How To Smoke Weed: The Beginner Friendly Guide
I’ve smoked a lot of weed in my life, but I can still remember the first time I smoked a bowl like it was yesterday. I went big off the bat, taking a huge hit that I tried hard to hold. Needless to say, I coughed my lungs out for the next five minutes and nearly passed out.
Don’t end up like me. There’s definitely a right and wrong way when it comes to smoking weed.
If you’re a newbie learning how to smoke weed for the very first time, welcome. We want your first smoking experience to be the best it can possibly be.
Key Takeaways: Smoking Weed
- There are several different ways you can smoke weed (pipe, joint, bong, etc).
- Coughing is totally normal when you’re learning how to smoke herb, but by taking smaller hits and inhaling super slowly you can prevent coughing.
- Take your time. You only need to take a hit or two initially, as effects can be intense. Expect psychoactive effects to kick in almost instantly.
- If you can’t smoke for some reason, there are a few alternatives you can try that will still get you high.
What You’ll Need To Smoke Bud
There are many ways to smoke weed. In general, here’s a few essentials you’ll need:
- Flower or bud
- Rolling papers or blunt wraps (if smoking a joint/blunt)
- Smoking paraphernalia such as a pipe or bong (if not smoking a joint or blunt)
- Lighter, matches or a hemp wick
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What Is A Joint?
Joints are just another word marijuana cigarettes.
Joints you buy at the local dispensary are commonly called pre rolls or pre rolled joints. All joints are basically cigarettes that are packed with ground bud instead of tobacco. A joint is rolled in a thin paper, called a rolling paper, that is filled with cannabis.
This is not to be confused with a “spliff” which is a rolled cigarette that contains both marijuana and tobacco.
How to Smoke a Joint
To smoke a joint or pre roll, you’ll need a pack of rolling papers, cannabis flower and a grinder.
Follow this handy, step-by-step guide to rolling joints so you can start smoking your own pre rolled joints like a pro:
- Grind up a gram or two of cannabis.
- Make a filter or “crutch.” Cut a 1/4 – 1/2 inch of thick paper. Roll it into a tube. Set aside. (This step is optional, but can help reduce wasting your flower)
- Grab one piece of rolling paper and open it. Place the filter in one end. Hold the paper between your thumbs and index fingers while slightly pinching the end with the filter.
- Hold the paper so it’s in the shape of a taco shell and keep one index finger inside as you fill and roll it. Roll the joint with the sticky part remaining on the outside.
- Fill the paper with enough cannabis to form a cigarette or tube shape. Lick the sticky side of the paper and seal.
- Light the end of the joint that doesn’t have the filter. Place the filter tip in your mouth, inhale and enjoy!
What Is A Blunt?
A blunt is a slim cigar that’s filled with cannabis flower.
Blunts are made with cigarillo or cigar wraps (manufactured from tobacco leaves), but are simply referred to as blunt wraps amongst stoners.
Blunt wraps are studier and larger than joints because they’re made from tobacco leaves. Many smokers prefer blunts for a smoother experience.
How to Smoke a Blunt
Smoking a blunt requires a few ingredients: cannabis (duh!), a grinder (optional but it will result in a smoother hit), and a blunt wrap.
Here’s our helpful guide on how to roll and smoke blunts:
- Open up your cigarillo wrap by hand or with a pocket knife. Empty the tobacco contents.
- Grind one to two grams of cannabis flower. Pro tip: if you don’t have a grinder you can break up the bud by hand.
- With both hands, hold your blunt wrap like taco shell between your thumbs and forefingers. Place your index finger inside the wrap as you add the ground cannabis.
- Roll up your filled blunt wrap into the shape of a tube. Lick the outside of the wrap and gently press the wrap together to seal it.
- Light up any end of the blunt (or the end without a filter if you used one) and inhale slowly.
What Is A Weed Pipe?
A weed pipe is a small handheld smoking device used for heating and smoking cannabis. Pipes are most often made of glass but can also be made from wood or metal.
Pipes come in the shape of a skinny tube with a mouthpiece on end and a small bowl on the other. As the name implies, the bowl piece is meant for a hit or two of cannabis.
The most common types of pipes are pinch-pipes or one hitters and chillums.
Compared to a blunt and joint, smoking cannabis from a pipe is a lot harsher. The hot smoke travels through a slender chamber and goes immediately into your lungs.
However, it’s an easy and efficient smoking method. All that’s required is cannabis and a lighter.
How to Smoke a Pipe
Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to smoke herb out of a pipe:
- Break off a piece of bud that’s small enough to fit into the bowl piece.
- Insert the cannabis into the correct end (the end opposite the mouthpiece).
- Using a lighter, light the end of the pipe with the bud and inhale.
- Remove the used cannabis and refill the pipe by following steps 1-3.
- If you are unable to get smoke when you inhale try breaking up the marijuana into smaller pieces or putting less marijuana into the bowl piece.
What Is A Bong?
Also known as water pipes, bongs are handheld filtration devices that are filled with fresh water and used for smoking marijuana.
A bong enables the user to take a bigger hit because the water cools down the smoke before it reaches you.
Like pipes and bowls, bongs have a bowl piece (that also functions as a large carb hole) and a mouthpiece. Bongs contain a downstem where the bowl is placed, as well as a base that holds the water through which the smoke travels through.
Compared to pipes and pre rolled joints or blunts, bongs create a smoother hit. The water filters the smoke, cooling it down.
What Is A Bowl?
A bowl is slang for is a specific type of handheld weed pipe used for heating and smoking cannabis. Bowls are typically made from glass.
Weed pipes consist of a pipe bowl, mouthpiece, chamber and a “carb hole.” A carb hole is a tiny air hole used for emptying smoke.
The most common types of weed pipes are spoons, bubblers and sherlocks.
Smoking cannabis from a bowl is a lot harsher than a joint or blunt, though not quite as harsh as a one-hitter pipe. The hot smoke travels through a short chamber and goes directly into your lungs.
Using a bowl is a quick and simple smoking method. All that’s needed is cannabis, a pipe and a lighter.
How to Smoke a Bowl
Just like smoking a cannabis pipe, all you need to load and smoke a bowl is the bowl, cannabis and a lighter. A grinder is optional but recommended for a smoother smoking experience.
Here’s our simple guide on how to smoke weed from a bowl:
- Break off a piece of bud that’s small enough to fit into the bowl piece.
- Insert the cannabis into a bowl located on the opposite side of the mouth piece.
- Using a lighter, light the bowl or the end of the pipe with the bud and inhale.
- Remove the used cannabis and refill the bowl by following steps 1-3.
Hint: If the cannabis is small enough to fit through the hole at the bottom of your bowl, you’re going to end up sucking in small bits of cannabis. If you’re inhaling small bits of flower when smoking, simply place bigger pieces of marijuana into the bowl.
Puff Puff Pass
When learning how to smoke weed, learning cannabis etiquette is key.
When you smoke in a group, you must practice proper protocol
Trust us, there’s a proper way to smoke weed that’s pretty much universal amongst stoners. This will be the norm wherever you’re at and whoever you’re with.
It’s tradition to “puff, puff, pass.” All the saying means is that you take two hits of the joint, blunt or bowl and pass it to the next person.
How to Smoke Weed Properly
When smoking weed for the first time you will likely cough but it’s completely normal.
Here are some tips and tricks for how to smoke cannabis correctly. Not only will they keep you from coughing like crazy, these tips will ensure you get high:
- No matter the smoking mechanism, start with small hits.
- Once you take a hit, inhale slowly but fully. Newbies tend to inhale quickly and not take the full hit, but you’ll have a better experience if you softly inhale the smoke as deeply as you can. This way it doesn’t burn your throat which can cause more coughing.
- Do not hold in the hit. Contrary to popular belief this will not make you higher but will make you cough more.
- Make sure you slowly and smoothly exhale each hit.
- When smoking in groups always puff, puff, pass.
How To Not Cough When Smoking Weed?
- Take smaller hits.
- Inhale slowly and deeply.
- Exhale slowly and softly.
- Purchase higher quality cannabis.
- Take sips of water in between hits.
Alternatives to Smoking Weed
There are plenty of people who love getting high but don’t necessarily love to smoke. For those who prefer not to smoke their stash, following are some alternative ways to consume cannabis.
Edibles are a substitute for smoking cannabis. They offer a different kind of high compared to smoking weed. If you’re worried about lung health or the pungent scent of burning cannabis, edibles may be ideal for you.
Cannabis edibles can be consumed orally. Nowadays you can find an edible in your favorite food form such as cookies, rice crispy bars, pretzels, chips and more.
The edible high is not instant like smoking cannabis flower. On average, the effects kick in after 30 minutes or more, and can last up to 24 hours after consumption.
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This has to do with how your body metabolizes THC when it’s eaten. Just as the digestive system works once you begin chewing any food, cannabinoids are absorbed in the same way.
An edible high has a longer duration than the high you get from smoking. The liver metabolizes THC into 11-hydroxy-THC which also causes a more intense buzz. If you’re new to consuming edibles, it’s recommended to take a small dose and work your way up rather than overdoing and experiencing adverse effects your first time.
Edibles are very popular because they produce a longer lasting high and stronger psychoactive effects. You can get high free of cannabis smoke and the harmful chemicals that come from combustion.
Similar to edibles, sublinguals are edible cannabis products that are consumed sublingually or under the tongue. They are also healthier alternatives to smoking marijuana.
These products are absorbed via the mucous membrane located under your tongue. Sublinguals have a higher bioavailability than regular edibles. This is because the mucous membrane transports THC directly to the bloodstream so it doesn’t need to be digested to produce intoxicating effects.
Sublinguals also have a faster onset than traditional edibles since the THC bypasses the digestive system.
You can find sublinguals in a variety of forms including tinctures, lozenges, teas and tablets.
Sublinguals are favored for being fast acting and potent. It’s another way to consume cannabis with fewer harmful chemicals.
Topicals are cannabis-infused products intended to be used topically, or directly on the skin.
Popular cannabis topical products include creams, balms, lotions, sprays and salves.
Topicals are usually non-intoxicating but are known to offer rapid, localized relief.
These marijuana-infused products are popular for providing relief and specific therapeutic benefits without producing a high.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Old Do You Have To Be To Smoke Marijuana?
This depends on the state you live in. If you live in an adult-use state where cannabis is recreationally legal, such as California or Arizona, you must be 21 years of age and older.
But if you qualify for a medical marijuana (MMJ) card in a medical-use state you may legally consume cannabis at 18. Always check with your local state laws to be sure before cannabis use occurs.
How Do You Stop Coughing After Smoking Weed?
Take your time smoking. The larger hit you take, the more you’ll cough so begin with smaller hits. You’ll still get plenty high, take it from me.
You may also want to take sips of water once you stop coughing when time permits it. A drink of cold water can help cool down your throat and decrease the amount of coughing.
Another way you can smoke marijuana without coughing is to purchase higher grade cannabis flower. It tends to be better flushed and therefore smoother and less harsh.