A pipe is a device commonly used for smoking cannabis, tobacco or cocaine (crack). This page deals primarily with marijuana pipes. A pipe is generally made from glass, metal or wood, though others do exist. There are a great many different styles but generally you can get a decent selection of them from just about any head shop or tobacconist.
 Why a Pipe?
Pipes are preferred by many because of their simplicity and convenience. Compared to other methods, such as joint rolling, they are less wasteful, since they do not constantly burn.
 Pipe History
People have been smoking all kinds of shit for as long as anyone is sober enough to remember. From the moment that they learnt how to make clay pipes, they were getting baked on just about anything combustible.
 Pipe types
All pipes have a mouthpiece and a bowl. The mouthpiece is the thing you suck, and the bowl is what the weed goes in. Some people think bowl is a synonym for pipe. They are wrong. You can, however refer to the pipe as a bowl. This is pars pro toto - a type of synecdoche.
One-Hitter: A pipe that holds enough weed for one solid hit. Usually, the smallest type of pipe, no more than 3-4 inches in length. Quick, easy, and very portable. Come in metal and glass, with the metal ones sometimes being painted in the fashion of a cigarette for a very incognito toke. Can be purchased for around 5-10 US dollars.
Dug-Out: More often than not, a wooden piece with a spot to hold a one-hitter and weed. The user simply pushes the one-hitter into the stash hole and voila, instantly packed bowl. 20 bucks give or take.
Chillum: The terms one-hitter and chillum are often used together without discrimination. However, there is a technique to using a chillum. Chillums are usually a bit larger and can be made of glass, metal, with a few wooden pieces seen every now and then. They have a history of use in India. Can be artsy, but $10-15 for a nice one, usually.
Folding Pipe: These pipes fold on themselves, covering the bowl for safe and easy transport. It's essentially impossible to make one out of glass, so folders are always wood and/or metal.
Spoon: A pipe that gets its name from its shape. Glass and wood are common materials used to make these. They can be very artistic and can vary in price drastically. Ranging anywhere from $10 to over $300 US.
Sherlock: This pipe gets its name from its shape because of the association of the use of it by our friend and fictional character, Sherlock Holmes. While stem of a spoon is straight, a "Sherlock" has bend in its stem. This can be managed in numerous ways depending on the whims of the glass blower or carver. Metal spoons and sherlocks are uncommon and, again, the price of these can vary a great deal. Around $15-30+
Bubbler: A pipe with two chambers stacked upon one another with a stem descending from the topmost chamber into the second. The bottom chamber is filled with water with the intention of cooling the smoke down for the user. Made of glass. Basically a smaller, more portable bong. These are usually very artistic and cost a good deal more than other pipes. $30-75 and up.
Prices and quality will be different depending on where you go to buy your piece.
Gangafish...er Gandalf: A pipe named after its resemblance to the one used by Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Protopipe: A pipe meant to serve multiple purposes. Some terminator shit.
 Using a Pipe
Using a pipe is fun, and only takes a few steps.
- Fill that shit up. Weed, tobacco, tea, a cat is fine too. Just stuff it all in there.
- Put your mouth on the end that DOESN'T have all the shit in it.
- Cover the carb if there is one.
- At the same time, light the end with the shit, and suck on the end with your mouth on it.
- Chill out
And remember, if you must laugh (or exhale), take the pipe out of your mouth and away from your face(this is where most noobs go wrong.)
This can be thought of as an advanced technique, or pleasant surprise. When the bowl is packed to a certain density, and just enough heat is applied, the material within the bowl will smolder after a hit. If someone hands you a pipe and says "it's cherried" or "it's rollin", this means you probably won't need a lighter. You can tell if weed is cherried if there's a glowing red mass of weed in the bowl.
 How to clean a pipe
- Dirty Pipe that needs cleaning.
- Salt OR 90%+ Alcohol Solution (not both)
- Source of Hot Water (If you do not have alcohol)
- Baggy (or something that doesn't leak when shaken violently)
- Something to scrape with (Paper clip, pipe cleaner, toothpick, whatever)
- Fill baggy half way with hot water or alcohol.
- Place pipe in baggy
- Shake the baggy violently
- Stop when you see bits of resin all over the bag.
- Empty bag of contents. If bag can be reused, go green and reuse. If not, find a new bag then start from step 1.
- Repeat until pipe is very clean
- With this method, some resin may be suck in a place where you cannot reach. Use a pipe cleaner or paper clip to reach this resin and scrape it out.
Remember to let your pipe dry (or use a hair dryer) before smoking!
Some people don't have access to materials listed above, or are too lazy/stoned to do all that work. I'm going to drop a second method. It's less effective than method one, but it can clean most of the pipe.
- Pipe that needs cleaning.
- Sink with hot water
- Tongs of some sort (Optional, but VERY handy. Avoid burning yourself with hot water using this)
- Let water run on hot until the water reaches a point that it can burn your skin
- Adjust the flow of water to fit in the mouth piece of the pipe (where you inhale)
- Put the pipe so the water flows into the mouthpiece, and out the carb. You should notice, that after awhile, no more resin is easily coming out.
- At this stage, you're going to want to switch up your tactics. Have the water go in the carb, and out the mouthpiece.
- There really isn't much you can do at this point to force the resin out of the pipe. You'll notice that theres a huge chunk (usually) stuck on the opposite side of the carb. Just leave it there, it's going to take a LONG time of running water to get that chunk.
- Another step I do at this point is fill the pipe with burning hot water, put my finger on the carb, and another finger on the mouthpiece and shake it, violently. This can get some extra resin out*
- please note, at this point, the hole in where you inhale (put the weed itself) is big enough so that water easily comes out, this is good, and means your pipe is clean enough.
Cleaning the bowl (where you put the weed) This is a very simple process. Heat the bowl with hot water for about thirty seconds to a minute. Grab a paper towel, toilet paper, or other disposable cleaning cloth. Rub the fuck out of the bowl in a CIRCULAR motion. After one rotation (360 degrees), take the cloth/towel out, and look and see if there's a ton of resin on it. If there is, that means you're doing it right. If there isn't, that means that the resin isn't warm enough and you need to heat it up more, or you don't need to clean your bowl. Repeat this process until it's clean as you want.
Veteran smokers will notice a small "dip" in the glass once it's polished clean. This is what happens to your pipe after many many uses, the glass SLIGHTLY melts. This can be good, and can be bad.
The good: More weed can fit in the bowl now. Congrats!
The bad: The bowl is now weaker than when you bought it, meaning the glass is thinning out. After a few years, you might break the bowl by pressing weed in it too hard (happened to me once), so always take care of your pipe! Note: if you're packing the bowl so tightly that you're breaking that glass, you're packing way too tightly. You only need to apply a tiny bit of pressure to the top of the packed bowl.
 Other Pipe Examples
Pipes can be made from a great many different materials so long as they aren't highly combustible, have a bowl and a mouth piece. This includes can pipes, apple pipes and just about anything you can think of. A resourceful stoner is never without a piece, even if it means smoking that shit Straight to the dome.