May 9, 2019
The dos and don’ts of packing your bongs, pipes and anything else with a bowl.

Learning how to pack and smoke a bowl properly is one of those lessons that will serve you both personally and socially, anywhere you choose to consume via pipes and water pipes (bongs) alike.

Below we explain a few bowl basics to get you started.

What’s a Pipe or Water Pipe (Bong)?

Pipes come in all shapes and sizes and showcase a variety of features, styles and materials.

Water pipes (bongs) utilize water to cool and filter cannabis smoke before you inhale it, offering a smoother smoking experience while basic, traditional pipes skip the filtering step all together. They can be made of wood, metal, ceramic or blown glass and they are typically shaped like a spoon or the number 7. Regardless of their size or style, all pipes and bongs have “bowls” aka: round receptacles deep enough to hold your broken up dry bud. that connects, and delivers airflow through, to the mouthpiece. Now that you understand the purpose and location of the bowl – let’s pack it!

How to Pack and Smoke a Bowl

Before you start, make sure you have everything you need. Typically, you’ll want to have something to help break up the cannabis, something to ignite the cannabis, and something to scrape/stoke the bowl (the technical term for this is “pokey thing”). You also need to decide whether or not you require a screen.

Now that you are all set up, here are a few tips for an optimized bowl-filling experience:

  1. Break your cannabis up well – but not too fine: Whether you use a grinder, scissors, your fingers or A SlapChop, you want the cannabis to be broken up the same way you would for a joint; separated into small pieces, but not so fine that it gets sucked out the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Use a screen: This isn’t an issue for most bongs, but for pipes it’s good to have a screen or stone at the bottom of the bowl covering the chamber leading to the mouthpiece that will allow smoke to pass through without letting through any burning shake or ash. This will also facilitate better airflow.
  3. Pack your cannabis denser at the top and lighter at the bottom for the most even smoke throughout: Doing this and ensuring you don’t hold the fire to the packed bowl longer than what’s necessary to light the cherry, will allow the cannabis towards the top to maintain a burn throughout, offering smoother, more even inhalation.
  4. Cornering: If you’re sharing your bowl with others, try cornering. Cornering is the method of only lighting a small section of the bowl to ensure there is plenty of untouched cannabis left for others. Similar to sharing an appetizer or dessert friends, cornering allows you to enjoy your share without disturbing the rest. Cornering can also slow the burn rate making this approach equal parts economical and good etiquette.

Cornering is done by angling your lighter to only hit a small portion of the bowl, allowing your flame to hit more of the bowl then the flower itself. Inhale slowly, leaving untouched cannabis behind to pass along.


  • Don’t pack the bowl too tight or you won’t be able to get the airflow needed to smoke it.
  • Empty the bowl after every session for the cleanest, smoothest smoking experience.
  • Change or clean your screen as often as possible and watch out for resin buildup through the entire pipe/bong – the cleaner the better.

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