How to pack a bowl
Copy article link to clipboard.
Link copied to clipboard.
- What is a bowl?
- What you need to pack a bowl
- Step-by-step instructions for packing a bowl
- Why people like smoking from glass bowls
- Why people hate smoking from glass bowls
- Bottom line
Smoking a bowl is a classic method for smoking marijuana. Bowls are mainstays in cannabis culture. Here’s everything you need to know about packing and smoking a bowl.
What is a bowl?
A bowl is one of the main components of a pipe or bong. Specifically, a bowl is the rounded-out part into which you pack your marijuana. The name of this component comes from an obvious source—a bowl is basically a small dish or basin designed for holding cannabis.
When you ignite the marijuana and give your pipe or bong a drag, the smoke travels through the bowl, down the hole, into the pipe, and from there, into your lungs. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The bowl is attached to the body of your pipe or bong. At the bottom of your bowl, there will be a hole leading to the body of the pipe. When you ignite the marijuana and give your pipe or bong a drag, the smoke travels through the bowl, down the hole, into the pipe, and from there, into your lungs.
Bowls look and function a little bit differently depending on if they’re used in a regular pipe or in a bong. Bowls on the end of a pipe typically have a hole on the side called a carb. The carb plays a key role in controlling airflow, so you can let the pipe fill with smoke and then clear it when you’re ready to take a hit. On the other hand, bowls used with a bong usually do not have a carb. Instead, you control airflow by sliding the bowl in and out of your bong’s downstem.
What you need to pack a bowl
To pack and smoke a bowl, you will need:
- A grinder
- A pipe with a bowl on the end. The simplest kind is called a “spoon pipe,” but there are also variations, such as bubblers which include a small water chamber in addition to the bowl and body.
- Depending on your smoking preferences, you may need a bong with a downstem and bowl.
- A lighter or hemp wick to combust your marijuana
- As an extra option, you can use a tamping tool to more evenly pack the marijuana into the bowl.
Step-by-step instructions for packing a bowl
Option 1: Packing a bowl on a regular pipe
1. Grind your weed. If you’re using a spoon pipe, or some variation of a spoon pipe, you will begin by grinding your marijuana. The goal is to get a consistent grind so that all the little pieces of marijuana are more or less the same size.
The best way to accomplish this is with a grinder. If you have a grinder, place a medium-sized nug into the chamber where the grinding teeth are located. Put the cap back on and twist it back and forth until the nug is completely ground. If you do not have a grinder, you can use a pair of clean, sharp scissors or your hands to break your nug into small, evenly-sized pieces.
Place a medium-sized nug into the chamber where the grinding teeth are located. Put the cap back on and twist it back and forth until the nug is completely ground. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
2. Pack your bowl. Once you’ve ground your marijuana, carefully pick up a pinch of weed between your fingertips. Place the weed into the bowl and gently tamp it down with your finger, the flat end of a lighter, or a tamping tool. Don’t pack it too tightly, otherwise you’ll have difficulty pulling the smoke through the bowl and into the pipe.
Tip: Place your pipe over a plate or tray while you’re packing it so you can easily gather up any pieces of weed that happen to fall out of the bowl during the process.
Once you’ve ground your marijuana, carefully pick up a pinch of weed between your fingertips and pack the weed into the bowl. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
3. Smoke your pipe. Hold the bowl in one hand with your thumb covering the carb hole. Place the pipe to your lips. With your other hand, use a lighter or hemp wick to light a corner of the bowl. Once the weed sparks, pull the flame away and begin dragging in with your lungs. When you’re ready to inhale, remove your thumb from the carb and give a big drag. All the smoke that has built up inside the pipe will now rush into your lungs.
Hold the bowl in one hand with your thumb covering the carb hole. Place the pipe to your lips. With your other hand, light a corner of the bowl. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
4. Ash your bowl. When the marijuana has all been burned, dump out the ash so your bowl is ready to be re-packed for your next session.
Option 2: Packing a bowl in a bong
1. Grind your weed. As with a regular spoon pipe, the goal here is to get a consistent grind so that all the little pieces of marijuana are more or less the same size.
The best way to accomplish this is with a grinder. If you have a grinder, place a medium-sized nug into the chamber where the grinding teeth are located. Put the cap on and twist it back and forth until the nug is completely ground. If you do not have a grinder, you can use a pair of clean, sharp scissors or your hands to break your nug into small, evenly-sized pieces.
2. Pack your bowl. Once you’ve ground your marijuana, carefully pick up a pinch of weed between your fingertips. Place the weed into the bowl and gently tamp it down with your finger, the flat end of a lighter, or a tamping tool. Don’t pack it down too tightly, otherwise you’ll have difficulty pulling the smoke through the bowl and into the bong.
Tip: Set your bong on top of a plate or tray while you’re packing the bowl so you can easily gather up any pieces of weed that happen to fall out of the bowl during the process.
3. Smoke your bong. Slide your weed-packed bowl into the downstem of your bong. When it’s in place, use a lighter or hemp wick to ignite the weed. As you do this, put your mouth to the mouthpiece and start pulling in with your lungs. You will see the smoke travel from the bowl, flow through the downstem, and begin bubbling up through the water in the base of your bong. When you’re ready to take a hit, continue pulling in with your lungs and slide the bowl out of the downstem. This will create an open flow of air, allowing you to clear the chamber and inhale all the smoke.
Slide your weed-packed bowl into the downstem of your bong. When it’s in place, use a lighter or hemp wick to ignite the weed. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
4. Ash your bowl. When you’re finished and you’ve fully combusted all the marijuana in your bowl, dump out the ash so your bowl is ready to re-pack for your next session.
Why people like smoking from glass bowls
If you’re packing and smoking a bowl, odds are that you’re using a glass smoking device. Glass is known for providing a simple, straightforward, and clean way to smoke cannabis. Specifically, because glass is an inert substance, it can be heated without leaching residual odors, flavors, or contaminants into the smoke. As such, many smokers enjoy glass pieces because they can be used over and over again without detracting from marijuana’s natural tastes and smells. Additionally, when a glass bowl or pipe becomes dirty or gunked up with sticky resin, the material can easily be cleaned and returned to like-new condition.
Why people hate smoking from glass bowls
There are a few reasons some cannabis smokers don’t like smoking from glass. Glass can shatter, chip, and break, especially if you drop your piece or ash in too aggressively.
In rare cases, poorly-made glass can shatter under intense heat, which could be dangerous.
Glass pieces are not as mobile or discreet as other methods of smoking. Even small glass pipes like chillums get dirty and smelly after a few uses, thanks to the sticky resin that coats the bowl or pipe after smoking. This makes glass hard to carry with you or use for on-the-go smoking.
Some smokers simply prefer the experience of rolling and smoking a joint, spliff, or blunt, as opposed to packing and smoking a bowl.
With a few basic cannabis supplies, such as a grinder, packing and smoking a bowl is easy to achieve, especially if you’re using one made of glass.
How to pack a bowl Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is a bowl? What you need to pack a bowl Step-by-step instructions for packing a
How To Smoke Weed From A Pipe + Tips On Packing & Cleaning It To Maximize Your Experience!
Pipe smoking your weed has been a tried, true and trusty staple among things to smoke weed out of since some ancient genius first packed a bowl and sparked it up countless centuries ago. Pot pipes, based on traditional tobacco pipes, are fairly easy to use: you have a weed bowl to pack marijuana leaf into and an airtight tube connecting the bowl to the mouthpiece. Some weed pipes also have a second hole, called a carb or a choke, that you cover with your finger or thumb when toking that changes the airflow through the mouthpiece, allowing the bowl to be cleared of smoke without taking another hit.
How to smoke weed out of a pipe is a skill that every cannabis connoisseur must master eventually. Odds are that won’t be on their first time they smoke cannabis, but be patient, fellow herb toker – your time will come! Sure, there are plenty of other things to smoke weed out of – vaporizers, bongs, and joints or blunts, but nothing beats the basic, simple, easy-to-use weed pipe – and some say the best way to smoke cannabis is with a pipe.
(Weed pipes, aka spoon pipes, and some cannabis nugs, image from Kiffera Esthetikon Instagram)
The basic concept for a cannabis pipe is what is known as a ‘spoon pipe’, that is your basic weed bowl with a stem attached – kinda like a supper spoon that you eat food with. Most marijuana pipes are made from glass – which lends itself to all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors – but there are also weed pipes made from metal, wood and even stone; aluminum is not considered to be good material for a pot tobacco pipe because fumes from heated aluminum can be harmful to your lungs! Can you smoke weed from a tobacco pipe? Essentially, yes, because it’s pretty much the exact same thing, except for those pipes with a carb or choke; but burning leaf is burning leaf, cannabis or tobacco, insofar as the mechanics of a pipe go. One other difference between weed smoking and smoking tobacco is that ceramic weed pipes also tend to have glass pipe screens, which can and should be used in any weed pipe, metal, glass or wood. Screens prevent weed leaf and ash from getting pulled into your mouth when you draw in the smoke.
Whether it’s your first time or millionth, a clean and classic spoon pipe like the Upline from Grav Labs is a must-have. It’s easy to use and fits into any glass collection.
Get a move on and go check out @gravlabs’ insta for more photos like this!
Kick your spoon pipe vibes up a notch (or several notches) with this Avocado spoon pipe from Empire Glassworks. Are you hungry? We’re getting hungry, and we promise it’s not the munchies!
For more drool-worthy photos like this, get yourself over to the insta of @empireglassworks
(A very elaborate metal pot pipe, image from Lizard’s Jewelry on Instagram)
How to Smoke Out of a Pipe and Inhale Weed Properly:
While neither pot pipes or weed pipe smoking are remotely rocket science, there is a better way of smoking a pipe packed with ganja goodness.
1) First of all, you’re gonna need a supply of weed – maybe a stimulating Lemon Haze sativa-dominant weed strain, or some well-balanced Blue Dream hybrid cannabis , or a relaxing Granddaddy Purple indica just before bedtime.
2) And you’re gonna need a glass pipe or wood weed pipe or a non-aluminum metal spoon pipe; you’ll also need a little round pipe screen and some form of combustion. We two, personally, get our glass pipe screens off eBay for under $10 USD for a batch of 100; they usually range in size from 0.5” to 1”, you want one that fits snugly in the diameter of your spoon bowl.
(Handful of glass pipe screens, image from My 100 Percent Crazy Life on Instagram)
3) Insofar as igniting your cannabis for consumption, some folks are happy with a plain ol’ butane lighter or match, but some prefer lighting a hemp wick, a waxy piece of hemp string that ignites easily, burns evenly, and doesn’t give off an icky chemical aftertaste. The lit hemp wick is then touched to your bowl of herb.
4) Make sure you always use grinder weed versus hand-shredded because that way you get an even, solid burn of your bowl weed, and that way you evenly heat the cannabinoid-filled leaf and trichomes, getting the maximum effect from whatever pot strain you are puffing! Grinders are pretty easy to get from a headshop, dispensary or online and run as low as $10 USD. Grinders are chambered with multiple levels of screening, they turn either by a twisting motion or small crank, and there is usually a catch chamber at the bottom that will, over time, fill with kief that you can sprinkle on your weed bowl or smoosh into balls to make hash – how to smoke hash is a whole other blog post.
Sure, you can buy a cheap grinder. and then another one, and another one. or you can invest in a quality grinder and do yourself and your weed the justice you both deserve! Personally we’re big fans of this 4 piece grinder from Santa Cruz Shredder.
@santacruzshredder has got their rights reserved on this and the rest of their insta content
5) Now that you have a weed pipe of some kind, and a glass pipe screen in place, some ground-up herb, and some way to light up, it is time to move on to how to pack a bowl for optimum hitting, or toking down. Three things that you want to make sure you do when packing pipe weed is to first make sure it is well-ground, then make sure your weed pipe screen is in place so you don’t get particulates or ‘scooby snacks’ (bits of leaf and ash) in your mouth when you draw, and lastly pack your herb tobacco very lightly in the bottom of the weed bowl but more densely at the top for a more even smoke because this allows the pot to continue to burn while opening the pipe airflow for easy smoking down without clogging or blocking up.
6) Knowing how to inhale weed properly is not difficult; start by drawing the smoke into your mouth before you inhale it into your lungs, then with pot smoke still in your mouth you take a deep breath of fresh air , forcing smoke down into your lungs with regular oxygen-rich air – this then results in a smooth, tasty hit with less coughing and irritation because the harsher herbal smoke has been mixed with fresh air. Some people hold their hits in, but there is little evidence that holding your breath after hitting makes you higher, most cannabinoids like THC are instantly absorbed by your lungs in just a few seconds. Exhaling is, of course, the last step in smoking out of a weed pipe, and, exhaling properly. Never exhale with your mouth still on your pipe, because that will push air the wrong way and blow the pot leaf out of your weed bowl.
If you struggle the first time you smoke, fret not. Smoking is an art. You just have to keep practicing, and the next thing you know it’ll be second nature!
Okay, we admit it – we cannot get enough of these food-themed hand pipes from Empire Glassworks! Are we the only ones getting hungry just looking at these sushi-themed hand pipes?
@empireglassworks rollin’ up some tasty looking sushi pipes on their ig!
(Gravity bong with a packed weed bowl, image from Smoke You Out on Instagram)
That is the that of knowing how to pack a bowl, smoking a pipe, how to inhale weed properly and also when and how to exhale. Once you master the basics of pipe smoking, you will then want to discover how to smoke weed without a pipe – there are a number of creative ways to smoke weed:
- Some people have made pipes out of apples by coring a hole through them and putting weed inside one end as a crude sort of weed pipe.
- People have turned pens into pipes, by removing the ink cartridge and stuffing grass in one end and drawing through the other.
- There are gravity bongs – which work by submerging a small bottle with a weed bowl of cannabis atop in a larger bottle or bucket filled with water. You light your pot and slowly draw the bottle up out of the water as it fills with smoke from the burning leaf and just unscrew the lid, put your mouth over the bottle’s opening, and push the bottle down as gravity propels the marijuana into your lungs.
- Gas masks are yet another of the creative ways to smoke weed, using a military gas mask, with a weed bowl affixed and basically let the smoke fill the mask as you breathe normally, like hot boxing by smoking weed in an enclosed room.
- And there are of course glass bongs, blunts, vaporizers ranging in size from tabletop down to pen-sized models, hookahs and more!
How to Clean a Pipe:
Keeping your weed pipe clean is important because it will hit much better if it is clean and not cloggy. Marijuana resin builds up over time with pipe smoking weed, so you have to do a little maintenance of your weed bowl. There are some great products out there that you can buy and clean your pipe in one easy go. This is one we think works great:
The gunk in your pipe basically is the villain of the smoke show, preventing what would otherwise be a great session from reaching its full potential. Now that gunk has met its kryptonite with this Kryptonite Cleaner!
Every now and then a good stock photo is just what you need!
If you’re more of a DIY pipe cleaner person, you’ve got options, too! One of the best, easiest and most basic ways to clean your metal or ceramic weed pipe to maximize your experience is to:
1) Fill a plastic bag with 1 tsp of salt and some 91% isopropyl alcohol.
2) Submerge your pot pipe in the salt and alcohol and let it sit to soak, then shake the baggie, swishing the solution around.
3) Afterwards you can a washcloth, rags or paper towels to wipe the oily resin off, and a nail to scrape the sides of your weed bowl and the pipe stem. It’s important to remove all the resin, because it has mixed with alcohol and would be toxic to smoke.
4) You should then use a little dish soap to wash away all resin and the alcohol completely. Some cannabis consumers like to boil their marijuana pipes in water and then clean them with alcohol and rags. Other tokers use nail polish remover, but you have to be sure to remove all traces of potentially hazardous cleaning chemicals by soaking chemically-treated pot pipes in dish soap and rinsing thoroughly.
(Glass weed pipes and pipe cleaning accessories, image from Krazy Hippie on Instagram)
Here is a thorough but brief vid showing you how to clean your glass weed pipe with acetone, very similar to the rubbing alcohol method described above:
Now you may consider yourself schooled in how to smoke weed from a pipe, how to pack a bowl, how to smoke weed without a pipe and how to clean your pot pipe to maximize your pipe weed experience. The best way to smoke weed is really whatever work best for you, but we have given you the basics to get you off to a solid start whether it’s your first time or you just want to make sure you’re still doing it right.
Smoking a pipe of bowl weed involves grinding up your herb for even burning, packing the ganja leaf somewhat loosely, sparking it with a lighter or some lit hemp wick, then toking by breathing some air in after you fill your mouth with smoke so that the air and smoke mix together – or vapor and air if you use a dab rig or gravity bong – hold the smoke in your lungs only for a second or two and then exhale – but not with your mouth still on the pipe! The best tobacco pipes also make decent cannabis pipes, but the standard for most pipe weed smokers is the carbed, or choked, ceramic weed pipe. Can you smoke weed out of a tobacco pipe? Yes, absolutely. Can you smoke weed out of a hookah? Also, yes. There are a number of creative ways to smoke weed, from bongs to blunts to hollowed out fruits. So, you can call up your friend or significant other and tell them, ‘I packed this pipe for two’, and impress them with how well you know how to pack a pipe, how to inhale weed properly, and how to keep your spoon pipe clean with some 91% alcohol, a rag and some ‘elbow grease’! And now, all you beautiful, toked-up people, may you go forth with this new knowledge of how to smoke weed from a pipe!
Researched and written by David and Leah Kaye Weathers.
Pipe smoking your weed has been a tried, true and trusty staple among things to smoke weed out of since some ancient genius first packed a bowl and sparked it up countless centuries ago. Pot pipes, based on traditional tobacco pipes, are fairly easy to use: you have a weed bowl to pack marijuana leaf into and an airtig