Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 13, 2023

The variety of ways of consuming marijuana nowadays is dizzying, but what happens when you have to find another way other than your preferred one? Whether you’re a recreational or a medical marijuana user, sometimes you find yourself without your favorite smoking device and need to find other alternatives. Other times you just want to experiment or try something new. 

Whatever the reason, in this article we list many alternatives to pipe smoking as well as some rolling paper replacements for the times when you’re out of rolling paper but really want to light a joint. 

Ways You Can Smoke Weed Without a Pipe

There are many interesting alternatives to a pipe, so if you’re feeling adventurous enough to switch it up a little, you’ll surely find something that can cater to your cannabis needs.


Due to their convenience, vaporizers and vape pens are becoming very popular among cannabis consumers. You can vape dry herb or various types of concentrates and distillates. They are portable and discreet and make dosing much easier.

On top of that, vaping is often considered as a healthier alternative to smoking as vaporizing doesn’t combust the plant material which results in fewer toxins being released. This makes the vapor much lighter on your throat and lungs compared to cannabis smoke.

Vaporizers heat the cannabis at temperatures between 285–400°F which is the optimal range to preserve THC and CBD, as well as the rest of the cannabinoids and terpenes for the best experience.


One-hitters are great little devices that can be put under the pipe category because they function in a similar way, but look way different. The bowl is as narrow as the mouthpiece, and the device basically looks like a small slender pipe. Most of them are glass pipes, and there are some that are made to look exactly like cigarettes, with an orange mouthpiece, so you can easily picture them.

A one-hitter is exactly what it sounds like – a device that holds exactly one hit of marijuana smoke. You pack the bowl end of the pipe, you light it, you inhale, and you’re done. People like it because it’s good for microdosing and it’s discreet.


Bubblers are small devices that have a filtration chamber like a bong, but they’re small enough to be held like a pipe. Basically, they’re like portable bongs. These devices are much loved by weed users because they’re powerful and able to get you blazed, and at the same time, you can put them in your purse. 


Bongs are already established smoking devices used by many weed enthusiasts. Bongs can get you high in a flash as the smoke is concentrated and abundant. It’s also a little smoother as the water helps to filter out some of the impurities in the smoke (and makes for a pleasant experience).

There are all kinds of bongs – straight tube, percolator bongs, carburetor bongs, and many more. They can be made out of a variety of materials, but glass bongs are most commonly used. However, due to their potency, bongs are better suited for seasoned weed users. If you want to know more, check out our list of the best bong brands.

Dab Rig

Dabbing is not for the faint of heart as it can get you soaring high, for real. But, many experienced connoisseurs use them because the weed concentrates (shatter, wax, budder) you need for dabbing, also known as dabs, are high-quality, pure extracts.

Dab rigs function on the basis of vaporization to process the concentrates, which is why you use a blowtorch instead of a lighter. The smoke is also lighter and it’s easy to get carried away, but the high is definitely not light. Despite the potency, dabbing is probably one of the healthiest ways to smoke marijuana.

DIY Smoking Devices

When all else fails, it’s time to get creative. When all you have left are household items, maybe you should try to make a DIY smoking device with them. Let’s see how you can exercise your creativity to make a unique object you won’t find at any dispensary.

Apple Pipe

Apple pipes may be the most old-school DIY smoking devices out there. There probably isn’t a single person who hasn’t heard of smoking weed out of an apple. It’s easy and it imparts a citrusy flavor on the weed, which is convenient when you have schwag weed. And indeed, an apple is a grocery staple in most homes, so if you ever find yourself in a pickle, it’s time to get an apple.

To make an apple pipe, all you need is an apple, a pen tube, and aluminum foil. First, take out the stem and use the pen tube to make a tunnel that goes to the middle of the apple. Next, with the same pen tube make another tunnel to the side of the apple that will connect to the first hole towards the middle, for an even airflow.

Then, take a small piece of aluminum foil and line the top of the apple where the stem was. This will be the “bowl” where you put the weed. Poke some holes in the foil before you put the weed so the smoke can easily go into the apple. Put weed over the aluminum foil, light it, and inhale through the side hole. You can also make a third tunnel to the other side of the apple to use as a carb, but it’s not necessary for it to work effectively.

Gravity Bong

Gravity bongs may be a DIY, but they’re really powerful. They’re one of the more popular weed smoking devices to make at home, especially when you have some friends over and need something that can hold large quantities of smoke.

To make a gravity bong, you need two containers (a larger one and a smaller one), aluminum foil, and a sharp knife. For the containers, you can use water bottles in different sizes – a 2-liter bottle for the larger one and a 20 oz for the smaller one.

  1. Cut the bottom of the smaller plastic bottle;
  2. Cut the top of the larger bottle;
  3. Fill the larger bottle with water and submerge the smaller bottle in it;
  4. Make a small and thick weed bowl out of the aluminum foil and mold it onto the opening of the smaller bottle, then use a needle to poke small holes in the foil for the smoke;
  5. Put weed on the aluminum foil and light it;
  6. While lighting the weed, the top half of the bottle will start to fill up with smoke, and as it does, start lifting the bottle up, but not out of the water;
  7. When it’s full of smoke, remove the aluminum bowl and immediately place your mouth over the bottle opening, and start inhaling;
  8. As you’re inhaling, start pushing the smaller bottle back into the water again – this will force the smoke into your lungs, so make sure you inhale well.

Hot Knives

You may not know this, but back in the old days, hot knives were commonly used for smoking hashish and fine pieces of weed. As one of the oldest methods for smoking concentrates, the hot knives method is quite effective. Although it may look both cool and outrageous at the same time, it makes for a unique smoking experience.

What you’ll need is two knives and a direct source of heat, like your stove. Set it on medium heat and when it’s hot enough, place the knives on the burner. When you notice the knives have gotten very hot, place a small amount of cannabis or concentrate of your choice on one knife and sandwich it with the other.

The marijuana smoke will start to come out almost instantly, so you’ll need to be quick and position yourself over the smoke trail in order to inhale it.

Since you’ll be dealing with heat, you need to be very careful about protecting yourself. Use a potholder for the knives, if needed, to protect your hands from the heat.

Rolling Paper Replacements

Joints, spliffs, and blunts are obvious alternatives to smoking a pipe as they’re by far the most common methods of cannabis consumption. But when you find yourself without some rolling papers, you might want to try some alternatives to roll up your weed. So take your nugs out of that plastic bag and prepare your top weed grinder, and let’s see how else you can light it up.

Corn Husks

Using corn husks for smoking weed may sound gimmicky and outlandish, but they actually may be the best alternative to rolling papers. In fact, corn husks are used in Jamaica and California as a replacement for smoking papers quite regularly. Corn husks are also healthy and are, in fact, well-liked by health-conscious consumers.

To use them, you need to dry them up first, cut up a nice squared piece, and then you’re ready to go. Their fibrous texture is perfect for rolling joints as it will hold the weed nice and tight, plus they burn slowly just like rolling paper. 

Gum Wrappers

If you really have nothing else on hand, but you do have some gum in your pocket, the gum wrappers may just prove to be your allies. Most brands wrap the gum pieces with two layers – an outer foil and an inner thin paper that are closely attached together.

The inner wrapper resembles a rolling paper a lot, so you can use it for smoking. Gently separate the two layers while being careful not to rip the inner wrapper apart (and remove any residual small pieces of foil). When the operation has been successfully completed, roll your joint as usual.

Rose Petals

Prepare for the classiest way of smoking weed you’ll ever know. Rose petals are rarely talked about, and yet people do use them as an effective alternative to smoking papers. It makes sense to use them because they are edible, which also makes them smokeable. Plus, rose joints are too cool to pass.

First of all, you need to dry the rose petals a bit to get rid of the extra moisture so they can burn. Set your oven to broil and put the petals in a pan – you’ll need three petals per blunt, but you can use more if needed. When the oven is hot enough, put them inside for about 10 seconds. You need to be careful not to burn them as this will make them unusable.

After 10 seconds, take them out and wait for them to cool a bit, then lick their edges so as to seal them together. Roll your blunt as you usually would, and when you’re done, put it back in the oven for another 10 seconds. Before you light your rose blunt, leave it to cool for about 2-3 minutes to avoid burning yourself.

One note of caution, though, is to always rinse the petals well. Organic roses are the best choice, as the roses the florists sell may be sprayed with chemicals (and you don’t want to inhale that).

Empty Cigarette

Most seasoned dry herb smokers would frown upon using empty cigarettes for smoking marijuana, but when you have nothing else on hand, and your friend has a pack of cigarettes, why not use them?

It’s very simple – gently roll the cigarette between your fingertips with the top down so the tobacco can fall out. When it’s empty, fill it up again with the weed of your choice. Don’t forget to remove the filter – you can do this by using a needle or tweezers. When all is set, light it up and toke away.

The Takeaway – No Piece? No Paper? No Problem

Whether you need a substitute for a pipe or rolling papers, when it comes to weed, there are plenty of creative devices and items you can use to get high. Thankfully, these days weed can be consumed in so many different ways, all it takes is for one to be creative (and careful)!

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.