There are many way to smoke cannabis, from the traditional joint or pipe through portable battery-powered concentrate vapor pens or weed vape pens and fancy water bongs. In this article we’re gonna talk about them all! We sat down recently to compile a definitive list of marijuana smoking methods and here is what we’ve come up with. Please enjoy!


There are many ways to smoke cannabis, but none are perhaps as well-known as smoking a bowl. Learning how to pack and smoke a bowl is a quintessential lesson in cannabis consumption that enthusiasts at every end of the spectrum can benefit from. Whether you’re interested in packing a pipe for a personal smoking session or preparing a bowl for a party, understanding these key fundamental principles will surely help you optimize your bowl smoking experience.

Traditionally, pipes used for tobacco smoking purposes were made out of material such as wood, bamboo, or even ceramics. However, cannabis pipes today are widely made using borosilicate glass, as the medium is incredibly versatile. While most states still widely market glass pipes as tobacco smoking accessories, they can be found in collectable and gift shops (also referred to as “head shops”). You can also find them online, at cannabis events, and even in high-end glass art museums.

To pack and smoke a bowl, you’re going to need a few essential items to get started. Other than your bowl or pipe, you will need some form of heating element. The most basic heating element available is a lighter. Traditional butane lighters work well, though there is a myriad of non-butane heating elements out there to choose from. The most effective lighters and heaters will allow for optimal heating control when combusting and/or vaporizing a bowl.

Many consumers prefer to light their bowls with hemp wick, a waxy piece of hemp string that ignites easily, maintains an even burn, and doesn’t give off an undesirable aftertaste. Another heating element used often is a glass wand that can be heated to a point where it will vaporize your herb on contact, eliminating combustion smoke altogether while still delivering cannabinoids and flavor through a lighter hit.

Another factor to consider is whether or not to use a screen for your pipe. Screens can help keep you from inhaling burning bits of cannabis, but if you don’t have a pack of pipe screens, here are a few nifty tricks to consider:

Wire or PaperclipTwist it into a small coil and place it the bottom of your pipe bowl
Faucet Head ScreenPlace it in the bottom of your bowl
RockUse a small, dry rock approximately the diameter of your bowl
DO NOT USE* Aluminum Foil
* A Soda Can
* A Window Screen
- these can be coated with materials which are dangerous to inhale

Preparing cannabis for smoking a bowl is essential in order to maximize airflow through your device and deliver the most even smoke possible. In order to do this, herb is a crucial step. Doing this creates a homogenous airflow through the bowl where smoke can pass through evenly.

There are a few tricks to packing a pipe that will help to maximize airflow:

1. Ensure that your weed is evenly broken down but not too finely ground. Hand pulling your herb is the most basic way to do this, but grinders make this process much easier. There are many ways to break your cannabis down, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
2. Use a stem and/or a nice-sized intact calyx to stuff at the very bottom of your bowl to prevent particulates from passing though. You can also use a screen if you have one available. This will also facilitate better airflow.
3. Pack your herb very lightly at the bottom and slightly denser at the top for an even smoke.This allows the cannabis towards the top to maintain a burn, or “cherry” while opening airflow for easy inhalation without any clogging.

For everybody first learning how to smoke a pipe, there are a few pieces of etiquette to follow that will help ensure you have the best possible experience. When engaging in a smoking session with others, make sure that you pack a bowl that’s proportional to the size of your smoking circle. For an intimate session, packing personal bowls or “snaps” is great when alone or with one other person. This way, you take turns lighting personally packed micro bowls meant to be consumed in one single hit. For larger groups, heavier packed “party bowls” ensure each smoking buddy gets a fresh hit of green herb.

Traditionally, the provider of the cannabis will determine who gets to light the first hit. To make sure everyone gets the same experience, make sure to corner your bowl by only lighting a fraction of the visible cannabis. This lets everyone get the same great flavor without leaving an ashy hit for somebody. If the bowl is already lit, feel free to pass it, but let your passing buddy know the bowl is “cherried.” Lastly, never pocket a lighter. Everybody hates a light thief!

With these tips in mind, smoking a bowl should be a walk in the park. Always remember to use proper etiquette when packing a bowl for friends, and make sure you are consuming cannabis in a safe and legal place. Otherwise, pack a fat one, call some friends, and have at it!


bong (also water pipebillybing, or moof) is a filtration device generally used for smoking cannabis, tobacco, or other herbal substances. In the bong shown in the photo, the gas flows from the lower port on the left to the upper port on the right.

In construction and function a bong is similar to a hookah, except smaller and especially more portable. A bong may be constructed from any air- and water-tight vessel by adding a bowl and stem apparatus (or slide) which guides air downward to below water level whence it bubbles upward (“bubbler”) during use. To get fresh air into the bong and harvest the last remaining smoke, a hole known as the “carburetor”, “carb”, “choke”, “bink”, “rush”, “shotty”, “kick hole”, or simply “hole”, somewhere on the lower part of the bong above water level, is first kept covered during the smoking process, then opened to allow the smoke to be drawn into the respiratory system. On bongs without such a hole, the bowl and stem are removed to allow air from the hole that holds the stem.

Bongs have been in use by the Hmong, in Laos and Thailand, and all over Africa for centuries. One of the earliest recorded uses of the word in the West is in the McFarland Thai-English Dictionary, published in 1944, which describes one of the meanings of bong in the Thai language as, “a bamboo waterpipe for smoking kancha, tree, hashish, or the hemp-plant.” A January 1971 issue of the Marijuana Review also used the term.


jointspliffjayboofdoinkreefer, or doobie, is a rolled cannabis cigarette. Unlike commercial tobacco cigarettes, joints are ordinarily hand-rolled by the user with rolling papers, though in some cases they are machine-rolled Rolling papers are the most common rolling medium in industrialized countries; however, brown paper, cigarettes or beedies with the tobacco removed, receipts, and newspaper can also be used, particularly in developing countries. Modern papers are manufactured in a range of sizes from a wide variety of materials including rice, hemp, and flax, and are also available in other flavored varieties.

Smoking Legal WeedA joint can vary in size, typically containing between 0.25 to 1 g (184 to 128 oz) net weight of cannabis. Tobacco may or may not be used in the rolling process.

To help you hone your own craft, we’ve prepared a simple seven-step guide on the easiest way to roll a joint, even for beginners.

Begin by gathering your rolling supplies:

  • Cannabis strain of your choice
  • Rolling papers
  • Crutch (for the joint crutch or filter)
  • Cannabis grinder
  • Optional: A pen, or a similarly shaped object to help pack the joint
STEP 1Grind the CannabisBreak down your cannabis into shake. If your cannabis is dried well, it should break down easily. A grinder keeps your hand from getting sticky and thus sticking to the joint paper. If you don’t have a grinder, you can grind the herb down by hand, using scissors, or any number of other breakdown methods.
STEP 2Create Joint Crutch/FilterMake a crutch, also called a tip or filter. You can make a crutch out of just about anything, but thin cardboard or business cards are solid go-tos. A lot of joint papers also include crutch material with their packaging. Start with a few “accordion” folds at the end of the cardboard, then roll the material to the desired thickness of your joint. The crutch isn’t absolutely necessary, but it does help keep the shake from falling out of the end or into your mouth as you smoke. It also adds some stability to the joint and allows you to enjoy every bit of cannabis without burning your fingertips.
STEP 3Fill Joint with CannabisFill the paper with the shake and the crutch (if you’ve made one). Once the paper has the right amount of shake (a half gram to a gram usually does the trick), you can begin to form and shape the joint with your fingers. (A quick note on papers: There are a lot of different types and flavors of joint papers available. Many people prefer hemp papers because they tend to be thin but strong, and burn evenly without affecting the flavor of the cannabis.)
STEP 4Pack the JointOnce you’ve loaded and shaped your joint, it’s time to roll it. Pinch the paper between your fingertips and roll it back and forth between them to pack the cannabis down into its final shape.
STEP 5Roll the JointThis step can make or break the quality of your joint. Tuck the unglued side of the paper into the roll and use the glued edge to tack down one end of the paper, using just a little bit of moisture. (Pro tip: Start with the crutch side because it can help guide the paper as it rolls around itself.) Once the paper is tacked on one end, you can work your way down the rest of the seam by tucking and sealing the joint from end to end.
STEP 6Finish Your JointFinally, pack the end of the joint to help ensure an even burn. A pen is great, but you can use just about anything. Some good options if you’re on the go: the tip of your shoelace, the drawstring on your hoodie, or a small stick. If you’re not planning on sparking your joint right away, you may want to close the tip with a twist.
STEP 7Enjoy!There are limitless ways to roll a joint. You can roll them big or small. Get creative! Some people have even transformed joint rolling into an art all on its own, rolling their cannabis into a unique mix of functional origami.

Concentrate Vape Pen vs Weed Vape Pen

Concentrate vaping is rapidly gaining in popularity, ever since laws regarding medical marijuana have become more lenient and some states in the US actually allow patients to get marijuana legally. Others have gone even further, such as Alaska, Colorado, and California, legalizing marijuana for recreational use. All of this has boosted the use of herbal concentrates, also called dabs by the community (dab is defined as a small portion of something, hence the terms dab vaping and dab vaporizer pens) and, in the process, encouraged vape manufacturers to focus on producing quality dab pens, paying special attention to wax pens.

Benefits of Concentrate Vaping

Why concentrate vaping?

That’s a fair question. There are dozens of great dry herb vaporizers on the market. For the most part, they are affordable and practical, so why would you want to switch from them? To answer that question, let’s take a quick look at the overall benefits of herbal concentrate vaping:

  • A more potent vape
  • Intensive flavor
  • More discreet vape

Increased Potency

As the name implies, concentrates are more powerful than run-of-the-mill dry herb vaporizers because more active ingredients are packed in a smaller amount used for vaping. This is a huge benefit to medical marijuana users who need to inhale (or ingest) larger quantities that are prescribed by their doctor. It’s also not half bad for recreational users who want a better hit.

Generally, there are four types of concentrates (or dabs), each with a varying potency. They are shatter, crumble, budder, and wax. In addition to differing potency, they will also vary in flavor and consistency.

  • Shatter– the most potent type of concentrate with up to 80% purity. Shatter is glass-like and will break into pieces if not handled carefully. Since it’s solid, handling shatter is pretty easy – you just break off a little piece and place it into an atomizer or a heating chamber of your concentrate vaping pen and you’re good to go.
  • Crumble– similar to shatter, crumble is also glass-like, although a bit more sticky. It’s easy to handle but not as potent as shatter.
  • Budder– budder resembles peanut butter, meaning that it’s more malleable than shatter or crumble. This also makes it a bit more difficult to handle so you usually can’t do it by hand – it needs to be done with a small, pincer-like dab tool. Budder is made differently from crumble and shatter and contains more terpenes (flavor-rich compounds) so it’s also more flavorsome. However, what it makes up in flavor it lacks in potency.
  • Wax – wax is probably the most popular entry on this list because it’s the easiest one to get and it’s the most affordable. Wax concentrate needs to be handled with a dab tool since it has a slightly runny consistency and it tends to stick to everything. Potency-wise, it’s the weakest out of four (generally around 60% purity, which is not bad but it’s nowhere near the 80% for shatter) but makes up for that by being extremely flavorsome.

Intensive Flavor

While flavor varies dramatically with the type of botanical extract you choose to use, it’s safe to say that concentrate vaping beats both smoking and dry herb vaping in that department. That’s because the flavor is concentrated and undiluted. When you’re smoking, a lot of other burning chemicals get in the way of pure flavor and color it. If you’re big on it, this purity of flavor is a benefit of concentrate vaping you’re definitely going to like.

Quick and Discreet Vape

Sometimes you just don’t have the time to go through that whole song and dance of rolling your doobie and then smoking it. Other times you just want to do it as low-key as possible. Vapor emanating from a wax pen is almost inconspicuous (not completely, of course) – it doesn’t stick to your clothes and it won’t smell up your house. Load up your vape pen, take a quick hit, and go your merry way without anyone being any wiser.

Types of Concentrate Vaporizers (Desktop, Dab Pens & More)

We can generally categorize concentrate vaporizers in four distinct groups: desktop concentrate vaporizers, e-rigs (e-nails), portable non-pens, and vape pens. Users, and the industry, are slowly moving predominantly towards concentrate vape pens but other gear also has its merits so will touch briefly on it.

Desktop Concentrate Vaporizers

These are very similar to all the other desktop vaporizers on the market. They are not portable and are larger than other types. Used primarily for group vaping sessions, desktop concentrate vaporizers can be corded (more common) or battery powered. The vapor is usually collected into a balloon and then inhaled from it. Alternatively, it can be inhaled through a tube (called a whip) directly from the unit.

E-rigs (E-nails)

Vapor from a concentrate tastes that much better when it’s cooled to a proper temperature. Small, portable e-rigs enable you to do just that. They are usually battery-powered and have a small titanium nail on which the concentrate is placed. The nail heats up rapidly, vaporizing the concentrate and delivering vapor through a water attachment, where it’s cooled, allowing for deeper, more satisfying puffs.

Portable Non-pens

If you’re not a big fan of vape pens and everything that comes with them – atomizers, wicks, and coils which can make use slightly complicated – you can opt for a non-pen portable vaping device. These portables use an ingenious skillet design for easier vaping. You simply place a dab of your concentrate on the skillet, which heats up when activated. The vapor is then inhaled through a whip. As far as these devices are concerned, their biggest pro is the fact that they can fit more concentrate and be used by more than one person, despite being small and portable.

Concentrate Vape Pens

Concentrate vape pens, such as dab vaporizer pens and wax vaporizer pens, are by far the most common way to inhale evaporated botanical extract. In essence, they are very similar to other vaping pens used for dry herbs and e-liquids, with a few minor adjustments made to the atomizer.

They are portable and battery-powered so you can vape on the go. Since this is a concentrate vaping device you’re most likely to end up buying, we’ll go into them in a bit more detail so you get an idea of your options and various pros and cons.

Anatomy of a Concentrate Vape Pen
Here’s a quick rundown of concentrate vape pen parts and different styles and functions.


All vape pen batteries are designed for a single purpose – to power your vape. While there are differences in colors, capacity (800mAh, 1200mAh, 2000mAh, and so on), and advanced functionality, their principal purpose remains the same, regardless of the brand or the manufacturer. Most internal vape pen batteries are Lithium-Ion batteries because they are the safest and hold the charge best. They are usually fitted with a 510 thread connection so they can be used with various atomizers.

Depending on the brand, the battery will deliver either single pre-set temperature or be capable of delivering variable charge and allow for temperature control. Temp control batteries will have a small knob on the bottom, allowing you to choose a temperature between 350 C – 430 C. This is a great feature because not all botanical extract have the same evaporation point. A temp control unit allows you to vape different types of concentrates with a single setup.

Different Types of Concentrate Vape Pen Atomizers

What’s an atomizer?

An atomizer is a piece of your vaporizer that contains the heating element. It’s also where you put your concentrate – it can be placed directly onto the heating element or in a flat plate above it.

There’s a difference between the two approaches. The first approach uses the conduction method of heating. The concentrate is heated up quickly and evaporates faster, resulting in a stronger hit. However, if a flat plate is used then the concentrate doesn’t touch the heating element. The heating method used there is called convection heating – hot air heats the concentrate resulting in a more even vape.

Conduction atomizers (the ones where the concentrate comes into direct contact with the heating element) are further divided into:

  • Wicked – usually used for highly viscous concentrates such as wax, these atomizers have an absorptive fiber running through the coils (usually silica), which absorbs the wax that’s then heated, creating a flavorful, consistent draw.
  • Wickless – these atomizers have a ceramic or quartz rod running through the coils. They are used by vapers looking for a clean, powerful hit but will also burn through your concentrate that much faster.

As mentioned, if you’re into convection heating (no direct contact with the heating elements), you can get a vape pen with a ceramic or quartz dish onto which the concentrate is placed. Your concentrate will burn slower (so there’s a lower chance for a burnt taste) and will generally last longer.


The last (but essential) piece of your wax vape pen – or any other vape pen – is the mouthpiece. What do you do with it? Well, you suck on it, of course! It transports the vapor from the heating chamber into your mouth. A mouthpiece is usually made from heat-resistant plastic, glass, or ceramic, although it can be metal. Mouthpieces can be narrow or wide, long or short. It will depend on your preference. Do you want warmer vapor and a bit of a throat hit? Go with a short, narrow mouthpiece. If you prefer colder vapor, a wide bore mouthpiece will suit you better.

Concentrate Vaping in a Nutshell

As you can see, concentrate vaping is not as complicated as you might have believed. This guide gives you all the essential information to make an informed decision when buying your first wax vape pen. Just keep in mind that a lot of it will come down to your vaping style and personal preferences. However, there’s no denying that concentrate vaping has a lot of benefits:

  • Better, more powerful hits
  • More intense flavor
  • Ability to stealth vape

When it comes to ease of use, portability, and functionality, one cannabis product stands tall above the rest. You may know them as pre-loaded cannabis oil vape cartridges, hash oil vape pens, or even disposable wax pens. These relatively new and exciting devices have permeated the cannabis concentrate market over the last several years, quickly becoming the go-to concentrate-based product for both the novice and accustomed cannabis fans.

However, when it comes to choosing the right pre-loaded disposable pen, various factors stand in the way of making a decision. Although many of these products seem aesthetically similar at first glance, there are many nuances that distinguish them from one another.

Understanding the differences between these disposable pens can help you make an educated decision on which product is right for your consumption.

Why Choose a Pre-Filled Oil Vape Cartridge?

If you’re new to pre-filled oil vape cartridges, there are many benefits to using them compared to a weed vape pen. Here is a list of those benefits:

Ease of Use

Deciding to use a pre-filled cannabis oil vape cartridge takes the guesswork completely out of the equation. Contrary to other methods of using hash oil such as a dab rig and nail setup, or even manual portable vape pens which require self-loading, pre-filled “carts” require little to no effort whatsoever. At most, these products may require you to press a button to inhale. In fact, most of the time you don’t even have to worry about the battery life—many products are designed so that charging the battery isn’t even necessary.


Pre-filled oil vape carts are the easiest method of enjoying hash oil while on the go. Their sleek and minimalist design allows for discreet vaping, free of the distracting qualities that larger setups or raw cannabis products may carry (such as noticeable smoke or odor).


For uninitiated cannabis concentrate users, dosing can be a major concern. Nobody wants an overwhelming experience when attempting to enjoy cannabis oil products responsibly. Unlike dabbing, using a pre-loaded vape pen allows for a highly controlled dose with each inhalation. This gives the user full autonomy of how much or little to consume.

The Types of Pre-Filled Cartridges Available

Familiarize yourself with the many types of pre-filled oil vape cartridges on the market so you can purchase the one that best fits your needs or preferences.

Cartridge/Battery Combos vs. Disposables

When choosing a pre-filled vape pen, there are several hardware options. Some products are offered in tanks that typically come formatted with a 510 threaded standard vaporizer battery insert. These tanks can fit on any battery that contains the 510 threading, and nowadays almost all battery tanks come in this format. The exception to this is when you purchase pre-loaded tanks designed by companies to fit their personalized batteries. An example would be the PAX Era Pods, which are designed to be used with their vaporizer/battery systems.

Alternatively, many pre-loaded vape pens are available as “disposables,” containing a pre-charged battery designed to support the device until the tank empties. These pen varieties require no charging and are meant to be disposed of after use. They contain no threading and are not meant to be separated from their battery.

Distillate Cartridges vs. CO2

For a vaporizer cartridge to function properly, its contents must have the proper viscosity. Otherwise, the oils with either be too thick or too thin to be able to vaporize within the device. Depending on the starting material used, cartridge manufacturers utilize several methods in order to create the perfect oil for their pens.

CO2 Oil: Certain high grade winterized CO2 oils are uniquely compatible with vaporizer cartridges due to the fact that they do not require additives of any kind to meet the viscosity levels needed to vaporize in an atomizer. If made properly, these oils are able to retain modest levels of plant based terpenes, which act as natural thinning agents as well as give the oils their signature strain-specific flavors.

Distillates:  A cannabis distillate is a highly refined oil containing pure cannabinoids and almost nothing else. The upside to using distillates in vaporizer cartridges is that the oil can be produced from a range of starting materials. Virtually any hash oil variety from CO2 to BHO and everything in between can be purified into a distillate with the right hardware. The downside to using distillates in vaporizer cartridges is that because there are no residual terpenes left behind, there is nothing to cut the viscosity of the material. In order for a distillate to be used for cartridges, a thinning agent of some kind is often required.

Additives: Additives are sometimes used in vape cartridge oils as a supplemental thinning agent. In some cases, methods have been taken to “cut” or infuse various hash oils with certain substances such as polyethylene glycol (PEG), propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), or even medium chain triglycerides (MCT) such as coconut oil in order to maintain a less viscous and lasting oil consistency conducive to standard atomizer functionality. This process has become highly controversial due to raised health concerns and products containing these thinning agents are showing up less on the market as of late.

One way that vaporizer cartridge manufacturers have been able to steer away from artificial cutting agents is by using terpenes.

Terpene Infusions and Strain-Specific Flavorings

The use of terpenes has been found to help lower the viscosity of hash oil as well as increase flavor and aromatics, making them a potentially safer alternative to other cutting agents. Terpenes not only add flavor and aromatics to the experience, they can also help alter the effects or a product due to their ability to influence how cannabinoids interact with our system.

There are several ways to use terpenes with pre-filled vaporizer cartridges. First, some manufactures rely on CO2 based extractions which when refined by use of ethanol can actually retain plant based terpenes at a percentage conducive to achieving proper viscosity. This is how manufacturers are able to sell flavors based on natural strain profiles. Furthermore, natural cannabis derived terpenes profiles that have been fractioned through refinement can be re-added to hash oils in small percentages, creating a natural spectrum of flavor and effect while also giving an oil the correct consistency required to function in a cartridge.

On the other hand, food-grade terpene flavorings are arguably the most prevalent as well as the lowest quality additives used in cartridges. Terpenes can not only be found all over nature (cannabis included), but can also be synthesized in a lab.

Take d-limonene for example, a popular terpene additive that is found in some cannabis varietals. Many manufacturers use food-grade d-limonene as the sole flavoring additive for their pre-loaded cartridges. Although this helps to cut the viscosity of the oil as well as offer a mild flavor enhancement, infusions such as this tend to be one-dimensional and offer little to nothing in enhancing experience to the user.

When shopping for cartridges, oftentimes these types of pens will be labeled as “lemon/lime”-flavored to represent this additive being used. Many other food-grade terpenes are used in this respect, which is why it’s important to check with your budtender and read labels carefully when buying terpene-infused cartridges.

Products Labeled by Effect

Many times, pre-filled oil vape cartridges are labeled and marketed by their supposed effect on the user. Products of this variety tend to claim they provide “relaxing” or “energetic” effects, with some often being labeled as indica, sativa, or even hybrid. When infused into a product, these terpene combinations are designed to give effects similar to what you would find in particular cannabis strains.

Whether they’re infused with food-grade terpenes or naturally-derived terpenes extracted from cannabis strains, many of these products incorporate carefully mixed combinations similar to what would be traced in a strain or strain type. How well these infusions imitate the strain varieties they mimic is debatable; however, products with terpene combinations tend to give a more enhanced experience than a similar product containing one or no terpenes.

Cannabinoid-Specific Cartridges

Although many hash oil pen varieties are labeled by flavor or effect, some focus on cannabinoid concentration. Aside from the typical high-THC product that most pens offer, there are some manufacturers that offer products containing elevated levels of cannabidiol (CBD).

High-CBD pens may or may not contain added flavorings, but they do guarantee a ratio of THC to CBD that can range from 2:1 all the way to 20:1 and greater. These types of pens offer great medicinal value to those looking for CBD in an easy-to-consume product.

Full-Spectrum Cartridges

The pinnacle of pre-loaded oil cartridges in terms of overall quality rests with full-spectrum extracts. These products are created using the entire spectrum of bioavailable molecules found within a given cannabis strain. A full-spectrum oil does not add, reintroduce, or remove any active compound within a strain and offers a flavor and effect far superior and multidimensional to most competitors.

Pre-filled full-spectrum cartridges are hard to come by and are only offered in certain markets; their price tends to reflect their rarity as well. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a market where these products are available, it’s highly recommended to fork up the extra cash to give one a shot. In terms of strain comparability, the flavor on a full-spectrum cart is incredibly similar to what you would experience in a strain.

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