Smoking Methods: The Good from the Bad

Smoking Methods


There are many different apparatuses that users smoke marijuana out of. Most patients prefer vaporizers because they contain the least amount of carcinogens in the smoke as compared to a water pipe or joint.


A vaporizer is the healthiest way to smoke cannabis. It does not release many of the irritating toxins that are produced but allows all of the psychoactive ingredients that come with different strains of marijuana. What most people don’t realize is that there is a great difference in smoke quality when it comes to smoking versus vaporizing. When one smokes a joint or a water pipe, also known as a bong, almost 90% of the smoke produced contains non-cannabinoids and these carcinogens pose potential health risks. That means that just over 10% of the smoke is actually getting you high.

Smoke from vaporizing on the other hand produces about 95% cannabinoids, the opposite of combusting the flower. That means that it poses minimal health risks and no carcinogens.


Bong (water pipe)

If you choose not to vaporize, water filtration should be a necessary element of your smoking ritual. Bongs or water pipes usually have percolators in them to filter the smoke through water and eliminate carcinogens from the smoke. The word “bong” comes from the Thai word “bong” which means a cylindrical tube used for smoking. It can be made from any air-tight and water-tight container by adding a stem and bowl. The stem, or slide, directs air and smoke downwards to below the water level. You burn the flower in the bowl, which fits into the slide. The smoke then travels through the water and up the apparatus, where the user inhales the smoke from an opening at the top.


Joint/ Spliff

Another very common method of smoking is by use of a joint. A joint is most commonly referred to as cannabis wrapped in a smoking paper. Although there is usually no filtration involved, joints are better than bongs at delivering the most THC, only second to vaporizers. A study by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) in 2000 showed that the tar to cannabinoid ratio is significantly higher in bongs than joints or vaporizers. That means that you need to smoke more in order to get high since it has more tar than CBD. Vaporizers have very little tar in their smoke and a high amount of cannabinoids. Joints contain high amounts of tar but also produce a lot of CBD.


This article is an excerpt from our book Cannabis 101: Everything You Need to Know About Safe Marijuana Use


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