Every pot smoker comes with a different set of preferences: Where they smoke, what kind of weed they like, what they watch/listen to while smoking, and most importantly: how they consume the magical herb. Stoners, take up your weapon of choice!
In this day and age, the blunt may very well be the most preferred way to smoke weed. Why? There are numerous reasons: It lasts longer than a joint, is more convenient for mobility than a bong or bowl, and gets you super stoned, super fast. It’s also great comic relief when you try to explain to anyone over the age of 30. The blunt didn’t become popular until fairly recently, so any potheads left over from previous generations have no idea that you can crack open a cigar and fill it up with weed.
Now, there are infinite methods to rolling a blunt. Everyone has their own strategy: Some prefer the long “pencil” that can extend the blunt’s life but can be too tight to hit if rolled incorrectly. Some enjoy the “doody stick,” an ugly monstrosity that burns quickly, hits harshly, and leaves you with large pieces of nug in your throat. And still others prefer the epic and genius “cone” (my personal favorite) which balances the positives of both of the previous blunt types, without many of the negatives.
But customization doesn’t end there: Many different types of cigars can be used: Dutchmasters, Games, Phillies, White Owls, and Swisher Sweets, among many others. The downside to any blunt is that it’s the stinkiest way to smoke, as well as one of the least efficient ways…Not to mention totally unhealthy – You aren’t supposed to be inhaling cigar paper that way.
The joint is the geriatric cousin of the blunt: Smaller, weaker, and less impressive in every way. In fact, the only real pros to the joint are 1. lack of tobacco (unless you’re rolling a spliff, which negates that pro) and 2. higher stealth factor than its big, brown relative. If you’re trying to go to a concert or some other place where you get searched on the way in, you have a higher chance of getting in with several well-concealed joints than with one large blunt. They can be rolled in similar ways to blunts, with papers of various different brands, sizes, flavors, and materials.
So what’s so bad about the joint? For one, the smell of burning paper is far more irritating to me than burning tobacco (personally). It also happens to be the LEAST efficient way to blaze, burning your herb at an incredibly high temperature and speed.
If stealth is what you’re going for, then this may be for you. These pieces are super easy to smuggle into venues, and fairly discreet to smoke in crowds. You can buy a metal or wood one-hitter with a dugout, or invest in a artistic glass chillum that packs a little more but is bulkier and more fragile.
Although there’s a certain amount of convenience to this method, it’s also my least favorite way of burning. There are numerous reasons why: 1. You can’t see what your lighting, 2. There is no carb to clear the chamber of the piece, 3. Some of the time you have to tilt your head up to take a hit in an attempt to not lose your bowl packing, and 4. Way too many burning embers (otherwise known as scooby snacks) jetting down the back of your throat at breakneck speeds.
The bowl is the bat’s big brother, and the second of four glass siblings. Although you can buy metal, wood, or corncob pipes, most weed connoisseurs prefer glass over anything else.
Bowls come in sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. You could say that it’s the most artistic of the brothers, most of the time doubling as a beautiful conversation piece. You can buy a bowl that is shaped like an animal, or one that changes colors as you smoke it more and more, or one with a unique shape or pattern. You might even give it a name because it’s a work of art – and every piece of art needs a title. I prefer to give my pieces really meaningful names: Corrinado (named after a character from a Disco Biscuits rock opera), The Seussaphone (it resembles an instrument out of a Dr. Seuss book), and Keanu Reeves (long story as to how this one got its name, I’ll go into it some other time).
The bubbler is a hybrid that combines the convenient size of the bowl with the science of the bong. You get to keep the basic structure of its little brother, but with the added element of water filtration. Diffusion not only keeps you from getting ash in your mouth (gross), but also maximizes the THC you take in while minimizing miscellaneous chemicals and substances that come with burning plant matter. The more times the smoke filters through water, the more concentrated the THC content becomes and the smoother the hit becomes.
The negative impact: There are none. The bubbler is really the perfect smoking device – That’s why I personally own a double bubbler named Littlefoot (if you couldn’t guess, it resembles the young Brontosaurus from The Land Before Time), as well as a traditional bubbler swirled with the colors of the rainbow, hence its name Roy G. Biv.
If you can afford it, the bong is the way to go. Like bubblers, bowls, and chillums before it, the bong comes in all kinds of shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. They have massive ranges in price: a rubber-stopper mini-bong can cost $20, and a top-shelf name brand glass-on-glass bong with percolators (the more percs, the more filtration/diffusion) and a frozen coil chamber can potentially run you thousands of dollars.
The bong would be considered the scientist of the four brothers – and that’s what you’re paying for: Machine-cut glass and wonderful technology make it the BEST way to puff by far. Bongs are the most efficient and conservative way to smoke (notice I say SMOKE, you’ll see why soon).
The downside of the bong? There are two: 1. The most easily broken of the glass pieces – being both tall and skinny means a high center of gravity and the significant chance of a friend’s leg making direct contact, and 2. They can be quite large and heavy, making them inconvenient as a group smoking device. If you go this route for today, I recommend you stick to personal bong use only, or at the very most three people.
And so we come to the disowned, retarded bastard of the pieces. We’ve all undoubtedly had to whip together a quick bong or bowl at some point in our years smoking cheeba. Half Baked promoted the use of “an avocado, an icepick, and my snorkel” but there are much easier materials around your house with which to make a bong.
When I was a young lad of 14, my friends and I would make bongs by inserting a hollowed out pen in a hole we burned in the side of a soda bottle, and then shaping tin foil into a cone over the pen. Looking back, it was totally unhealthy in every way, but it was cheaper than buying glass.
You can also use soda bottles in conjunction with large pretzel containers and ratchet heads to make a gravity bong or waterfall bong (look them up), which get you stupid high and make you cough until you’re purple in the face. There’s also the apple bowl, which is even simpler to construct. All it takes is an apple and something to jab into it to create the bowl, the carb, and the mouthpiece.
If you’re extremely desperate you can always come back to these hoodrat smoking methods, but I haven’t run into a situation that calls for them in years.
Oh the wonders of the vaporizer! It is a far departure from any previously mentioned smoking method in that you aren’t really smoking at all. Vapes use a heating element to bring your nugs right to the point where the water molecules on them evaporate and turn into a milky steam. Attached to that gas is the highest amount of THC that you can get. It is THE most efficient way to consume THC (though is NOT classified as smoking, technically), as well as the healthiest.
Not only does it not take a toll on your lungs, but it actually has been known to clear up congestion, as THC is a natural expectorant. Notice how you cough when you smoke weed, but not when you smoke cigarettes? There’s a reason for that. You’ll cough even harder when you get a really good, slow, and steady hit from a vaporizer – It’ll clear you right up.
There are many different kinds of vapes, and technological advance is bringing about new ones every day, but only a couple are really famous: The Volcano is both an expensive and complicated piece of machinery, which allows for incredibly accurate vaporization, but puffing out of a bag is kind of weird. “Pencil Sharpeners” are aptly named for their striking resemblance to pencil sharpeners, and are far simpler and cheaper than the former, with the other plus being that pulling on a hose feels more like a hookah, and thus closer to the act of actual smoking.
Many people claim that vaporizers don’t do it for them because they really just enjoy the act of smoking. Smoking is just as much of a social act as it is inhaling a drug, so anyone who says that is not without reason. But when you’re feeling bored and lonely, the vape is the perfect device to whip out for a bowl to the face.
Like the vaporizer, edible THC is in a category all its own. It also has few to no negative effects – well, besides getting way, way too high. The best part is that you can basically cook it into anything. The first step is melting down the weed in either butter or oil, and then filtering out the nasty wet leaves, leaving behind a nice dark liquid. Then go to town.
You could be a traditionalist and stick to baked goods like brownies, cakes, and cookies, or you could get creative with it. You can make rice crispy treats or milkshakes, or you can put it in sauce and then toss it with pasta. Throw that butter back in the fridge and let it solidify, then spread it over toast. You can seriously find ways to get it into any food or snack.
And if you do it right, it will get you baked out of your skull for many, many long hours. It’s almost as if it’s your first time getting high all over again. Sometimes you can get high almost to the point of hallucination and delusion: You get all introspective, then you have a small panic attack, and in the end you fix everything by forcing yourself to sleep until you’re no longer stoned. It works, I’ve done it once before.