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How To Pack a Better Bowl In Three Easy Steps

Sheldon Sommer

by Sheldon Sommer

February 20, 2024 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 6 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho
How To Pack a Better Bowl In Three Easy Steps

When smoking cannabis, it is essential to understand how to pack a bowl properly. Poor bowl-packing technique can cause various problems that can ruin the smoking experience and waste valuable product. For example, an improperly crafted bowl can result in bits of flower or ash entering the chamber, uneven burning, or clogging that prevents you from pulling a hit.

Whether you are a newcomer to cannabis smoking or an experienced smoker, this article can help clarify some of the ways that improper bowl-packing can affect your smoking experience. We will explore important techniques for grinding your flowers, filling a chamber, or choosing a bowl size. In the end this article will guide you to a more successful smoking session that best fits your experience-level or personal preferences.

How to Pack a Bowl: Step-By-Step Guide (With Pictures!) 

Tools Needed:

how to pack a bowl supplies

  • Cannabis Flower
  • A Grinder
  • The Bowl of Your Choice (whether that’s spoon pipe or bong)

1. Prepare your Flower

prepare your cannabis

Before you pack a bowl, there are some key steps that must be taken to ensure that your flower is ready to smoke. First, you must remove the stems and seeds (if there are any) so that you are left with only the pieces of bud. This means detaching the grainy flowery pieces from the thicker, more woody stick-like pieces that hold the flowers together. Don’t just throw these stems away, though! They can be saved for later use in cannabis tea, if you want to make the most of your product.

2. Grind the Bud

grinder how to pack a bowl

Although sometimes a topic of hot debate, grinding your flower before placing it in your bowl will ensure that your cannabis product will burn evenly. Using a grinder allows the cannabis to burn more slowly and evenly because the flowers have a more uniform consistency. Grinding prevents the outside of the flower from getting completely torched as you try to burn it all the way through.

It isn’t necessary to invest in an expensive grinder. Grinders come in various shapes and sizes, and they can be made of either metal or plastic. These factors are up to your personal preference and budget. It is recommended that, whatever grinder you choose, you opt for one with a chamber in the bottom that collects the dust that sheds off of the flower. This dusty material is called keef and can be saved to mix into future bowls to enhance the THC-levels when you smoke. Plus, this also allows you to get the most out of your product by ensuring you get to make use of every part of the flower.

When grinding cannabis flowers, aim to crush the pieces into small grains. The pieces should be evenly crushed, and should not resemble chunks of the original flower. At the same time, it is important to make sure these pieces are not so fine that they sprinkle through the hole in the bottom of your bowl.

3. Pack the Bowl

pack the bowl

Most people smoke cannabis with a glass pipe or bong, but there are other methods for smoking cannabis besides these as well.  Whichever smoking method you choose, it is important to pack the cannabis in proper amounts and concentrations.

When choosing a smoking device, the size of your bowl can vary depending on how much you intend to smoke. If you prefer smaller hits, opt for a smaller bowl, around 10mm-14mm. Alternatively, if you enjoy bigger hits, a bowl that is around 18mm that can hold more cannabis is ideal.

When filling a bowl with your ground flower, you must make sure not to overpack the bowl so tightly that the product blocks the airflow. If the air cannot run through the hole in the bottom of the bowl, you will not be able to get any smoke when you go to pull your hit. On the other hand, if you pack too loose of a bowl, the small pieces of ground flower can be sucked through the hole, which can result in lost product, or worse: getting bits of charred cannabis in your mouth.

To pack the bowl, place your desired amount of ground flower over the hole in the bottom and gently press it down with either your finger, the flat end of a lighter, or you can even use a special tamping tool. Just make sure you don’t pack the grinds in too tightly, as mentioned previously.

How much product should you put in your bowl? Like choosing a bowl size, this amount will also depend on your personal preferences. If you are looking for a short smoke session with a less intense hit, fill your bowl to about 30%. If you are looking to enjoy a more powerful high, fill your bowl to 60%. For the most intense smoking experience, you can even fill your bowl to the top.

Tips for Packing a Better Bowl:

spark up a bowl

If you’re looking to enhance your experience, feel free to sprinkle some extra goodies onto your bowl. Here are some of our favorite ways to level up our cannabis bowls:

  • Add a tiny nug to the bottom of your bowl to block the hole without restricting airflow — to avoid Scooby Snacks!
  • Sprinkle kief on top
  • Drizzle on a little melted cannabis concentrate or THC diamonds
  • Split your bowl half-and-half with some hash
  • Add some extra terpene extract to maximize flavor

Always Clean Your Bowl

Although not technically part of packing your current bowl, it is ideal that you clean your smoking apparatuses after your session to maintain the quality of your future smoking experiences. It is always best to use a clean pipe or water pipe when you smoke to avoid a buildup of resin that can clog your bowl or give your cannabis smoke a bad taste when you smoke your next bowl.

For new smokers and experienced tokers, these tips can help enhance your smoking experience and allow you to better enjoy your cannabis products. By isolating flowers from their stems, using a grinder, and selecting a suitable bowl size, you are on your way to a great smoke session. Packing a bowl can seem daunting to the inexperienced cannabis user or for users who are used to rolling joints. Nevertheless, once you understand the methods that help optimize the smoking experience and adjust your process to meet your own needs and preferences, packing your own bowl can provide a unique and enjoyable experience different from other methods of consuming cannabis. 

Want to level up your rolling skills next? Check out our guide on how to roll a joint.

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