How to Know if RAW Natural Rolling Papers Products are Fake

How to Know if RAW Natural Rolling Papers Products are Fake

Posted by Craig Jones and Kush Samson on Nov 02, 2022

How do I know if my RAW products are authentic?

Don't fall victim to counterfeit RAW products. Spot fakes with the help of this guide and NEVER shop at a store that sells you fake RAW!

Every industry has a brand or specific product that is so reputable, successful, and valuable that it attracts imitators and fakes. Whether it's Nike, Gucci, or other brands with an iconic name or symbol that can catch the interest of people, there will always be imitators who undercut business with cheap fakes which can unfortunately change public opinion on an otherwise loved brand.

RAWTHENTIC against a dark RAW paper pattern with smoke.

For the smoking and smoke shop industry, that beloved brand is RAW Natural Rolling Papers. RAW has been an amazing phenomenon and it is so dominant that we have seen many frauds and fakes flood the market. For this reason, we will look in detail at exactly how to know if your RAW Natural Rolling Papers products are fake.

In 2018, the total global counterfeit industry was estimated to be between $1.7 trillion and $4.5 trillion. This represents a larger amount than the market for all drugs and even rivals many countries' entire GDPs.

Oftentimes the quality of fake products can be very poor or even harmful to your health. So it is very important that you get your RAW papers, cones, and other products from an official authorized seller. Always avoid resellers on Ebay and Amazon and especially Chinese sources.

Genuine RAW paper curling when exposed to heat.

Genuine RAW paper curling from heat. Source:  Youtube.

All of RAW's fame and popularity is built on the fact that it uses only the most premium ingredients. We use only RAW because we expect something very specific: the finest all-natural, unbleached, unrefined papers; sustainably produced products; and, very important to some smokers, a vegan choice for papers.

Read more about RAW's commitment to excellence on our "What Makes Raw Natural Rolling Papers the Best" blog.

When you purchase papers, you want to know that it really is what it claims to be, such as whether it's rice paper, hemp paper, or that it is all organic. Fakes and knock offs can have low quality paper with bad ink and glue, so bad that it can be toxic.

So it is important to always buy from a reputable source and if you ever buy a fake, report it to the RAW counterfeit report page.

Comparison of real RAW paper curling naturally in the sun versus fake RAW paper which stays straight.

Just leaving RAW papers out in sunlight will show the difference between real and fake RAW papers. Real papers will curl. Source:  Youtube.

If you buy from a trustworthy, reputable source, such as a long-standing and highly-rated smoke shop or head shop, you can almost always depend upon the product. For example,  Waterbeds 'n' Stuff is one of 14 distributors listed on RAW's website as a company to purchase their products from!

But if you are unsure of the source or have the slightest suspicion that something is wrong with the product, it is good to know how to make sure the product is real.

For this reason, we wanted to go through the the most reliable ways to know your RAW Natural Rolling Papers products are authentic.

Here are a few tell-tale signs that the product is RAWthentic.

For Cones:

  • RAW cones use quality recycled cardboard paper packing straws, and never plastic. RAW stopped using plastic in 2014. Look out for those fake-ass plastic straws! 
  • Pre-Rolled Cone Tips have a “W” shape in them. Only loose Pre-Rolled Tips will have a straight line. 
    • That means RAW 1 1/4 Cones and RAW King Size Cones will have a "W" pattern on their tips. RAW cones all have hand-rolled tips and the "W" provides optimal support.
    • RAW Tips are also hand-rolled but have a straight line through them. Loose pre-rolled tips are the only time RAW tips will be rolled this way.
    • RAW Lean Cones use a tight spiral pattern, but they are the only exception to the rule. 

Real RAW cones using unique tip patterns.

Real RAW cones have an iconic "W" on their tip, and only loose pre-rolled tips will have a straight line through. Imitation cones will have straight line tips, so beware! Source:  Olivatsu.

For Papers:

  • The batch number hidden inside the box may be missing. (See picture below.)
  • The starter or first sheet of paper may be missing. 
  • There may be small but noticeable grammatical errors on fake RAW paper packets. These errors include: 
    • A missing space between the words "moisten gently" on the inside flap's top right corner. 
    • A missing space between "leaves per" on the edge of the packet. 

Side-by-side picture of a man showing the inside of RAW paper boxes, with the fake box missing a printed batch number.

Authentic RAW papers will have a batch number printed inside of the box. Source:  Youtube.

And we were recently made aware of a difference in the wording for the distribution info on cones:

  • Authentic RAW products will say:
    “Made in Indonesia with genuine RAW® paper from Alcoy, Spain."
  • However, the fake product might have the following information on its package:
    "RAW® paper made in Alcoy Spain
    Coned, tipped, and packaged in Indonesia."

Fakes may also have a notable difference in the font size and style as well as the coloring.

Fake packs of papers have darker colors and different letter spacing. Source:  Youtube.

Waterbeds 'n' Stuff is an authorized retailer for RAW products so you can buy with confidence. We validate every shipment we receive both in our warehouse and in our retail stores to ensure we are only selling the best, RAWthentic products.

So buy your RAW papers and cones from Waterbeds 'n' Stuff! And if you have bought them from another source and have ever encountered counterfeit RAW be sure to report it directly to RAW with the RAW counterfeit report page.

Here at Waterbeds 'n' Stuff we have been in business over 50 years and are honored to be one of an elite few that serves as an official distributor and seller of RAW. We are proud to be prominently listed on the RAW website.