How to Use a Pipe
Joints are a fantastic way to light up your favorite strain. Even so, there are days when you feel sluggish, and the thought of rolling can be somewhat of a downer. Furthermore, while bongs are a great alternative, they aren’t portable. So, what’s the next best thing? A pipe! Pipes are easy to use. But to fully enjoy them, you’ll need an understanding of, among other things, their anatomy.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of pipes, the different types and designs available, and most importantly, how to use them.
Cannabis pipes borrow from traditional tobacco ones. For this reason, they have similar features. A weed pipe has the following parts.
- Bowl- where you place your weed
- Shank- the horizontal bit that serves as a neck, joining the stem with the bowl
- Stem- the clutch section that joins the shank and mouthpiece
- Mouthpiece- the part that lets you inhale weed
Some weed pipes also have a carburetor hole on the side next to the mouthpiece. You’ll need to plug the carburetor hole to fill the stem and shank with smoke when using the pipe. Lifting your finger away from this hole allows the smoke to clear by letting fresh air in your weed pipe.
Here are a few features that make weed pipes a must-have in your cannabis paraphernalia. They are:
- Available in various designs, sizes, and materials
Types of Weed Pipes
These pipes are the most common and come in either clear or colored versions. What’s more, they regulate temperatures allowing you to experience a smoother hit. They are also easy to wash hence low maintenance.
Initially, for lighting up tobacco, wooden pipes are another great option. They are customizable, long-lasting, and give your cannabis an earthy taste that appeals to some users. Plus, they have more giant bowls, which are ideal when smoking in a group.
Metal pipes are more durable than glass or wooden ones, a factor to consider if you are environmentally conscious. Unfortunately, they tend to heat up quickly, making it harder to use the mouthpiece. We recommend these types for shorter hits, preferably solo smoke sessions.
Weed pipes can also come in other materials. For instance, clay pipes are a standard DIY option. Some people also use stone pipes. Bamboos are another material that’s popular among users living in the Pacific Islands. Its eco-friendly nature has led to its rise in popularity.
Popular Weed Pipe Designs
1. Vaporizer pipes
These pipes are not very common. The critical difference between vaporizer pipes and regular ones is that they turn the weed into vapor instead of burning it inside the pipe chamber.
2. Stealth pipes
As their name suggests, stealth pipes are low-profile types that resemble everyday products. For instance, some come in the shape of a lipstick or pen.
These pipes only let you light up one cannabis hit. They typically come in metal designs and include a rubber-made mouthpiece and barrier to prevent you from hurting yourself.
4. Foldable pipes
Also excellent for keeping things discreet, foldable pipes often come in metal and wood versions that are detachable. Some consist of magnetic parts that you can place on the fridge exterior, and no one will know your pipe is in plain sight; well, unless they are an OG toker.
These conical pipes are traditional items used by Indian communities during spiritual rites. They come in various materials, including wood and glass, and are available in small and large sizes. The latter is preferable as they give you time to cool the smoke before inhaling.
Bubbler pipes are like a smaller version of a bong. You’ll need to put water through the bowl to the smoke chamber. You’ll then smoke it as you would a bong by inhaling the smoke after passing it through the water. These pipes are portable, and their filtration method prevents you from inhaling any hazardous materials if present.
How To Use a Pipe
Now that you’ve got some basic knowledge of weed pipes, here are a few things you’ll need to begin your smoke session.
- Your favorite strain
- Weed grinder
- Pipe lighter
Step 1: Take out your favorite weed strain and place it on the weed grinder. Grinders are perfect as they break down the bud uniformly, providing a steady burn. Remember not to over-grind the weed like you would when rolling a joint. It would be best to have slightly bigger chunks to prevent the weed from sliding into the stem and shank section.
Step 2: Time to fill your bowl. Ensure your bowl is upright to avoid spillage. Begin filling it as you push the contents down to create space for more. Place another layer until the bowl is full. Press the contents to ensure it’s flat. Consider using a small pipe if you are lighting up alone. Plus, note that filling your bowl to the brim will require more effort to pull the smoke. So, consider a lightly loaded bowl if you want your weed to burn faster.
Step 3: Bring out your lighter. Like grinders, the type of lighter you use matters. The optimal temperature for THC release is 320°F. And it will begin breaking down at 380°F. Since butane lighters usually burn at extreme temperatures( about 3590°F), it’s important not to light it directly on the contents. Instead, you’ll need to pull through the mouthpiece to let the flame ‘pass over’ your bowl.
Step 4: Smoke your pipe. Begin by doing a test draw by taking a few practice breaths. Put your finger on the carburetor hole if it has one. Hold the bowl, then place the mouthpiece inside your mouth. Light it up using the technique mentioned in step 3. Pull the smoke, then lift your finger away from the carburetor hole to clear the smoke.
Not to freak you out, but a 2019 study on bacteria levels of weed pipes found that shared cannabis pipes had “on average, almost one and a half times more bacteria than a public toilet seat.”
Fortunately, an overnight soak in rubbing alcohol or acetone can make all the difference. Place your weed pipe in a ziplock bag and submerge it in the rubbing alcohol. Add a teaspoon of Epson salt. Soak the weed pipe for half a day. Shake the ziplock bag to remove any resin that may have stuck inside the cannabis pipe. Rinse using hot water and let it dry before lighting up a bowl.
Your storage will depend on the weed pipe material. For instance, if you use a glass or crystal pipe, keeping it in a padded case would be best. Others like metal or stone are not as delicate, so their original pouches should suffice. Consider using odour-proof containers to prevent the smell of weed from getting to other nearby items.
You now know how to select a pipe that meets your needs, whether aesthetics or function. Also, at this point, you have a clear sense of how to fill a bowl based on your preference. Using a weed pipe is easy-peasy. Remember, it’s going to take some practice. But not to worry, you can always come back to this guide for valuable tips.