It’s interesting to think about which method has the smallest (or largest) amount of smoke. Should you puff from a cigar, cigarette, or pipe?
That all depends on a few factors:
- how much you’re smoking,
- your preferred flavor of cannabis,
- and what technique you plan on using.
There are definite pros and cons for each method. To make things even more difficult, there are many different types of pipes that vary in shape and size along with the differing qualities they offer for the smoking experience.
In this article, we’ll take a look at each type of bowl piece as well as which methods it works best with so you can get started deciding what is right for your needs.
What is the difference between a weed pipe, bowl piece, and bong?
A common misconception some people have is that there is an overall large difference between a pipe and bong. One major difference between them is their construction.
- Bongs are generally larger, more decorative glass pieces than pipes due to their need to hold water.
- Bongs also typically have two chambers, one where the water reservoir lives (known as the "bubble") and one where the smoke travels from (known as the "bowl" or "slide"). This is unlike a pipe which only has one main chamber where you pack your cannabis and light it up.
- Due to their construction, bongs also typically have a larger bowl piece than pipes in order to fit a larger amount of cannabis at once. This is beneficial if you are planning on smoking with multiple people since you’ll need more than a few hits from a tiny pipe bowl!
One major factor bongs lose out on compared to pipes is that due to the presence of water, there is generally little flavor left in the smoke. This makes it ideal for those who prefer less harshness when smoking.
Dry herb vaporizers offer an alternative to this by heating up your cannabis with air. The water vapor created during heating more than makes up for the lack of flavor in this method.
All in all, bongs are generally more ornamental pieces of glassware and definitely not necessary over a simple pipe if you’re trying to avoid harshness. The difference between pipes and bongs is also irrelevant if you’re only smoking dry herb. The bowl affects the taste, but it doesn’t make much of a difference when you’re only using dry leaf.
Types of Cannabis Bowls
If you’re in the market for a pipe, or plan on making one of your own, there are some things to keep in mind when shopping for a piece. Your choice will obviously be dependent on what style of pipe you want to make, as well as your personal preference.
Here is a brief overview of four common styles which are beautiful and functional glass pieces. They all come in various shapes and sizes, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of cannabis being smoked at the time.
This style of bowl piece is one of the older types and appears as if it might be too large to fit a bowl on top. However, this is false and it is possible to make a beaker pipe fit any shape of bowl piece.
The true beauty in this style is that you can choose the size you want, but there are not many options for shapes. It tends to have straight sides as opposed to curved ones which means that a lot of creativity has to go into making sure that your bowl piece can still sit flush with the edges.
The upside to this style is that it is extremely simple and easy to build. It can also be made from any basic glass piece and doesn’t necessarily require fancy tools. There are many different tutorials online where people have documented how to make a beaker pipe, and they tend to cost anywhere from $10-$25 depending on the size.
The downside of this style is that these kinds of pipes aren’t as durable as others. If you’re planning on passing this pipe around, be cautious because its glass construction can make it somewhat fragile. Also, the size of these bowls make them ideal for group smoking sessions of cannabis since it can hold more at once. If you are planning on smoking alone, this is not the best choice.
Soda Bottle Pipe
This style of pipe is extremely similar to a beaker pipe but made from different materials and with a slightly different process. It is an extremely popular style among glass blowers and enthusiasts because it offers massive amounts of creativity in a relatively simple way.
A soda bottle pipe consists of two main parts:
- a soda bottle,
- and a hollow tube.
There are also many different variations on it and you can make your own out of any glass bottle or clear rigid plastic. Depending on your creativity, they can be made out of many things including acrylic or even wood. You could even mix and match pieces to create some interesting combinations that work together beautifully.
The downside to soda bottle pipes is their fragility compared to other types of pipes. It’s important to note that this is only the design for a pipe made with a soda bottle, not all glass pipes in general.
It is possible to make the glass pipe a bit sturdier, but it all depends on your design. Some people don’t mind the fragile nature of their pipes while others find this extremely important. You should consider this before you decide to go with this style of pipe.
This type of bowl is a hybrid between the beaker and soda bottle styles in that they look more like soda bottles than they do beaker pipes. They are also quite large in size and usually hold around 5-10 grams at most.
The downside to these bowls is that they can get extremely hot after continuous use without proper ventilation so it’s best to keep them out of direct sunlight and away from children.
This is a versatile style of pipe that can be used with cannabis or tobacco. It is a very small style bowl piece that only holds a tiny amount of smoke at once so it’s ideal for people who are trying to fit multiple sessions into one day but don’t necessarily want to be smoking weed all day long.
The size is very portable and makes it easy for anyone to stealthily use cannabis while out and about without worrying about making a big scene. Percolator pipes are made out of the same glass as standard bowls but they often have some percolating holes on the bottom where the bowl piece sits.