Posted July 6, 2013 by evergreen-culture in Marijuana 101

Smoking Marijuana


As part of the Marijuana 101 series, we wanted to hit some basics that some people might find obvious, but others might find helpful. We wanted to address, at a basic level, just how people smoke marijuana. You might be thinking, “Just roll it up in a joint and smoke it…the end”, but in actuality there are gazillions of methods for consuming cannabis. So let’s look at a few of the more typical and we will do our best to give you some basic details, as well as some suggestions, around them..

The Joint
Rolling dried cannabis flowers into paper and smoking it is a very common method for consuming marijuana. The term “joint” was first used back in 1821 to refer to a side room that was off of a main room. By 1877, it had developed into an American slang term for a (typically unsavory) “place, building or establishment” usually referring to an opium den. During alcohol prohibition it was used to refer to illegal drinking establishments (“gin joint”). In 1935 the slang term was used to refer to hypodermic needles used to inject heroin and other drugs in such establishments. And then in 1938, we see the first use of the term “joint” to refer to a cannabis cigarette. This is quite obviously more of the propagandist agenda at work as they set out to brand cannabis (now referred to as “marijuana” due to government-sponsored scare tactics) as a drug on par with heroin. But, never fear, the term “joint” no longer holds such nefarious meaning. It is, in cannabis culture, quite simply some ganja rolled up in some kind of rolling paper.


There is a veritable shitload of options available to roll your ganja up in.

As far as rolling papers available, you will be stunned to discover just how many options there are. Everything from traditional Zig-Zags, to pure hemp (our personal favorite), to clear, to fruit flavored, to pre-rolled cones, and on and on and on you could go. There are literally hundreds of options. Everyone has their particular favorite brands. Experimenting and finding yours is pretty damn fun.

A joint is a very pleasurable way to smoke cannabis, especially with some friends. Passing a joint around a circle is just plain awesome. There is some etiquette involved, so get to know it, invite some braj’s and brajette’s over and blow some dro bro.

Rolling a joint is much, much trickier than any YouTube video or Wiki-How walkthrough can convey. It takes some dexterity and practice, practice, practice.


These all operate essentially identical. They are cheap and roll perfect joints every time. Might take a few to get it down, but not anything like what you would go through learning to hand-roll joints.

Or, if you are like us, you just go get one of these and roll perfect joints everytime. It is a cigarette rolling machine and there are various brands available. It takes a few attempts, but after about 5 tries or so, you will find yourself rolling joints that look like some robot rolled it up. Perfect every time.

As far as what is in the joint, there are options. In Europe, it is common to mix marijuana and tobacco in what is sometimes called a “spliff” – however in the West Indies, where the term originated, it is typically 100% marijuana. In the US, we understand that tobacco is killing us, and typically roll joints with nothing but cannabis. There is also the option of adding a filter which serves to block any burning material from hitting your mouth as well as providing some buffer space between the hot burning material and your lips, allowing you to smoke the entire joint without the need of some hippie, hand-crafted roach clip. For the ultimate convenience, buy a pack of perforated tips that make rolling the filter up a cinch.

Once rolled up, light up and enjoy. Pretty self-explanatory at this point.

The Blunt
bluntsAh, the blunt. If you listen to rap music you are more than familiar with the idea of smoking some fat blunts. A blunt is essentially a joint, but rolled with a cigar wrapper, making it much larger typically.Blunts are a super fun way to smoke some weed with some friends.

Traditionally, blunts are rolled by emptying out a cigar (Swisher Sweets and White Owls are common brands in the blunt crowd) and using a single layer of the outside wrapper to roll up a fat blunt. Once rolled, it is wet (with the roller’s tongue usually) and then a lit lighter is passed over the entire blunt to seal and harden it up.

Like for the smaller joint, there are rolling machines and wraps (term used for blunt papers) to available to make it fast and dead easy. And as a huge bonus, you can actually buy Notorious B.I.G. blunt wraps. That kind of kicks ass.

So, try rolling up a blunt, pump your fave rap or hip-hop, and get lifted. You will feel seriously gangsta, and will definitely enjoy this method of marijuana smoking.

spoon-pipes2The Glass Pipe
The issue with joints and blunts is that you are adding burnt paper or tobacco leaf to your smoking experience. For health and flavor issues, many people forgo this and simply smoke out of a glass pipe. There is a practically unlimited selection of sizes, shapes and colors available. The traditional pipe is often referred to as a “spoon pipe” and is simply an elongated glass pipe with a bowl, carb hole (or “choke”) and mouthpiece.

You pack the bowl with ganja, light it up, cover the choke on the side of the bowl with your thumb, inhale and then, when reaching the end of your toke, let off of the choke to clear. Simple, functional, portable and fun.


Spoon pipes come in every color, size and decoration imaginable. Silver fumed, color changing (colors change over time and with use), glow in the dark, you can get your hands on a beautiful piece easily. There are some absolutely amazing pieces out there, from the simple, to designs so elaborate and thematic that you will want to put them on display. The more elaborate pieces are referred to as “heady” and are essentially functional pieces of hand-blown glass art.

Check out your local glass shop to see what artists are conjuring up in their workshops. Pick up a pipe that you fancy, invite some friends over and give it a smoke. You wont’ be disappointed.

***Oh, and as a little tip, if they don’t ask, pick up some screens to go into your new pipe. The screen will prevent any material from being inhaled through the mouthpiece. We recommend picking up a glass screen, but metal screens work just fine as well and are less expensive. Most glass shops have them, however if you can’t find one locally, you can get oodles of them online.

The Waterpipe
Waterpipes are essentially made up of two categories: bubblers and bongs. Both are glass pipes that draw the smoke through a reservoir of water which cools and filters the smoke. The differences are essentially in form factor. Both come in a variety of sizes from very small to very large, and virtually unlimited designs, colors and embellishments.

That lower water chamber makes this bubbler rather than simply a glass pipe

That lower water chamber makes this a bubbler rather than simply a glass pipe

Bubblers are simply amazing. The convenience, looks and portability of a simple glass pipe combined with the cooling and filtration of a water pipe. Bubblers have a water chamber with a down stem from the bowl that draws the smoke through the water first before heading up the mouthpiece. No screens are necessary as the water will trap any debris that gets sucked through the down stem.

We at Evergreen Culture love smoking out of bubblers. They are inexpensive enough that you can collect a few, and you will find that some of these babies deliver bong-sized hits because of the extra-comfortable inhale imparted by the water filtration. Grab one and take a rip.


A beautiful bong from Hi-Si Glass with an optional ash catcher which keeps the main bong nice and clean with the added bonus of more water and percolation for even smoother rips

A bong is a water pipe that is typically constructed of a glass tube with a water reservoir, a bowl, and a  downstem that carries the smoke from the bowl through the water. Due to developed standards in the glass-working community, bongs offer a very customizable approach with many add-on and custom components available. Ash-catchers, percolating downstems and bowls…there are an unbelievable amount of options and accessories you can get with your bong, or purchase later to add-on. They come in all kinds of sizes and diameters. Some are round on the bottom, some are made of science glass with bases made from thick glass beakers, to inline models that have more of linear water chamber at the bottom. And the percolation options available are getting more and more innovative. It seems every company has their own technique for diffusing the smoke and passing it through as much water and creating as many bubbles as possible. Honeycomb, swiss, U-perc, domes, shower heads, pirelli…you will see these words a lot when doing some bong searching. These are simply different terms given by manufactures for their particular diffusion and percolating techniques. The more percolation and diffusion of the smoke, the more heat that is transferred into the water, making for buttery smooth hits.

Everything from major names – Illadelph, Roor, Sheldon Black, Hi-Si, etc., to lesser known (also less expensive) and even locally-blown bongs are available in head shops all over Washington (well, America for that reason). They can get pricey so don’t expect to roll out of there with a quality glass bong for under $100 typically, and the truly spectacular pieces go for thousands of dollars. But in that huge range  you can find a sweet piece that is all you and in your budget.

Once you hit a bong, it will probably become your fave way to smoke the herb. It is smooth, effective and fun. Just pack the bowl up, get those bubbles going and light that shit. Seriously, it is hard to go wrong with a good, quality bong. Just be careful with your precious rig as they can break if they hit the floor or are knocked over on a table (trust us). Not your portable smoking option, but one that is a fave at home. As an important note, we at Evergreen Culture would steer you away from acrylic bongs (i.e. plastic). Plastic releases toxic fumes, especially when subjected to heat. Do yourself a real favor and stick to all glass pieces with glass-on-glass joints.

One thing we haven’t talked about that is pertinent to all glass pipes is cleaning. There are all kinds of homespun methods and tactics for cleaning the resin out of your glass piece – do some searching and see what stands out to you. However, there are are also several commercially-available products (from alcohol-based to all-natural cleaners) that you can pick up at your local head shop. In minutes you can have your filthy, resin-coated glass piece looking like you just brought it home from the shop.

Get a bong. That is our recommendation. Well, actually, our recommendation would be to get a bong, a bubbler and a spoon pipe (or three). Variety is the spice of life…and marijuana.

Chillum The Chillum
A chillum is essentially a conical pipe. It was invented in India and has been in use since at least the 18th century, finding its first popularity amongst traveling Hindu monks. You pack the larger end with herb, hold the smaller end of the chillum in your fist, angle the larger end upwards and hit that shit. Glass-chillumsWhile traditional chillums were made from clay or carved from wood or bamboo, there are also a lot of blown-glass options as well that adapt the chillum shape into a more modern smoking method.

Explore and Experiment
These are just the basics. There are a wealth of ideas and options out there. If you really want to have your creativity sparked, and be entertained  at the same time, visit Master Bong. He is called “The McGyver of Pot” and he really has the chops to deserve such a lofty and noble moniker. You can read articles and watch videos on how to make just about anything into a pipe or a bong. Plus, he has some great merchandise, lots of quality pictures in the gallery, and a wealth of other information, all about marijuana.

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