Smoking is the oldest form of consuming cannabis and continues to be the most popular method even today. In ancient times, one of the earliest recorded uses of cannabis was by a group of people called the Scythians, based in Central Asia around 600 BC – 400 AD. They were known to throw cannabis on hot rocks inside of a tent and inhale the smoke.
Today, cannabis flower is the most sold cannabis product. Smoking that flower in joints, pipes, or bongs are some of the most popular ways to consume weed.
Arguably the simplest way to consume, to smoke, all you need is some weed, a device, and a lighter, and you’re good to go.
Learn all about the different ways to smoke weed below.
Guide to smoking weed
How is cannabis smoke absorbed by the body?
After you take a drag off a joint or a pull off a bong, inhaled smoke travels from your mouth into your lungs. The inside of your lungs are lined with millions of air sacs called alveoli, and combined, they have a huge surface area.
Compounds in cannabis smoke, such as THC, enter your bloodstream via the air sacs in your lungs, traveling first to your brain, and then the rest of your body.
This happens within seconds, and the cannabis consumer will likely feel the effects of smoking within minutes.
Different ways to smoke weed
Smoking methods haven’t evolved much since the times of our ancestors. These methods have been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, and continue to be some of the most popular ways to consume flower.
Smoking methods include:
- Rolling (joints, blunts, and spliffs)
- Pipes (including bubblers and one-hitters like chillums and dugouts)
Each has its pros and cons and provides a different experience.
Joints are arguably the most classic way to smoke weed. Other ways to roll up weed include blunts and spliffs, which incorporate tobacco. Portable and versatile, these rolls can be consumed almost anywhere with the flick of a match.
It used to be that you or someone you knew had to have the skills to roll one, but not anymore with the advent of pre-rolls.
Pipes are probably the most common smoking device because they are small, portable, convenient, and easy to use. Just break up some weed, pack a bowl, put a flame to it, and inhale.
They are available in different materials and come in many shapes and sizes, and price points.
Pipe glassblowing has evolved into an art form, while other pipes are prized for their functionality.
Bongs also come in a variety of styles and designs, and usually increase in sophistication from pipes because they incorporate water and need a chamber for it.
The addition of water cools the smoke, making hits smoother and cleaner, but it’s uncertain whether it acts as an effective filter for harmful substances.
Benefits of smoking weed
Smoking flower is the purest, most basic way of consuming cannabis—it hasn’t been altered or turned into dabs, edibles, or other products and allows you to taste the flavor of a strain. Growers have different growing practices as well, which can come out in the flavor of flower.
Variety of strains
You can enjoy all the different varieties of strains and the different flavors and effects each has to offer when smoking flower. Other cannabis products could be a mix of many strains.
Ritual of the session
There’s nothing like lighting up a joint or packing a bowl and passing it around a circle of friends, or sitting on a couch taking bongloads while watching a movie. Whatever your ritual, smoking methods lend themselves to one, while other forms like edibles, tinctures, and topicals don’t. The session can be a way to hang and bond with fellow stoners.
There can also be a ritual to rolling up—it takes some time to roll up a joint or blunt, which is part of the experience missed in other consumption methods.
Kayla Williams, Danté Jordan, and Pat Goggins contributed to this article.
Read more of Leafly’s guide to smoking marijuana
- How to smoke weed
- What’s the difference between joints, blunts, and spliffs?
- What is a pre-roll?
- How to roll a joint
- How to roll a blunt
- How to roll a crutch for your joint or spliff
- What is a cannabis grinder?
- What is a glass weed pipe?
- How to pack and smoke a bowl of weed
- What is a one-hitter pipe?
- How to make an apple pipe
- What is a bong?
- What is a gravity bong and how do you make one?
- How to clean glass bongs and pipes
- What is kief and how can you use it?
- What are moon rocks and how do you smoke them?
- Sploofs 101: How to reduce smell when smoking cannabis
- Need a light? 4 alternatives to using a lighter
- What is hotboxing with cannabis and does it work?