How to Smoke Weed Properly: A First-Timer’s Guide

how to smoke weed properly

If you’re a first-timer or beginner weed smoker then the entire process may seem a little bit confusing. Don’t worry. There may be a little learning curve, but it’s not nearly as steep as you think. For this guide, I focus on the two most important aspects – how to inhale and different methods of consumption.

I hope you have the time to read the whole article, but I went ahead and made a little index if you want to skip to something specific.

How to Inhale Weed Properly

          How to Reduce Coughing / Burning Throat

Different Methods of Consumption – Step by Step

          How to Smoke a Joint

          How to Smoke a Blunt

How to Smoke a Glass Pipe / Bowl

How to Smoke a Bong

[ps2id id=’how-to-inhale-weed-properly’ target=”/]How to Inhale Weed Properly

No matter what you smoke out of, you are going to need to inhale the weed. If you’re not used to smoking then you may be prone to simply holding the smoke in your mouth. Unfortunately, you won’t get very high this way. In fact, it’s likely you wouldn’t get high at all. You’ll need to bring the smoke deep into your lungs to get the full effect.

To inhale, all you have to do is take a slow deep breath. You’ll feel the smoke travel down your windpipe and fill your lungs. If you don’t feel anything in your lung area then you’re probably not breathing deep enough. You should be bringing in a little fresh air along with the smoke.

The whole idea that you need to hold the smoke in for extended periods of time is largely a myth. You won’t receive many benefits from holding the smoke as long as possible. Just inhale deeply, give yourself a very short pause, then exhale slowly. No need to get yourself all blue in the face. If it makes you feel better to hold it for 5-10 seconds then go ahead, but I see almost no difference when I hold it for 5 seconds vs. 1 second. Do you agree? Let me know in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

One common mistake is swallowing the smoke instead of inhaling it. Not only is this method ineffective, but it can give you an upset stomach, and possibly cause vomiting. This can also cause smoke burps which are exactly what they sound like. It’s quite embarrassing to be out in public and a small cloud of weed comes out after a burp. Remember, you’re inhaling the smoke into your lungs – not swallowing it into your stomach.

[ps2id id=’how-to-reduce-coughing-burning-throat’ target=”/]How to Reduce Coughing / Burning Throat

If you’re new to smoking then you are going to cough – it’s just part of the learning curve. However, there are things that you can do to reduce coughing and the burning throat sensation which will lessen the more you smoke and allow your body to get used to it. Here are a few tips:

  • Start with really small hits. I know this sounds obvious, but it’s important to remember it when it comes time to smoke. If you’re smoking with other people then don’t think you have take hits as big as them. If they’re experienced then they can take a lot bigger hit without coughing than you can.
  • Consider something with water filtration. Bong’s may seem a bit overwhelming (I’ll cover this later). You may want to opt for a bubbler, which is a small handheld pipe that holds water. Why water? It’s going to cool down the smoke. The heat is the primary cause of the burning throat, so the best way to remedy the situation is to cool it down.
  • Don’t try to keep smoking while you’re already coughing or have a sore throat. It’s only going to get worse. Take a moment to relax and drink a glass of ice water. Once you’re feeling better you can take another hit.

[ps2id id=’different-methods-of-consumption’ target=”/]Different Methods of Consumption – Step by Step

When it comes to methods of consumption you truly have a smorgasbord of options available to you. I’m going to discuss the 4 most popular ways to smoke. For each one, I’ll discuss the pros and cons, as well as, give step by step directions for proper usage.

[ps2id id=’how-to-smoke-a-joint’ target=”/]How to Smoke a Joint

The good old fashioned hand rolled joint – it’s been a staple of the smoking community for decades. Joints are simple and to the point which makes them a great choice for people who are just starting to smoke.

  • Step 1 – Roll the joint. There is a good chance this will be done for you if you’re smoking for the first time with friends. For those of you who want to roll your own joint then I highly recommend starting with the dollar bill method. This is, by far, the easiest way for beginners to roll a functioning joint. I could explain how it’s done, but it’s really much easier to see it so check out this video:

  • Step 2 – Once the joint is rolled, it’s time to get it lit. Typically you don’t want to light it the same way as someone would light a cigarette – by starting to puff while lighting it initially. Instead, you want to ‘roast’ the end of the joint. Roasting the joint is popular slang which simply means to hold the flame to the end of the joint without puffing. You should be rotating the joint to get it properly roasted all the way around. This will help make sure you get a nice even starts and avoid ‘runs’ in the joint (uneven burn). Once it’s been roasted you can put it in your mouth and give a few short puffs as you hold the lighter to your roasted end.Which end should you light? This is actually a really common question. If the joint is rolled completely straight like a cigarette then it doesn’t matter. If it’s rolled with one end larger than the other (a cone shape) then you should light the bigger end and put the smaller end in your mouth.
  • Step 3 – From there, you’re ready to start puffing away. Here are a few tips that will help:
    • You don’t have to put the joint all the way in your mouth. Just rest it on your lips. If you put the whole thing in your mouth it will get wet from saliva and will not smoke as well. This is called ‘lipping’ and people will not like it.
    • Take small hits and don’t forget to inhale like we talked about earlier. Small hits are the key to keep from coughing when smoking a joint.
    • Once the joint gets small it’s called a roach. Be careful not to burn your fingers or lips. You can use a roach clip (bobby pins work great) to smoke it down a little further.
    • Once it’s done you can toss it out, or some people like to save them. Once, you have 10 or so you can use them to roll another joint. These are sometimes referred to as ‘generation joints’.

[ps2id id=’how-to-smoke-a-blunt’ target=”/]How to Smoke a Blunt

Honestly, the steps to smoking a joint and the steps to smoking a blunt are pretty much the same. Rolling a blunt is a bit different than rolling a joint. If you want to roll your own then you can check out the video below, however, I do recommend starting with joints as they’re easier for most beginners.

Instead of rehashing the same steps as before I want to talk about what makes blunts and joints different.

  • The first and most obvious difference is the size. A joint is normally good for 1-3 people. If you’re smoking with a group then a blunt may be the way to go.
  • The second difference is the material. A blunt is a tobacco product and it does contain nicotine. Joints, on the other hand, are made from a variety of non-tobacco products such as hemp and rice. The tobacco paper of a blunt typically makes it a little bit harsher on peoples throats. It also adds flavor. Some people like the added flavor and others don’t.
  • The last difference I want to point out is the price. You’re gonna get 2 blunts for a dollar or you can get a book of 25 rolling papers for that same dollar.

Here’s the video I promised. I figured if there was anyone qualified to teach us all how to roll a blunt it’s Tupac:

[ps2id id=’how-to-smoke-a-glass-pipe-bowl’ target=”/]How to Smoke a Glass Pipe / Bowl

The good old glass pipe – another time tested favorite. They come in every color and shape you can imagine. The most popular style of glass pipe is called a spoon (pictured below). They’re relatively simple but it does help to know the gist of it before you use one. Just follow the steps below and reference the photo.


  • Step 1 – Fill the bowl with weed. You should either use a grinder or use your fingers to tear the bud into smaller pieces. You don’t have to fill it all the way up. If the pipe is made properly then you won’t need a screen. I prefer a loosely packed bowl so I avoid packing it in. If you want more then you can always pack a second bowl.
  • Step 2 – Place your thumb over the carb hole.
  • Step 3– Light the bowl with a lighter while inhaling from the mouthpiece. This will fill the inside of the pipe with smoke. If you’re a beginner then take very small draws and work your way up.
  • Step 4 – Release your finger from the carb. This will bring in air and allow you to inhale the smoke inside the pipe.
  • Step 5 – That’s it. Continue steps 2-4 until all the weed has turned to ash. You can then dump the ash out. If it doesn’t fall out easily there is a good chance it’s not completely burnt. Smaller, loosely packed bowls will allow it to burn more easily and even.

[ps2id id=’how-to-smoke-a-bong’ target=”/]How to Smoke a Bong

If it’s your first time then a bong may be a bit much and you may want to consider one of the other methods explained above. But, when you’re ready for it then bongs are terrific.

While some of them may look complex, they really aren’t that much different than a glass bowl. They’re just bigger, hold water, and the carb works a little different. In fact, you can follow the same steps from the glass pipe except step 4. Here’s how to carb a bong:

how to smoke a bong

You’ll notice the picture above doesn’t show the mouthpiece. If you’re not sure where your mouth goes when smoking a bong then you’re definitely not ready.

The way you’ll carb the bong (step 4) is to remove the bowl (the part you put the weed in). So, on a pipe, you remove your thumb from the carb hole, and on a bong, you remove the entire bowl.

If you’re using a glass on glass bong, like the one pictured above, then it will likely have a detachable downstem. You do not need to remove this at any time during smoking. It’s made detachable for mostly for cleaning purposes. Sometimes the bowl may stick a bit and this will cause the downstem to come out with it. It’s no big deal. You will still be able to clear the bong – it just doesn’t function as well as when you pull just the bowl.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got to say about that. Got any tips or tricks that I didn’t mention? Let everyone know in the comment section below.

Also, if you enjoyed this article, then here are a few of my other articles you may also enjoy:

5 Advantages of Smoking Out of a Glass Bong

How Long Does Weed Stay In Your System?

How Much Does Weed Cost?


  • Carole says:

    Hello,just want to say what a super site this is.I have learnt so much..As I am now 85 time to try something new..( My son from Whistler is all in favour) Have done things the ‘natural’ way all my life.I love gardening so of course had to try a few seeds,what fun.I honestly thought it was 2017 that it was legal. (hark the helicopters!!).oh well this time next year..but lord knows what the provincial laws will be..I did stress a plant and silly thing decided wanted to be a boy!I nipped him in the you know whats..Back to more learning..Seems the Auto strains would be the best for me.

  • weedman says:

    hey just wanted to mention that with the whole holding breath thing. once im high everything slows down so sometimes i hold in for longer than i should just cause ive forgotten to exhale. so i can see if someone saw me do that they may think u get higher from it. maybe thats how the rumor started?

  • Andrew says:

    Can you use a five dollar bill to roll a joint too? Or is it just a 1 dollar bill?

  • Juice castle says:

    I’ve been smoking for ten years and I’ve found that the longer you hold it in the higher you get especially if you let out no smoke at all .. hope this helps one love

    • John K. King says:

      In “Weedman”‘s post above, he remarks “for longer than i should” . . . what the hell is “longer than i should” ??? There’s NEVER a “longer than i should” — all you’d get is a blackout or pass out, and then your body would automatically take over and normalize itself and your autonomic nervous system. And you MIGHT even have microseizures, so you might want to take precautions in your immediate surroundings, much like you would if suffering from epilepsy. Been there, done that !! Pass outs AND microseizures !! Anyhow, my POINT is — holding in the toke is MUCH MORE beneficial than NOT — and SMALL tokes, supercharged with more air, like mentioned frequently in these posts, and especially in short succession when you wanna get GOOD-n-HIGH, are the most efficient ways to manage the use of BUDS !! So, I say to ALL my “brothers in herbs” — clean bubblers, cold water, short sweet tokes, then HOLD IT IN AS LONG AS YOU CAN !!!!! Smoke away !!!!!

    • John K. King says:

      JUICE CASTLE — I forgot to give you props for your comment — and I offer a very sincere concurrence !!

  • H says:

    Dope! Learnt so much!

  • Anonymous says:

    You don’t use any filter for your joint or blunt? I’ve never seen a joint without a filter, maybe it’s just me but can you tell me something about that?
    Anyway it’s been very useful, thank you.

  • Christie says:

    However something I found a like is well don’t know the name of them but they are the hemp cones here cones they do have the filter and it’s already to go you just grind it up put it in there that is my favorite.

  • Damian says:

    tbh i tried holding it in longer but the difference isn’t major.

  • Koolstof says:

    WTF, just dont think I can roll a damn joint like the dude in the video.

  • jack rowe says:

    jack 60 from ireland
    in constant pain,so l tried most
    painkilllers no joy,
    my son gave me a pipe and weed
    lm a new man
    your right about the

  • JASPER says:


  • Benz says:

    Good explanation. I’m young but I have been smoking for a VERY long time. Anyway, as far as holding it in… Both ways work for me. I can hit it hold it and blow it out quickly or if I hold it in longer it kinda slows my body down and I enjoy it and sometimes I’ll hold it in so long I forget to blow it out, then I’ll just hit the blunt again. Rolling blunts are really easy , joints too, but you should’ve had a video of SNOOP DOGG or WIZ KHALIFA rolling it not 2Pac haha. But I enjoyed your story. I learned a little about the tall bongs, I personally don’t smoke them because I cough too much lol.

  • Confused says:

    Many times in my life, I’ve been offered a joint (or a vape pen) and I duly accept it, bring it to my mouth, and pretend I how to smoke it. But I can only recall two times where I actually got any kind of high from smoking weed, and more often than not I just end up with a headache. Here’s the thing: I had never smoked cigarettes or cigars in my life, and nobody ever told me how to do it, so I have no idea how to smoke anything. I don’t even understand how a joint (or a cigarette) is supposed to work. Is the idea that you should be inhaling smoke coming out of the lit end of the joint? Or are you supposed to be sucking it through the inside of the joint? Am I supposed to be inhaling while the joint is in my mouth? And should I inhale through my mouth, nose, or both?

  • not important says:

    i am going to smoke weed with some girls in couple of days and i hadn’t learnt very much about how to do it because it is my first time. i was researching a lot and nothing was helping me but this blog has helped me so much! thankyou!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with not having to hold the toke for much more than a second or two.i been smoaking awhile i had a young buck try to tell me i was blowning out to fast i was wasting his pot so i rolled my on i got just as high .lol

  • Dingo says:

    I put ice cubes in my bong water, really cools the hit.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow je savais déjà tout

  • Curveball says:

    I wish they had this back when I started in 97. First J I rolled was out of a post it note when I was 14, after I bought a dimebag off a skateboarding buddy. Smoked up in my basement and stunk up the house 20 minutes before my mom got home. Used the whole bottle of glade. If youre new and dont want to get caught, use a zoom tube. Take a vacuum nozzle (or straight tube, such as pvc pipe) and tie bounce sheets on the end with a rubberband. Blow smoke through the tube, toward the other side with the bounce sheets. This will prevent your room stinking up with smoke. Smoke bowls indoors and keep joints and blunts outdoors too. Use visine and hand sanitizer. Dont let people find out you smoke, theyll call you a crackhead and it sucks.

  • John says:

    As far as holding the smoke.
    I believe that as individual as ones body. I always hold at least 5 secs (sometimes less because it’s a real good hit lol). And have ghosted hits. I find they hit a peek and drop off before exhale.

  • Eva Ordo says:

    I hold it in all the time and get a better high. It’s a myth that this doesn’t work. Most of the smoke we suck in hasn’t reached all of our lungs and is just floating around in there. The longer you hold it the more smoke reaches our lungs.

    When you exhale, if someone is in the room they can get a contact high cause that smoke is still pretty potent. If you can smell all the terpines from a person’s exhaled smoke then they are still active. There. Myth of the myth debunked!

  • Anonymous says:

    I disagree, hold it in longer not only gets you higher but it keeps you high longer too. Think of your lungs like a sponge, the more THC absorbed into the lungs will enter the bloodstream and have the desired effect. Otherwise you might as well just sign up to play Gandalf in Lord of the rings smoking a Hobbit pipe.

  • cas says:

    it’s joints that have tobacco, blunts are just weed

  • BigSmoke says:

    CURVEBALL LOL wow…… If in 2020 the age of legalized weed any one is calling you a crackhead instead of a pothead they are the problem

  • Lori says:

    I just started smoking marijuana to. I’m 56. But having a hard time rolling it so I’m going to buy a pipe. I just want to relax instead of feeling tense all the time.

  • Hrobair says:

    Fifty one years ago (imagine that) I was taught by none other than Tommy Chong to hold the smoke in my lungs for as long as I could and exhale slowly through the nose. He stressed “through the nose”. He said that more THC gets into the bloodstream and carried to the brain. The physiology of the THC high is really very interesting and worth a read. GOOGLE “ILGM”. Oh, one more bit of advice I think Tommy would appreciate me passing on to you. Practice holding your breath.

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