For beginner weed smokers, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices there are when it comes to consuming your cannabis. Today, we’ll focus on the 4 most popular pieces for smoking so you can get the most out of your bud.

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How To Pack a Bowl

If you're smoking out of a piece (as opposed to a blunt or joint) then you're going to have to learn how to pack a bowl at some point. The bowl is the part of the piece the holds the weed while you're smoking. In the case of pipes, the bowl is attached to the pipe. The bowl on a bong detaches from the bong, but packing it still follows the same principles. Many cannabis users don’t grind up their weed before packing it into their bowl. Although packing a bud into your bowl may achieve the high you are looking for, grinding your weed before packing your bowl is actually more effective. Handheld grinders are typically inexpensive and easy to find. After grinding a bud of weed, gently pack the grounded up weed into the bowl and then light it.

How To Smoke Out Of A Pipe

Hand pipes are perhaps the most common device used by weed smokers and are perfect for first-time cannabis users. A hand pipe is a basic smoking tool designed like a bowl with a shaft that helps deliver the weed smoke from the bowl into the mouth of the user. It’s often referred to as a bowl rather than a hand pipe.

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There are two types of hand pipes: those with a carb and those without a carb. The most common hand pipes have carbs. On the side of the bowl, there’s a hole - this is the carb, and it’s designed to build up smoke in the pipe. Simply place your finger over the carb while lighting your ganja, start to take a pull, and allow the smoke to build up. When you’re ready to inhale, release your finger off the carb and inhale the smoke. Hand pipes are most commonly made of glass. However, they can also be made of silicone, wood, ceramic, and even metal. Artistically speaking, hand pipes usually come in pretty cool designs.

A Pipe Full of Marijuana in Someones Hand. iStock / Stefan Malloch

How To Smoke Out Of A Bong

Using a bong is one of the most popular ways of smoking weed. They are typically made of glass, plastic, ceramic, metal, or bamboo.

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Two things make this smoking method popular. The first reason is the water acts as a filtration system, cooling off your smoke and giving you a smoother hit. The bong contains a chamber that you fill with water and a tube or shaft that reaches down into the base. The tube is much like a straw; it starts from the outside of the chamber (where your mouth goes) and then enters into the chamber where the smoke will form.

The second reason bongs are so popular is it's one of the most efficient ways to combust your weed. If you're on a budget, you can corner your bowl (only light a small part of your bowl instead of burning the whole thing at once) and make one bowl stretch the whole day. And because of the water filtering the smoke, hitting a partially smoked bowl on a bong tastes much better than doing it with a pipe. Sidenote: if you're not smoking your own weed, it's proper etiquette to corner the bowl on whatever piece you're smoking out of so that you don't burn through someone else's stash.

The size of the bong will determine how much smoke will develop in the chamber. To smoke out of your bong, do the following steps:

  1. Add water to the chamber of the bong. How much water you need depends on the size of the bong that you're smoking out of, so really, it's going to take a little bit of practice before you find the perfect amount for your piece. Best practice is to take a pull from the bong after filling it. If you find yourself inhaling water, pour a little bit out and try again. If you can pull with no resistance or bubbles forming, you might want to add some more water.
  2. Pack the bowl (located on the downstem) with the weed from your grinder.
  3. Place your mouth on the top of the chamber, light the bowl, and start pulling smoke into the chamber. When you notice a cloud of smoke developing, pull the bowl out of the downstem and inhale.


Vape Pen, Vaping Marijuana Oil, Cannabis Vaporizer Grinder and marijuana cannabis weed iStock / Dmitry_Tishchenko

A vaporizer is a device powered by electricity which then heats up dry herbs. There are two types of vaporizers: portable and tabletop. Some cannabis consumers prefer vaping over smoking, as it’s considered safer, clearer, and an easier way to inhale cannabis. Although there’s not enough research to prove that vaping is a safer alternative to smoking, one study did show that cannabis smokers experienced less coughing and chest pain when vaping as opposed to smoking. Researchers believe this is due to the fact that vaporizers produce high concentrated filtered cannabinoids that go into the lungs, without the other chemicals produced by smoking.

As mentioned before, there are two types of vaporizers:

Table-top vaporizers are made for home use and are often plugged into an outlet. There are many table-top vaporizers on the market today; however, the one that remains the most popular is the volcano, as it’s considered a “medical grade device”. The volcano vaporizers have been around for a while now, as they are easy to use and are very effective. The volcano vaporizer comes with all the parts you need to efficiently produce the desired high. Simply find a table or desk to place your vaporizer on (make sure it close to an outlet.) Then grab the grinder, the filling chamber, and one of the easy valve bags and you are ready to vaporize. It may seem daunting for a beginner, but the volcano instructions take you step-by-step through how to achieve an effective high.

Portable vaporizers come in all shapes and sizes. Two of the most common portable vaporizers are oil-based vape pens and wax-based vape pens. Oil-based vape pens have a higher concentration of THC. If you prefer a mellow, non-paranoid high, you may want to go with a CBD-rich strain. Wax-based vape pens use wax concentrates that much like oil, but thicker. Both vape pens are conveniently portable and discreet. They are battery-powered and can be plugged into a USB charger. For beginners, vape pens are easy to use and come with far less equipment as other cannabis delivery methods.