Smoking cannabis is a common practice, but perhaps the most commonly smoked form of cannabis is through smoking a bowl in a pipe. Learning how to pack and smoke a bowl is an important lesson that both novice and experienced cannabis consumers can benefit from.
Whether you’re planning to use a pipe for personal smoking sessions or preparing a bowl for a party, understanding these fundamental principles will help optimize your experience.
Cannabis pipes are the most recognizable smoking device. This letter is categorized into two groups, carb, and carb-less. Pipes with a small hole, called a “carburetor,” clear the smoke.
Smoking pipes made of marble, glass, or other material with no holes to let smoke escape is called a “chillum”. These are available in a variety of shapes and can mimic the appearance of cigarettes or be more discreet.
Pipes with a carburetor are often called “bowls” or “spoons.” It should be noted that they are a roughly spoon shape form. Pipes with carbs are designed for big bowls of marijuana, and they can often go around a circle of friends for multiple puffs.
The main advantage of using a pipe over joints or blunts is that it produces more smoke and burns off quickly. While joints and rolled blunts are often seen as more portable than other smoking options, they also have a higher amount of ash when it comes to combustion.
Smoke from a joint or blunt is less harsh compared to that of a pipe.
How cannabis pipes work
Even though devices may vary in design, and so will their functions, they all need three aspects for successful operation:
The mouthpiece: where you put your mouth
The bowl: where you put your cannabis flower
Pipe: some pipes have a hole in the side of them that allows for residual smoke to be cleared.
The cannabis is heated and smoke is inhaled through the mouthpiece.
How to choose a pipe
Choosing a pipe can be based on personal preference. Standard chillums come in either clear glass or cigarette-shaped variations, while more intricate one-hitters and bowls come in multiple colors, shapes, sizes, and details. “One-hitters,” tobacco cigarettes that produce a single inhalation of smoke before being discarded, are typically stored in a small box called a “dugout.”
If you’re looking for a smoking device that will last, allow for more intense hits, and has an air hole, then the best option is likely a pipe. Although you can’t test the pipe before making a purchase, you should be able to feel if the pipe is easy to grip and whether any difficulties are using the carb hole.
How to pack a pipe
Packing a pipe? For the perfect smoke, pack it with ground cannabis. Convenient and gentler than other options such as joints or blunts, ground cannabis can help you get the most out of your herbs. Grind your cannabis in a grinder or use your fingers to tear it into tiny bits. Fill the bowl of your pipe with a few pinches of ground herb.
If you have a larger pipe, the bowl may need more grinding up of cannabis. One-hitters and small bowls require less grinding to fill the bowl.
How to smoke a pipe
Once loaded, ignite the bowl of cannabis using a lighter or hemp wick, while inhaling from the mouthpiece. Ensure that you cover the vapor mouthpiece’s carb with your thumb or finger while inhaling to prevent any leaking of vapor. When you release your finger from the carb hole, air will be able to flow through and you can inhale the remaining smoke.
For cannabis beginners, be sure to start with small amounts in each bowl, and wait several minutes between inhalations. Take it easy and start slow with cannabis products when you’re first getting acquainted, as they can range in potency.
How to clean a pipe
Smoke pipes too often and you’ll need to clean it more often. A 2019 study by Moose Labs shows that even with a 10-minute smoking session, four friends will double the number of bacteria on the mouthpiece of your pipe.
Soaking the inside of your pipes in isopropyl alcohol or acetone can help to remove buildup. If there is resin in the pipe, add some salt (Epsom salts work best) and shake it around to remove any leftovers or bacteria.
A three-minute soak in isopropyl alcohol is the best way to kill bacteria and other residuals.
How to store a pipe
If your pipe is made of a material that could break if it were to be dropped, such as glass, clay, or crystals, place them in a padded case or bag to ensure they do not become damaged from impacts. You should put pipes made of aluminum, silicon, and other similar materials in these pouches when they are cooled and cleaned.
For added discretion, consider a smell-proof container that stays airtight to avoid smells of fresh or freshly-burned cannabis escaping.
Now that you’re familiar enough with cannabis pipes to be able to choose one for yourself, give it a try on your own. This guide should be used when you are shopping for and using your new pipe. Once you’ve learned the basics, it should be easy to enjoy your pipe and legal cannabis without much instruction.
These tips in mind, smoking a bowl should be a walk-in-the-park. When packing a bowl of cannabis for friends, always be sure to follow proper etiquette and consume in a safe location. Pack a fat one, call some friends, and have at it!