How to Pack a Bowl: A Step-by-Step Guide

A glass bong, with the stem removed, sits on a table against a blurry living room background.

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Table Of Contents

One of the best ways to smoke legal cannabis and hemp products is in a bowl, specifically a bong bowl. Sure, you can always roll a joint, but smoking your favorite herb out of a joint is not nearly as efficient or effective.

When compared to packing a bowl, rolling a joint takes much longer, it takes more skill, and it results in more weed being wasted. Therefore, the best solution if you want to save time and money, and get the most out of your herb, is to pack a bong bowl.

That said, packing a bowl is not as easy as some might think. To the untrained eye of a beginner, it might look like there's nothing more to it than stuffing some herb into a bowl, but as any seasoned cannabis connoisseur knows, there's a lot more to it than that. 

There is a lot that you need to know about how to pack a bowl, starting with the type of bowls out there, as well as their components and what they're made of.

Today, we're going to provide you with a step-by-step guide on exactly how to pack a bong bowl. We'll cover everything from the basics of bowls to selecting the right botanicals for your bowl, how to pack it in various ways, troubleshooting bowl packing problems, and much more. By the end of this article, you'll be a total expert on everything there is to know about how to pack and smoke a bowl in your bong.

Key Takeaways

  •   Packing a bowl properly is important to achieve the best possible smoke. Proper bowl packing techniques will allow for great airflow, minimal harshness, and an overall positive experience.
  •   You first need to choose the right type and shape of a bowl for your needs, followed by the right botanicals that you want to smoke.
  •   Here you’ll learn about preparing your bowl for packing, various bowl packing techniques, achieving an even burn, enhancing flavor and potency, lighting and packing the bowl, cleaning and maintenance, troubleshooting common problems, and so much more!

Keep reading here to find out how to use a bubbler pipe.

Understanding Bowl Basics

Before you can start packing, lighting, and smoking your bowl, you need to know what types of bong bowls there are, what their components are, and what materials they can be made of. Choosing the right bong bowl can make a big difference in terms of the quality of your smoke.

Types of Bong Bowls

There are a few different types of bong bowls to consider, with each one having its own specific features that you might find advantageous or not.


First, we have the regular bong bowl. These are generally designed to fit anywhere between 0.4 and 1 gram of dried herb. This is what most standard water bongs come with when you purchase them. These are generally designed for use by single individuals or by two people at the most, due to their limited capacity, although a single person can get a good few hits out of them.


If you aren't alone and are planning on having a group smoking session, going for an oversized bowl might be better. There are various types of oversized bowls, with the biggest ones being able to hold a half ounce of dried herb or more, but most oversized bowls usually hold between 2 grams and 4 grams of dried herb. Although not ideal for individual use, these are perfect for large group sessions.

The Snapper

We then have the snapper bowl, otherwise known as the popper bowl, which looks like a straight metal tube. This is like the one-hitter of the bong world, as these are designed for single hits. In a popper bowl, you pack your dried herb into the piece, light it, and pull it all right through the bong, with nothing being left behind after each hit.

A classic way to use a snapper bowl is to pack a small piece of a cigarette into the bottom of it to act as a stopper, and then pack the cannabis on top. When you smoke the snapper bowl, and you pull everything through, it makes a popping sound, hence the name.

The Double Bowl and Novelty Bowls

Besides those basic types of bowls, there are plenty of novelty bowls out there, such as double bowls designed for couples. Our own Botany Farms HHC Strawberry Banana Kush is a fantastic option for double bowls.

Components of the Bong Bowl

Now that you know about the different types of bong bowls, let's take a look at the various components that you need to be familiar with.

The Stem

The stem of the bowl is perhaps one of the most important considerations of all, particularly the size because this determines whether or not it can fit into your bong. The male piece on the bowl, which fits into the female piece on the bong, generally comes in three different sizes, including 10, 14, and 18 millimeters. Make sure that the bowl actually fits into the bong, or else you won't get anywhere.

The Handle

Pay attention to the handle on the bowl, as some bowls come with no handles at all, whereas others do. Some handles may be smooth and rounded whereas others may be more cylindrical and textured.

A good handle can make it much easier to lift the bowl out of the bong when it comes time to clear the chamber. 

If you don't have a handle on your bowl, you'll have to grab the bowl itself, which comes with the risk of burning your fingers if you’ve heated it too much. Always consider what shape and texture of the handle is comfortable for you.

The Screen

Another one of the most important components of a bong bowl is the screen at the bottom. Most bong bowls do not come with screens built into them, although some do come with metal screens. 

That said, we recommend not choosing bong bowls that have built-in screens, because once they wear out, you'll have to buy a new bowl.

Alternatively, we recommend going with replaceable screens, such as metal mesh screens or glass screens, that you can add or remove as you see fit. The screen is what stops any herb or cannabis from falling through the bowl into the bong.

The Bowl Itself

As funny as it sounds, the main component here is the bowl itself. Generally, you want the bowl to be tapered inwards, as this usually allows for the best burning experience.


Some bong bowls may then also come with built-in recyclers or percolators, which serve the purpose of making your hits cooler and smoother, although not strictly necessary.

Bowl Materials to Choose From

There are then two main materials you can choose from when selecting a bowl, and your overall experience will depend on what material you choose.


The most common material for a bong bowl to be made out of is glass. Specifically, here we are talking about borosilicate or scientific glass, which is more heat-resistant and impact-resistant than regular glass. 

Glass bowls are usually fairly easy to clean, they allow for a good burn, and they look very nice too. The downside is however that no matter what kind of glass they are made of, they are still somewhat fragile. If you drop a glass bowl, chances are it will break.


If you want something much tougher and more durable, going with a metal bowl is recommended. No matter how high you drop these from, they won't break. They're also very heat resistant and easy to clean. 

The downside with metal bowls is that they can get extremely hot and end up warping, not to mention that they just don't look all that nice either. Our own Delta-8 Lemon Diesel CBG Strain is fantastic for bowls of all sorts!

Selecting the Right Botanicals for Your Bowl

Now that you have chosen the best bowl for your needs, it's time to talk about what you're going to put inside of that bowl.

What to Smoke in a Bowl

The first thing we want to talk about here are the various types of herbs or botanicals that you can put in your bowl, and what they might do for you.


The most common option to go with here is cannabis. If you want to get high, smoking cannabis that is high in THC is recommended.

There are two main types of cannabis, including Indica and Sativa. If you want a very bodily relaxing strain that is ideal for nighttime use, something that will put you to sleep, it is an Indica that you should go for. The euphoria combined with a general feeling of heaviness and sedation is perfect for getting some sleep.

On the other hand, if you have a long day ahead, or you just don't want to get knocked out, going for more of a daytime strain, which means going with the Sativa, is recommended.

Sativa strains generally hit your head much more than they hit your body, and they usually result in you feeling somewhat uplifted, creative, energetic, and ready to go. Between Indica and Sativa, there are literally thousands of strains to choose from. You can always try our Lemon Diesel CBG.


The next option you have is to put hemp in your bong bowl. By hemp, we are referring to buds that have high CBD content, but no or limited THC content.

This means that hemp should not get you high or be psychoactive at all, but still come with the various potential benefits that CBD has to offer.

CBD has a variety of potential benefits, both for your mind and body, especially where mental relaxation, pain relief, and inflammation relief are concerned. 

Here’s a great guide on how to smoke hemp flower. If you want some great hemp flower, check out our Botany Farms Godfather OG CBD Strain.


Although it's not something we recommend, you can always smoke some tobacco and get some nicotine into your system. Many people mix both tobacco and cannabis together, to get the best of both worlds.

Many people enjoy that head rush and feeling of elation produced by the nicotine and tobacco, which is then combined with the high produced by the cannabis. 

Smoking tobacco is very dangerous and risky to your health, so we’d probably avoid this, and we personally would rather go with this HHC Lemon Diesel CBG Strain.

Various Herbs

There are also plenty of other herbs that you can smoke, each of which has its own specific set of effects and potential benefits. These include, but are not limited to, lavender, rosemary, sage, passionflower, catnip, mugwort, mullein, skullcap, damiana, and more.

Many people also like creating herbal mixes with various herbs and cannabis, which therefore provides the potential benefits of the herbs, along with the high from the cannabis. 

If you want to mix some herbs with a nice CBD strain, our Botany Farms Blueberry Diesel CBD strain is a great one to consider.

Considerations When Selecting the Right Botanicals For Your Bowl

Before you choose any type of botanical to put in your bowl, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind.


Although it might not be the number one concern, flavor is important. After all, you don't want to smoke something that tastes bad, which is exactly why some people add herbs to their bowls, specifically ones such as rosemary and lavender.

Many people say that these taste fantastic when smoked. If we are just talking about cannabis, then it really comes down to the exact strain, as well as the terpenes contained in the string. As you might know, some of the most common terpenes include myrcene, caryophyllene, humulene, limonene, linalool, and others.

Each of these terpenes has a specific flavor profile, so we recommend always researching what ter[penes the strain in question has before you purchase it. Some strains are very fruity and sweet, some are citrusy, some can be musky, and more. 

This is of course a matter of personal preference over anything else. This HHC Blueberry Kush has a fantastic flavor!


You then want to consider just how potent the cannabis that you are planning to smoke is. Some strains may have as little as 10% THC, whereas others may have as much as 30%, or higher. The more THC the strain has, the higher you will get, and the longer the high should last for it.

If you are a beginner, we recommend starting on the lower end of the spectrum, although as a cannabis connoisseur, you'll probably be fine with a higher THC percentage.

Also keep in mind that there are different types of THC, and they have differing potencies. For instance, Delta-9 THC is generally considered the strongest one, with Delta-8 THC being about half as strong as that, and Delta-10 THC once again being about half as strong as Delta-8. If you don’t want to get high at all, our Sugar Queen CBD strain might be right for you.


You then also want to pay attention to the potential effects you will feel. If we are talking about Indica, you'll probably feel sedated, heavy, and sleepy, and if we're talking about a Sativa, you'll probably feel a bit more energetic, creative, and uplifted. If you choose to smoke a CBD hemp strain, you probably won't feel high at all, but will likely still end up feeling quite relaxed.

Personal Preferences

What it all comes down to here is a matter of personal preference. Therefore, we recommend not purchasing too much of any one strain before you know how it feels and tastes. One of our personal favorites is this Blueberry Kush CBD Strain.

Preparing Your Bowl For Packing

Now that you have your bowl and your botanical to smoke in it, it's time to make some preparations.

Preparing the Bowl

One of the most important aspects of packing a bowl is making sure that the herb you are planning to smoke is prepared.

Cleaning, Drying, and Grinding Botanicals

Although not all people are sticklers here, we recommend cleaning the herb a little bit first, which means removing stems and unwanted sugar leaves. Stems are generally not very tasty, and some people even get headaches from smoking them.

Make sure that your herb is dry enough to smoke in a bowl. If your herb is far too wet and sticky, it might not burn properly. If this is the case, you might want to let it dry out for another day or two, or even use a variety of cannabis drying methods to quickly dry it out for immediate smoking.

To smoke in a bowl, you then need to grind your weed up. Some people may use scissors for this, although using an actual grinder is recommended, as it's much easier. For a bong bowl, however, you don't want the weed to be ground into a fine powder, as this will likely burn too quickly and may even fall through the screen.

Grinding your cannabis into very small nugs is recommended, as they'll be small enough to burn evenly and efficiently, but not so small that the material all burns at once.

Maintaining a Clean and Functional Bowl

To have a good experience smoking a bowl, the bowl itself needs to be clean and functional, so let's talk about how to achieve this.

Regular Cleaning

The number one way to make sure that your bowl is clean and functional is to engage in regular cleaning, which we will discuss in greater detail further below. 

Depending on how much you smoke, you may need to clean your bowl regularly to prevent it from clogging up. At the very least, you want to use some kind of thin utensil to poke left-behind resin through the stem of the bowl.

Change the Screen Regularly

If you are using a screen in your bowl, this needs to be changed regularly, particularly if it is a metal mesh screen.

You can ignore this if you are using a glass screen, because as long as these don't break, they last forever. You can simply wash off a glass screen.

However, metal screens start to disintegrate after a while, which means that they need to be replaced. Those screens can also get clogged, in which case a replacement is required.

Don’t Let Weed Cool in the Bowl

We are aware that you might not be able to smoke a whole bowl at once, which is why only packing as much as you need into it is recommended. 

The reason for this is that you should not let weed get cool in the bowl after smoking just a part of it. This generally causes a lot of resin and residue to be left behind, plus relighting already lit weed never tastes good.

Bowl-Packing Techniques

A black and white image of someone's hands packing a glass pipe with cannabis.

Now that your bowl is prepared for smoking, and you've chosen what botanicals you want to put inside of it, it's time to talk about the various bowl packing methods.

Packing your bowl properly is very important because it will determine the quality of your smoking experience. For instance, if you pack the bowl far too tightly, you won't be able to pull air through properly, and you won't be able to smoke it at all.

However, if the bowl is packed too loose, the flame will pull through the bowl, right past your herb, without really lighting it up, which also results in a lackluster smoking experience. Therefore, achieving the perfect compact pack with the right amount of airflow is essential.

If you don't pack your bowl properly, you just end up wasting cannabis, lighter fluid, and your time and breath. To avoid any potential waste, let's talk about various ways to pack your bowl properly. Remember that how to pack a pipe bowl really isn’t any different from packing a bong bowl.

The Classic Pinch Method

A fast and easy method for beginners is the pinch method, which simply involves breaking a piece off of the bud, twisting it into a bowl between your forefinger and thumb, and then placing it into the bowl. If you like your bowls packed a little more, just squeeze it down into the bowl a little more.

However, this method only works if your cannabis is very dry because it does not involve you grinding it. If it is very wet, and you just place a small bud into your bowl, it won't burn properly. Our Botany Farms CBD Strawberry Banana Kush is a perfect bud to use this method with.

The Layering Technique

If you have different strains of cannabis, hemp, or other herbs that you want to smoke, using a layering technique is recommended. This usually means grinding everything into a relatively fine powder and then creating various layers that are then all smoked at once.

Just make sure that the driest herbs are at the top, as these will light up the easiest, and therefore produce the most even burn. The layering technique could also involve placing larger buds at the bottom in place of a screen, with smaller buds or powdered cannabis being on top.

The Corner Method

If you have a very large bowl, you might be tempted to just pack one corner or portion of it, which is perfectly fine. The corner method usually refers more to the lighting of the bowl rather than the packing of it. If we are talking about the lighting of the bowl, the corner method involves just lighting up one small corner of the bowl, so you can save the rest for later.

The “No-Stem” Approach

Something that we always recommend doing, no matter how you pack your bowl, is to take the so-called no-stem approach.

For those that don't know, stems do not contain much THC, they don't taste nice, and they give most people headaches anyway. Therefore, you want to do everything you can to remove all of the stems from your bud before you place it in. Stems just don't make for an enjoyable smoking experience.

The Grind and Place Method

Some people may also choose to use what is known as the grind and place method, which involves simply grinding your weed in the grinder and then placing it in the bowl, either with or without packing. This is what most people do. Just put your weed in the grinder, give it a few twists, take a pinch in between your fingers, and place it in the bowl. If you want an even burn, pack it down a little bit.

The Shake 'n' Bake Method

If you don't have a grinder or any good way to grind the weed fairly fine, and you have small buds, a good method is the shake n’ bake method. Here, you just put a few small buds in the bowl and then shake or vibrate the bowl lightly to make everything fall into place.

This is also a useful method if you don't have anything good to pack the bowl down with because shaking it around automatically forces everything to the bottom. However, you won't be able to pack a bowl as tightly with this method as with either your fingers or with a packing tool, as discussed below.

The Packing Tool Method

One of our favorite methods to use here is the packing tool method, otherwise known as the tamping tool method. This is simply a tool designed specifically to pack or compact any kind of material, in this case, ground cannabis. Just place ground cannabis in the bowl, and then use the tool to tightly pack it down, not unlike when you make fresh espresso.

The Half Pack

If you only want to take a small hit or a couple of small hits, and you don't want to waste leave, doing a half pack is recommended. This is where you only put enough ground cannabis into the bowl for a single hit.

The Popper or Snapper Pack

We then have the paper or snapper pack, which generally involves the use of tobacco. Here, most people would usually cut off a small piece of a cigarette and place it directly in the snapper bowl.

This acts as a stopper, onto which you then place your weed, usually by shoving the snap bowl directly down into a pile of weed.

You should end up with a compact layer of weed, with a piece of cigarette underneath. When you pull on this type of bowl, you will notice that it is very hard to pull from, until all of a sudden it pops right through the piece, and the name.

Achieving an Even Burn

With your bowl packed and ready to go, the next step is to light it up and achieve an even burn. This is perhaps one of the most important sections in this whole guide.

Tips for Packing the Bowl to Ensure an Even Burn

Packing the bowl can almost be considered an art form, so right now we want to provide you with some tips on how to do this properly. One of the main considerations here is airflow.

Having good airflow will allow the bud to light up properly and burn at a moderate pace, therefore providing you with the best experience.

If you don't have enough airflow, you won't be able to pull the flame through the bud or light it up at all, and if you have too much airflow, the flame will bypass the bud without really lighting it.

Consider the Consistency of Your Bud

When packing a bowl, the consistency of the bud is very important to consider. By this, we are talking about how wet or dry it is.

The dryer the bud is, the more you can pack it down. If it is dry, the individual pieces or granules won't stick together, therefore still allowing the flame and air to flow around them.

However, if your weed is far too wet, those individual pieces will all stick together, therefore preventing proper airflow. So, if you have really sticky weed, you don't want to pack it down too much, or else you will clog up the works. 

A bud that has a great consistency for burning is this HHC Sugar Queen Strain.

Not Too Loose, Not Too Tight

We really can't stress enough just how important it is to achieve the proper pack. Either too loose or too tight will result in a subpar experience, that will see you just wasting your time and weed. Make sure that you can pull air through the bowl, but it shouldn't be quite as easy as normal breathing. There should be a bit of resistance, but not too much.

Use a Tool for an Even Pack

If you want to achieve the most even pack possible, using a packing tool or tamping tool is recommended. These generally have flat bottoms, so you can push all of the cannabis down together at once, therefore producing an even density of material within the bowl.

Re-Pack the Bowl As You Go

If you are smoking a very large bowl that you can't finish in one hit, it's always recommended to repack the bowl before you light it every time. The heat and fire from lighting up the cannabis cause it to expand and move out of place, which will ruin the initial pack. Therefore, to achieve proper airflow with consecutive hits, packing it down before you light it every time is required.

Use a Screen or a “Bud Screen”

One of the worst things you can have happen is to have all of your weed fall through the bowl into the bong. To prevent this from happening, using either a glass or metal screen is recommended.

Glass screens are much more expensive but also longer lasting, healthier, and easy to clean. Metal mesh screens, on the other hand, aren't nearly as healthy, they don't last as long, and they aren't as cost-effective in the long run either.

That said, whichever one you choose, having some kind of screen is recommended. If you don't have an actual screen, using a large cannabis bud to partially block the hole is recommended.

Don’t Overstuff the Bowl

You also want to avoid overstuffing the bowl. You'll notice that when you light the bowl, the cannabis expands a little bit, and if you have too much in there, some of it might even fall over the rim of the bowl. At the very least, if you try to stuff too much into the bowl, you'll likely reduce the airflow.

Enhancing Flavor and Potency

If you are bored of regular cannabis, and are looking for ways to enhance the flavor and the potency of your smoking experience, follow the tips listed below.

Mix Strains Together

If you don't like the flavor or potency of a strain you have, you can always try buying something a little higher quality and tastier to mix in with your low-grade stuff. Mixing strains together is a great way to increase and improve the potency and the flavor profile.

Maybe you have a very low potency strain that you like the taste of, as well as a very high potency strain that you don't find tasty. Mixing them together might just provide you with the best of both worlds. If you’re looking for a new strain to mix with, check out our very own Crystal Candy THCA strain.

Add Concentrates

Although it might not enhance the flavor much, if you want to increase the potency of your cannabis, adding some concentrates to the mix is an option. You can add hash, shattered, hash oil, live resin, rosin, and many other concentrates to the mix.

Some of these concentrates contain nearly 100% THC, which should definitely get you feeling it. Just don't add too much of any one concentrate, because they usually are designed to be vaporized not burned, and when burned, are usually somewhat harsh on the throat. For instance, smoking moon rocks in a bowl is worth considering.

Use Flavor Enhancing Elements

If you want to improve the flavor of the smoke, you can always try using some flavor drops on your cannabis, and then letting it dry before you smoke it. 

Some people may also add some sage, rosemary, lavender, or other botanicals into their bowls for a bit of a flavored kick.

Lighting and Smoking a Packed Bowl

With everything ready to go, you probably now need some tips on how to light and properly smoke a packed bowl.

Tips for Lighting a Bowl

With your bowl packed, the next step is to put some fire to it, so let's talk about some of the best ways to do this.

Choose the Right Kind of Flame

Although you might not think so, choosing the right kind of flame makes a difference. Most people use a regular disposable butane lighter, which works just fine. Most people say that the taste and experience of using a normal lighter is rather perfect.

However, some people might not like the very slight residual flavor of the butane, in which case using a hemp wick is recommended. A hemp wick is all natural and will not leave a taste of fuel in your mouth, plus you don't have to keep relighting it.

On the other hand, if you already have a dab rig and a torch, you could use this. Just be aware that using a torch, because it burns so hot, can scorch the THC right out of your cannabis before it hits your lungs.

Therefore, always keep the flame from a torch lighter at a significant distance from the bowl. Hold the torch lighter far away from the bowl, light it, and then slowly move the flame towards the bowl until the weed just starts to light up. Don't move it any closer, however, because you'll just scorch the bowl.

An Even Burn vs A Cornering Technique

If you plan on smoking the whole bowl at once, just light all of the material simultaneously for a very even and consistent burn. This generally produces the best results.

However, if you have too much cannabis in the bowl, and you only want to smoke part of it, using a cornering technique is recommended. This is where you just light up one small corner or part of the bowl while saving the rest.

This allows you to take smaller hits without wasting time, although it will negatively impact the airflow and quality of the pack for consecutive hits.

Having a part of the bowl burned and another part not burned affects the airflow. Therefore, repacking the bowl every time you use the cornering technique is recommended.

A Little Fire Goes a Long Way

Going back to the issue with the torch being too hot, remember that a little bit of fire goes a long way. By this, we mean that you should only hold the flame to the herb until it is lit and the cherry is glowing.

You don't need to keep holding the fire to the herb while smoking if it's already lit. This will serve no purpose but to waste your weed and the THC.

Watch Your Fingers

Always make sure to keep your fingers out of the way when lighting a bowl, especially if you are using a torch lighter.

Tips for Smoking a Bowl

Now that your bowl is lit, let's provide you with some invaluable tips on how to smoke a bowl properly.

Use a Tamping Tool While You Smoke

If you're smoking a very large bowl and taking many consecutive hits, to maintain proper airflow, using a packing or tamping tool to continuously pack it down between breaths is recommended. This will allow you to maintain proper airflow and have an enjoyable smoking experience.

Don’t Keep Re-Lighting If It’s Already Lit

If you are taking multiple hits off of a single bowl, and the material is already lit, you don't need to keep relighting it for every consecutive hit. 

Even if the cherry dies down a little bit between hits, pulling through the bong for the next hit should relight it. Continuously lighting your cannabis for consecutive hits does nothing but waste your cannabis and kill the THC. Always use as little fire as possible.

The Way You Pull Matters

The way that you pull on a bong matters as well. Some beginners may go for 100% full force right from the beginning.

However, due to how bongs work, especially if the bowl is properly packed, you generally have to pull a bit lighter at first, and then as the material burns, therefore allowing more and more air to flow through the bowl, you pull harder and harder. When you first light the bowl, start by pulling very slowly, and then increase the suction as the weed starts to burn.

Not only does this allow for a consistent and even burn, but it also prevents you from gassing yourself. If you give it 100% right from the beginning, chances are you won't have enough lung power to clear the chamber.

Clearing the Chamber

Speaking of clearing the chamber, if you don't want to waste your herb, you want to do this every time. Clearing the chamber means taking the bowl out of the bong so that air can freely flow through it and down into your lungs. If you don't clear the bowl, most of the smoke will be left in the chamber of the bong.

Use Ice or Percolators for Smoother Hits

If the hits are way too harsh for you, try using a bong that has a percolator or an ice catcher, along with some ice. These are features that can help diffuse or cool the smoke down to the point where it's not quite as harsh on your throat.

Don’t Inhale Too Much At Once

Smoking a big bowl is always fun, and it's a good way to impress those around you unless you inhale so much that you end up coughing your lungs out. Only inhale as much as you can handle without coughing. If you cough, you can't hold the smoke in, and you end up wasting some of it. It's also just very uncomfortable and harsh on the throat, so moderation is key.

Cough If You Have To, But Not Into the Bong

Keeping the above point in mind, if you have to cough, do so. Stifling a cough and keeping it inside can be very painful for your throat and lungs, and even cause a pretty severe headache. Just be sure to not cough right into the bong, or else you'll send water flying everywhere.

Cleaning and Maintenance

A close up shot of someone holding a green glass bong that's full of cannabis.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of the bong is also very important, so let's discuss exactly how to do that.

Why Clean a Bong Bowl?

Let's quickly talk about why you need to regularly clean the bowl of your bong.


If you don't clean your bowl, it will get clogged with resin and residue, therefore reducing the airflow, and eventually rendering the piece useless.


If you don't regularly clean your bowl, all of that resin and residue ends up tasting really bad. Those tastes completely take over, and you won't be able to recognize the strain you're smoking anymore. It will all just taste like old resin.


Old resin and residue aren't exactly the healthiest to smoke, so getting rid of it as much as possible on a regular basis serves a health purpose as well.

How To Clean a Bong Bowl: Methods and Materials

Let’s take a quick look at the best methods and materials to use when cleaning a bong bowl.

Using ISO Alcohol with Salt

Isopropyl alcohol should melt away any resin and residue, and coarse sea salt should scrape away anything left behind. Just put the bowl in a bag or container, submerge it in the alcohol and salt, let it sit for an hour, give it a shake, and rinse it off.

Using Hydrogen Peroxide with Salt

If you don't have any rubbing or isopropyl alcohol to use, your next best bet is to use hydrogen peroxide along with coarse salt. The process is the same.

Using Vinegar and Salt

Your next best bet, if you don't have isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, is to use vinegar and coarse salt. Vinegar is acidic and should do a good enough job as long as the buildup isn't too heavy. The cleaning process is the same as above.

Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar create a reaction when mixed together, resulting in the creation of carbon dioxide. This has its merits in terms of cleaning. You could always submerge your bowl in vinegar and baking soda for a while to see if that works, although this is generally only ideal for very light buildups.

In The Dishwasher

Although you don't want to put a glass bowl in the dishwasher, a metal bowl is definitely dishwasher-friendly. This might just be the easiest way to clean a metal bong bowl.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Let's quickly take a look at some of the most common issues you might be faced with when smoking a bowl, and how to take care of them.

Weed Falling Through

If weed is following through the bowl, the solution is to get a screen or to replace an existing screen if it has seen better days. You can also use small nugs of weed to block the hole.

Lack of Airflow: Clogs

If your bowl is clogged, the solution is to unpack it and see if the stem is clogged. If there is a clog in the stem, use a long and thin utensil to poke out any resin and residue. If it is the screen that is clogged, take it out and replace it. If you just packed the bowl too tight, repack it, but not so tight.

Weed is Too Dry or Too Wet

If your weed is too wet, it won't burn properly, in which case you want to let it dry. You can let it air dry for a few days, or use other drying techniques, such as the oven or the microwave. If your weed is too dry, however, the best solution is to mix it with some wet weed. Weed that is far too dry will burn too quickly and is usually harsh on the throat.

The Bowl is Getting Wet

If you notice that your bowl and its contents get wet while you are smoking your bong, the issue is most likely that you have too much water in the bong. If this is the case, remove some of the water until the problem no longer occurs.

Your Mouth Is Getting Wet

If your mouth is getting wet when smoking a bong, the issue is also that you have too much water inside of it. The solution here is also to remove some of the water.

The Bowl is Burning Unevenly

If the bowl is burning unevenly, make sure that all of your cannabis is ground up to a fairly even consistency. Also, use a packing tool to repack it.

Harsh Hits

If the hits from your bowl are too harsh, try smoking less weed, using a bong with a percolator, or using a bong with an ice catcher to cool down the heads. Ideally, you can combine all of these together.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this extremely comprehensive guide on how to pack a bowl has provided you with all the information you need from A-Z. 

If you follow all of the tips that we listed above, you should have no problems getting the perfect smoke out of every bowl. Packing a bowl for smoking isn’t difficult, but it needs to be done right.

Where to Find the Best Flower Online for Bowls

If you are looking for the best flower for your bowls, right here at Botany Farms is the place to be. We have an amazing selection of various types of flower to choose from. 

Some of our best-sellers include this Delta-8 Godfather OG, Delta-8 Blueberry Kush, Delta-8 Sugar QueenDelta-8 Strawberry Banana Kush, and this HHC Godfather OG.

How to Pack a Bowl: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To wrap things up, let's quickly go over some of your most frequently asked bowl packing questions.

How Do You Pack a Bowl Perfectly?

To pack a bowl perfectly, first, grind your cannabis into small and even-sized buds, put a moderate amount of them into the bowl, and pack it down slightly with a packing tool.

How Do You Smoke a Bowl Efficiently?

To smoke a bowl efficiently, start pulling lightly while simultaneously holding the flame just above the bowl. When the bowl is fully lit, remove the flame and start pulling harder.

How Many Hits Should I Take from a Bowl?

You can take as many hits from a bowl as you want until the cannabis is gone and you need to refill it.

Do You Have to Fully Pack a Bowl?

No, there is no reason why you would ever have to pack a full bowl. If you only want half a bowl, that is completely up to you.

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