People have been smoking weed all the way back since ancient Romanians burned pot seeds in cups over 5,000 years ago. In that time, mankind has gotten pretty creative. We now have hundreds — maybe even thousands — of different ways to smoke weed.
Every device or vessel known to man has been used to toke up. From Assyrians burning nugs as incense to your bored cousin turning the vacuum cleaner into a bong, people have tried everything under the sun in a quest to get ripped.
Some of these ways of smoking marijuana are just for having fun and for experimentation. But others are time-tested, effective ways to smoke, especially when it comes to filtering out unwanted contaminants.
So, let’s take a journey, my friends, and learn about some of the different ways to smoke weed.
One of the worst and most wasteful ways to smoke weed is by just burning a ton of it on an open fire. Don’t tell the ancient Assyrians and Greeks this, though, because it was the only way they knew about.
Ancient Scythians were best-known for this technique. They would lop off the top of budding plants, toss them into a cauldron and then roast the whole thing in a small enclosed tent.
That’s right: They hotboxed before it was cool!
When Christopher Columbus first made landfall in the Americas, he recorded that the native peoples had strange ceremonies involving the burning of plants. What he described was the first written account of a tobacco pipe, and no doubt this same device was one of the first ways of smoking marijuana that colonial Europeans decided to try.
Tobacco pipes keep the plant hot because the tobacco leaf has so much tar in it, wasting a lot of smoke in the process. These traits make a normal pipe a less-than-ideal way of smoking cannabis.
Rolled cigarettes have been around since mass-produced, wood-pulp paper came about in the 17th century. Before that, tobacco was rolled in its own leaf, creating a cigar.
People twisting up tobacco also grew to enjoy sprinkling a bit of finely ground cannabis in there, creating a “spliff.” This is very common in European countries. Others prefer to roll 100% weed, which is called a joint or a blunt.
Rolling joints has arguably been one of the most popular ways of smoking over the past decade. It’s one of the most convenient ways to smoke weed, since all you need is rolling papers and they usually cost under $3.00.
You bust the weed up, using your fingers to pull apart the nugs until they’re as small as you can get. You’ll need to either learn how to roll or purchase a rolling machine. Once the joint is twisted, find some matches or a lighter and you’re good to go!
Rolling your marijuana in a tobacco leaf or a hollowed-out cigar makes it a “blunt.” Since cigars are cheap, disposable, and fairly large, this method became popular in Jamaica as one of the different ways to smoke weed. The name comes from El Producto’s large “blunt” line of cigars.
The practice of using cigar wraps to roll up marijuana has spread throughout the world.
Glass pipes (or smoking a “bowl”) are a relatively new way of smoking cannabis. You won’t be the least bit shocked to find out that the device was made popular by a follower of the Grateful Dead.
Bob Snodgrass used the ancient method for making blown glass to create pipes of different shapes and sizes. His infused silver “fuming” changed colors as the device heated up and made his pipes incredibly popular. Tommy Chong then released his own line, which helped give glass mainstream status.
Snodgrass’ design was notable in that it kept the pipe and the smoke cool. This reduces the amount of smoke wasted and maximizes the amount of THC you get. He also included a “carb” to clear out the pipe and cool it down.
Water pipes or “bongs” have been around since the days of the Chinese Ming Dynasty in the 16th century. In addition to smoking cannabis, the Ming-era Chinese also used the pipes for opium and tobacco.
Poor rural Chinese would make their bongs out of dried bamboo shoots. The ritzier people had the cast from metal. This type of bong morphed into the hookah, which is great for smoking oily hashish but not so much for the type of dry weed you can buy online in Canada.
Snodgrass the Deadhead helped give us the current run of glass bongs, making life easier and cleaner for us all. The removable “slide” design kept the device useful but simple. Filtering marijuana through cool water helps cool smoke and trap impurities so that your lungs stay cleaner. That way, the most flavorful marijuana strains taste even better!
A bubbler is simply a water pipe with a water chamber and a downstem in it. It filters smoke through the water, but not as effectively as most normal-sized bongs.
They can also be tough to clean. But, because they are usually portable and beautiful, they have their place upon a stoner’s shelf.
A steamroller is a cross between a glass pipe and a bong. Just like a bong, the steamroller has a large stem and huge smoking area for delivering massive amounts of smoke at once. Unlike a bong, there is no water, making the smoke incredibly harsh.
Most steamrollers are straight tubes with large carbs on the end that you have to cover with your palm.
A waterfall is a pretty clever way to smoke weed that takes advantage of physics. Simple waterfalls are made of a plastic bottle with a hole cut in the bottom and a smoking “bowl” chamber inserted into the cap.
To use this device, you cover the hole on the bottom with your hand and fill the bottle. Then you screw on the cap and light the bowl as you take your hand off the hole. The heavy water will run out the bottom, creating a vacuum that pulls smoke into the chamber.
Newer versions use actual glass or silicone components you can clean and reuse.
A gravity bong works similar to a waterfall, but you cut off the entirety of the bottle’s bottom. A bucket of water is used to completely immerse the bottle while the bowl/bottlecap combo is off. Then, you screw on the cap and light the bowl as you slowly lift the bottle from the water. Once again, the vacuum is going to pull a ton of smoke into the bottle.
Now for the best part: push the bottle back down slowly as you inhale for a huge dose of bud straight to the head.
You’d be amazed at what you can transform into a pipe! Nearly anything lying around the house can be theoretically used to smoke weed — although none of it is really safe for your lungs.
- Aluminium cans
- Water bottles
Concentrates, Vaping, and More
We just covered a huge range of different ways to smoke weed from dried flowers. Smoking the best weed strains gives you a huge dose of flavor while keeping things classic. As you read, many traditions involve different ways to smoke weed.
But there are so many options for consuming cannabis out there beyond traditional smoking!
Dry vaporizers, liquid-based vaporizers, “Volcano” air-powered vaporizers, and more can all minimize the amount of contaminants you inhale into your lungs. There are also concentrates which you can vaporize using superheated “oil rig” setups. Add in some edibles and you have a ton of different ways of smoking marijuana!
So, keep exploring and trying new things. But be sure to stay safe, and don’t light anything on fire that you wouldn’t want to breathe in.