What Is the Best Way to Smoke Weed?

Newbies to cannabis will soon learn that there are numerous ways to smoke weed. Just as there’s more than one way to enjoy chocolate, the best way to smoke weed depends on the situation, your goals, your budget, how discreet you want to be, and the kind of hits that you’re after.

Some of the most popular methods for smoking weed come with distinct advantages for certain situations:

  • Joint – best for smoking marijuana on the go

  • Blunt – best way to smoke weed with friends

  • Pipe – most portable, easy-to-use method for newbies

  • Bongs – best way to smoke weed for smoother hits

  • Dabs – best way to inhale high concentrations of THC

  • Vape Pens – best way to enjoy cannabinoids and terpenes on the go

In legal cities like Seattle, customers who are trying cannabis for the first time can ask their local budtenders for advice and find all of the options conveniently packaged in their local dispensary. However, it can still be helpful to understand the pros and cons of each method before you shop. 

The Best Ways to Smoke Weed Explained

Joints

What are they? Joints are the cannabis equivalent of cigarettes: small, portable tubes of rolling paper filled with the cannabis strain of your choice. A typical joint contains 0.5 to 1 gram of cannabis, rolled in paper made from wood pulp, rice, or hemp. The rolling paper is typically waxed or glossy to help it to burn more slowly and evenly.

How are they unique? Joints contain only marijuana, in contrast to spliffs—which are mixed with tobacco, and blunts—which are rolled in cigar wraps.

What are the benefits? Joints are light, portable, affordable, and easy to use. They can be lit with a regular lighter, and they contain the perfect amount of MJ for your first time smoking weed. Once you learn to roll a joint, you can simply purchase any weed strain and smoke it.

What are the challenges? Grinding your cannabis flower to the right consistency and rolling a joint take practice. However, until you learn to roll a joint, quality Seattle pre-rolls are readily available in local dispensaries.

Blunts

What are they? A blunt is like a joint except that the ground cannabis is rolled in a cigar wrap instead of regular joint rolling papers. Blunts can be purchased (and made) with and without a filter. A blunt typically contains an entire gram of cannabis or more and may also be infused with concentrates like sugar or resin. 

How are they unique? The tobacco wrap adds an extra “buzz” to the experience that hits before the effects of marijuana kick in. Blunts are also one of the most social ways to consume weed because their large size makes them perfect for sharing.

What are the benefits? The benefits of a blunt include:

  • A potentially intense high if you smoke weed without a filter

  • A slower burn because of the thicker rolling paper

  • Stronger effects in the case of infused blunts

  • Perfect for sharing in a group

  • Perfect for giving as a gift

  • They look really cool!

What are the challenges? Because of their large size, it is easy to get higher than you expected with a blunt if you are not an experienced smoker. If you would like to try a blunt, start with a single hit and wait 20 minutes or so before deciding to take another one. Don’t smoke the entire blunt at once. Packing and rolling a blunt correctly also requires practice. Beginners can purchase ready-made blunts for the experience without the hassle.

Pipes

What are they? A pipe is a fixture made from glass, wood, or silicone that has a bowl, a carb hole, and a mouthpiece. To smoke weed with a pipe, you pack a small amount of cannabis in the bowl, cover the carb hole with your thumb, and touch the cannabis lightly with a lighter until you see glowing embers (referred to as the “cherry”). Then, you release your finger from the carb hole and inhale, holding the weed smoke in your lungs for 1.5 seconds before exhaling.

“Carb hole” explained: The “carb” in carb hole is short for carburetor—the device that mixes fuel and air in a car. The carb hole in various kinds of pipes allows the cannabis consumer to enjoy stronger hits if desired.

How are they unique? A pipe differentiates itself from joints and blunts because there are no rolling papers involved. Pipes are also much simpler than bongs, bubblers, and dabs because they work without water.

What are the benefits? If you are going to smoke cannabis for the first time, a pipe is hands-down the easiest smoking method. It’s affordable, lightweight, portable, discreet, and doesn’t require any special skills or paraphernalia.

For a unique experience, you can try different kinds of pipes:

Glass pipe – Glass pipes can withstand higher temperatures than plastic, metal, or wood. However, they are more breakable than other materials.

Wooden pipe – Wooden pipes are hardier than glass pipes but age much faster because wood is porous.

Silicone pipe – Silicone pipes are shatter-proof, easy to clean, and capable of being pre-chilled for smoother hits.

One-hitter – This small-sized pipe can hold enough flower for one hit, and it’s the best way to smoke weed in a rush. One-hitters can be carried in a dugout pipe case for discretion.

Chillum pipe – This small-sized pipe is made from glass and has no carb hole. It’s easy to hide and perfect for beginners.

Steamroller – This is a long glass pipe that’s shaped like a steam train with a glass cup (“bowl”) on top. This is one of the smoking methods that can get you really high.

What are the challenges? Weed smoke is hot, and with a pipe, the smoking flower is very close to the mouthpiece—meaning that the hot cannabis smoke is more likely to make you cough. To reduce coughing, the best way to smoke weed with a pipe is to use a silicone pipe and freeze it before use.

Pipe Alternatives for Smoking Cannabis

In a pinch, you can make your own pipe-style smoking device for smoking marijuana using an apple or a soda can.

Apple Pipe

To smoke cannabis using an apple:

  1. Pull out the stem to create a “bowl.”

  2. Poke a mechanical pencil or pen without the ink cartridge all the way through the apple horizontally, passing through the core, to create two opposite side holes.

  3. Poke a nail or toothpick into the top of the apple vertically to connect the bowl to the horizontal passageway. You can pull/suck on the side hole to check the flow of air.

  4. Pack a pinch of cannabis in the “bowl,” light it, cover the opposite side hole with one finger, and inhale through the side facing you.

  5. Remove your finger from the opposite hole to draw any remaining smoke through.

  6. Eat the apple!

Soda Can Pipe

  1. Taking an empty soda can, remove the pull tab, create a dent on the top side to be the bowl and another dent on the adjacent side for the carb hole.

  2. Using a push-pin or safety pen, make 9 small holes close together in the middle of the top crease. This will be the bowl.

  3. Using a knife, carefully poke a small hole on the right side. This will be your carb hole.

  4. Place a small nug on top of the “bowl,” touch it lightly with a lighter, cover the carb hole and inhale, and then uncover the carb hole to draw more smoke into the can.

Bongs

What are they? A bong is an apparatus made from glass, plastic, ceramic, metal, or silicone that filters the cannabis smoke through water before you inhale the weed smoke through the mouthpiece.

How are they unique? Filtering the smoke with water creates cooler, smoother hits that are less likely to make you cough. Bongs are also great for getting really high, really fast!

What are the benefits? Bong smoking is better for your lung health than regular weed smoking, thanks to the filtration system and longer length of the tubing (this allows the cannabis smoke to cool). This makes bongs a better choice for people with asthma.

What are the challenges? A bong can be a significant investment up front and can be cumbersome to carry around. Some people opt for the more compact bubbler when traveling to enjoy smoother hits with a smaller device. You can also make a gravity bong at home using a 2L plastic bottle and a bucket of water to experiment with bong smoking for free.

Dabs

What are they? Dabbing is a technique used to smoke pot that evolved from the traditional hot-knives method. A dab rig has a “nail” or “banger” that is heated with a blowtorch until it’s very hot. Then, cannabis concentrate is applied to the nail and a cap or carb cap is placed on top. The vapor from the heated concentrate passes through a pipe and is filtered through water before it’s inhaled through the mouthpiece.

How are they unique? Dabs let you consume weed from concentrate, which typically has very high levels of THC. This has become one of the most common ways to smoke weed in recent years.

What are the benefits? The combination of vapor concentrate and water makes for a smoother hit than smoking, and the vapor is very potent with effects that come on quickly. Because the concentrate doesn’t contain waxes, fats, lipids, and other plant material, the vapor is almost 100% pure cannabinoids.

What are the challenges? A dab rig is cumbersome and not at all discreet. For these reasons, dab rigs are generally used at home. For dabbing on the go, a portable electric dab rig won’t let you down. The high potency of concentrates can also be overwhelming for novices, so dabbing is generally recommended for experienced smokers.

Vape Pens

What are they? A vape pen is a handheld device with a heating element that vaporizes cannabis oil (known as “vape juice”), which is then inhaled through a mouthpiece. Vape pens offer a healthier alternative to joints and blunts because the oil vaporizes rather than combusts, so you’re not inhaling any tar.

How are they unique? Vape pens use the lowest temperatures needed for converting cannabis oil into vapor. This results in a cooler hit that conserves the highest percentages of cannabinoids and terpenes.

What are the benefits? Vape pens are extremely convenient thanks to their small, portable size. Moreover, as the heating element is controlled electronically, you can press the button, take a hit, and put the device away again. With occasional use, one vape cartridge can last for several weeks—or even months!

What are the challenges? Some low-quality black-market vape oils contain Vitamin E acetate, which can cause lung injury when inhaled. That’s why it’s important to only buy from reputable vape product manufacturers. They are also more expensive than joints because of the device, the battery, and the processing required to produce the oil. However, as mentioned above, a single vape cart can last a long time.

Ensure the Best Possible Smoking Experience

As you can see, there’s no single “best” smoking method. The best way to smoke weed ultimately depends on where you are, how smooth a hit you’re after, your budget for accessories, and what you’re trying to achieve. 

If you spend a lot of time smoking cannabis, you’ll generally find out through experimentation which methods and strains you like at different times of day, in different places, and for different moods. And if you really need a hit ASAP, an apple or soda can will do in a pinch.