Cannabis 101: Intro to Bongs Pipes and Other Glass

Cannabis 101: Intro to Bongs Pipes and Other Glass

Glass pipes are an extremely common method for smoking cannabis. You can purchase glass in a variety of forms. These forms include bongs and pipes. The main difference between these two methods is that bongs require water and most pipes don’t.

There are many reasons for smoking cannabis with pipes or bongs made of glass. Using a pipe is extremely simple. You do not have to break down weed for a blunt or a joint. There is no heating a banger up for a dab. All you have to do is break a piece of weed off and load it into the pipe.

Glass pipes are also portable. Because they come in a variety of sizes you can find at least one that fits in your pocket, whether you have small or large pockets.  They are also affordable, pipes do not have to be expensive to be effective.

Bongs may have a higher price point, but this glass method of smoking should also be considered. Small glass bongs can sometimes be found for as low as twenty dollars at your local head shop. Bongs utilize water to percolate through the water, creating bubbles filled with smoke. When the smoke goes through the water it is cooled. This makes for a smoother way to smoke.

Not as portable to smoke is a disadvantage for bongs, but the cooler smoke makes up for it. There are more benefits of using glass over any other material for smoking besides cooler smoke, portability, and affordability. Rolling blunts all the time is not an affordable way to smoke. Because glass pipes and bongs use lighters to burn the weed you are able to control when the weed is being burned.

Handblown vs. Imported Glass

There are numerous reasons why you should head to your local head shop to purchase your first glass piece. Most recreational and medical cannabis shops will carry some glass. This is where you have to be careful as a consumer. Imported glass is not the same quality as American glass.

There is a distinct difference between the glass that American glass-blowers use and the companies that produce glass outside of America. Any glass smoking utensil produced in the states is made with boroscillate glass. This type of glass does not release any chemicals when repeatedly heated. Let’s face it, if you are using a glass piece to smoke weed it is being heated up repeatedly. This is important. Foreign glass manufacturers do not use a glass that is at the same standard. Commonly called ‘soft glass’ there is a definite difference between heavy duty boro pipes and imported ones.

You can just produce pipes repeatedly at an exceptionally low cost when using this type of glass. These pipes are fragile though and will have a higher tendency to break when repeatedly heated up. Glass blown by a known glassblower is the way to go. The quality of the product you will be receiving is outstanding. Ask your local recreational store or headshop about the local glass blowers that they carry. With the boom in social media most artists have an Instagram page.

Occasionally artists will do custom pieces, although the price for this will be high, having personal input on a pipe or bong would be a dream. Glassblowers might also be willing to repair their work if it breaks in your possession. While you will more than likely have to pay for the repair, this type of service will not be found with an imported piece.


Pipes and bongs are very efficient ways of smoking, with pipes being much better than bongs. Earlier I mentioned that for smoking out of a pipe all you have to do is break off a piece of weed. Well, there’s a little bit more to it than that. When you utilize a pipe you create a single path for air with your lips, thumb, and the weed.

There is a hole on the side of the pipe, this is called the carb, make sure you cover it with your thumb. When you load the weed into a pipe you place it in the part shaped like a bowl. There is a small hole in the bottom that needs to be covered, but not sealed. When you inhale with the lighter to the weed and your thumb covering the flame will be pulled onto the cannabis.

When you move your thumb, air will rush in and push the remaining smoke to your lungs. This burns the cannabis and pulls the smoke through the hole into your lungs. Be sure to INHALE the smoke.

Available in a variety of forms there are pipes to appeal to all tastes. Sherlocks have an appearance similar to that of the pipe smoked by the famous detective. Spoons are the most common form for a glass pipe and share a structure similar to that of a spoon. Pipes that are blown by glassblowers, instead of being imported, typically have a higher price point. However, the price should not deter you from investing in a hand-blown piece.

Water Bongs

You already know that bongs use water to cool the smoke before it hits your lungs. Typically bongs have a bowl piece near their base that comes out. Some smaller glass bongs might have a small hole in the back of their stem. Either method works the same as a carb on a pipe. When you are done inhaling a hit from the bong, you will need to either pull the carb or move your finger.

One of the most useful parts of a bong is the occasional ice catcher. The benefits of ice are worth the additional cost of an ice catcher. The smoke arrives at your lungs even cooler. The larger hits from bongs can be intimidating at first. Do not let this stop you from taking massive rips. Many argue that hitting a bong over a pipe gets you higher.

If you’re a registered medical cannabis patient, the limits are three ounces of usable cannabis flower, forty-eight ounces of cannabis-infused edibles in solid form, two hundred sixteen ounces of cannabis drinkables, and twenty-one grams of cannabis concentrates, per the Washington State Department of Health.

Our products have intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of these products. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.