How to Smoke a Bowl Like You Know Something 2023
Anatomy of weed pipe
- The bowl is the spherical opening where you place your ground cannabis and light it. There is a hole at the bottom of the bowl where the smoke travels through the pipe pathway.
- The pipe pathway is where the smoke travels through to your mouth. The longer the pathway the more time the smoke has to cool, so ultimately a shorter pipe delivers hotter smoke which can lead to coughing.
- The mouthpiece is the opposite end of the spoon pipe where the smoke travels into your mouth to your lungs
- The Carberator is a tiny hole usually located on one side of the bowl. The carb hole is used to “eject” the smoke from the pipe and push it into your lungs.
In this guide: we smoke Dosilato strain grown by yours truly. And we use the Gravs spoon pipe, which is the #3 pipe on our best weed pipes list. If you want the most beginner-friendly hand pipe I recommend checking out a chillum.
If you’re brand new to the pipe game, make sure you backtrack first and learn what is a weed pipe.
How to smoke a weed pipe
Step 1 - Grind fluffy buds
In order to avoid a mouth full of ash or an unproductive burn, you first need to make sure you grind your weed correctly.
Goal: If your weed is ground too finely the plant particles and ash will fly through the pipe into your mouth, and if you grind too coarsely the cannabis may not combust correctly, wasting marijuana. You want to grind fluffy and even buds for a spoon pipe (see images below).
Start by breaking the larger nug into smaller pieces and place it at the top of your grinder.
Steps: Place your weed grinder lid back on top and spin the grinder lid three times one way, three to four times the other way, and then tap the grinder 5 times against your palm to knock the ground weed into the grinder’s chamber.
You can check out our complete visual guide on how to grind weed. The guide also shows you how to grind your weed with scissors or by hand if you don’t have a grinder.
If you followed our grinder steps above your grinder should produce some nice and fluffy buds – not too thin and not too coarse.
Fluffy buds stack on top of one another and hold the perfect structure within your pipe’s bowl.
Make sure to get a quality grinder, you can check out our list of the best weed grinders all proven to produce the fluffiest grinds. If you want a more automated experience you can also use a electric weed grinder.
2. How to load and pack
Now it’s time to pack your bowl. Packing your bowl correctly allows you to get the most out of your weed, and packing your bowl incorrectly can lead to uneven burning, wasted marijuana, and less cannabinoids and terpenes inhaled.
How to pack a bowl: You want to put enough ground weed into the bowl to achieve a productive and even burn (about 2-3 pinches). Make sure the ground weed is packed together, lightly, by tapping the side of the bowl for the plant particles to fall into one another (see images below).
Start by washing and drying your hands to remove the oils from your finger tip. Oils strip cannabis trichomes from the plant which is something you want to avoid.
Take a pinch of ground weed and place it into your pipe’s bowl.
In the image below one pinch of weed is not enough to fill the bowl. If you were to smoke this little, you wouldn’t be able to fully activate the carburetor which is what makes the spoon pipe so popular.
Even worse, smoking this small of an amount can lead to ash particles flying into your mouth.
Take another 1-2 pinches of ground cannabis into the pipe’s bowl.
- 2 pinches for a small hit
- 3 pinches for an average hit
- 4 pinches for an extra large bowl that could be used for cornering (Taking more than one hit from a single pack).
Now that you have enough ground cannabis in the bowl, you must pack the cannabis together.
Packing your bowl is simply done by tapping the side of your bowl with your finger, forcefully.
Packing: Tap the side of your bowl a few times. You should see the loose plant particles fall into one another. Together the particles interlock and begin to hold the structure needed to promote a productive and even combustion when lit.
This will make for a much smoother and even burn for inhaling and allow for the carburetor to function at peak performance.
3. Understanding your carburetor
Lighting your pipe is the most important step because it determines how strong and smooth of a hit you receive. If you light incorrectly you can cough, inhale excess butane, or overburn and waste marijuana.
Goal: You want to ignite the cannabis plant softly (prevent overburn), achieve an ember cherry (less butane), and correctly use the carb hole simultaneously (productive hit). Doing this will give you the smoothest hit also giving you the most out of your cannabis plant’s cannabinoids.
Let’s start by understanding the carburetor first.
The carb hole is usually located on the left side of the pipe.
What is a carburetor: the carburetor is the bread and butter of a spoon pipe. It allows you to introduce air into the pipe right when you inhale, effectively forcing all of the smoke from the pipe into your lungs into one strong burst.
This function makes the spoon pipe popular because you can get a stronger hit using much less marijuana.
Remember: You will keep your thumb on the carb hole when you light, pull smoke into the pipe, and only release once you are ready to inhale.
Now it’s time to grab your lighter and learn how to achieve a cherry and smoke your bowl like a pro.
4. How to light and smoke your bowl
Now it’s finally time to smoke your bowl. Lighting your weed must be done gently to avoid over-burning cannabinoids and prevent the inhalation of unnecessary butane.
How to light a bowl: Softly inhale to pull the flame in and out, so the plant matter gently catches on fire creating what is known as a “cherry”.
Start by placing the lighter’s flame directly next to the grounded weed. Do not put the flame directly into the weed.
Next, you want to softly inhale, pulling the flame of the lighter onto the surface of the grounded weed.
You only need a small portion of the weed to catch fire to create a cherry, the cherry is the goal here.
Achieving a cherry prevents excess inhalation of butane and prevents your cannabinoids from undergoing unnecessary heat stress (wasting cannabis).
This may be done anywhere from 1-3 times before the fire catches to the plant and an ember cherry is achieved.
The next image below shows an active ember cherry in your bowl.
Goal: Once the cherry is achieved you no longer need your lighter. As you inhale the cherry will do the lighting for you like magic! You want to pull the smoke from the cherried bowl into the pipe by gently inhaling.
The pipe must fill with smoke first before you inhale it into your lungs.
As long as the ember cherry is activated you want to keep inhaling to pull smoke from the bowl into the pipe’s body.
This will take less than a second. Make sure your thumb is still on the carb hole.
Once the cherry burns out you will see a slip stream of smoke trail up.
That means it’s time to inhale because there is no more smoke to produce.
Remove your thumb from the carb hole and inhale all of the smoke into your lungs. In the next section we break down tips on how to inhale your bowl.
There should be ash left in the bowl which you should clear immediately before the resin begins solidifying it. Learn how to clean a weed pipe to remove resin from the surface of your pipe.
Resin is known to reduce the THC transfer rate, so the cleaner your pipe, the stronger it will hit.
5. Inhaling a bowl correctly
Inhaling with a weed pipe is all about breath management.
You only want to perform one extended inhale for the entire duration of the lighting, cherry, and lung inhale stage.
The image below provides a way to help you manage your breathing during the inhalation process.
Remember as you inhale it is being used to pull the fire into the plant, create a cherry, pull the smoke from the cherry into the pipe, and then inhale the smoke into your lungs.
This may seem like a ton of steps but all of this is done in less than 5 seconds, which you have plenty of lung capacity for.
When you inhale you are doing two things:
- Inhaling to convert the weed into smoke in your pipe’s body.
- Inhaling the smoke from the pipe into your lungs.
The pipe’s carb hole is what determines which step you are on. Think of the carb hole as the “eject” button which pushes all the smoke from the pipe into your lungs. So when you want to go from step 1 to step 2 you just release your thumb from the carb hole.
Avoid taking separate breaths, smoking a pipe should be done on one complete inhale. If you separate breaths, smoke can get caught in your lungs leading to very heavy coughing fits.
Read our full guide on how to inhale weed properly for 95% THC intake.
Make sure to expand your rib cage and stomach to use your diaphragm to get a complete inhale.
Most importantly, exhale until you see no more smoke coming out of your mouth. If you do not exhale completely this can lead to coughing fits as smoke gets trapped in the lungs.
My name is Jake Dela Cruz and I’m an organic cannabis cultivator, so not only do I grow my own weed I’m also smoking smoking daily from a bowl. Cannabis bowls are easy, fast, and powerful, and in this article, I share my 20 years of experience with smoking from a weed pipe.
You want to make sure you grind fluffy buds so the cannabis holds well for lighting and inhaling. Next, you want to gently light to achieve a cherry. Once the cherry is achieved you will draw smoke from the bowl into the pipe’s body, remove your thumb, and inhale the smoke into your lungs.