There’s so many beautiful things about flower. Its glittery appearance, wonderful aroma, unique effects…but we think the most beautiful is its versatility. With so much raw potential, it can be hard to choose a smoking method.
That’s why we think the best ways to smoke weed are whichever ones come with your personal touch. Believe it or not, the high can feel totally different depending on which method you try. So let’s get into it!
1. THE ONE HITTER
AKA: a Chillum, Bat, Taster, or Dugout (one hitter in a case with a stash compartment)
A one hitter is exactly what it sounds like: a pipe with enough room in the bowl for one hit. They can be made from a variety of materials; most of time, they’re glass, ceramic, or wood with brass fittings.
Typically, these smoking devices are small and cigarette shaped, with a pit in one end to put a pinch of flower and light it. (It’s important to note here that chillums are sometimes one hitters, but they can also be much larger pieces that have the same design.)
The one hitter is one of the most universal and ancient ways to smoke weed, as versions of it have existed for centuries, across an abundance of cultures.
They’re the favorite method of many for their discreet design and convenience, but don’t take this convenience as a sign of mediocrity. One hitters have a unique benefit in their one-and-done design.
Combusting the flower one hit at a time means every little bit of it is maximized. It also means no half-torched flower in your bowl when you go to take the next hit. It’s easier on your lungs, and you get nothing but greens, every time.
This benefit is also its drawback for some, though. Having to load bowls one hit at a time can be more work than it’s worth for social gatherings, or for heavy users.
There also isn’t as much space on the inside of a one hitter for the smoke to pass through and cool down between ignition to inhalation as there would be with a bong or a dry pipe. You can combat this by choosing a wood one-hitter, as the porous material allows more airflow.
The partaking parent, the spiritual smoker, the pot-pincher
These pipes have open-faced bowls, so using soft, sticky flower will help keep your weed in your one hitter.
2. THE DRY PIPE
AKA: a bowl, spoon, hand pipe, Sherlock, Gandalf, or Steamroller
Once again, the name explains it all: dry pipes are smoking devices that don’t contain a receptacle for water. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from travel-sized spoon pipes to the theatrical Gandalf & Sherlock styles.
“Dry Pipe” generally refers to a glass pipe, but they can also be ceramic, silicone, wood, or titanium.
Dry pipes are another tried and true way to smoke weed. They have the same transportability and ease of use as their one hitter cousins. Just break down your flower, load it into your bowl, light it, and inhale; no rolling papers necessary!
But their larger size gives them a leg up where one hitters fall short. Dry pipes have the bowl space for multiple hits. They also have much larger inner chambers, allowing hot smoke to cool down on its way from the ember to your mouth.
This cooling effect will be more pronounced as the stem of the piece gets longer; for this reason, Sherlocks, Gandalfs and Steamrollers are the most coveted styles.
Dry pipes also draw their fair share of criticism, though. Compared to other methods of smoking cannabis, using a dry pipe can muddy up the flavor of the flower. With their larger bowls, you’ll probably be lighting some of the flower twice to get to it all.
And there’s no water to catch all the leftover resin and ash, so regular cleaning is a must.
BEST WAY TO SMOKE WEED FOR
The well-kept weedhead, the tireless toker, the smoker’s circle
To keep as much good flavor intact as possible (and save your thumbs from getting burnt), we recommend using a hemp wick. It keeps butane from the lighter off your flower, and it helps you aim the flame at the green parts of your bowl.
3. WATER PIPE
AKA: Bong, Tube, Bubbler, Piece.
Often smoother than their dry counterparts, “Water pipe” refers to bongs, bubblers, or any smoking device in which the smoke is filtered through a chamber of water.
Like dry pipes and one-hitters, they can come in a variety of materials, but we recommend glass and ceramic pieces. Bongs and bubblers made from these materials allow the purest flavor to come through. They’re also easy to keep clean with 90%+ ISO alcohol, not to mention sustainable.
When you need results fast, water pipes are great. Just take a quick hit and you’ll feel ready to rock and roll, with minimal cough and odor to boot.
The function of the water is twofold. First, it acts as a filter, catching all the little bits of ash you want to avoid. Second, the water cools the smoke down, allowing for more pleasant inhalation. When it comes to inhaling with ease, water pipes are the clear frontrunner.
But that’s not their only trick! When you hit your piece, water acts like a vacuum, pulling smoke and air through with greater force than your lungs alone. Big, tasty hits….it doesn’t get much better than that.
BEST WAY TO SMOKE WEED FOR
The heavyweight, the flavor fiend, the remedial roller
Once again, hemp wick, hemp wick, HEMP WICK! Also, if you can’t stop coughing, or are having trouble clearing your hits, experiment with the water level in your bong or bubbler. When you have less water in your piece, it ups the airflow, making the smoke travel faster and more manageable.
AKA: a J, doobie, pinner (thin joint), L (joint rolled with two papers stuck together in an L shape), or donut (joint that contains cannabis and hash)
Joints are ground weed rolled in some kind of rolling paper, whether it be rice paper or hemp paper, and almost always feature a filter or “crutch”. It’s possible to roll one without, but it can get messy (so tuck those juicy lips back when sharing.)
The hand-rolled joint has become somewhat of a rarity with the explosion of prerolls. “Why should I roll my own when I can get it rolled for me, and it’s cheaper!”
The key difference is in the quality of the cannabis inside. Prerolls, even those marketed as “full flower”, are where producers divert their leftovers: the immature, straggly buds and shake that develop towards the bottom of the plant. If you truly want a unique, strain-specific high, good old-fashioned grams of sticky flower is where it’s at.
Flower that producers sell on its own has to be of a much higher grade, for the simple fact that people can see it. These are the resinous buds from the top of the plant that get to soak up the most light and live up to their full potential.
Compared to a preroll of the same strain, a hand rolled joint with flower will have longer lasting effects, richer flavor, and burn slower.
Flower is also denser and has more moisture than larf. A half gram hand-rolled joint will almost always be larger in size than a preroll of the same weight.
Joints have a lot of advantages over other smoking methods, in that they’re super shareable, travel well, and require little cleanup.
But they aren’t great for all situations. Wind can greatly accelerate the rate at which they burn. If it’s a breezy day, it’s best to smoke your joint inside.
BEST WAY TO SMOKE WEED FOR
The sunny day smoker, high heart-to-hearts, a stoney soiree
Avoid the dreaded “canoe”! Don’t inhale as you light the joint; doing this pulls the flame across the surface of the paper and burns it quicker than the flower inside. Instead, hold the joint in one hand, a lighter in the other, and slowly rotate the end of the joint in the flame to light it from all sides. Only start puffing after it’s lit and burning evenly!
AKA: a Dutch, Backwood (or wood), bleezy, or L (short for El Producto, a brand of cigar used for blunts)
Like joints, blunts also require some skills to put together. But they’re totally worth it.
“Blunt” typically refers to weed wrapped in the tobacco shell from a cigar or cigarillo, but blunt wraps can be made from other materials: hemp, yerba mate tea, and flower petals, to name a few.
Most blunt smokers favor the traditional tobacco wrap, though; the head buzz from the tobacco wrap intensifies the effects of the weed inside.
Blunts are a highly customizable method, perhaps one of the most so. Blunt wraps come in an abundance of flavors, which can cover up the flavor of your weed, but it doesn’t have to. Choosing the right flavor of wrap can complement the flavor of your strain quite nicely.
Blunt wraps are also much more forgiving than rolling papers. Where paper just tears, blunt wraps can be resealed with moisture. You can even craft them into shapes using moisture, and make smokeable sculptures.
But like every other smoking method, blunts have their drawbacks They aren’t ideal for individuals who like to conserve their weed. Most blunt wraps need about 1-2 grams of flower to fill them.
Blunts also aren’t a good method for a quick smoke session. They can burn for up to 30 minutes! Of course, this varies by the size of the wrap and the moisture of the flower.
But if puffing for a whole episode of a show without skipping a beat is ideal for you, blunts are the way to go.
BEST WAY TO SMOKE WEED FOR
The heavyweight, the evening indulger, a sizable sesh
Don’t be the person walking around with blunt resin on your lips and teeth! Always check yourself out in the mirror after you smoke one of these.
6. FLOWER VAPORIZER
AKA: a vape, PAX (name brand), Volcano (name brand), etc.
Believed by some to be the healthiest way to smoke weed, the flower vaporizer is a newer method but a solid one all the same.
There are many different varieties of flower vaporizers on the market, but they tend to fall into two categories: handheld and desktop.
The Pax 3 is a popular handheld vaporizer, designed with flower and concentrate capabilities. To use it, you load a very small amount of ground up flower into the chamber, and the Pax 3 takes care of the rest.
This device is smaller than an iPhone, wireless, and super efficient at making your flower last. The Pax 3 is the ideal flower vaporizer for someone on the go, someone seeking a healthier alternative to smoking, or if you like to keep your cannabis use discreet.
The Volcano, on the other hand, is a desktop vaporizer. This coveted vape costs a pretty penny, but it’s hard to beat its potent effects. Instead of inhaling the vapor directly from a mouthpiece on the device, the Volcano has a large balloon bag that sits around its hot air generator.
As the flower in the Volcano vaporizes, the bag (which has a valve on the end to keep vapor from escaping) fills up, at which point you can remove it. These are a real hit at parties, and rank among one of the most unique ways to smoke weed.
That’s not to say the flower vape is for everyone. The entry level cost of the device may be prohibitive, and having to charge the device to be able to smoke is a turn off for some.
Also, flower vaporizers need to be cleaned regularly. If you leave it dirty, you run the risk of ruining your $300-$600 device.
BEST WAY TO SMOKE WEED FOR
The pot-pincher, the secret stoner, the tech-y toker
Being able to stretch a tiny bit of flower remarkably far is one of the beautiful things about flower vapes. Don’t underestimate this ability! To achieve the best results, we recommend using a very small amount of finely ground flower, and spreading it out in a thin layer in the chamber to cover as much surface area as possible.
7. THE DIY PIECE
AKA: a Gravity bong, apple pipe, pumpkin bong, foil pipe, etc.
Time for a little blast from the past!
In the post-legalization age. rarely will you need to make your own piece. But for decades before, securing a way to smoke AND weed was a multi-stop mission. So humans did what they do best: adapted and innovated.
Thus, the gravity bong, the pumpkin bong, the apple pipe, the foil pipe, and many more iconic home creations were born.
Not to say all of them were iconic; we can leave smoking out of aluminum cans far in the past, where it belongs. But some of these homemade pieces have redeeming qualities that no other ways to smoke weed do.
Gravity bongs are great because they’re fairly easy to make, and the potent effects rival that of a store-bought bong. They utilize the same “vacuum'” mechanism as standard bongs, which means thick, milky clouds. But instead of you drawing in breath to provide airflow, gravity takes care of that for you when you pour out the water in the chamber into another container.
Everything you’d need to make one is probably already sitting around your house: a water bottle with its cap, a water receptacle, water, foil, and something sharp.
Apple pipes are super easy to make, and have their benefits, too. The moisture and flavor in the apple make each hit smooth and fruity. You can control where the bowl, mouthpiece, and carb go and tailor it to what’s most comfortable for you. And it’s fully biodegradable, so you can toss it out when you’re done without a second thought. No cleaning necessary!
Keep in mind, all of these methods are temporary measures. If you’re looking for a habitual way to smoke weed, this isn’t the method for you.
BEST WAY TO SMOKE WEED FOR
The poor planner, reefer reminiscing, the crafty cannasseur
Even if you have an expansive glass collection or can roll joints in your sleep, it’s always fun to revisit one of these smoking methods from time to time. Not only is it nostalgic, the prep time and anticipation can make your smoking experience all that more enjoyable.