Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on December 30, 2022

Many weed connoisseurs would agree that bowls are excellent smoking devices. They’re not only stylish but they also provide a pretty good smoking experience, plus you don’t even need to worry about running out of rolling paper.

Weed pipes come in all sorts of shapes, colors, and designs, and many tokers enjoy this personalization – it’s like an extension of you. If you’re new to smoking weed from a bowl, you’ve come to the right place, because in this article we’ll talk about what makes weed pipes so awesome, how to pack one, and how to smoke.

Why Smoking Cannabis from a Bowl Makes for a Great Smoking Experience

Smoking cannabis nugs with a pipe is an experience in itself because the feeling is just different from smoking joints or blunts. Sure, the latter techniques are classic smoking methods, but there’s something fancy about loading your weed pipe with some nice flower and smoking it.

But, there are other benefits that make many marijuana smokers choose to toke with a weed pipe. For example, there is far less ash compared to joints and blunts, which means less mess to clean up. Weed pipes are easily cleaned because all the mess is contained in the bowl.

Another reason is that you get more smoke with a pipe, and the bonus is that it’s more flavorful. While there’s still combustion of the plant material, the vehicle itself is different and holds the smoke differently.

What Type of Marijuana Pipe Is the Best for Me?

The majority of marijuana pipes are made out of glass, but there are also ones made out of metal (titanium or steel), and sometimes even ceramic or silicone.

Most weed pipes are also called spoon pipes or bowls because of their spoon-like shape. They have wider bowls where you put the weed and a tube that connects to the mouthpiece. These types of weed pipes often have a carb hole, which is a small hole near the bowl used to control the airflow. Spoon pipes are great for sharing or if you’re a heavy weed smoker.

Unlike spoon pipes, one-hitters (or chillums) are a type of weed pipe that doesn’t have carb holes because their shape is more slender, and the bowl is smaller and as narrow as the mouthpiece. One-hitters hold just enough weed for one hit, hence the name. One-hitters are ideal for portion control or topping up throughout the day.

Finally, there is another type of pipe, and that is the water pipe, or in other words, the bubbler. Bubblers are portable hand pipes that work on the same principle as bongs – with water. They are like a hybrid of a spoon pipe and a bong. You get the portability of a hand pipe coupled with the smoothness of a bong. Bubblers are great if you want filtered smoke, though they can be slightly less portable than spoon pipes.

Pro-Tip: Use a Hemp Wick for a Smooth Smoking Session

If you want to take your smoking session up a notch, you should use a hemp wick to light your weed. Hemp wicks are the future of smoking weed because they make a big difference in the flavor. They burn at a lower temperature than butane lighters, which means less of the CBD and THC will be combusted, resulting in a more powerful and flavorful smoke. Hemp wicks can be found in any dispensary or head shop, often with a butane lighter holder for ease of use. To learn more about hemp wicks, check out our article on the subject. 

Can I Smoke Weed Out of a Tobacco Pipe?

Pipe smoking is an art form in itself, but whether you can use a tobacco pipe for smoking weed is a somewhat complex question. Technically, yes, of course – you can use a tobacco pipe for weed, but it also means sacrificing the quality of the smoking experience and sacrificing the nugs, and no weed lover wants that.

Tobacco pipes have larger bowls so, in order to smoke the weed properly, you’ll have to fill it up with probably more nugs than you actually need, which means a lot of weed will burn off in the air. You’ll also have less control of the smoke because, unlike most weed pipes, tobacco pipes don’t have a carb hole. 

Finally, wood is very porous and the pipe can get quickly ruined by the resin leftovers. Pipe cleaners can do little for the sticky resin that can build up quickly and ruin not only the taste but it’ll also make the pipe unusable for tobacco.

How to Smoke From a Cannabis Pipe 

Smoking from a cannabis pipe is not a complicated process, but it’s definitely different from smoking a blunt or a joint. So, if you’re smoking a weed pipe for the first time, here’s a step-by-step mini-guide to help you:

  1. Use a grinder to grind the nugs as this will allow the smoke to burn evenly and release the cannabinoids. Don’t grind them too fine, though, or else you’ll be smoking dust. If you don’t own a grinder, you can also use your hands or other items you have at home (but make sure the weed is ground as evenly as possible).
  2. To prevent small pieces of weed from flying into your mouth, it’s best to use a screen and place it at the bottom of the bowl. Now, pack the weed into the bowl. The trick here is to pack it more loosely at the bottom so that the airflow is not hampered, and pack it more densely at the top so the cherry can keep burning.
  3. Place your finger on the carb hole and pull on the mouthpiece as you’re lighting the weed. As you release the carb hole, the smoke will rush into your mouth and you’ll be able to fully inhale it. Some tokers like to draw the smoke into their mouth before they inhale it, claiming that it’s more flavorful that way, but you can try both ways and see which one you like better. Finally, never exhale with the pipe still in your mouth as you may blow the burning weed out of the bowl.
  4. If you’re a beginner, don’t overpack your bowl and smoke only as much as you can comfortably tolerate. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting precious cannabis flowers. 

How to Clean a Weed Pipe

In order to preserve both the weed pipe and the taste you get from it, it’s best to clean it as regularly as you can. Yeah, cleaning your hand pipe is a boring activity, but the more often you do it, the less resin buildup there will be to clean, making your job much easier. Plus, you’ll always get “clean” and flavorful hits.

For starters, you can use a pipe cleaner to loosen up the resin, and the next best thing is to soak your pipe in isopropyl alcohol with a teaspoon of salt. Just put everything in a Ziploc bag and let it sit for about 15 minutes or longer if it’s very dirty. After the time is up, swish it around a little so that the solution can loosen up the dirt, and finally give it a good rinse. Be careful with glass pipes, though, since they’re breakable.

Bottom Line – Weed Pipes Are Easy and Stylish to Use

Marijuana pipes are a great device to have in your weed arsenal. Even if a pipe isn’t your primary method of consumption, you’ll surely be glad you have one if you ever run out of rolling papers. Plus, they’re easy to clean and provide a very nice flavor with less mess than joints. You can elevate your smoking experience even more by using a hemp wick, but using a tobacco pipe to smoke weed may not be ideal.

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.