how do you smoke out of a pipe

Recreational Marijuana 101: How to Smoke a Pipe

One of the most recognizable smoking devices is a cannabis pipe. These pipes are categorized in two groups: carb and carb-less. Those with a “carb,” or small hole, allow for the clearing of smoke in the pipe.

Carb-less pipes are referred to as “chillums” or “one-hitters.” These are available in a variety of shapes, and are usually straight tubes that mimic the appearance of cigarettes or discrete designs.

Pipes with a carb are often called “bowls” or “spoons.” They’re generally spoon-shaped in form. Pipes with carbs are designed for larger amounts of cannabis, and they can generally go around a circle of friends for multiple puffs.

Pipe Smoking for Beginners

When compared to joints or blunts, the primary benefits of consuming cannabis with a pipe are increased smoke and less ash. While joints, blunts, and other rolled options may be seen as more portable, their combustion method involves a significant amount of ash.

Additionally, a clean pipe will be less harsh than a joint or blunt.

How cannabis pipes work

Pipes provide their function using three aspects of the device:

  1. The mouthpiece: where you put your mouth
  2. The bowl: where you put your cannabis flower
  3. The carb hole: some pipes have a carb hole to allow the consumer to “clear” the pipe of residual smoke.

The cannabis is heated and smoke is inhaled through the mouthpiece.

How to choose a pipe

Choosing a pipe is based on personal taste. Standard chillums may be made out of clear glass or cigarette-shaped, while more intricate one hitters and bowls vary in color, shape, size, and details. If you want something that can be discreetly held in the palm of your hand, a one-hitter may be your best option. They’re carb-less, small, and typically stored in a wooden “dugout”.

If you’re looking for a piece that will last a long time, allow for larger smoke sessions, and has a carb hole, then a bowl is likely your best option. While you won’t be able to test the pipe before you buy, you can hold it as if you were using it to see how it feels in your hands and whether you can easily use the carb hole.

How to pack a pipe

When it comes to packing your pipe, ground cannabis is always your best option. It makes for a uniform burn and airflow, which means you’ll get the most consistent hits. Grind your cannabis in a grinder if you have one, or use your fingers to tear the flower into tiny bits. Fill the bowl of your pipe with a few pinches of ground herb.

If it is a larger bowl, you may need to grind up more cannabis, whereas smaller bowls and one-hitters require a small amount 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. If there is a carb, be sure to cover the carb hole using your thumb or finger while inhaling the first half of your puff. Then release your finger and allow air to flow through the carb hole while you inhale the second half of your hit.

For cannabis beginners, be sure to start with small amounts in each bowl, and wait several minutes between inhalations. Cannabis varies in potency, so “go slow and low” until you’ve developed familiarity with cannabis products.

How to clean a pipe

The more often you clean your pipe, the easier it will be to maintain. While cleaning after every use may be excessive, a 2019 study by Moose Labs shows that even a 10-minute smoking session with four friends will more than double the amount of bacteria on the mouthpiece of the pipe.

Soaking in isopropyl alcohol and acetone are great options for cleaning your pipes. If there’s a bit of resin that is stuck inside, add a few pinches of salt (epsom salt is the best) and shake to agitate the residue and help remove any leftover remnants and bacteria

A three-minute isopropyl alcohol soak is the most effective way to reduce bacteria and other residuals.

How to store a pipe

If your pipe is made of a material that could shatter, such as glass, clay or crystals, you’ll want to store it in something protective, such as a padded case or bag to keep it safe from impact shocks and bumps. Pipes made of wood, metals like aluminium, silicon and other similar materials should be placed in their storage pouches once appropriately cooled and cleaned.

For added discretion, consider a smell-proof container that stays airtight to avoid the smells of fresh or freshly-burned cannabis escaping.

Try For Yourself

Now that you’re familiar enough with cannabis pipes to be able to choose one for yourself, give it a try on your own. Feel free to refer back to this guide when shopping for and using your new pipe for the first time. Once you get the hang of it, you should be able to enjoy your pipe and legal cannabis without much guidance.

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This pipe smoking guide for beginners walks you through everything from selecting a pipe to storing it after use.

How to Smoke a Bowl: Smoking Cannabis From a Pipe

Smoking is the fastest, most popular method for consuming cannabis, and it’s also a very easy way to measure your intake. One of the most popular ways is to use a pipe to “smoke a bowl,” of marijuana. Like all other methods, it definitely has its pros and cons.


  • An economical way to smoke cannabis
  • Good for when you want a quick, small dose
  • Allows you to really taste the cannabis
  • Doesn’t require burning paper


  • Have to be cleaned regularly and can break
  • Smoke can be harsh
  • Ash or plant matter can get in your mouth

Using a pipe is a very economical and efficient way to consume cannabis. It only takes a small amount — much less than preparing a joint — and can be just as effective. This makes a pipe a great option for when you don’t want to smoke much, or you don’t have the time to sit and leisurely roll and smoke a joint. This also makes it a sound option when your supply is running a little low.

Metal, bamboo, or wood pipes used to be the norm a few decades ago, but today, most pipes for smoking marijuana are made out of glass. These are typically “spoon” shaped, with a round bowl at the end attached to a long airtight stem that has a hole at the end on which you place your mouth. Most pipes also have a “carb,” a small hole, usually on the side of the bowl, which allows you to flush the smoke out at the end of your inhalation.

What you need to smoke a bowl

  • A pipe, preferably made of glass
  • Cannabis flower
  • Grinder (you can also use your fingers or scissors to break up the flower for a more even burn)
  • Cigarette lighter or matches

How to smoke a bowl — step by step

  1. Make sure the bowl is empty
  2. Take a small amount of cannabis, depending on how much you want to smoke and whether you’ll be sharing, and place it in the bowl. (Many people like to use a grinder to break up the flower before putting it in the bowl.)
  3. Hold the “spoon” end with one hand while sealing the carb with your finger or hand.
  4. Hold a lighter flame to the bowl of cannabis and inhale for a few seconds. Towards the end of the inhalation, uncover the carb and inhale the rest of the smoke.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 until the bowl is empty.
  6. Make sure to dump out the ashes after use.

With a pipe you smoke the marijuana directly, without any additives like a rolling paper. This allows you to really taste the flower, though you may also get a hint of some of the residue of past bowls as well as ash from the bowl.

To use a pipe, take a small amount of cannabis flower and put it in the bowl. Hold the bowl, placing one finger on the side of the bowl and the other over the carb to seal it. Hold a lighter to the cannabis and inhale deeply. Towards the end of your inhale, release the carb and pull in forcefully. Exposing the carb will bring in air through the hole, clearing the smoke from the stem — and into your lungs.

Try a hit and see how you feel. You might find that’s all it takes.

Step-by-step instructions for how to smoke marijuana from a pipe. What you need to get started, a video tutorial, and tips for beginners. ]]>