Pipe Education


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Glass pipes offer the most convenient way to smoke your herb. Small, portable, easy to use.

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Types of Pipes


  • Chillums: Chillums, or hand pipes, are the most basic shape of glass pipe available. They are small, simple glass tubes. Users pack smoking material into the end, apply flame and inhale. This simplicity, however, has drawbacks. There is no carburetor, so the smoke is not easily cleared, and they are suitable only for small amounts of tobacco or herb blends.      
  • Spoons: Spoon Pipes are slightly more sophisticated than chillums because they possess a carburetor. After it is produced, smoke becomes stale in a matter of seconds. Carburetors on glass pipes, much like the carburetor on early automobiles, allow additional air to be drawn in. On a spoon pipe, the carburetor is a simple hole. When the hole is covered with a finger or thumb, incoming air is drawn trough the bowl and burning material. This draws smoke into the glass pipe. When the hole is uncovered, air enters through the carburetor because it is the path of least resistance. This allows all of the smoke in the pipe to be rapidly inhaled. Smokers generally agree that glass pipes with carburetors produce fresher smoke than those without them.                                                            
  • Steamrollers: Steamrollers have bowls or glass on glass fittings on one side of the pipe. Both ends of the pipe are open, and the open end near the bowl functions as the carburetor. Some steamrollers have chambers between the bowl and the mouthpiece that allow smoke to be "rolled" to enhance cooling. Steamrollers have a reputation for hard, hot, rips but with practice, they are wonderful smoking pipes. Steamrollers are not recommended for novice smokers.        
  • Sherlock: Sherlock or Gandalf pipes are named after the iconic pipes smoked by those literary figures. The classic Sherlock pipe has a large bowl with a gracefully arching stem. The bottom of the bowl is often flattened to allow the pipe to stand freely when not being held.
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What is a "carb"?


When you cover the carb, the only way for air to pass through into your lungs is through the bowl, therefore carrying with it the smoke. By releasing the carb, this allows fresh air to mix with the smoke (usually at about 70% fresh air to 30% smoke, depending on where the carb is, how big the piece is and how clean the bowl is). By keeping the carb closed as you smoke you are bringing air over the cherry, thus keeping it lit.

As for when/how to use it, it really depends on your bud and preferences. If you tend to cough a lot, use the carb (open it) liberally. The tap method works well in this regard as it helps keep the cherry burning and it allows you to get more air and less smoke into your lungs.Conversely, if you can handle it keep that carb closed as long as you like,

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How to use


Using A Screen: If the hole in your bowl piece is pretty big, you might want to use an extra screen. Screens are sold at smoke shops and marijuana stores and they keep your weed from falling through into the pipe. Using a screen can prevent your pipe from getting dirty and weed from getting sucked into your mouth, or worse, inhaled. Don’t use a makeshift screen, such as one from a faucet or off your screen door. Real pipe screens will last longer and won;t burn.

Passing a Pipe: When you are passing a pipe, always hand it with the mouthpiece facing the person you are passing it to. Nobody wants their fingers to get burned and bowl pieces can get extremely hot. This way, it will be you handling the bowl piece and you’ll know just how hot it is. I’ts common courtesy.

Taking Greens: If you’re offered greens, that means you’re first to hit the bowl. Don’t put the lighter dead center of the bowl and flame up the entire thing. You can take first hit without turning the whole bowl to ash. Do your best to leave as much of the green intact while still getting a full hit. You can do this by putting your lighter at a corner of the bowl and aiming the flame toward one specific area. Some people call this “cornering a bowl” and if you’re good at it, you can conserve your marijuana better by doing this.

Common Mistakes

Position the lighter while inhaling – A common mistake of first-time smokers is to think you don’t have to hold the lighter to the bowl while you hit it. When you’re smoking weed, keep the lighter over the top of the bowl while you inhale, until it’s able to stay lit on its own. When weed stays lit is called “cherried” and you may even be able to pass it to someone else without them having to relight it.

Don’t exhale with your mouth on the pipe – If you exhale with your mouth still on the pipe, all of the weed is going to fly out of the bowl. It’s an easy way to ruin a good bowl of weed as nobody is going to want to smoke it after it has scattered into little pieces all over the floor.

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Additional Information:


Natural glass, such as that produced by volcanoes or when lightning strikes sand, was known from very early times, but the manufactured glass didn’t appear until around 1500 BC. The Babylonians were being overrun by the Kassites, the Rigveda was being written in the Indian subcontinent, bronze helmets were first being used in Crete, and the pharaohs of the New Kingdom were reuniting Egypt and creating glass.

During this period, glassmaking was limited to colored glass jewelry and very small containers. Glass was considered incredibly valuable, and it was extremely difficult to make with the crude materials and equipment available.

The blowpipe, an essential piece of technology for blowing glass, was not invented until around 30 BC, and glass suddenly became easier and cheaper to produce. The Portland vase, one of the most valuable glass art objects in the world, was likely produced in Rome within 100 years of this time.

The earliest use of a glass pipe is unknown, but it is unlikely to have been prior to the invention of the blowpipe. Glass could only be produced by casting prior to this time, and it seems doubtful that something as delicate as a glass pipe could be constructed in this manner.