Inhalation Education: Choosing the Perfect Piece

Inhalation Education: Choosing the Perfect Piece

So you’re ready to try smoking your cannabis medicine — where do you start? There are lots of different ways to inhale cannabis, and every option has its own pros and cons. Hempsley partnered with 420 Science to help you understand how to choose a tool that is best for you and your needs. 


Comparing Inhalation Tools

Vapes: Vaporizing is considered healthier & more effective than smoking, as it warms flower to release the terpenes & cannabinoids without a harmful combustion

Bong / Water Pipe: Bongs filter larger hits through water that diffuse your hit into bubbles and even cool it with ice; water-pipes allow for larger hits and a longer inhale

Bubbler: Bubblers are hybrids of bongs and pipes; they combine water filtration for a smoother hit with the smaller size and comfort of a pipe

Hand Pipe: Great for longer sessions and creating a smoother draw than a chillum

Chillum / “One Hitter”:This low-key, durable, and inexpensive option is good for just a couple hits on-the-go

Joint: A simple & classic choice for those who want to share a smoke

Tips for Picking a Piece

Is it comfortable?

How’s it feel in your hand? Does your finger naturally cover the carb?

Size/Length of piece

Are your eyelashes in danger of catching on fire?


The hole in the bowl should be small enough so that large pieces of plant or ash can fall through, but not so small that it’s going to be easily clogged. How easy is it to draw from? What’s the airflow like?

Material Quality


Is it from a trusted brand? Does it have a warranty? Google it & look for reviews! When shopping for glass, be sure to check the piece for cracks and air bubbles.


Look for a piece with a wide, stable base, and thick glass to safeguard against the inevitable bump of a table or slip of the hand. 


When using a water pipe or bong, percolation refers to the amount of bubbles that form during an inhale. More bubbles means more interaction with the water, helping to cool the hot smoke and make it less harsh.


Having stacks on stacks of percolators is great…until you have to clean them! Consider the frequency of cleaning you want to commit to before investing in an elaborate glass piece. 

Vaporizing vs Smoking

When plant material is ignited, the combustion produces tar & other toxic chemicals that can cause harm to our bodies. Vaporizing, on the other hand, warms plant material enough to release its beneficial compounds without creating a harmful combustion. 

When it comes to cannabis, a 2003 study by CA NORML & MAPS showed that 88% of smoke has non-beneficial compounds, meaning that only 12% of what was inhaled had helpful cannabinoids and terpenes. When vaporized, 95% of the vapor produced had beneficial compounds.


Smoking any substance (cigarettes, cannabis, herbal blends, etc) can reduce the effectiveness of certain medications.

Smoking produces hydrocarbons, which we inadvertently consume and which alter our metabolization process. The hydrocarbons in smoke can negatively interact with certain antidepressants & antipsychotics, so always proceed with caution when smoking any substance.

This information was first published by Hempsley and 420 Science

Hempsley empowers you with the knowledge you need to feel better, shop smarter, and choose the best wellness tools for you and your loved ones. Shop trusted and verified CBD products in their online store. 

420 Science was created by and made for cannabis enthusiasts. Since 2004 they have been the most trusted online headshop offering dependable customer service, product reviews of only the best pipes, vaporizers, & accessories from respected brands & manufacturers, and a deep well of expert knowledge about the cannabis lifestyle.