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How to Pack a Bowl of Herb and Smoke

by Christy Coy 5 min read

How to Pack a Bowl of Herb and Smoke

Packing and Smoking Your Cannabis Bowl

As more states in the US regions around the world move to legalize and decriminalize cannabis, smoking herb has continued to grow in popularity.

For both medicinal and recreational purposes, our favorite green herb is something that many of us enjoy. However, if you’re you are new to smoking, you may wonder how to properly pack and smoke your own bowl of herb. 

Smoking herb is an experience, from buying your favorite strains to preparing your herb for use. However, both newbies and even regular users alike can sometimes use a refresher on best practices when it comes to packing a bowl the right way. With a little practice, the ritual can be both relaxing and enjoyable.

It’s natural to be a bit nervous the first few times that you pack and smoke your own bowl, but don’t worry, no one is here to judge or call you out. Just the opposite. This guide will help you take some of the guesswork out of setting up your own personal smoking experience. 

Follow the tips in this guide and you’ll be packing your herb like a seasoned pro in no time.

What is a Bowl?

Smoking out of a bowl is one of the most popular ways to smoke herb. The bowl is the portion of any smoking device that holds your herb. Makes sense right? In fact, one of the best ways to smoke for beginners is through the use of a pipe with a connected bowl. 

Pipes come in a range of styles and materials from glass to metal, but all feature a bowl at the end. From simple and utilitarian, to novelty designs and intricate styling, pipes can come in a wide range of designs and colors. Part of the fun of beginning your smoking journey is stepping into a store to pick out the pipe that most speaks to you. You can even name it.

The bowl is usually situated at the end of the pipe or towards the bottom of the bubbler and features a hole on the side referred to as the “carb”. Some bowls are deeper than others, but they all serve the same function: to give you a place to put your herb. 

Pipes evolved from their use with tobacco and quickly became a fan-favorite for smoking herb as the years went by. The pipe portion is airtight, allowing for the smoke to travel through the chamber into your mouth. The carb provides a second air channel that allows for smoke to be used efficiently.

Packing the Bowl - guide 

So, you have been to the head shop and selected the right glass pipe for you. Now it is time to pack your first bowl. Excited? We are! 

First, gather all the tools you will need, including:

Choosing The Ultimate Herb Grinder

There are other ways to light herb that can be more efficient, such as butane lighters. However, some smokers prefer hemp wicks to a lighter. Choose whichever works best for you. If you’re just starting out or on a budget, a basic lighter is a great way to get used to smoking before making things more complicated.

Here are the steps to packing your bowl:

  1. Prepare your herb – If you do not have a grinder, you can pull your herb by hand. Once it is finely ground, place a stem in the bottom of your bowl to help prevent particles from getting through to your mouth. This is also where you can use the optional screen.
  2. Pack the bowl – Make the pack light at the bottom and increasingly dense as you progress to the top. This will result in the top herb to staying lit, known as the “cherry”, while allowing for maximal and efficient airflow below into the stem and to the mouthpiece where you’ll inhale.

Now that you know how to pack a proper bowl, it is time to learn how to properly smoke in a group. Puff, puff pass anyone?

Smoking Etiquette

You may start out smoking by yourself, or you may be a social butterfly who loves to be with others. Either way, you will eventually be in a group smoking situation. The fact is, sharing experiences when smoking a bowl can be a highly rewarding and unique social opportunity.

That said, it is important to understand the unspoken rules so you do not break the smoker’s etiquette.

  • In smaller groups, if all you have is a one-hit bowl, finish it by yourself, then allow others to pack their own based on their preference. 
  • In larger groups, or when you have a bigger pipe/bowl you can more easily share. When lighting the bowl, be careful to only light a small section of the top, so that as many people as possible have a chance at a fresh drag once the pipe gets around to them.
  • The person who provided the herb is generally the individual who chooses who smokes first and which direction the bowl gets passed around.
  • If your bowl stays lit, tell the next smoker that it is “cherried”. This way, they will know they don’t have to re-light the bowl.
  • Never, ever pocket a lighter. This is one of the biggest rules of the game. Always leave it on the table for ease of access in case the bowl needs to be relit.

Taking the Perfect Bowl Hit

Once your bowl is packed, there are a few basic steps that will allow you to take a good hit:

  1. Hold your lips up to the end of the pipe.
  2. If your bowl has a carb, cover it with your thumb. 
  3. Use your lighter to light a portion of the herb and inhale.
  4. After you start your inhale, let go of the carb.
  5. When you are done inhaling, place your thumb over the carb again.
  6. Remove the pipe from your lips, exhale, repeat.

After a few tries, you will get the rhythm and be taking better hits each time.  Do not get frustrated in the beginning. It may take a couple of sessions to feel the effects.

Practice Makes Perfect

The more you pack your own bowl, the better you will get at the process. Some smokers like to have personalized pouches to keep their herb, lighter, grinder, and pipe in. After a few smoking sessions, you may want to try other devices, like water bongs or gravity bongs. Just remember to take it slow and recognize your limits.

Always smoke in an area where it is legal. If you are traveling, remember that the rules can change. Do your research before you smoke herb in a new place. If you want to try smoking from a bigger piece, check out this collection: Bongs

Enjoy Responsibly! 

Don’t stress about always getting things right. Take care to enjoy yourself along the way. As you practice, smoking herb will begin to feel increasingly natural and comfortable. There are many benefits to smoking herb, regardless of your reason for starting.

If you get stuck along the way, do not be afraid to ask a friend for help. They will be delighted to answer any questions you may have. You can also set up a personal smoking area with your favorite decorations or ambient feel to enhance your smoking experience.

As smoking herb becomes more popular, the stigma around it is disappearing. Give it a try, and see the benefits that you experience from your new smoking journey.