If you’re a first-timer or beginner weed smoker then the entire process may seem a little bit confusing. Don’t worry. There may be a little learning curve, but it’s not nearly as steep as you think. For this guide, I focus on the two most important aspects – how to inhale and different methods of consumption.
I hope you have the time to read the whole article, but I went ahead and made a little index if you want to skip to something specific.
How to Inhale Weed Properly
No matter what you smoke out of, you are going to need to inhale the weed. If you’re not used to smoking then you may be prone to simply holding the smoke in your mouth. Unfortunately, you won’t get very high this way. In fact, it’s likely you wouldn’t get high at all. You’ll need to bring the smoke deep into your lungs to get the full effect.
To inhale, all you have to do is take a slow deep breath. You’ll feel the smoke travel down your windpipe and fill your lungs. If you don’t feel anything in your lung area then you’re probably not breathing deep enough. You should be bringing in a little fresh air along with the smoke.
The whole idea that you need to hold the smoke in for extended periods of time is largely a myth. You won’t receive many benefits from holding the smoke as long as possible. Just inhale deeply, give yourself a very short pause, then exhale slowly. No need to get yourself all blue in the face. If it makes you feel better to hold it for 5-10 seconds then go ahead, but I see almost no difference when I hold it for 5 seconds vs. 1 second.
One common mistake is swallowing the smoke instead of inhaling it. Not only is this method ineffective, but it can give you an upset stomach, and possibly cause vomiting. This can also cause smoke burps which are exactly what they sound like. It’s quite embarrassing to be out in public and a small cloud of weed comes out after a burp. Remember, you’re inhaling the smoke into your lungs – not swallowing it into your stomach.
How to Reduce Coughing / Burning Throat
If you’re new to smoking then you are going to cough – it’s just part of the learning curve. However, there are things that you can do to reduce coughing and the burning throat sensation which will lessen the more you smoke and allow your body to get used to it. Here are a few tips:
- Start with really small hits. I know this sounds obvious, but it’s important to remember it when it comes time to smoke. If you’re smoking with other people then don’t think you have take hits as big as them. If they’re experienced then they can take a lot bigger hit without coughing than you can.
- Consider something with water filtration. Bong’s may seem a bit overwhelming (I’ll cover this later). You may want to opt for a bubbler, which is a small handheld pipe that holds water. Why water? It’s going to cool down the smoke. The heat is the primary cause of the burning throat, so the best way to remedy the situation is to cool it down.
- Don’t try to keep smoking while you’re already coughing or have a sore throat. It’s only going to get worse. Take a moment to relax and drink a glass of ice water. Once you’re feeling better you can take another hit.
Different Methods of Consumption – Step by Step
When it comes to methods of consumption you truly have a smorgasbord of options available to you. I’m going to discuss the 4 most popular ways to smoke. For each one, I’ll discuss the pros and cons, as well as, give step by step directions for proper usage.
How to Smoke a Joint
The good old fashioned hand rolled joint – it’s been a staple of the smoking community for decades. Joints are simple and to the point which makes them a great choice for people who are just starting to smoke.
- Step 1 – Roll the joint. There is a good chance this will be done for you if you’re smoking for the first time with friends. For those of you who want to roll your own joint then I highly recommend starting with the dollar bill method. This is, by far, the easiest way for beginners to roll a functioning joint.
- Step 2 – Once the joint is rolled, it’s time to get it lit. Typically you don’t want to light it the same way as someone would light a cigarette – by starting to puff while lighting it initially. Instead, you want to ‘roast’ the end of the joint. Roasting the joint is popular slang which simply means to hold the flame to the end of the joint without puffing. You should be rotating the joint to get it properly roasted all the way around. This will help make sure you get a nice even starts and avoid ‘runs’ in the joint (uneven burn). Once it’s been roasted you can put it in your mouth and give a few short puffs as you hold the lighter to your roasted end.Which end should you light? This is actually a really common question. If the joint is rolled completely straight like a cigarette then it doesn’t matter. If it’s rolled with one end larger than the other (a cone shape) then you should light the bigger end and put the smaller end in your mouth.
- Step 3 – From there, you’re ready to start puffing away. Here are a few tips that will help:
- You don’t have to put the joint all the way in your mouth. Just rest it on your lips. If you put the whole thing in your mouth it will get wet from saliva and will not smoke as well. This is called ‘lipping’ and people will not like it.
- Take small hits and don’t forget to inhale like we talked about earlier. Small hits are the key to keep from coughing when smoking a joint.
- Once the joint gets small it’s called a roach. Be careful not to burn your fingers or lips. You can use a roach clip (bobby pins work great) to smoke it down a little further.
- Once it’s done you can toss it out, or some people like to save them. Once, you have 10 or so you can use them to roll another joint. These are sometimes referred to as ‘generation joints’.
How to Smoke a Blunt
Honestly, the steps to smoking a joint and the steps to smoking a blunt are pretty much the same. Rolling a blunt is a bit different than rolling a joint. If you want to roll your own then you can check out the video below, however, I do recommend starting with joints as they’re easier for most beginners.
Instead of rehashing the same steps as before I want to talk about what makes blunts and joints different.
- The first and most obvious difference is the size. A joint is normally good for 1-3 people. If you’re smoking with a group then a blunt may be the way to go.
- The second difference is the material. A blunt is a tobacco product and it does contain nicotine. Joints, on the other hand, are made from a variety of non-tobacco products such as hemp and rice. The tobacco paper of a blunt typically makes it a little bit harsher on peoples throats. It also adds flavor. Some people like the added flavor and others don’t.
- The last difference I want to point out is the price. You’re gonna get 2 blunts for a dollar or you can get a book of 25 rolling papers for that same dollar.
How to Smoke a Glass Pipe / Bowl
The good old glass pipe – another time tested favorite. They come in every color and shape you can imagine. The most popular style of glass pipe is called a spoon (pictured below). They’re relatively simple but it does help to know the gist of it before you use one. Just follow the steps below and reference the photo.
- Step 1 – Fill the bowl with weed. You should either use a grinder or use your fingers to tear the bud into smaller pieces. You don’t have to fill it all the way up. If the pipe is made properly then you won’t need a screen. I prefer a loosely packed bowl so I avoid packing it in. If you want more then you can always pack a second bowl.
- Step 2 – Place your thumb over the carb hole.
- Step 3– Light the bowl with a lighter while inhaling from the mouthpiece. This will fill the inside of the pipe with smoke. If you’re a beginner then take very small draws and work your way up.
- Step 4 – Release your finger from the carb. This will bring in air and allow you to inhale the smoke inside the pipe.
- Step 5 – That’s it. Continue steps 2-4 until all the weed has turned to ash. You can then dump the ash out. If it doesn’t fall out easily there is a good chance it’s not completely burnt. Smaller, loosely packed bowls will allow it to burn more easily and even.
How to Smoke a Bong
If it’s your first time then a bong may be a bit much and you may want to consider one of the other methods explained above. But, when you’re ready for it then bongs are terrific.
While some of them may look complex, they really aren’t that much different than a glass bowl. They’re just bigger, hold water, and the carb works a little different. In fact, you can follow the same steps from the glass pipe except step 4. Here’s how to carb a bong:
You’ll notice the picture above doesn’t show the mouthpiece. If you’re not sure where your mouth goes when smoking a bong then you’re definitely not ready.
The way you’ll carb the bong (step 4) is to remove the bowl (the part you put the weed in). So, on a pipe, you remove your thumb from the carb hole, and on a bong, you remove the entire bowl.
If you’re using a glass on glass bong, like the one pictured above, then it will likely have a detachable downstem. You do not need to remove this at any time during smoking. It’s made detachable for mostly for cleaning purposes. Sometimes the bowl may stick a bit and this will cause the downstem to come out with it. It’s no big deal. You will still be able to clear the bong – it just doesn’t function as well as when you pull just the bowl.