Best way to inhale: Roll vs vape vs pipe vs bong
If you are new to cannabis use, you have likely quickly discovered that there is more than one way to partake. Edibles are rising in popularity, as are more medicinal techniques like tinctures and capsules. You can even apply cannabis products to your skin — though this is only effective if you aren’t planning to get high.
However, the oldest method of using weed remains the most popular: inhalation. Studies on the respiratory effects of marijuana use demonstrate that inhaling marijuana does not have nearly the same deleterious effect on lungs as tobacco; in fact, there is some evidence that smoking weed can have pulmonary benefits. Thus, beginners might very well opt to enjoy cannabis the good, old-fashioned way.
There’s just one problem: How should you inhale? There are four main methods for inhaling marijuana, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick rundown of each, so you can make the best decision for you:
Whether you purchase pre-rolls or roll your own joints and blunts, rollies are a common and convenient way to smoke weed. Especially when you are doing your own rolling, you have almost complete control over what your final product looks like — what strain it contains, whether it is augmented with concentrates like wax or kief, how much herb is packed inside and more. Plus, rolling papers are inexpensive and available almost everywhere, and they are lightweight and travel easily. Once you have smoked your rollie, there is minimal clean-up; you toss the roach, and that’s that.
However, rollies are not everyone’s favorite method of inhalation. While pre-rolls are cheap and available at every California weed shop, they don’t provide the same level of customization as rolling your own. However, rolling a joint takes practice; there are countless mistakes you can make if you are inexperienced, such as not grinding nugs first or sprinkling weed onto papers. If you don’t care to learn proper rolling technique, you might opt for a different inhalation method.
Pipes are perhaps the most exciting stoner accessory. Coming in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, colors and materials, pipes give your marijuana session some spark and pizazz, allowing your personality to shine through your weed tool of choice. Using a pipe is much easier than rolling a joint; while packing a bowl does take some skill, it requires much less coordination and care than DIY rollies. Plus, because you are holding an instrument instead of the weed itself, you are much less likely to get your clothing and fingers covered in that kushy smell.
However, pipes themselves require some maintenance. You need to clean your pipe after each use, or else the instrument will become thoroughly coated with the sticky leftovers of your weed — the resin. It is possible to harvest and smoke resin itself for an intense high, but even if you want to bother with keeping the resin, you need to scour your pipe every so often to prevent occlusions, or worse, mold.
Technically, a bong is just another variation of a pipe, called a water pipe, which draws the weed smoke through water as a way to filter out tar and combusted substances. Bong evangelists believe that hits from water pipes are cleaner and stronger than hits from rollies or pipes. It is true that bongs produce minimal smell, making them a bit more discreet than the methods mentioned above. Like pipes, bongs come in all different styles, so you can purchase one that suits your aesthetic with relative ease. In fact, those who prefer bongs often collect them and use them as art pieces around their homes.
The benefits of bongs are tempered by there noteworthy downsides. Bongs tend to be large and unwieldy, meaning they are all but impossible to use on the go or hide from family members or roommates. What’s more, bongs tend to be fragile, made from glass, and they are expensive, too. Like pipes, bongs need to be cleaned regularly or they will smell bad and become inefficient, but cleaning them is more laborious than cleaning a pipe. Ultimately, you need to commit to a certain lifestyle if you are a bong user.
Vaporizers seem like relatively new technology, but in fact stoners have been using vapes for decades to get high. Unlike other inhalation methods, vapes don’t directly combust cannabis material; instead, they heat it (either directly or indirectly) to create steam, which carries cannabis compounds with it. There are two primary types of vaporizers: tabletop vapes and portable vapes. As you might expect, the former is larger and bulkier, designed to sit on a table, while the latter usually fits in the hand and is designed for travel. There is remarkable variety in the features of vapes, with some capable of using concentrates like shatter and wax and others boasting simple, beginner-friendly e-liquid. There is such a breadth of options when it comes to vapes that you might want to talk to budtenders to better understand each make and model’s pros and cons.
As a newcomer to weed culture, there is so much for you to learn. However, if you take it slow and experiment with different methods of use, you are bound to find one that works perfectly for you.