A Beginner’s Guide to Smoking Weed: Everything You Need to Know
Smoking weed for the first time can be an intimidating experience. Ensure that you have a safe and comfortable place to smoke and some snacks. This will prevent the common side effects of weed consumption, such as dry mouth (aka cottonmouth) and hunger.
Depending on the type of cannabis you’re using, the different ways to smoke can produce differing effects. The best way to determine which strategy is right for you is to try them all.
If you’re a beginner, then learning how to smoke weed with a pipe may be your best option. This type of smoking device is small, discreet, and relatively inexpensive. It’s also easy to use and requires no additional materials like rolling papers or blunt wraps.
Pipes are typically made from glass but can also be found in other materials such as clay, ceramic, or even silicone. The most common of these devices, however, are spoon pipes—which feature a bowl at the end that you put your weed into to smoke.
A pipe typically has four parts: the bowl, the stem, the chamber, and the mouthpiece. The bowl is where you pack your weed (or “seed” it), the stem is where you hold the pipe, and the chamber is where the smoke stews before you inhale it through a carb hole—which is sometimes covered but can be uncovered to regulate airflow in the pipe.
To prepare to smoke, you’ll want to grind your bud with an herb grinder until it has a consistency similar to a loose-leaf tea. Add your weed to the bowl, cover the carb hole if necessary, and light the pipe. Smoke in short puffs until your desired effect is achieved. This method is ideal for solo consumption and can be incredibly relaxing.
The bong is one of the oldest different ways to smoke weed for beginners, and it’s still used today. A bong is a glass or ceramic water pipe that has a small bowl for the dried marijuana. The weed combusts inside the bowl, and smoke rises through the water (or “percolates,” to use another technical term). The cool water helps slow down the smoke and filter out some chemicals that can irritate your lungs.
You can find bongs in all shapes and sizes, from tiny portable models to huge showpieces that require a dedicated space. Glass bongs are the best choice because they’re durable, safe to use, and easy to clean. Opt for a thick model like Gorilla glass or borosilicate. Plastic bongs are cheaper but can transfer dangerous chemicals into the water, which can be inhaled when smoking.
Before you start smoking, place your weed in the bong’s bowl. Then pour some water in until the bottom of the bowl is about halfway up, and close any gaps by putting your finger on the rim of the bong with your non-dominant hand. You may also want to add ice cubes to the water, which will cool down the smoke even more.
Position the mouthpiece of your bong against your lips and apply light pressure. This creates a seal to prevent smoke from escaping. Some bongs have a carb hole on the base to increase airflow; you can also cover this with your finger from your non-dominant hand.
Bubblers are a popular way to smoke weed for many cannabis connoisseurs. They fit in the mold between a hand pipe and a bong and have much to offer their users, including a cooler and smoother smoke hit.
If you’re a newbie to smoking, a bubbler may be the ideal option for you. Compared to joints or blunts, they provide much smoother hits and are also easy to use on the go. Bubblers are made of various materials, and many have a similar design to bongs, with the mouthpiece, downstream, chamber, and ice catcher/pincher.
The chamber of a bubbler carries the smoke, and the ice catcher/pincher helps cool it down as it travels to your mouthpiece. When you inhale, the smoke passes through the ice catcher/pincher and is filtered through the water inside the bubbler’s chamber, cooling it down and making for a smoother hit.
As with a bong, you must fill your bubbler with water and pack your bowl to enjoy it. When packing your bud, ensure it’s well-ground so the air can run through it, not just the charred pieces of weed at the surface. Also, pack your bowl lightly; it’s too tight and restricts the airflow. It’s too loose, and you’ll get a faster burn that can waste your bud.
If you’re a new smoker, start by smoking one-hitters. These are small pipes with a screened, narrow bowl designed to hold just enough for a single inhalation (or hit). One-hitters are typically compact and can be easily tucked away out of sight. Their simplicity also makes them easy to clean when needed.
The other benefit of using a one-hitter is that it forces you to take a hit at a time, which helps to conserve your marijuana and prevents getting high too fast. This can be beneficial to beginners who don’t know how to pace their high or avoid the side effects of weed, like a dry mouth and munchies.
While it’s fun to get creative with the equipment you smoke out of, a simple rolled joint or blunt can be just as enjoyable for a beginner as a high-tech bong. Just be sure to use a mouthpiece to help protect your teeth and lungs. And remember to drink plenty of water—weed can cause dehydration just as quickly as it can make you feel high.