The Two Best Ways to Pack a Bowl
How to Pack a Bowl Correctly
We can discuss volume, airflow, and flame-angle, but at the end of the day, there are two right ways to prepare a bowl. Throughout this article, we'll talk about these two methods and provide benefits and disadvantages to both. But first, what happens when a bowl's packed incorrectly?
Did You Pack Your Bowl Correctly?
Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of casually tossing an entire nug into a bowl and trying to light it up. It doesn't tend to go well. Even if seemingly packed correctly, the experience is something akin to smoking a rock covered in moss. The outside – while green and vibrant – is burned away to expose a useless core. Let's not forget to mention the butane flavor from the flames cresting around the sides of the nug; that's gross. Using hemp wick helps avoid the unwelcome BIC flavor, as well as reducing the lungs' intake of butane. Long story short, don't thrown a full nug into your bowl and expect much to happen.
What You Need to Pack a Bowl
To pack the perfect bong bowl you'll need all the right tools. These are probably the things you usually use but we'll run down a short list to make sure.
1. Cannabis. The weed you have should be properly dried and ready to be ground without being too sticky.
2. Grinder. Choose a weed grinder that has medium-sized holes that wont provide too fine of a grind.
3. Pipe or Bong with a bowl. A fourteen millimeter bowl is the typical size but larger bowls exist with bigger capacity.
4. Hemp wick or lighter. A standard lighter will work but if you want to cut down out the butane flavor from your smoke sesh then using a hemp wick will taste fresh.
Here's How to Load a Bowl
Hand-packing is the oldest method, involving breaking up some bud with two fingers against the palm (or preferably on a clean surface), and was the standard practice before grinders. The argument to hand packing is the bud breaks up enough to neatly pack into a bowl while preventing the compromise of the nug's potency. A grinder is not exactly a gentle tool – that's why they have kief screens, so it can reclaim all that kief - those trichomes being knocked off in the grinding process. Breaking nugs up by hand in as few motions as possible preserves all those trichomes in order taste and feel the full power of the flowers.
Step 1: Grind Your Weed
While hand packing is a useful technique, using a grinder provides other benefits. When grinding flowers, the surface area increases, meaning more of that flower can fit into a bowl or a vape chamber. Having maximum surface area is the key to getting a big hit because the heat source can come into contact with as much of the bud as possible. That's why it's wise to use a grinder when loading bowls for a vaporizer or to share hits in a larger pipe.
Here is how to load a bong bowl and get a great smoke every time. Load the grinder with a big nug by breaking the nug into two or three smaller pieces and pushing it into the grinder teeth. Close the grinder and give it several turns in both directions until it provides little to now resistance. The finer grind, the lighter the bowl pack. Pushing down too much on finely ground weed will lead to a clogged bowl that may need to be dumped out and reloaded.
Step 2: Load the Bowl
Packing takes practice, manual dexterity – and some may say it's for purists –but the quality of flavor is supreme. After breaking the bud up by hand, it's time to do the packing. Throw one of the more significant bits in the bottom to act as a screen, layer the rest on top, and then gently push down on the entire bowl. Using a light touch is critical to success when packing a bowl like this.
Something that will make a difference in all of this is what type of bowl you are using and if the bowl has a screen or a built-in filter. These types of bowl setups will have better airflow and can burn through a tightly packed bowl with ease. Keep this in mind when using a filtered bowl and feel free to pack it more densely regardless of your grinding method.
Smoke Your Bowl
Light one side or one corner of the bowl with your lighter or hemp wick. Don't hold the flame to the bowl for more than a second or two and let the embers of the bowl do the job of making the rest of the bowl smoke. Inhale and have a good time.
So when it's time to sit down with a fat nug, find your favorite pipe and try each method out to notice the differences. When loading a bowl, remember: either break it up by hand and pack it tight or grind it fine and press lightly. With this little bit of advice, never risk wasting a bowl again.