Pipes, bowls, pieces, Charlotte…you can call them whatever you want. I prefer to smoke them. It’s like my grandfather used to say: ‘I don’t care as long as it gets me high.’
Jokes aside, there are a variety of different types of pipes available for consuming cannabis. Pipes also come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. The variety and terminology can be difficult for new consumers, and we are here to help.
Today, we are going to go over many different types of cannabis pipes. If we missed any, or if you have anything to add, let us know on social media!
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When someone mentions having a cannabis pipe, or a ‘bowl’, they are typically referring to spoon pipes. This is also the most common type of cannabis pipe available in stores. They are called spoon pipes because…well, they look like spoons.
Smoking a spoon pipe is simple. Most spoon pipes have carburetor hole on the side. You put your finger over the carb while pulling the hit, and let go of the carb to finish the hit.
Chillums, commonly referred to as ‘one-hitters’, is a type of small straight pipe. Unlike spoon pipes that have a bowl head at the top, chillums have their bowl head at the end. Think of them almost like a glass cigarette. Chillums are great for smoking by yourself. They are also great to take on the go.
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Bongs are a type of water pipe. They are renowned in pop culture. Bongs are usually what you see stoner characters holding in movies and television shows. This type of cannabis pipe has a long tube with a collection of water at the bottom, similar to a flower vase. The bowl head has a long downstem that goes into the water. Instead of a carb, the hit is typically released by pulling the bowl head out of the downstem.
Bubblers are a popular type of cannabis pipe. These pipes are similar to spoon pipes except they have one (or more) chambers that hold water. As you pull the hit, the smoke passes through the water. This cools down the smoke and removes ash particles from your hit. This is what makes bubblers a smoother smoke than a standard spoon pipe.
Though it has the word ‘bong’ in the name, gravity bongs are very different from both bongs and bubblers. Gravity bongs can be purchased, but the majority of the time they are homemade.
The basic gravity bong is made with two containers. One container has no top and is filled with water. The second container has the bottom cut off and has a removable bowl head at the top. The top container is lowered into the water. The cannabis is then lit while the top container is slowly pulled out of the water. The water and air pressure cause the smoke to get trapped in the top container. After the hit has been pulled, the bowl is removed, and the smoke is inhaled by pushing the top container back into the water.
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Sherlock Pipes are named after the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Functionally, Sherlocks are very similar to spoon pipes. That said, I have seen a fair amount of Sherlocks that do not have carbs.
The real difference comes in the design. Much like Sherlock Holmes’ classic tobacco pipe, Sherlock pipes have long curved stems. Unless you are hacking up a lung, it is impossible not to look sophisticated while hitting a Sherlock.
Steamrollers are a pipe all of their own. In their most basic form, steamrollers are just a tube with a bowl head attached. The entire open end of the tube is used as a giant carb. Steamrollers come in many sizes, but typically the tube is big enough that the palm of your hand is needed to hold the carb and pull the hit.
Hand Pipes (I call them ‘dad pipes’) are a small and portable type of pipe. They usually don’t have a carb. Many times they are made out of metal or stone. Many hand pipes also have a door that covers the bowl head. This will keep the cannabis from spilling out of your pocket.
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We hope you enjoyed our breakdown of the different types of cannabis pipes. What is your favorite kind of pipe to smoke from? Let us know on social media!