lignin must be removed for the paper to be white. Rag paper (papers made from materials such as hemp, cotton, and linen fibers) from the 16th century is still strong, stable in color and flexible.
Rice paper and hemp paper offer a different smoking experience, so you can only determine which one you prefer just by trying them out. Paper made from hemp fibers was used for more than 200 years and dates back to ancient China and the Egyptians. It will take years to develop the infrastructure for an alternative hemp paper industry that can really take its toll on the conventional paper industry. Many rolling papers don't come with any added flavor, other than the paper itself.
Choosing one type or brand of paper over another usually depends on personal preferences in terms of the size, flavor or color of the paper, as well as the way it burns and, of course, the price. The chemical composition of hemp leaves is similar to that of wood, so hemp is a good choice as a raw material for making paper. Despite providing greater performance and being more environmentally friendly, in 1933 the production of hemp fiber was almost non-existent on a national scale. Nowadays, many papers from reputable brands are manufactured without chemical treatments or materials that improve combustion, reducing possible damage and the aftertaste of smoke.
However, no thin paper can replace the skill needed for a well-rolled joint, and learning to make flawless rolls can take years. Because it's made from hemp fibers and not from trees, it could make hemp papers the most eco-friendly option you can have. Its chemical and mechanical stability makes it an excellent choice for printed items destined to last a while, such as books, archival documents and religious or sacred texts. A major advantage of rolling paper for rice is that it is probably better for the lungs compared to other materials.