By Anthony Martinelli

By David R.

A pipe is no use if you do not know how to use it. These tips for smoking pipes are meant to help you get the most out of your pipe. You might be surprised, plenty of people get smoking their pipe wrong. By following these tips for smoking pipes, your smoking experience could be made better than you could ever have imagined.

Seven Tips for Smoking Pipes Right

  1. Grind it up

It might be tempting to stick your bud in the bowl and just blaze away, but you might be missing a whole lot of experience (not to mention cannabinoids). By grinding the cannabis, you increase its surface area. This larger surface means that the cannabis will burn more quickly. Before you go and think that it is a bad thing, bear in mind that it will burn more evenly. This makes smoking your bud much more consistent and tasty, as you are not taking hits of already half burnt cannabis. A good grinder can be had for as little as $20 and is also a brilliant way of storing your bud in a discreet and convenient manner.

A dry herb grinder can also collect pollen from your cannabis, storing it for sprinkling on top of your ground up herbs for an extra hit. For a little investment, a grinder can improve your cannabis enjoyment immensely.

  1. Gauzes

When you are using your pipe, have you noticed little bits ending up in your mouth or worse, the back of your throat? It can be tickly and irritating, causing huge coughing fits and general discomfort. The reason you might have experienced this is that you were not using any gauze. Just a fine metal mesh, they go below the cannabis in the bowl and provide a level of filtering that stops those hot little bits getting into your mouth.

Easily available on the web or from many shops, they are cheap and convenient, once you have used them it is hard to go back to anything else. Brass or stainless steel are recommended. Before you buy, make sure you have measured the bowl you are fitting them into, a snug fit will work best. Push the gauze down into the bowl as far as it will go and pack the cannabis on top. This also stops the pipe getting clogged and reduces the need for regular cleaning.

  1. Packing it right

If you pack your bowl too tight, it is never going to smoke properly. Too loose and lots of smoke is lost to the atmosphere, not your lungs. Or it blows away. The right density of cannabis is also essential to get an even burn and the best flavour. To achieve the right mix, grind your cannabis and mix it around a little on a table or in the palm of your hand. Pick it up loosely and place it into your bowl. Then, with your thumb, press down gently until you can feel it is more or less packed. This takes a little practice, but it is simple enough to get right. You will notice that it burns more evenly and tastes better.

  1. The Right Lighter?

Sure, Zippos might look cool but they are not the right tool for your Roor Pipes or brand new Grav Labs pipe (highly recommended by the way). Petroleum lighters give your cannabis a certain taste, which some people like but most don’t. Inhaling partially combusted petroleum is probably not too great for you as well.

The ideal lighter for a pipe is, wait for it: a pipe lighter! Modern ones use gas jets to provide the most efficient and most importantly, hot flame to a very specific area. This combusts the herbs quickly, giving you an intense hit. Lighters like this are especially useful if you are sharing a pipeful with someone. Burn a small section completely with the lighter and pass the pipe to your friend, who can get a hit of completely unburned herb. A regular lighter might just burn the whole top layer, making every hit afterwards taste like old burned herbs. With a little practice you can get your pipe to be as sociable as a joint but much better for you.

They are not very expensive and are worth it for the speed, smaller impact on taste, and convenience.

  1. Tobacco?

Obviously, smoking tobacco isn’t the best thing to do health-wise. It does, however, help the cannabis in the bowl to burn. Pure cannabis does not burn very well, but tobacco will keep itself lit for a while, helping the cannabis to combust. While it is definitely not recommended to people who do not smoke tobacco normally, or anyone trying to quit; if you already smoke, it can make smoking your pipe a bit easier and tastier. If you regularly use tobacco with your herbs in a pipe it can make it difficult to go back to just pure cannabis, so if you can avoid starting, avoid it, it is a habit you should try not to take up.

  1. Cleaning

It might seem obvious, but have you cleaned your pipe? One of the tips for smoking pipes a lot of people miss is the cleaning ones. There are even things designed specifically for this test. Pipe cleaners! They are not just those things you played with as a kid and stuck on brightly coloured pieces of paper, they actually are used to clean pipes. Obviousness over, they are very cheap and widely available.

Cannabis is full of tar, this collects in goopy messes inside your pipe and can be irritating to get rid of. The most effective method is to use isopropyl alcohol, but this is extremely flammable, so alternatives like hot water and dish soap work perfectly well. Once your pipe is clean, you will notice the flavour is much improved and there are fewer burned bits getting into your mouth.

  1. Bowl

Yes, this is a list of tips for smoking pipes, not an advert for pipes, but have you thought about a different bowl? There are different options for everyone, big, small, shallow or deep, each with different attributes. If your pipe has a removable bowl, why not try a different attachment? If not, take a look at your pipe(s) and see what you like about it. What do you think could change?

A shallow bowl will burn faster and contain less. This is good for quicker and more discreet hits, but less good for big sessions or loading up a big nugget and passing around your friends. A less sociable bowl, perhaps.

Deep bowls are party bowls. Unless you are a serious user, a deep bowl might be too much. You have to pack them properly so they burn properly, and this can mean a lot of herbs at a time. For a quick blast these are not the best choice.

Tight bowls can be deep or shallow. They contain the herbs better than a wider one and can therefore be useful for discreet smoking. Otherwise, they can result in some difficult ignition problems.


Hopefully these tips for smoking pipes have been helpful, and hopefully your pipe smoking is more enjoyable as a result. There are thousands of options available, so take your time choosing and spend your money wisely. A good pipe such as a bud bomb pipe can be a friend through many years of herbal enjoyment, and while they can inevitably break, they are definitely worth investing in.

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