How to Smoke Weed: Beginner’s Guide

By Last updated on November 30, 2020No Comments

Cannabis use is on the rise in the United States. A 2018 study notes that American adults are increasingly using cannabis daily.

According to Forbes, the global cannabis industry is estimated to be worth $7.7 billion. It is projected to hit $31.4 billion by 2021.

Flower, also called “bud,” refers to the smokable part of the cannabis plant that has gone through the cultivation, harvest, drying, and curing process. Cannabis flower continues to be a popular choice for its versatility, offering numerous methods of consumption, such as being smoked using a pipe or bong, or by rolling it into a joint or blunt.

The history of weed

Cannabis has a long history of human use. Most ancient cultures did not grow the plant to get high, but as herbal medicine, likely starting in Asia around 500 BC. The history of cannabis cultivation in America dates back to the early colonists, who grew hemp for textiles and rope.

Political, racial, and economic factors in the 20th century led to the criminalization of marijuana in the United States, though its legal status is changing in many places.

The cannabis or hemp plant originally evolved in Central Asia before people introduced the plant into Africa, Europe, and eventually the Americas. Hemp fiber was used to make clothing, paper, sails, and rope, while its seeds were used as food.

Why people smoke weed

Cannabis remains both one of the safest intoxicants and one of the most versatile medicines in the world. It is capable of offering a vast amount of nuanced delight and inspiration in some while providing therapeutic liberation from ailments small and large in others. Cannabis is widely used all over the globe by people looking to improve their quality of life.

Cannabis has been emerging as an alternative to anxiety medications, many of which come with unpleasant side effects. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders showed that short-term medical cannabis treatment with products of a high-CBD, low-THC ratio resulted in a reduction of anxiety, as well as lowered stress and depression.

How old do you have to be to smoke weed?

For all practical purposes, the age laws for weed are pretty standard. In all U.S. states that have legalized it, you must be over the age of 21 to use recreational weed.

Some states are still wrangling the finishing touches on their regulations, but for the most part, any person over 18 can get a medicinal marijuana card, which they can then use at any dispensary. In some cases, children under 18 with extreme medical conditions that can be treated with cannabis can receive parental and doctor permission.

What does being high feel like?

Cannabis contains hundreds of compounds. Scientists and researchers are particularly interested in two of these chemical compounds: cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC produces the high when a person smokes, ingests, or vapes it. It enters the bloodstream and makes its way to the brain. It then attaches to receptors in the brain, which causes the high to occur in most people.

THC also slows down communication between the brain and the rest of the body, which gives cannabis its calming effect.

Proponents of recreational cannabis use often talk about the positive effects of being high. These sensations can include:

  • A feeling of relaxation
  • Euphoria
  • Laughter
  • Greater amusement and enjoyment
  • Greater sensitivity to color, touch, smell, light, taste, and sound
  • A feeling of being more creative

THC levels in the blood vary over time. Generally, they will build until they peak, and once they peak, they start to work their way out of the blood through a person’s urine or stool.

As THC levels rise and fall, a person may experience different effects from cannabis. During the peak, a person is most likely to experience the euphoric effect. As the THC concentrations in the blood begin to fall, however, a person may experience:

  • Hunger
  • Sleepiness
  • Anxiety or mild paranoia

The speed at which a person goes through these stages, and which stages they experience, will depend on several factors, including:

  • Method of use, such as vaping, smoking, or ingesting
  • Strain
  • Potency
  • Dose
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Physiology
  • Frequency of use
  • Use of alcohol or other drugs while using cannabis

How do I smoke a joint?

Joints are the most common method of smoking weed. There are many benefits to rolling a joint. The only tools you need to roll a joint are rolling papers and your flower (a grinder, while helpful, is optional). Rolling papers are inexpensive and easy to purchase (available in most convenience stores).

In addition to being one of the most common, easiest, and oldest ways to smoke weed, rolling joints is also one of the cheapest methods to enjoy pot. Rolling papers are not expensive, and they are easy to get.

Once you have mastered the art of joint rolling, consider giving the cross joint a try. It is the next level of smoking a joint and a fun thing for everyone to try at least once.

How do I smoke a joint?

How do I smoke a blunt?

While less common, a blunt is the same basic idea as a joint. A blunt is an emptied-out cigar wrapper that has been filled with flower and resealed. For similar reasons as a joint, the benefit of rolling a blunt is that all you need is the blunt wrap (or tobacco leaves) and your cannabis flower (a grinder is optional).

Most convenience stores sell cigars, allowing blunt making to be possible virtually anywhere. The only potential downside to a blunt is that you are also consuming the tobacco in the cigar wrap.

How do I smoke a blunt?

How do I smoke a bowl?

Possibly the easiest, most straightforward way to smoke weed is through the use of a pipe. Small, compact, and easy to use, pipes are handheld devices that are used to smoke flower. They require no power or water

Learning how to smoke weed from a bowl is not hard. You just need to make sure that all the weed is finely ground-up before it goes in the pipe so that it burns evenly. Also, if there is a carb hole on the side, do not forget to cover it with your thumb or index finger when lighting up and release it when you inhale.

When it comes to tips on how to smoke weed out of a pipe, it is important to remember that although glass pipes are the most popular, they can come in a variety of materials, from clay to metal, and that the flavor varies according to the material used.

Pipes are also available in different shapes, styles, and colors. There are even some that glow in the dark or change colors when you smoke. There have been so many creative solutions that some pipes can even double as artwork.

To ensure that you know how to smoke weed from a glass pipe, you first need to learn how to clean a weed pipe.  They can become clogged with residue, so you must take care of your pipe if you want to get the best possible hit. Luckily, this is not so difficult. Most people use isopropyl alcohol as the most effective way to clean pipes.

How do I smoke a bowl?

How do I smoke a bong?

If you are a regular marijuana user and you want a bigger rip, then bongs are the way to go.

If you need hints on how to smoke weed with a bong, you should know that it is not that different from a pipe. One difference is that bongs are bigger and not as portable. However, the thing that sets them apart is the use of water.

The water in the bong does not only serve to cool off the weed smoke. It also functions as a filter against resin. That way, you get a smoother and cleaner hit.

While a glass bong is the most popular water pipe style, there are also lower quality acrylic bongs, ceramic bongs, and even DIY options, such as the gravity bong. A classic homemade method of consumption, there are two different types of makeshift “gravity bongs” you can make to smoke flower.

The most common type of gravity bong comprises of an empty plastic bottle (two-liter soda bottle) with the bottom cut out and a bowl mounted into the cap, as well as a larger container or bucket filled with water. Partially submerging the bottle in the water, the bowl is lit and the bottle is slowly raised, creating pressure that causes smoke to fill the smaller container. When the chamber is filled or the bowl is ashed, the bowl should then be removed and the smoke inhaled through the opening at the top of the bottle.

The biggest problem with bongs is that, like the pipe, you must make sure that your equipment is in tip-top condition. Watch out for mold and bacteria inside the pipe since this is not just unsanitary, but it can also mess up the flavor. An added plus is that bongs and pipes do not smell as bad as joints.

Beginners should avoid bongs, as this method can be overpowering and harsh. What’s more, you get more THC in fewer hits, which is not good for your first time smoking pot.

Cannot decide between a bong and a pipe? Then try a bubbler, which is the best of both. They are not bulky like bongs, which means they are easy to transport, but they can get you high as one.

How do I smoke a bong?

How do I smoke with a vaporizer?

Vaping is an increasingly popular way to consume cannabis nowadays. Its rise to fame is largely due to the higher potency of vaporization, the discretion and convenience of portable vapes, and the healthier aspects of inhaling vapor versus smoke.

The process of vaping weed involves heating cannabis flower or concentrates to a temperature that converts the desirable cannabinoids and terpenes into a vapor. As vaporization happens at a lower temperature than combustion, the user inhales more cannabinoids and less harmful tar and carcinogens than via smoking.

There are many methods by which people vaporize cannabis. The three main types are tabletop vaporizers (flower or dab rigs), portable vaporizers, and vape pens.

How do I smoke with a vaporizer?

How do I smoke with an apple?

Have you ever been stuck without a pipe or papers? If you have got cannabis and a lighter but no way to smoke it, you should try the time-honored art of creating a homemade bowl from an apple. The apple pipe is a simple solution and a better, more natural alternative than using an aluminum can or another makeshift device.

How do I smoke with an apple?

There are endless ways to create functional pipes from any variety of fruits and vegetables. To help you get by the next time you are in a pinch, here are the quick steps to turn an apple into a smoking pipe.

  • Supplies: Before you begin, make sure you have all your supplies together in one place. You will want cannabis, an apple, a poking tool such as a knife, key, stick, or screwdriver, and a lighter to spark your buds.
  • Twist off the stem: Twist the stem off the apple. This is where the weed bowl will be carved.
  • Carve out the bowl: Use your poking utensil to poke a hole down the top of the bowl. You will only want to go about halfway through the apple to keep the chamber you are creating air-tight.
  • Make the mouthpiece: Make your mouthpiece by poking another hole on the face of the apple. The idea here is to connect the mouthpiece’s chamber with the first chamber or hole you made for the bowl.
  • Poke through the apple to make carb: To create a carb on your homemade bowl, keep pushing your tool all the way through the apple from the mouthpiece chamber. This step is optional but recommended since the carb will let air flow through the chambers you have made and clear any remaining smoke.
  • Pack the bowl: The pipe is all set. Now you just need to pack the bowl and smoke it like you would any other small pipe.

How long does it take weed to kick in?

The time it takes for weed to kick in is different for everyone. Body chemistry and the dosage amount are two potential factors. However, the truest idea of when you can expect to feel the effects of cannabis can be determined by your method of use:

  • Smoking or Vaping Flower: You can begin to feel the effects of cannabis within 2 to 10 minutes. It kicks in quickly because it enters your bloodstream via your lungs within minutes of inhaling it.
  • Edibles: THC is metabolized in the liver into a compound called 11-hydroxy-THC. This compound is more potent than THC, has a longer half-life, and can be very sedating. It is this mechanism in the liver that causes edibles to have different effects on most people. This entire process can take between 30 minutes and 2 hours to kick in.
  • Concentrates: Similarly to flower, the onset time is about 2-10 minutes. Concentrates have a high bioavailability, meaning the effects you feel and experience, as well as the rate of absorption into your body, happen almost immediately.

How long does a weed high last?

Much like determining the time it takes for weed to kick in, determining how long a weed high will last is equally difficult. Many different factors can play a role. The general expectations based on the method of use include:

  • Smoking or Vaping Flower: The effects peak around 10 minutes after consumption and typically last 1 to 3 hours, though they can linger for up to 8 hours.
  • Edibles: The effects of edibles usually peak around 1-2 hours after consumption and can last up to 24 hours.
  • Concentrates: Similar to smoking flower, the effects of dabbing usually last 1 to 3 hours and potentially up to 8 hours. If using a high THC concentrate, you could feel the effects for an entire day.

Indica strain vs. Sativa strain

The term “strain” refers to the subspecies of the cannabis plant. There are three main strains of cannabis: indica, sativa, and a hybrid of the two.

In general, frequent users of cannabis believe that Cannabis indica strains produce a sensation of relaxation, while sativa strains produce more of the euphoric high, which is better for creativity and social interaction. A hybrid strain may cause both effects, to varying degrees.

However, according to an interview with Dr. Ethan Russo, an established expert on the human endocannabinoid system, there is no evidence to suggest that the different strains actually produce different effects.

Instead, he explained that the differences are based on how a person reacts to the individual plant and the number of terpenoids within the particular plant the person is using.


CBD and THC are two of many different compounds present in cannabis. CBD and THC both interact with cannabinoid receptors, but only THC causes the high that people associate with recreational cannabis use.

CBD does not cause a high. Manufacturers often extract CBD from the cannabis plant for medicinal use. Healthcare professionals have used CBD to treat pain, anxiety, and several other medical conditions.

THC is present in the bud of the cannabis plant, which is why people tend to use these parts in recreational joints and edibles.

How to hide the smell of cannabis

The smell of weed is notoriously strong and unmistakable. This can be problematic for people for various reasons. A major reason being that cannabis is still illegal in a third of the United States. Another can be that they do not want to bother others or attract unnecessary attention.

If you store cannabis for the long-term, you will want to invest in good containers such as glass Mason jars. An air-tight container keeps the freshness in. It should isolate the fragrance from the outside world, too, which is especially important when you are transporting weed in your car. You have many options ranging from tightly-sealed bags to Tupperware containers.

If you are trying to hide the smell while smoking, the first step you want to take is putting a towel down in front of the bottom of the door of the room you are in. Even grinding your weed, dabbing, and vaping is detectable on the other side of an untoweled door.

There are many other considerations when trying to hide the smell of weed.

How to sober up from weed

While smoking weed can be fun and therapeutic, it is also possible to take too much and become uncomfortable. Even experienced cannabis users sometimes consume too much cannabis.

Whether you were trying a new product, you were not paying close attention to your dose, or your normal dose was just too much for you on a particular day, being too high can happen randomly. Experienced users who have been too high before, usually can ride this feeling out. However, for newer users, this feeling can be very intimidating or even downright terrifying.

Symptoms for being too high include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Nausea
  • Confusion

It is important to note that while this can be uncomfortable, it is not regarded as life-threatening. If you are too high you most certainly will not need a trip to the hospital. The best things to do is to relax, remind yourself that the feeling is temporary, and then distract yourself with activities.

There are also remedies to help you sober up, many of which are easy enough to do in the comfort of your own home.

How to make edibles

Edibles are favored in the cannabis community for their dosing ease, long-lasting effects, and, in some cases, extra strength. Edibles are cannabis-based food products. They come in many different forms, from sweets like gummies and brownies to savory dishes made with cannabis butter or oil. Edibles will contain one or both of marijuana’s active ingredients: THC and CBD.

Before you can start making edibles at home, you must perform an essential part of any edibles recipe: decarboxylating the weed.

Decarboxylating, or decarbing, weed is the process of using heat to convert the non-psychoactive THCA in raw cannabis into THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the feeling of being “high.”

There are lots of possibilities for decarbing weed so choose what works best for you or experiment with different methods. Baking is simple but other methods include slow cookers, or simply cooking weed in a high-fat material such as butter. Just remember that a lower temperature and a longer time frame (about 45 minutes in the oven) ensures optimal decarboxylation.

What if I do not get high?

Cannabis affects everyone differently. Like any other substance, some people may be more or less sensitive to cannabis than others. It all depends on your present internal body chemistry and genetics.

Some people do not get high from smoking weed. In fact, besides not inhaling, there are several big reasons that people who consume cannabis do not feel high. However, this in general, is not the average experience.

When you consume cannabis, THC enters the bloodstream and connects with special cell receptors called cannabinoid receptors. Thus far, researchers are aware of two distinct cannabinoid receptors, named CB1 and CB2. When THC connects with these receptors, specifically the CB1 receptor in the brain, it causes the classic psychoactive high.

Research suggests some people with certain medical conditions can actually feel more normal when they consume cannabis. It is not uncommon to hear people with fibromyalgia or post-traumatic stress disorder explain that cannabis gives them energy and makes them feel soberer.

How long can my weed last?

Cannabis does not spoil in the same way that food does. However, weed can degrade in quality and potency over time especially if it is not stored properly.

There are over 110 identified cannabinoids in marijuana, with THC and CBD the most abundant, followed by CBN. The cannabinoid composition varies depending on the strain. When your marijuana has been harvested, cut, and dried, its cannabinoid content begins to change over time because cannabinoids react to the presence of oxygen, light, and heat.

As weed grows, it produces cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) which is synthesized into CBCA, CBDA, and THCA. What is interesting is that the cannabinoids THC and CBD, for example, must be activated to take effect. Raw cannabis contains THCA which does not become THC until you apply heat to decarboxylate it.

Once you expose THC or THCA to UV light or the atmosphere for a long enough period, further changes will happen. Eventually, the compounds degrade to CBNA and CBN. To be clear, CBN (cannabinol) is not bad for you at all. However, it will not provide you with the psychoactive high you seek.

Pulling apart the flower should tell you everything you need to know about the condition of the weed. You can determine whether there is any moisture content or see if it falls apart in your hands. Herb that is well cured and dried will bend slightly and make a snapping sound when you handle it, whereas old cannabis is too brittle to bend and makes a dry cracking sound.

How much does weed cost?

The prices of cannabis depend in large part on the location you are purchasing from. Costs vary greatly from state by state and even city by city. The other major aspect of determining weed costs is quantity.

Cannabis is generally measured within the context of an ounce. Of course, you can purchase it in smaller increments, via a gram at a time, or you can purchase it in bulk. The more you buy the better price per gram deal you can get.

A single gram is enough weed for a few joints (depending on how you roll) or one small blunt.

“But how much does a gram cost?”

The price of a gram depends on several factors:

  • Cannabis Quality: Naturally, more potent strains often fetch a higher price on the market. It is not uncommon for a high-THC strain to cost more than an average or low-THC product. Prices may be higher if the strain has been recently developed or was grown using organic practices as well.
  • Taxes and Overhead: Dispensaries are businesses like any other. While cannabis has not been federally legalized, cannabis businesses are still subject to taxation and operational costs including facilities, utilities, payroll, administrative costs, and more. Taxes and the cost of living in your area can cause the cost of an eighth to be higher or lower than the average.
  • Supply and Demand: Like other businesses, the cannabis industry is also subject to basic economic principles. If local growers suffer a bad crop or other unforeseen circumstances, the lack of supply can drive prices higher. If advances in growing technology improve, resulting in greater output with similar input costs, the increased supply can cause prices to decrease. Similarly, black market dealers may charge higher prices in an area without an abundance of other supply options, while illegal dealers in states that allow recreational cannabis may entice customers by setting their prices slightly lower than the average retail rate in the area.
The Sanctuary Editorial Team

The Sanctuary Editorial Team

Our writers use a combination of research and personal experiences to eloquently tackle these topics. We also examine scientific publishings for up-to-date research. The accuracy of our articles is crucially important to us and they are written with the idea of inclusiveness for readers of all walks of life.