Cannabis 101

 9 best ways to smoke weed

Published on March 15, 2023 · Last updated April 3, 2023
image of white smoke on black background
White smoke on black background

Learn the best ways to consume cannabis and how to choose the right one for you. 

Jump to a section

Humans have been experimenting with different methods of smoking weed for generations. The first-known bong found by scientists dates back 2,400 years ago, when tribal chiefs used golden “vessels” to smoke substances like cannabis and opium. Since then, more methods of smoking weed have become mainstream, leaving the modern cannabis smoker with a long list of options to choose from.

To help you get started on your smoking journey, Leafly created this list of the best ways to smoke weed and the pros and cons of each method.

Different ways to smoke weed


Girl wrapping marijuana joint top view pov

A joint is ground cannabis flower rolled up into a smoking paper. Joints are a popular choice in social settings and arguably one of the easiest ways to smoke weed. 

The primary benefit of smoking a joint is the convenience factor. Joints are easy to carry and fun to share with friends. And because joints tend to be small, controlling your THC dosage is easier than other ways of smoking weed. For this reason, joints are a great place for new cannabis consumers to start when figuring out the way they like smoking weed the best.

The downside of smoking a joint is that, depending on how often you’re smoking, it may not be the most cost-effective option compared to buying cannabis flower in bulk and smoking with a pipe or bong. 


Another popular way to smoke weed is with a pipe. Pipes are usually made from glass. Pipes are convenient to carry around and are discrete. 

Pipes appeal to cannabis consumers of all experience levels because they are a low-maintenance way to smoke weed. Pipes come in different shapes and sizes, making it easy to carry them around. Compared to bongs, pipes offer the same potent high, but without the added need for water. 

Shop highly rated dispensaries near you

Showing you dispensaries near
See all dispensaries

The cons of smoking weed out of a pipe are that, like bongs, they may be made out of glass and can easily break or crack if you drop them. Because pipes don’t use water, the hit may come across as harsher than other smoking methods that do use water.


Smoking weed from a bong is one of the most tried and true ways to get high. Bongs, sometimes called “water pipes,” are pipes that filter smoke before you inhale it. Typically made from glass, many bongs have the same visual appeal as a work of art.

Bongs are one of the most timeless devices used for smoking weed. They often appeal to cannabis smokers because the water chamber provides a smoother and cleaner feeling hit than other ways of smoking weed. 

The cons of smoking weed with bongs is that many bongs are made of glass, which means they break easily. Additionally, bongs aren’t as portable as other methods of smoking weed, and often deliver large hits of smoke.

For new cannabis consumers, bongs may not be the best method for your first time smoking weed. The mechanics of smoking out of a bong are easy to learn with practice, but as a new cannabis consumer, it could feel challenging and could put a damper on your smoking experience. Bongs can also provide a potent high, which might overwhelm those with a low THC tolerance. 

In general, bongs should be reserved for experienced cannabis consumers willing to master their airflow.


Bubblers are a hybrid of bongs and pipes. On the outside, bubblers look similar to pipes. But they often stand out because they also have a water chamber, like bongs. What makes a bubbler different from a bong is that bubblers do not have a removable bowl for clearing smoke. Instead, it works like a pipe with a carb built in. 

Bubblers are popular because they mimic the experience of smoking out of a bong but with much more compact hardware. Cannabis consumers like bubblers because the water in the chamber helps cool down smoke to prevent throat irritation. For this reason, bubblers are a great starting point for cannabis consumers learning how to smoke weed.

Vape pen

MVP: Co2lors disposable vape pens from Trulieve. (Courtesy Trulieve)

Vape pens are portable smoking pens with cartridges containing cannabis oil and a heating element powered by a battery. Vape pens are popular because they are easy to use and don’t require extra items like a lighter. Another feature of vape pens is that they are discrete in size and smell.

Depending on how often you hit your vape pen, as well as the potency of your oil, you may or may not experience a potent high. If it’s your first time smoking weed with a vape pen, space out your hits until you understand how the THC affects your body.

The downside of vapes is that serious health and safety concerns have risen within the last five years. In 2020 there were 2,800 cases of EVALI reported, a disease caused by a harmful ingredient in vapes created and sold in the illicit market.
If you’re considering buying a vape pen for smoking weed, it’s best to do so from a dispensary. Cannabis products sold in dispensaries must first pass rigorous chemical testing before any product can be sold to an adult.


The distant cousin of joints are spliffs. A spliff is a joint that has cannabis flower and tobacco mixed together. Spliffs appeal to many people transitioning from smoking tobacco to smoking weed, as they provide the best of both worlds. Another added benefit of spliffs is that they are much easier to roll than a joint. Because tobacco is finely cut, it can fill in the tiny gaps that cannabis can’t.

The downside to smoking spliffs is that some people don’t like tobacco and don’t want to mix it with their cannabis. Additionally, the smell of tobacco mixed into the spliff can be a turn-off for some people. Not to mention tobacco is known to be harmful to your health.

If you’re a new cannabis consumer, spliffs may not be the best way to smoke weed, as the combination of effects from cannabis and tobacco could feel overwhelming.


Blunts are another tobacco-inclusive way of smoking weed. Blunts feature ground cannabis flower wrapped up in thick paper made of tobacco. 

Blunts are appealing to people who enjoy the smell and taste of tobacco. Depending on the wrap, some come in enjoyable flavors like grape, strawberry, cherry, etc., adding to the overall smoke experience. But for the same reason people enjoy blunts, other people dislike them and are turned off by the smell and taste of tobacco.

Blunts can offer potent effects and should be reserved for cannabis consumers who are comfortable with and enjoy the taste of tobacco.

Dab rig

A dab rig with quartz banger in the scientific style. (Courtesy of Badass Glass)

A dab rig is a small type of water pipe used to smoke cannabis concentrates like rosin, oil, sauce, and more. Smoking weed out of a dab rig is appealing because dab rigs are more portable than bongs, and don’t use loose cannabis flower, like bongs. While smoking weed with a dab rig means that you are enjoying noncombustible concentrate, you still need a heating element like a torch or e-nail to get your dab rig to the right temperature before you take a hit. 

The downside to smoking weed out of a dab rig is that concentrates are incredibly potent compared to cannabis flower and may not be suitable for someone new to the feelings that THC gives them, as the effects could feel overwhelming. Additionally, using a torch to heat up a dab rig takes practice to get right, and buying butane replacements can be costly over time.


A Grav one hitter.

A one-hitter is a small pipe you can smoke weed out of. As the name suggests, one-hitters can only hold one hit of weed at a time. One-hitters come in different styles, including versions that resemble cigarettes for those who prefer discretion. 

Cannabis consumers enjoy one-hitters because they are convenient to use and don’t take up a lot of space. One-hitters are nice for new cannabis consumers because you can only load one hit at a time, making it difficult to smoke too much weed at one time. Due to their limited ability to hold volume, one-hitters usually provide a less potent high than other forms of smoking weed. 

At the same time, some people might find one-hitters frustrating because you must re-load them each time you want to take a hit. Some may also prefer a smoking method that produces a more potent high than what one-hitters offer.

What is the best way to consume cannabis?

What matters the most when deciding the best way for you to consume cannabis ultimately comes down to personal wants, needs, and preferences. Whatever method of smoking weed you enjoy the most is the one that’s best for you. Additionally, the following factors may also be a factor in your decision.

Product availability

Depending on where you live, you may not have access to specific forms of cannabis used for certain types of smoking methods, such as oils or concentrates.

Ability to purchase hardware and smoking accessories

Some methods of smoking weed will require particular kinds of tools and hardware that can be costly or difficult to find. Alternatively, some forms of cannabis, like pre-rolls are sold ready to smoke.

Your lifestyle

Not all smoking methods will work for every lifestyle. For example, people who want to smoke on the go likely don’t have the time or space to carry a bong and light up.

Your personal preference

Ultimately, what matters the most comes down to personal wants, needs, and preferences. Whatever method of smoking weed you enjoy the most is the one that’s best for you. 

Health considerations

It’s important to take into consideration any health concerns you might have when smoking weed. For example, people with respiratory issues like asthma should always consult a doctor before smoking weed.
Ready to go to the dispensary? Use Leafly to help you find medical and recreational dispensaries near you.

Shop highly rated dispensaries near you

Showing you dispensaries near
See all dispensaries
Cassidy Rush
Cassidy Rush
Cassidy is an SEO specialist and writer in Seattle covering cannabis. Before joining Leafly, she was a writer for PayScale and Delta Dental.
View Cassidy Rush's articles
Get good reads, local deals, and strain spotlights delivered right to your inbox.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to Leafly's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Stay In Touch

Receive updates on new products, special offers, and industry news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to Leafly's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Leafly mobile app
Get high for less.
Download the Leafly app.
Download Leafly: Marijuana Reviews on the App Store
Download Leafly Marijuana Reviews on Google Play

* Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for individual medical advice.

© 2024 Leafly, LLC
Leafly and the Leafly logo are registered trademarks of Leafly, LLC. All Rights Reserved.