Methods of Inhalation

One of the most popular methods of consuming cannabis is through inhalation of dried flower. Inhalation is the fastest-acting method of administration and provides a significant quantity of terpenes, which are associated with unique and nuanced flavors and effects. There are several methods of inhaling cannabis flower, but all require some mechanism that can heat the product.

Some options combust (burn) the product while others vaporize the active ingredients at a lower temperature. The temperature of the smoke or vapor as you inhale it plays a role in the smoothness of the inhalation and the compounds being consumed. Butane lighters are commonly used, but may result in inhalation of butane. Some patients prefer to use hemp wicks for a cleaner alternative. A vaporizer may be preferred because it does not produce carbon monoxide or other potentially harmful by-products of combustion. There are several methods of inhalation to chose from, so use whatever method works best for you. To see what options we currently have available, check our menu.


Many patients like the convenience and flavors they get from using pre-rolled flower. We offer pre-rolls, and we sell rolling accessories that can help patients roll their own at home. Some patients may benefit from using the entire pre-roll in one session, but many prefer to take an inhalation or two and save the rest for later. The key is to start slow and to use the smallest amount that is effective for your symptoms.

One-Hitters and Pipes

Another common method for inhaling cannabis flower is with the use of a one hitter or pipe typically made from glass, ceramic, or silicone. This is good choice for patients that use small amounts of flower or want something that is easy and portable. Most pipes have a “carb” hole that allows you to regulate the airflow by covering or uncovering with your finger when inhaling. To load these devices, add some ground or broken-up flower into the end of the one-hitter or into the bowl of the pipe and light the flower using a lighter or a hemp wick while inhaling.

Water Pipes

Water pipes are typically glass or silicone devices with an area for water to be added. The water works to cool the smoke which helps patients experience a smoother inhalation. There are different sizes and styles of water pipes that have various features. Water pipes have a percolator to filter the smoke, and some have a chamber where ice can be added to cool the smoke even more. It is important to change the water frequently and rinse to keep it clean.

Dry Herb Vaporizers

For patients who wish to inhale cannabis without smoking it, dry herb vaporizers are an effective option. Vaporizers work by heating the flower to release cannabinoids and terpenes without the harmful compounds created by combustion. Vapor is typically smoother to inhale than smoke and has more flavor from terpenes, which vaporize at relatively low temperatures. Dry herb vaporizers come in several shapes and sizes and with many features, but they all use ground cannabis flower. The best models allow you to adjust the temperature for an optimal experience.

Other Helpful Tools


Grinders are great tools because ground flower can be easily utilized with any method. Grinders typically have different compartments. Cannabis flower is added to the top compartment that has teeth for grinding the flower. As you grind, the flower moves into the other compartment, which collects the ground flower. Some grinders have a third compartment on the bottom that catches kief, the resinous trichomes that have concentrated cannabinoids and terpenes.


Many people like to add either a stainless-steel screen or a glass screen to the bowl of their pipes to prevent flower from going through the hole into the pipe or even into their mouth. There may be additional health concerns with metal screens depending on the type of metal they’re made of. Glass screens typically last longer because they can be cleaned with other glassware.

Hemp Wicks

Hemp wicks provide a sensible alternative to using a butane lighter to ignite cannabis flower. Inhaling butane can be harmful to the body and can negatively affect the taste of your cannabis. Hemp wicks do not contain petrochemicals. They can easily be wrapped around a lighter for ease of use.

Tips for Cleaning Equipment

Cannabis smoke leaves a tar, or “resin,” that can be harsh and harmful to your lungs. For patient who chose to smoke, clean smoking equipment is safer and leaves a better taste, so it’s important to clean your equipment regularly. There are many ways to clean equipment and it depends on the material you are cleaning. For glassware, a common method is use isopropyl alcohol and salt and to either plug the holes of glass piece or to put it in a plastic bag and shake until clean. There are also some glass and silicone cleaners that you can use to clean equipment. Be careful when you are cleaning glass equipment as it may break easily.

Updated October 20, 2022

Methods of Inhalation

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