Old School Cool: Bongs, Bowls, Blunts and Buds

Old School Cool Bongs, Bowls, Blunts and Buds-MainPhoto

Old School Cool Bongs, Bowls, Blunts and Buds-MainPhoto

Nowadays, beyond different ways to smoke weed, marijuana comes in all forms — edibles, tinctures, vape pens and other vaporizing apparatuses. Before these new ways to smoke weed went mainstream, you had options too, but they all involved burning your bud with the help of a bong, rolling paper, cigar casing, or pipe. More people are integrating smokeless means of marijuana consumption into their routine, in part due to concerns about the carcinogenic nature of burning anything (though whether or not this is a valid concern with marijuana has yet to be proven), but the ritual of burning bud still persists.

Here are Some Different Ways to Smoke Weed in Case You Need a Refresher


Ah, water bongs. These water-filled, cylindrical glass weed smoking devices might transport you back to your youth when inhaling massive doses of smoke sounded like fun. The quintessential bong is a vertically oriented tube that is filled with water. The gas from your bud is going to bubble up through this as you’re pulling from a large opening on top of the bong. On the side of the tube, there will be a bowl in which to pack your bud, and elsewhere a hole that you’ll keep covered while you’re pulling until you’re finally ready to take in all that smoke.

Why would anyone want to have this be their go-to piece of smoking gear? For one thing, you’ll get super stoned, super fast. Another reason might be for the misconception that the water in the bong somehow filters out toxins from the burning of your bud. A classic study conducted by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws found that that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, the study found that the water filtration aspect did the exact opposite; the water ends up filtering out water-soluble cannabinoids including THC, so you’ll actually be taking in more tar while smoking from a bong. Crazy, right?


Nothing more than a sheet of rolling paper and bud, joints are definitely the most versatile way to get your marijuana fix. Some people like to mix in some tobacco, which transforms the joint into a spliff. If you’re smoking solo, joints are the best way to discreetly sneak in a puff while you’re on a work break or are on-the-go. If you’re smoking in a social setting, there’s nothing better than passing an expertly-rolled joint around with friends. Joints may not be the most efficient use of your bud as it continues to burn in between tokes, but this is a small sacrifice to partake in this communal ritual.

Joints take a bit of skill to roll in order to ensure that it doesn’t canoe — in other words, you want your joint to burn evenly lest it fall apart — so leave the rolling to someone with experience.

Counterintuitively, the water bong study found that an unfiltered joint produced the most efficient hit of THC. Cigarette filters seemed to simply get in the way of sticky cannabinoids, again leaving the smoker with more tar than they expected to inhale per unit of bud.


Blunts also consist of marijuana buds rolled up in paper, but the paper is either an emptied cigar wrap or a piece of tobacco paper. You’re going to get a hit of tobacco when you’re smoking a blunt, which is either a pro or con depending on if you’re into that sort of thing.

Like joints, blunts lend themselves to sharing with friends, but there’s a bit less urgency to the process since blunts burn more slowly and efficiently than joints due to the thickness of the paper. Roll them skinny or roll them thick — you’ll have more freedom determining how much weed you want to use to build your blunt. One thing to keep in mind is that you’re not going to want to use your kind bud here; the paper is going to interfere with the pure, delicious flavor of your bud. Save the blunt for when you want to burn through some serviceable but not premium weed.


A pipe used to be the first weed smoking devices that a pot smoker owned, though vapes have likely usurped the novice market nowadays. Like the bong, there’s a hole that you’ll pull from, a hole that you’ll cover with your finger until you’re ready to take in your pull, and a bowl at the end in which you’ll pack your bud. A one-hitter is a pipe with a small, single-serve bowl and just a hole to pull from. In a bind, if you don’t have a glass pipe or anything else to smoke your weed, you can fashion your own pipe out of an apple — or anything else that you can poke a couple of holes through that won’t create toxic fumes.

If you’re just chilling at home, a pipe is going to be the most efficient way for you to smoke your weed. You’ll only burn what you inhale and it doesn’t require any skills. Just grind up your bud, pack the bowl of your pipe, and light it up. Easy as that.

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