Acacia rolling paper gum is derived from the resins of a a particular kind of African Acacia tree - the Acacia Senegalese. This Acacia variety was best known in the days of the pharaohs; today, it has become more rare. These Acacias are slow growing desert trees. It is said their roots spread out as far as 20 kilometers. Now the tree is native only in Sudan, although it has also come to be cultivated on small farms in Mali, Niger and Senegal. Rolling paper factories use gum from both these sources, the wild and the domesticated. Acacia resin, once tapped from the trees, is dissolved in water, filtered, pasteurized and turned into a fine powder, 100% pure, 100% virgin. It is a completely chemical-free substance, with no additives of any kind. It passes the highest known food standard parameters; it has neither taste nor calories; it even possesses mildly beneficial characteristics, being a natural cholesterol reducer.
Animal Based Glue is exactly what it sounds like and some factories still use it in their production. It is unfortunate that this practice still is commonplace but certain paper factories use gum that is made from rotting/fermenting dead animals (remember the old saying about old horses being sent to the glue factory, this is based on actual fact). There has been some controversy about his because unscrupulous companies have begun calling their animal based gum papers "Natural Gum". They claim that dead animal glue is technically "natural". Again, this really confuses customers into thinking that that "Natural Gum" and the truly natural Sugar and Acacia gums are the same thing. Try to avoid ones that use animal based gum. This is difficult because many brands do not openly admit to using the animal based gum.
The best tip we can pass on to you is this: when moistening the gum on natural gummed rolling papers such as Elements or Raw, is to be sure to lick very gently or better yet, lick the back of the gumline instead. That way you won't lick off the sugar based gum and your smokes will stick better.