The Different Methods of Smoking

Few things hit home as nicely as a relaxing smoke session after a long day of work. Regardless of what you’re lighting up, every smoker has his or her own go-to piece, contraption, or method of imbibing their chosen herb or plant. And although “sharing is caring” has become quite the commonly understood mantra of smokers everywhere, it’s not uncommon to see someone stick to what they know best.

There are a myriad of different ways to smoke – some that don’t necessarily qualify as smoking, even – and it’s important to know the differentiating factors of each before you land on your preferred method, whether you’re rolling a blunt or breaking out your helix glass pipe.

Joints and Cigarettes

Keep in mind that what you’re packing is going to dictate the vernacular you’ll want to use for most of these methods, though for the remainder of the article we’ll err on the side of using both the cannabis-centric terminology, as well as its lesser-used tobacco-use cousin.

Joints are one of the most common ways of smoking around the world. When smoking a joint or cigarette, you’ll grind or shred your flower or plant of choice and pack it longways into a rolling paper. To avoid inhaling grind plants, some joint smokers will also make a small accordion-style “filter” to place at the end of the rolled joint.

Blunts and Cigars

If a joint is the cannabis-iteration of a tobacco cigarette (a rolled piece of paper with a filter), then a blunt is the same spin on a cigar. Joints and blunts are nearly identical (ripped/ground product rolled into a wrapper to make a spherical smokeable), but the latter is a cigar (or blunt) wrap made of tobacco leaves, rather than rolling papers.


Spliffs are the less-common mashup of a cigarette and a joint. The spliff is often rolled with traditional rolling papers, but uses a portion of both marijuana and tobacco as its main ingredients, rather than simply one or the other.


If burning paper (or tobacco leaves) isn’t your cup of tea and you’re looking for something more sustainable, you may be looking for a pipe. Pipes are typically made of ceramic or glass and come in wildly different shapes, sizes, and with varying features.

Most pieces are simple and will feature a mouthpiece (where you’ll inhale), a bowl (where the product will go, once ground), and possibly a small hole on the side to help clear the bowl of smoke as it fills (a “carb”). Smoking a piece is as easy as lighting and inhaling, and has fewer moving pieces or features than a water pipe (or bong) may come replete with.


The next step above a traditional pipe is the beloved water pipes – more commonly known as “bongs.” These pieces, known for the smoothness of their pulls due to the water filtration, are similarly typically glass or ceramic, though some are also collapsible silicon. Bongs feature a downspout that pulls smoke down from the step (where you’ll pack it) and through a basin filled with water. The water helps to filter out the smoke, cool it down, and ultimately make the hit smoother for the smoker.


There are many different options out there when it comes to smoking. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you prefer or are willing to try. From vapes to cigarettes to cigars, there should be something for everyone. If you’re new to the smoking scene it’s probably best you try a little of everything in order to really get an idea of what you like best. Afterward, you can focus on only getting supplies for your favorite smoking methods.

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