Curved Papers Owner: ‘My Rolling Papers Are Safe'

Curved Papers’ Michael O’Malley

Curved Papers owner Michael O’Malley wasn’t happy when he saw the headline, “Study Finds 90% of Rolling Papers Contain Heavy Metal.”

The informal study was conducted recently by SC Labs in Santa Cruz, CA after they found some pre-rolls contained high levels of the pesticide chlorpyifos. After collecting more than 100 different papers, wraps and cones, the lab concluded rolling papers are relatively safe compared to wraps and products like flavored cones, which tested for excessive amoutnts cadmium, arsenic and lead. Ninety percent of the products had at least one of the metals, predominantly lead.

O’Malley explains about his brand:

“We use the finest rolling papers in the world, which come from France. Trace amounts of lead are probably from plumbing, like you’ll find in many foods and clothing, and even the water in your house. A lot of water is used in making wood, hemp or flax pulp into paper. We use benzoil peroxide, a natural bleach in a sustainable environment, to clean the papers. Even ‘unbleached’ papers are bleached. They wouldn’t burn right if you didn’t clean them. The bleach is thoroughly rinsed from the papers. The undetectable traces that may remain on bleached and unbleached papers are negligible.”

O’Malley thinks he knows why some pre-rolls are failing tests:

“They’re being packed, not rolled, in cones made in Indonesia, often with Chinese paper. It’s generally lower-quality paper assembled by inexpensive workers in Indonesia and India. Pre-rolls generally smoke poorly and have a filter tip, which is a piece of cardboard that doesn't filter anything and invariably winds up on the ground.”

The New York-based cannabis entrepreneur isn’t a fan of wraps either:

“It makes no sense to smoke a hemp wrap, unless it’s high in CBD and other cannabinoids and that’s what you’re going for. It makes sense to use a tobacco blunt wrap, because that’s a whole other high. But why would you smoke a hemp wrap when you could use hemp rolling papers? The answer used to be because they’re easy to roll. But Curved Papers are easy to roll too and very light, modern papers.”

Curved Papers’ unique design

He’s particularly proud of Curved Papers’ design and packaging (see above):

“No plastic, metal clasps or anything toxic that winds up on the ground or in the ocean. We’re green and getting greener.”

For O’Malley, it’s all about flower, paper and fire:

“I don't vape. It just never appealed to me. I don’t trust all the technology as much as thousands of years of pulling a plant out of the ground and smoking it.”

And that’s coming from an MIT graduate. Read more about Curved Papers here.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.