The Smoking Edition

Blaze up the ganja! Smoking is the traditional method and one of the most common ways that humans ingest cannabis. It has been the way homo sapiens have ingested cannabis for thousands of years. Historically through a pipe, in the last few hundred years through rolled cannabis cigarettes (joints), smoking cannabis is a widely stigmatized but integral part of human history.


Smoking cannabis has many different methods. The pipe is the first. Ever heard of a peace pipe? Indigenous cultures across the world have been smoking herbs in pipes for hundreds (probably thousands) of years. If you’ve never seen a pipe before, open another tab and enter it into a google search. Pipes are fashioned with varying materials, from glass and wood to ceramic, metal and stone. Often, this is one of the first ways that novice user try cannabis, because rolling a smokable joint takes a certain level of skill. Pipes are excellent for beginners! Remember that the longer the stem of the pipe is, i.e. the further away the bowl is from you, the smoke will be less harsh, as it will have had more space to cool down as it moves away from the bowl and flame. Why do you think Gandalf’s pipe is so long? It’s because he’s a pro. Most of the time, pipes have a “choke” which is a small hole you can cover / uncover to control the flow of the smoke through the pipe.

Pipe Pros:
– Easy to use, excellent for beginners
– Easy to share with a group
– Some water pipes and bongs are so beautiful they are considered pieces of art
– Great for people who like to collect and display
– Great for quick sessions or smoke breaks, great for on-the-go
– Fairly discreet

Pipe Cons:
– Inhaling smoke is not good for your lung health
– Smaller pipes make for very hot smoke which is harsh on the throat
– Needs to be cleaned often, and as a result pipes do not transmit flavour very well
– If you don’t keep your pipe in a smell proof container, the stench of that residual resin will stink up your bag or pocket

Rolling Cannabis

Smoking rolled cannabis is the second method we will discuss, another of the common ways to indulge. Rolled cannabis takes many different forms, but what ties them all together is they are all tubes or cones made from varying material that wrap around the dried cannabis. You light one end and smoke the other. It’s pretty simple. But the skill that comes into play fashioning these takes patience and practice. Read our article on How to Roll a Great Joint to get you started on the process of becoming a master roller.

You may have heard a plethora of different words relating to the same fundamental idea; joint, pinner, doobie, fatty, spliff, bat, L-pape, cannon, cone, Louisville slugger, blunts, swishers, hemp wraps and backwoods are some of the more common terms you’ll hear. They all use the same method to smoke (light one end, smoke the other), but they vary in size and the material the wrap is made of. For example, most blunt wraps are generally much larger than rolling papers (except King Size papers) and they are traditionally made from tobacco leaf. In the more recent years hemp options have become available. A pinner, on the other hand, is a term used for a very small joint, and is almost always rolled with small papers like Zig Zag whites or blues. A fatty, or a bat, is, you guessed it, the opposite of a pinner. That’s a big ol’ joint, so take a seat for this one.

In most of the world, people who roll cannabis mix it with tobacco because not only is cannabis expensive, it’s hard to come by, so this method allows your stash to reach a lot further. Lucky for us, here in beautiful Canada (especially BC) it is more common to roll joints full of simply cannabis. That’s because the prices here are some of the best in the world, and it’s available everywhere! So yeah, sorry, not sorry. We’re spoiled.

Rolling Pros:
– Excellent for passing around a group (smoking hack: always pass to the left)
– You can determine the size of what you roll (Elements and Raw even produce full sheets you can cut to your preferred size)
– You can pre-roll to have prepared on-the-go, or roll it on-the-go, either way it’s a great way to smoke out and about
– When it comes to smoking methods, rolled cannabis is the best way to get the most flavour out of your cannabis

Rolling Cons:
– Inhaling smoke is not good for your lung health
– Most people need a table to roll, and materials (serious rollers don’t need a table and ALWAYS have materials, so this doesn’t apply to you)
– Not very discreet
– That “I just smoked weed” smell is gonna be all over your clothes and fingers. Do yourself a favour and get some mints and hand sanitizer.

Water Pipes and Bongs

The third method of smoking we shall discuss is the use of water pipes and bongs. Hit up a google search for these two to get a better idea of what they look like if you don’t already know; a picture is worth a thousand words. These pieces of art are made from many different materials ranging from wood, glass and ceramic to plastic and stone. They vary heavily in price from fifteen or twenty buck to… well, how much are you willing to spend? You can find glass art available for a small fortune. Water pipes and bongs are different from the pipe smoking method because they have a chamber that holds water. The cannabis is put into a bowl, just like a pipe. Water pipes also have chokes, while most bongs do not. When you light the bowl, you draw the smoke into the chamber, where it passes through water. This is much different than a pipe because it allows the smoke to cool down before reaching your throat. Some people put ice cold water in their water pipes (sometimes called bubblers for the sound they make) and some smart stoners even put ice cubes in the shafts of their bongs to increase the cooling of the smoke. And god damn, does it ever work! Cool smoke makes the smoking experience much more soothing on your lungs.

Water pipes look just like regular pipes, but they have a bigger chamber, usually beneath the bowl, to hold the water. Bongs, on the other hand, usually have a water chamber as the base, and a shaft where you inhale the smoke out of. This method allows you to bring more smoke into the chamber before you take the toke. Some bongs have multiple water chambers and ‘percolators’ to further optimize the smoke temperature and to carry the smoke on a longer journey through more water chambers before it reaches your mouth. Beware of bongs if you’re new! They can hit real hard. Remember, always pull the smoke into your mouth first, then inhale it. If you try inhaling it all at once, we promise you’ll cough a lung out. Take it slow! Or if you’re a regular bong user, just don’t listen to us. Rip a massive bowl, homie.

Bongs and water pipes are the “level-up” of sorts, from regular pipes. The experience is made more enjoyable with water, and you can get a harder-hitting, longer lasting effect using them. A lot of college students and full-time stoners swear by bongs. If you haven’t ever tried using a bong or a water pipe, definitely give it a shot the next time you get a chance! Just remember like with all cannabis-ingesting methods, take it slow at first!

Water Pipes + Bongs Pros
– Using water (especially cool water + ice cubes) makes the smoking experience smoother and more pleasant on the throat
– The effects of the toke are much more hard hitting and long lasting
– Some water pipes and bongs are so beautiful they are considered pieces of glass art
– Great for people who like to collect and display

Water Pipes + Bongs Cons
– Inhaling smoke is not good for your lung health
– The water needs to be replaced often, as all the resin and residual plant material is pulled into the water after each bowl
– The piece will need regular cleaning, often the lazy bong owner’s bong toke taste disgusting as a result of no cleaning
– Not a good option for transport or on-the-go use as they are often made of glass and fragile

It’s Time to Explore!

Ok! Now you’re ready to tackle the world of smoking cannabis, and you’re equipped with all the knowledge you’ll need to get started. Holler at us on our LiveChat if you ever have any questions about the consumption of cannabis. We’re here to help. Here at Canmedi, we pride ourselves in our decades of combined experience in this industry, and we want to share our knowledge with you! Let us know in the comments sections if you’re digging these blog post, and let us know if there are any specific topics you’d like us to cover, we’re here for you!

“When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself”
– Bob Marley

Tom Danks
Canmedi’s Resident Cannabis Content Chronisseur