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The Best Guide to Pipes

By Brad N August 01, 2019

There are many ways to smoke cannabis, but pipes are hands down the most well-known of all smoking devices out there. 

The anatomy of a pipe is simple. It does, however, require some basic knowledge to get the most out of your smoking experience. 

There are different types, styles, and designs a weed pipe may come in, each of them having a slightly different learning curve and unique features that change the way you enjoy your flowers.

Whether you’re a complete newbie or just want to explore new means of getting medicated, weed pipes have much to offer. In this guide, we’ll cover key fundamental principles to look for when choosing your next pipe. We’ll also show you how to pack a bowl like a seasoned cannaisseur.

Let’s get started!

The Anatomy of a Pipe

Cannabis accessories com in all shapes and sizes, but smoking pipes are arguably the most diversified devices.

Weed pipes derive from traditional pipes used for tobacco, so they share some common characteristics.

As mentioned, the anatomy of a pipe is simple. A basic weed pipe consists of the following pars:

  • Bowl: this is where you place the cannabis and where you light it up.
  • Shank: the shank is the horizontal element of the pipe that works like a neck and is connects the bowl with the stem.
  • Stem: this is the “grip” of your pipe, the part that connects the mouthpiece with the shank.
  • Mouthpiece: the element you put your lips on and smoke the weed out of.
  • Pipes can vary widely in their design and complexity. Some models utilize water to filter the smoke and cool it prior to inhalation. Other pipes only have basic features and they are physically referred to as a “spoon.”

    The Anatomy of a Pipe

    We’ll get to that later in the article, but first, let’s focus on the perks that come upon purchasing a weed pipe.

    Benefits of Using a Pipe

    A pipe has been with humans for centuries for a couple of good reasons.

    To begin with, they offer great portability. Weed pipes are typically compact, so you can conceal them in a pocket. You can’t do the same with a bong, but with a bubbler pipe — the type that uses water for extra filtration — you’re all set and good to go.

    Moreover, weed pipes are very discreet. If you prefer to stay low-profile when smoking cannabis, a pipe is a second-best device to do that.

    Only vaporizers are better for that job, but the cost of a decent weed pipe is much lower than the cost of a high-quality vaporizer.

    The abundance of different shapes, sizes, and designs allow you to get a more exact matching to your preferences. For example, a glass bubbler bong if you want cool and smooth smoke but need more portability.

    Speaking of which...

    Different Types of Weed Pipes

    Marijuana pipes are categorized by two factors: the material used to make them or their style and design.

    Below we elaborate on the most common types of weed pipes based on the sourcing material.

    1. Glass Pipes

    This is probably the most common type of marijuana pipes you can find online. Glass pipes usually produce better-tasting smoke than their wooden or metal counterparts. In addition, a glass pipe can also feature a bubbler, which is a special element for filtering and cooling the smoke.

    However, glass pipes are also more fragile than those made of wood or metal, but then again, it depends on the type of glass used for making the pipe. More expensive, high-quality pipes are made of borosilicate or quartz glass to prevent them from shattering after making sudden contact with the floor.

    2. Wooden Pipes

    Wooden pipes are typically made for smoking tobacco, although they can do as good a job for smoking cannabis. A tobacco wooden pipe usually has a larger bowl to pack full of tobacco, so tobacco smokers typically have to spend awhile smoking their stuff.

    Wooden Pipes

    Smoking weed out of a wooden pipe gets you as close to nature as possible. It gives you a natural and rich smoking experience because the hits taken from wooden pipes usually warm, and carry the distinct woody notes over to the smoke’s flavor.

    You can find both simple wooden pipes or pieces with carved designs — those units are often hand-crafted and cos more than pipes manufactured on a broader scale.

    3. Metal Pipes

    Metal Pipes feature some of the fanciest designs we’ve ever seen. Regular metal pipes, also known as chamber pipes, have a bowl that attaches to the top of an L-shaped connector element then is screwed onto the stem and the mouthpiece.

    On a visual note, metal pipes are impressive, but when it comes to the smoking experience, they’re a little bit inferior to wooden or glass pipes. First of all, they tend to heat up pretty fast, so you may burn your mouthpiece if you’re not cautious; second, they don’t give you the best taste you can get when smoking out of a pipe.

    But if you’re looking for a stealthy pipe that has a unique design at the same time, then you’re going to be satisfied with a metal piece.

    Different Designs of Weed Pipes

    Okay, that was the easier part.

    Now it’s time to show you the true wealth of different designs and styles of marijuana pipes.

    Different Designs of Weed Pipes

    Here’s what you can expect when looking for a pipe online:

    1. Bubbler Pipes

    A bubbler pipe works like a small bong. It’s actually a mix of a bong and a pipe. You put a little bit of water down into the bottom chamber of the pipe (through the bowl), then you pull the smoke through the water when you smoke — achieving the same effect as you would with a bong. 

    Save for the fact that a bubbler pipe is more portable, smaller, and easier to conceal.

    Using a bubbler pipe cools your smoke and filters it from hazardous substances that would otherwise end up in your lungs. Since bubbler pipes are made of glass, the hits are also more flavorful compared to other materials.

    If you’re looking for the ultimate experience with a weed pipe, the bubbler unit will be your best bet.

    2. Chillum

    Chillum is a conical pipe that has been used in spiritual rites in India, but during recent times, it also has become a popular tool among Rastafarians and recreational cannabis users.

    You can choose between small chillums and larger units. Small chillums tend to bring the hot smoke directly into your mouth. Thus, we usually recommend buying a larger chillum — not only will you feel like being a part of a ritual, but you’ll also be able to cool of the smoke with a larger piece.

    Chillums are made out of wood, stone, and glass.

    3. Foldable Pipes

    Foldable pipes ensure the best stealth and storage standards. They are usually made out of flat elements of wood or metal that slide or fit together like puzzles to form a convenient pipe with a small bowl.

    Some foldable units include magnets. These can be later detached from the pipe so the device gets divided into separate pieces. They can fit together like a block, or those models with magnets can be formed into whatever shape you want.

    You can easily store foldable pipes in a drawer, on a fridge, or anywhere else you like. No one will ever be able to tell what the device is at first glance.

    Foldable Pipes

    4. One-hitters

    As the name suggests, one-hitters are small pipes that have enough space in them for taking one juicy hit of cannabis. They often include dugouts, but the majority of these units are small pipes all by themselves.

    One-hitters are usually made out of metal (for unknown reason) but some pieces include rubber mouthpieces and a cover that attaches to the mouthpiece to protect your mouth from burning when you take a hit.

    One-hitters can take many forms and shapes, some featuring a cigarette-like design to easily use them in public — they can even have a yellow-painted ending to make it look more like a cig.

    5. Stealth Pipes

    Okay, so we owe you an explanation — every one-hitter is a stealth pipe but not every stealth pipe is a one-hitter. That’s why stealth pipes deserve their own category.

    These pieces look like everyday ordinary items but can be reconfigured to serve as an easily hittable weed pipe that is both efficient and extremely portable. There are stealth pipes that resemble pens, lipstick, or pen drives

    6. Vaporizer Pipes

    While not the most popular type of pipes out there, vaporizer pipes are real and you can even buy a few pieces online. A vaporizer pipe works like a regular pipe but is specifically designed to vaporize the weed inside instead of burning it. This allows you to get more THC out of your strain, and it also makes the vapor free of hazardous substances.

    How to Pack & Smoke Your Bowl

    Aside from the obvious pipe, you’re going to need a few more items to get started.

    First comes some form of a heating element. The most basic thing you can use is a lighter. You can use a butane-fuelled lighter or one of the many non-butane heating elements available online. The most effective heaters will give you an optimal heating temperature when preparing your bowl.

    How to Pack & Smoke Your Bowl

    Some consumers like to use hemp wick, a waxy piece of hemp string, to ignite the material inside the bowl. That’s because hemp wicks don’t give off an undesirable aftertaste, unlike using a traditional lighter.

    Another factor to keep in mind is whether or not you want to use a screen for smoking out of a pipe. Screens are useful from keeping the burning bits of cannabis away from your lungs.

    If you don’t have a pack of pipe screens, you can use a few DIY solutions, such as twisting a piece of wire into a coil or making a screen from a faucet head.

    We advise you to steer clear of aluminum foil, soda cans, or window screens as equivalents, as these often include other materials that are dangerous to inhale.

    Take a look at the process described below to understand how to pack a bowl of your weed pipe for maximum efficiency:

    Instructions:

    1. Make sure you break down your weed buds. You can do it by hands or use a grinder; the grinder will make the process much easier. However, don’t grind it too finely because smaller particles will pass through the mouthpiece and get to your palate, causing an unpleasant, cough-inducing sensation.
    2. Use a stem at the very bottom of the bowl for even better protection against the small particles. As mentioned, you can also use a screen to bolster this effect. The screen will also allow for better airflow.
    3. Pack your cannabis very lightly at the bottom and slightly more tightly at the top to ensure an even smoke. This allows the weed towards the top to continue burning while opening airflow for convenient inhalation and without making any clogs.

    Where to Buy a Decent Weed Pipe

    The vast majority of stuff is sold in headshops, though we wouldn’t recommend buying a marijuana pipe locally. That’s because headshops mostly sell mediocre to low-quality pipes made of either plastic, silicone, or fragile glass.

    Where to Buy a Decent Weed Pipe

    If you want a professional piece made of hardened glass that will ensure both durability and flavorful smoking experience, then we suggest that you look for your next weed pipe online.

    Here at Fat Buddha Glass, we provide our customers with a wide selection of hand-crafted glass pipes, available in a plethora of shapes, designs, and colors. From standard pipes to bubblers and bongs, we make sure that each piece is made of high-quality ingredients and ensures the right level of safety and convenience.

    Do you smoke weed out of pipes? What’s the best part about smoking cannabis this way in your opinion? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.


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