Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on December 24, 2022

Smoking cannabis is a preferred method of consuming weed for many weed connoisseurs. It’s a classic method, whether due to the social element of sharing a bong or a joint, or because with smoking you can really feel all the different aromas and taste the unique flavors of your favorite strains. 

But, that’s not all – you can toke your favorite strain in so many different ways using a variety of devices. Each smoking device offers a unique smoking experience that caters to a variety of preferences, needs, and lifestyles. They have their perks and drawbacks, but each of them has found its own faithful consumers. Some are considered to be more suitable for experienced users, while some are okay for both experienced and novices.

In this article, we’ll cover all the various ways you can smoke cannabis, and we’ll address a commonly asked question – whether you can use a tobacco pipe to smoke weed.

The Many Ways of Smoking Weed

Smoking may be the most versatile way to consume cannabis – from dry flowers, concentrates, and waxes, to oils – you just have to take your pick. Let’s review all the different ways of smoking weed and devices you can use.

Lighting a Joint

Smoking a joint may be the most familiar and universal way of consuming weed. It hits you fast, it’s easy to acquire, and it’s genuinely enjoyable, especially if you’re smoking some good weed. You just need some rolling papers, a grinder, and a lighter, and you’re good to go. 

Smoking a joint is equally suitable for weed enthusiasts with some mileage behind them, but also for first-time users. You can smoke all sorts of cannabis this way – from hemp CBD flower for some medical properties and relaxation to a THC-dominant strain for recreational enjoyment, a good joint is everyone’s good friend.

Related: The best weed grinders

Enjoying a Bong

Bongs are much-loved devices that offer a very smooth smoke and a very smooth high. The water filters and cools the smoke and allows for better inhalation of the cannabinoids. Bongs can be made from different materials, like glass, plastic, metal, ceramic, or bamboo, and they come in all sorts of different styles. They may be more suited for seasoned users due to the high potency of smoke they produce which can be a little overwhelming for beginners.

For more information, have a look at our comparison of the best bong brands.

Filling Up a Vaporizer

Vaping is often considered as one of the healthier ways of smoking weed because vaporizers don’t combust the flower, but they heat it to a certain temperature – just enough for the cannabinoids to get released. Some people use desktop vaporizers, but portable dry herb vaporizers are even more common due to their convenience.

Vape pens are similar devices to dry herb vaporizers, but they use weed oils and concentrates instead of plant materials.

Using a Bubbler Water Pipe

Bubblers are unique handheld water pipes that have the combined benefits of both bongs and hand pipes. Like a bong, a bubbler also uses water-filtration, but it’s much smaller. It consists of a bowl and a mouthpiece, like a pipe, and a chamber where you put the water, like a bong. Bubblers are portable and discreet, and they offer an enhanced smoking experience due to the filtration of the smoke. For this reason, bubblers may be suitable for newbies who aren’t used to bongs.

Slowing it Down With a Hookah

Hookahs are very cool, though they’re not ideal for smoking cannabis. They are traditionally used for smoking tobacco, also called shisha, which refers to flavored tobacco. For this reason, it’s generally recommended to mix the weed with shisha when using a hookah. This will make the smoke tinted with flavor, and also the effects of THC will be a little milder, which may appeal to some users, and would be pointless to others. 

A hookah is an interesting device to use for smoking weed, but since marijuana tends to leave a sticky resin, it’s best to use it once in a while as it will be very hard to clean.

Getting Fancy With a Cannabis Pipe

Cannabis pipes were adapted from the traditional wooden pipes used for smoking tobacco, and for a good reason. A weed pipe is small, portable, and discreet, and it gets the job done very well. Though they may sound old-fashioned, modern cannabis pipes can be found in every dispensary and are used very often by weed enthusiasts who prefer a pipe smoking experience.

Glass pipes are the most commonly used pipes because glass doesn’t interfere with the weed’s flavor, but wooden, ceramic, and metal pipes are also common. Some users make DIY hand pipes from aluminum foil for one-time use, but this is not recommended for frequent use as it may be unsafe.

Taking a Hit With a One-Hitter

One hitters are great devices for those who only need one hit at a time to get them going. A one-hitter, sometimes called a chillum, holds about 25 milligrams of weed – just enough for a single inhalation. They are similar to pipes, but they’re much smaller and their bowl is narrow instead of round to hold a small piece of flower tightly packed.

Many pipe smokers opt for one-hitters due to their discretion – the most well-known model is white one-hitters with an orange mouthpiece. These are designed to look like cigarettes.

Can You Smoke Weed With a Tobacco Pipe?

A commonly asked question regarding smoking cannabis is whether tobacco pipes can be used to smoke weed. Truth is, you can use a traditional tobacco pipe to smoke weed, although there are some drawbacks to it and some key differences between tobacco pipes and weed pipes.

For starters, the bowl of a tobacco pipe is much larger, meaning that it packs more weed than a cannabis pipe. To use it properly, you’ll need to pack it generously. This may be a plus for users who want to smoke larger quantities, but for those who need just a few hits, it may prove to be too much. Plus, the larger size of the tobacco pipe would also mean smoke loss, as weed will burn constantly, and if you don’t intend to smoke it all at one sitting, you’ll lose precious buds.

Another difference between the two is that weed pipes have a carb hole on the side to regulate the airflow and control the smoke. When you first light up the pipe, you cover the hole with your thumb while drawing smoke. Then, when you release it, the air will push the smoke directly into your lungs. Tobacco pipes don’t have a carb hole, so you’ll have less control over the smoke.

Moreover, marijuana leaves a lot of sticky resin after smoking, so if you want to reuse your tobacco pipe for tobacco later, it might ruin your experience. Pipe cleaners rarely help with sticky resin as wood is porous and it will absorb a lot of flavor and aroma from the buds. If it works for you, you can repurpose a tobacco pipe for smoking marijuana, but if you want to use it for both, the smoke may become quite unpleasant after some time.

Bottom Line – When In Need, Tobacco Pipe Will Do Just Fine

Overall, even though a tobacco pipe wasn’t tailored for smoking cannabis, it would still work if you have it lying around and don’t actually use it for tobacco. Of course, weed pipes were specifically designed for cannabis use, so keeping in mind all the previous points about the differences between these two types of pipes, if it doesn’t make much difference to you, then puff away.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.