Whether you are a veteran user or new to the world of cannabis, a review of the various ways you can enjoy smoking is helpful to decide on a method that meets your weed needs. While cannabis enthusiasts debate the best way to smoke or vape, there really is no right or wrong way. There is only the right way for you. Of course, there are pros and cons to each method, so we will review those points too.
Some items that you will need for several of the imbibing options include a lighter and a grinder. Smoking a joint, blunt, bowl, or bong will require a light. A grinder is used to break down your flower into smaller pieces for a more efficient smoking experience. You can break apart your bud with your fingers, but a grinder does the job in a more consistent, quicker manner. Grinders range from relatively inexpensive (about $10) to more expensive with specialized features such as storage compartments and removable parts for cleaning. Any veteran or new user should have some basic “pothead” equipment such as a lighter and grinder regardless of the preferred method of imbibing.
A joint is a classic way to enjoy your cannabis. You will need to buy rolling paper from your local smoke shop or convenience store. Rolling papers come in several different sizes, usually a smaller size and a larger size. The paper will have a “seal” that runs down one side much like a letter envelope, so that you can roll your joint, lick the seal, and then make sure it remains in tact. If you are inexperienced at rolling joints, you can easily find tutorials on Youtube that will help you perfect your practice. Similar to smoking a cigarette, you place the joint in your mouth and inhale the smoke into your lungs and hold. The pros are that joints are easy to share with friends, and you can easily transport them in a small container. However, some drawbacks are that the rolling paper supposedly contains toxins. Look for some brands such as Raw or Zig Zag which are free of chemicals.
For those users with no concerns and those looking for the added kick of tobacco, a blunt is also an option. A blunt is made from a hollowed out cigar. You cut down the middle of the long side of a cigar and then remove the tobacco. Add the cannabis inside the cigar paper and seal the cigar shell up with your saliva. This is always the tricky part to accomplish, so you may want to consult some do-it-yourself videos for assistance with this task too. Blunts are great for sharing with friends, and some users love the added sensation flavored cigars offer (try vanilla, grape, and other flavors).
One of the easiest ways to enjoy cannabis flower is to use a bowl. For many users who find a bong intimidating or who do not like smoking a joint, a bowl offers many pluses. For example, I think it offers a crisp taste of the cannabis compared to a joint (mainly because you may slightly detect the taste of rolling paper when smoking). Head shops sell a range of bowls, so you can pick the size and style that works for you. Many are glass, but some are made of wood, ceramics, or other materials. Although it is a simple device, you can get wonderful results from a bowl. Bowls will have a deep basin in which you place your flower; a bowl also has a long channel through which the smoke travels to the mouthpiece. Most bowls also have a carb on the left side. The carb clears the smoke out of the chamber. Place an intact bud at the bottom of the bowl so that the smaller flower pieces do not fall into the inner part of the bowl. Place the finely ground herb in the bowl on top, and then pack it more densely on top. This will allow your herb to maintain a burn. Place your thumb over the carb, light the bowl, and inhale. Hold the hit in and savor. When lighting up, it is best to hold your lighter so you are lighting on the side of the bowl. When all the bud is gone, you can empty the bowl by turning it upside down over an ashtray and tapping the back of the bowl gently.
The advantage of using a bowl is that you are not getting the toxins of rolling paper. A main drawback is that you always have to find extremely discreet places if traveling with a bowl.
You can use either a lighter or a hemp wick to light your bowl. One drawback of using a lighter is the butane fumes you will get. Some believe inhaling the butane is unhealthy, so they prefer other methods such as using a bong or vaping.
Some users like the convenience of what is known as a one hitter pipe. They are small (sometimes no bigger than a pinky finger) and convenient to use. Since they are smaller, they are helpful in monitoring the amount you use and conserving your stash through smaller hits at a time. Some one hitters come with a storage container that also can hold a bit of your bud supply.
Walk into any head shop, and you will notice that bongs have evolved greatly thanks to technical advances. Percolator bongs, multi-chamber, carburetor, and gravity bongs are just a few of the different types of bongs you can use. A gravity bong is one of the most common bongs. A bong has a bowl, downstem, carb, base, and tube. As the user inhales in the bong, smoke builds in the bubbles of the water. When the carb is uncovered or the stem taken off, the smoke is released for the user. Bongs will give you an efficient hit and powerful high without the concerns of exposure to toxic paper or other elements. However, don’t spill that smelly bong water! It can be pretty messy, and you will have to regularly clean your bong. Some consider this a drawback, but the benefits are well worth it.
Since bongs are also not suitable for cannabis users who travel often, a bubbler is a great option for those who want the features of a bong but need mobility. It is like a combination of a bowl and bong. It is small, but it requires water in a chamber, and functions much like a bowl. The plus is that you can take it most anywhere, but you must consider your access to water. A bubbler combines the benefits of a bong (healthier and efficient way to partake) with the compactfulness of a bowl.
We have all been in a situation where we have weed but realize we have no device or rolling papers. What to do in such a situation? There is always the soda can or apple trick. Take a soda can, bend it in half, make a small whole in the crease, and puncture a hole on the left side. Use the sipping whole as the mouthpiece and place the weed where the whole is in the crease area. You can use an apple in a similar fashion. Use a pen to make a tunnel down the center of the apple (where the stem is) as well as a tunnel that goes from the side of the apple through the center and intercepts the other tunnel. Make a bowl of aluminium foil and put it at the top of the apple over the vertical tunnel. This bowl will hold your weed. Light your weed and enjoy! The drawback of the can is the health concern over smoking out of an aluminum object, but this method is not recommended for everyday use. The plus of the apple method is that you have a snack ready after you consume your weed!
Shall we move on to more recent methods? Vaping has become a very popular option for many health conscious, on-the-go users seeking an efficient and cost effective way to consume cannabis. Your vape device choices are unlimited; there is everything from sleek, easy-to-hide pens to tabletop setups such as the Volcano or Silver Surfer. A vaporizer heats up the flower but does not burn the flower like smoking a bowl or joint; this heating activates the THC and transmits it to the user. Therefore, when you vape, you are getting the THC in the most efficient way and without chemicals of rolling paper or the butane from a lighter. Vaping also cuts down on the scent, so it is more discreet. That doesn’t mean someone next to you may not notice a scent, but it is not overwhelming as if you just smoked a big fat blunt. You can smoke a vape pen in places where other methods would get noticed.
These many wonderful methods will enhance your cannabis experience, so experiment and see which methods work best for you.