How to Smoke a Bowl in Five Simple Steps

how to smoke a bowl

It’s difficult to imagine a more satisfying or classic style of smoking cannabis than using a traditional pipe. For literally thousands of years, some form of pipe has been used to smoke all kinds of different materials. Therefore, it makes complete sense that the pipe would soon find its way into cannabis culture. There is something incredibly relaxing and old-school about toting on a pipe.

While smoking cannabis doesn’t require a dandy smoking jacket and velvet slippers, the sensation is the same—total immersion in your environment as you zone out and switch off for a few precious moments. Smoking a pipe isn’t all that it might seem, though.

There’s definitely an art to perfecting the technique. That’s why, today, we are guiding you through our simple steps on how to smoke a bowl. Gather around as we lift the lid and teach you all the essential when it comes to smoking a bowl.

A Look Back in Pipe History

As already mentioned, using a pipe to smoke various substances has a long and indeed elaborate history. It’s thought to have begun in the Mississippi Valley and became ubiquitous in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. However, even as far back as 5,000 years ago, pipes have been discovered, which were made from porphyritic and other common stones of the time.

These archaeological discoveries were typified by having a traditional stem alongside a central serving bowl. This would have been ornamented with animal carvings and other conventional carvings.

While we know that smoking a pipe has always been popular, we don’t precisely know the contents of what they would have been smoking back then! Suffice it to say, we hope that our ancestors were relaxing and enjoying themselves back then too.

Benefits of Using a Weed Pipe

Why are pipes, or weed pipes as they’re affectionately referred to within cannabis culture, so popular and practical? Well, we just mentioned the keyword, really—practicality. One thing for sure is that a weed pipe is extremely easy to use. Better still, it’s also easy to clean and maintain, plus it is highly portable too.

Pipes come in an array of sizes and shapes and can be made from various materials. Like their ancient counterparts, many pipes today are all engraved or illustrated with motifs and carvings.

As long as you are investing in a good quality pipe, it should also last a lifetime and go a long way toward reducing the level of foreign toxins and chemicals that can be inhaled with other methods.

How to Smoke a Bowl

So, we’ve established the benefits of using a pipe and why we recommend that you invest in one. Now, let’s move on to discuss all the tricks of the trade. We’re going to walk you through our five easy stages to getting the most out of your bowl of weed.

Step 1: Busting your Weed

No smoke, no bowl. If you have not first prepared your cannabis, what are you going to smoke? Regardless of your favorite method for inhaling your weed of choice, you first need to have a quality product ready to burn.

Once you’ve got your favorite supply, you need to grind up your weed to use in your pipe. There are plenty of ways that you can do this, from using a sieve to a blender, or today’s recommenced choice, a grinder. You might have a method that works better for you, but honestly, you can’t beat a grinder for efficiently busting up your weed. The beauty of busting your weed is that it prepares it for better burning.

You should also avoid over-grinding. What you don’t want to end up with is weed that’s been busted too much and has turned into a powder. Do that, and sadly, you’ll probably inhale the whole bowl without getting to enjoy the experience of savoring your smoke.

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to discover this once before, you certainly will do all you can to avoid repeating the same mistake twice. There are plenty of quality grinders out there to choose from and guides that you can read if you’re not au fait with how best to use your grinder.

how to smoke a bowl

Stage 2: Pack Your Bowl

We’re moving on to the fun part now as you pack your bowl ready to smoke your weed. It’s time to fill it out with the good stuff, and once again, we’re here with some top insider tips on how you can make the experience more enjoyable. When it comes to learning how to smoke a bowl, no one is better equipped with the vital information you require than we are.

Grab a pinch of that lovely freshly ground cannabis you just prepared, and add it lightly to your favorite pipe bowl. You’re going to need to pack it down a bit, which you can do by pressing down with your fingers. Again, be careful not to overpack or press too tightly as you want to retain airflow through your cannabis to assist it with burning more efficiently.

The other risk you run is if you do pack the gear down too tightly, you could end up wasting it as you won’t get anything from it. Nobody wants to experience that, especially when they’ve already gone to so much trouble. 

Our next recommendation is that you take a minute to admire your handiwork so that you can make any little adjustments needed. This might be more about etiquette and procedure as opposed to being strictly necessary, but you might need to add a pinch more product if you’re going to be sharing your pipe with another person.

If it’s just for you, still make sure that you’ve had enough of a pinch to pack a punch for at least two hits. Again, otherwise, you’ve gone to a lot of trouble for a swift hit. If you do have friends over, make yourself what we like to call a “party bowl.” You get the gist. By overstuffing the pipe, everyone who comes along gets a fresh hit of grass rather than being subjected to just the remnants of ash sitting at the bottom of your bowl. 

Step 3: Fire Up Your Bowl

Your cannabis is perfectly packed in your favorite pipe and just sitting there, looking at you longingly and waiting to be picked up. Now is the time to get your bowl all fired up, and the proverbial party started. We recommend that you use hemp wick as this is one of the tastiest and the healthiest ways to ignite your bowl.

The purists among you wouldn’t dream of using anything but a string of woven hemp to light up that spliff. However, if you don’t happen to have any at your disposal today, a standard lighter will still do the job.

While lighters such as Zippos are popular choices, we’d strongly advise that you steer clear of using any kind of lighter that has extra chemicals present in the lighter fluid. For those of you who are serious about the taste and flavor of your smoke, this is really important. Any chemicals will negatively impact the final taste of your pipe contents.

Most of the regular pipes on the marketplace feature something referred to as either a choker a carb. Essentially, this is little more than a hole located right beside the bowl itself, which can be used to regulate the amount of airflow.

If you do have a pipe with choke, don’t forget to place your fingers over it when lighting the pipe. Don’t be overly concerned if your pipe doesn’t have a choke, though. It will still burn the same, but this way, you have more control over the outcome and can enjoy a more customized smoke.

Stage 4: Get Ready to Inhale

Now that you’ve successfully mastered the art of smoking a bowl, it’s time to do just that. The next thing to do is to kick back, relax, and enjoy your smoke. If you’ve prepared yourself a large, fully packed bowl, then cover your choke and get ready to inhale and exhale lightly, taking things nice and slowly.

If you’ve burnt a good amount of cannabis, you can now release the choke, inhaling what’s left of the smoke into your lungs. It doesn’t need to be held in there for very long before you feel the benefits. Just a couple of seconds should do it as the THC content itself actually absorbs into your lungs in just a matter of milliseconds.

Depending on how large your pipe is, you should now be able to continue enjoying the contents, exhaling and inhaling the smoke as you take deep breaths. Be aware that if you are smoking the same pipe with other people, you should be mindful of your saliva. Nobody wants to be given a soggy wet pipe, so try and be courteous if you’re smoking your bowl with your friends.

After you’re done and have enjoyed smoking your bowl, what’s left to do now is the fifth and final step, which is ashing and cleaning it out. 

Step 5: Ash and Clean Your Pipe

Our final recommended stage is to ash your pipe out adequately. Trust us, tempting as it may be to forgo this final stage, any leftover ash you leave behind in the bowl will affect the taste and flavor of your next smoke. 

Simply give it a tap to discard the loose ash. Here is also the moment of truth where you might just discover you have just enough cannabis left to enjoy one further smoke. If your ash doesn’t easily dislodge with a few light taps, that means there is more of the good stuff left in there to smoke.

How to Properly Clean a Pipe

You also need to clean your pipe regularly to ensure that it doesn’t become clogged up with marijuana resin, which will build up over time. Any easy hack when it comes to cleaning a ceramic weed pipe is to fill up a plastic bag with a solution of one teaspoon salt and isopropyl alcohol.

Submerge your pipe into the solution and give it a good old shake, ensuring that you swish the solution around thoroughly. When you’ve done cleaning your pipe, perform a wipe down with a dry cloth and scrape the sides of the bowl and pipe steam with something like a nail to remove any debris still stuck to the sides.

Be extra vigilant and remove all traces of alcohol and resin; the combination of the two would be toxic to smoke. If you’re at all concerned, then boil your pipes in water to clean them. 

Creative Ways of Smoking Weed Without a Pipe

Now that you have mastered the art of pipe smoking, there might be the odd occasion when you fancy not using a traditional pipe, but instead, want to get more creative with how you smoke. You might be surprised at the everyday objects that can be cleverly converted into a pipe and used for smoking.

We’ve heard of people coring a hole through an apple and putting the weed inside one end to create a very rudimentary pipe. People also frequently turn the likes of pens into pipes by removing the ink.

There’s a whole host of paraphernalia available, really. There are gas masks and bongs, as well as vaporizers, blunts, and a range of hookahs. The best tobacco pipes can also be used to smoke cannabis, so there’s no shortage of options available.

Ultimately, it is up to you to find the many ways you can smoke your favorite weed. In the end, the method you choose is entirely a personal decision.


By now, you should be fully educated on the five key stages to follow to enjoy smoking your bowl. So, what else are you waiting for? Go ahead and grab your favorite pipe, bust your weed, pack your bowl, and get ready to ignite and inhale your next smoke.

Just remember always to have fun and stay safe and make sure that you smoke the finest products that you can purchase. Now get ready to pipe up and enjoy.

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