man lighting a joint

Cannabis Smoking Guide

On November 8, 2016, Florida voters approved the use of medical marijuana. Despite the clear and apparent will of the voters, lawmakers decided to ban smokable flower in the final draft of the new medical marijuana laws. On March 18, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill expanding the states medical marijuana program to allow for smokable flower. Under the new guidelines a patient can purchase 2.5 oz. every 35 days and possess up to 4 oz. of smokable flower. Flower is available in both pre-rolled joints and in containers of whole flower. Don’t know how to get started? This cannabis smoking guide will get you rolling and smoking in no time.

"Paraphenalia"

One cool thing about this law change is that all your previously illegal “drug paraphernalia” are now considered medical devices. (This also means that all you glass blowers can now add “Medical Device Manufacturer” to your resume.) When it comes to consuming cannabis, there are many ways to do so. While I do love vaping and eating my cannabis, here we are going to focus on the age-old classic, smoking flower.

Bowl vs. Roll

Broken down in its simplest form you have bowl vs. roll. Bowls have two basic categories: pipe and bong (water pipe). Both can come in all shapes and sizes, however typically, pipes are smaller than bongs.

Material

Pipes and bongs can be made from anything however the ones you find in the stores are mostly metal, stone, clay, bone, wood, silicone, or glass. Although they are the most durable, metal pipes have a weird taste to me as do the wood ones. Wood or bone pipes, or anything porous, while durable, they can be difficult to clean and will eventually taste bad after repeated use. Stone bowls are easy to clean and durable as well, they just have a little extra added weight.

Silicone and Glass

Silicone and glass seem to be the most widely used and accepted materials among experienced smokers. Depending on the craftsmanship, glass can be durable, however breakage is always a possibility. The silicone bowls are much more durable and utilize a glass bowl piece, so the taste is still clean and pure. Some people may notice a slight “rubber” taste from the silicone, but it is usually negligible.

If drop your silicone bowl, the only thing that may break is the little glass bowl piece while the rest will stay intact. One advantage glass has over the silicone is that it can take a more rigorous cleaning and you can use stronger cleaning agents on it. While they do perform very closely, glass is my personal favorite for overall feel and smokability. Plus I just love seeing the artistry and creativity of what the glass blowers come up with.

colorful assortment of glass pipes and bongs

Pipes, Bowls, and Bongs (oh my!)

Now that we have gone over the materials, let’s talk about shapes and sizes.

Pipes and Bowls

Most people purchase a pipe as their first piece. Pipes are a great entry level piece because they can be durable, portable, less expensive and easier to conceal than some other devices. Pipes come in many styles. For starters you have wet and dry pieces. Dry pieces are just that, dry bowls with no filtration. Wet pieces, or bubblers, have a chamber for water filtration. Pipes are made in many styles including spoons, sherlocks, sidecars, hammers, bubblers, one hitters, chillums and steam rollers.

It really comes down to individual need and personal taste when it comes to choosing a pipe style. Some people only need a toke or two or they prefer to keep it stealthy with a small spoon or one-hitter. Others may prefer smoking out of something much larger that provides more of an impact. If hitting a standard pipe doesn’t do the job for you, perhaps a bong would be more your speed. They provide a much bigger hit and more intense feeling.

Bongs

Bongs are generally larger in size and have greater effectiveness due to the bigger hits you can take. Due to the size, bongs don’t always make the best travel companions, but they do have some advantages. Bongs usually have a chamber for water filtration, so they can provide a cooler and smoother hit, which is easier on the lungs. Many people also like sliding ice cubes into their bongs to really cool the smoke down before taking it in. Just be careful when you slide the cubes in as you don’t want to break the stem or slide!

Bongs not only provide an enhanced smoking experience, but they can also be a bit of a status symbol as well as a creative outlet. I’ve had awesome store-bought house bongs that made my friends jealous and I’ve had homemade contraptions made from whatever I can get my hands on. Personally, my two most brag-worthy bongs are a 25th Anniversary limited edition Graphix piece and a Chong Glass bong autographed by the man himself. 

While paraphernalia comes and goes, the one that stands out in my mind the most was the one I made in college. This beast boasted a 3-foot packing tube, a small metal bowl piece, and a pink New Kids On The Block sports bottle. It wasn’t luxurious by any means, but it was definitely the talk of our dorm. Did I mention that cannabis breeds creativity?

Rolling Flower

Bowls are great for functionality and even better for individuality, but in my opinion, nothing beats sitting back with a nicely rolled joint. This brings us to the “roll” option. When rolling your flower, you have two main options: blunts and joints. There are people who make a living rolling joints and blunts and some get very creative with it, making smokable sculptures even. If you get a chance, check out Tony Greenhands. (You’re welcome!)

I fancy myself a pretty good roller, but I certainly can’t hang with those guys in the rolling department. Given the proper materials, you can roll a joint or blunt any size you wish. However, blunts are generally larger in size. Some blunts are fairly smooth but they are usually a little harsher than smoking a joint. Blunts are great when you have a several people because they hold more flower and tend to burn a lot longer.

close up of pouring cannabis into a blunt wrap

Standard Blunts

Now you can purchase blunt wraps from the local store. but back in the day, you’d only be able to buy full cigars. You had to empty them and reroll and stuff it with your cannabis. One technique is when you take a cigar and gently roll it back and forth in your hands so that the tobacco filling comes out. You then stuff the empty cigar with your flower until it looks like the original cigar. 

A more common technique is to split open the blunts using your fingers or a knife to scrape out the tobacco and then use the outer layers to roll the flower. Those are usually done with cheaper cigars like Philly, White Owl, or Swisher. 

Outer Leaf Blunts

My favorites are the ones that you unwrap the outer leaf first. I have used many types of cigars to roll with over the years however Dutch Masters and Garcia Vegas were always my go-to cigars. I especially liked the green leaf cigars for that fresher taste and slower burn.

With this type of blunt we would lightly moisten the cigar, so we could safely remove the outer leaf without any cracking or tearing. I would usually wrap that around a soda can that had condensation on it to keep it fresh. The inside of the cigar was still enclosed in a wrapper that we would split down the middle. Then it’s filled up with cannabis and sealed. Once sealed you take the outer leaf and rewrap it to seal in your creation. 

You can even get creative and put the blunts together to create giant super blunts. One New Year’s Eve I rolled 32 grams of flower into a blunt using four grape Dutch Masters. This created a blunt almost as long as my forearm and burned for over three hours!

Joints

As much as I like big blunts, I cannot lie, joints are where my heart is. To me, nothing beats a big ol’ Bear Bomber joint. There are many options when it comes to papers from the pre-rolled cones that you stuff to the countless brands and flavors and shapes of rolling papers. Hell, some even come with built in roach clips! For a smooth burn and maximum taste, I tend to stick with unbleached rice or hemp papers. My paper of choice is DLX, however I also like using RAW and Elements if I cannot get the DLX. DLX has a cross-hatching watermark that helps prevent runs and has a magnet on the case to help keep that next paper flat and ready to roll.

Rolling as an Art

No amount of watermark cross-hatching will stop your rolled creation from running if you do not take care in what you roll. Some people view joints and blunts as just a smoking vehicle. To many of us, rolling is a respected art form that should be shared and passed on. Learning to roll is easy, but mastering it takes time. To me, there is nothing more Zen than the moment you finish rolling that joint and you look at it lovingly for a few seconds right before you light it. Because I want to share a piece of that Zen with you, I will be releasing a video soon to show you all how to roll that Bear Bomber joint, which is a triple wax joint rolled in kief, that has become a personal favorite for me.

Stay Elevated and Roll On...

In this ever-changing cannabis climate, there are always new things coming out as well as old, previously forgotten things being revived. I am interested to see where we are in ten years and to see how these methods change or possibly stay the same. Only time will tell! Thanks for spending some of your with me!

Do you have a picture of an awesome joint or blunt you rolled? Show it to me! I would love to see your rolling skills as well as pictures of your favorite pipe or bong. Tweet me @DrStrangeBear

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