Even with lower prices due to cannabis’ competitive market, using herbs can take a bite out of your monthly budget. Whether you’re using it for recreation or medicinal purposes (or a little bit of both), getting the most buzz for your buck can help those dollar bills stretch a little further.
In this article, we’ll look at 7 options for getting a buzz, ranked from least to most cost-effective.
Unfortunately, the most recognizable way to imbibe is also the least cost-efficient. Don’t get us wrong – if you like the taste of a blunt the best, by all means, keep smoking! But if you’re rolling a blunt just because that’s how you’ve always done it, and you’re looking for more buzz for your buck, you need to step away from the blunt.
The problem with blunts is that they’re so darn full of flower, and they keep burning even when no one is taking a puff. That’s a lot of wasted potential (and money) that could be taking a bite out of your wallet.
Additionally, there isn’t anything you can do with the remaining substance after you’ve burned through your blunt. Once combusted, the bud is useless, making blunts a one-trick pony.
Like blunts, joints also give a poor return on investment because they require a lot of weed, they keep smoking even when no one is inhaling, and they combust the bud. Blunts and joints also require you to keep buying more paper, and you’ll need a high-quality herb grinder if you want a good, even burn.
That said, rolling your joint or blunt can be an art form and quite therapeutic. There’s something to be said for enjoying the ritual of picking out a nice bud, grinding it, rolling it up, and burning it down.
#6 Oil Vaporizers
Oil vaporizers are a popular category that utilize more universally available 510-style cartridges that work with a variety of 510-compatible vaporizers. Oil vaporizers also work with “closed” systems, or systems where users buy the starting hardware and then only use cartridges specific to that hardware.
Due to their wider availability, 510 cartridges (or “carts”) are generally less expensive, have more variety, and are a more flexible option than the more restrictive closed systems. Since oils simply don’t last as long as flower and tend to expire in a month or two, these systems can have unexpected waste costs if you don’t use the cartridge within about 30 days. Possibly the biggest benefit of these systems is that they don’t actually burn anything, so there are no odors, and they are very discrete.
Bongs, or water pipes, are another classic way to smoke herbs. but they’re not very considerate of your weed or your wallet. When you’re using a bong, you need to consider the bowl size, hole size, and how much you pack at a time. Sure, they can pack a punch, but you can lose some of your flower if the bowl hole is too big, or if you accidentally drown the bowl by overfilling the water.
The bowls on bongs are also usually pretty large, so you may end up using more bud than you’d like because large bowls will continue to burn even after a healthy toke. However, you can also find smaller “snapper” or one-hitter like bowls that you can use quite efficiently.
With a bong, you also have to know how to work the carb, which means that you need to know how to pull the bowl out at the right time to clear the chamber. You can lose valuable smoke if you don’t use the carb right, so practice makes perfect!
Bongs don’t have to be expensive, but they can get pretty pricey the more elaborate you go. They’re also somewhat fragile, which could pose a problem if you’re clumsy or have pets that like to knock things over. However, if you like the way the water cools down the smoke, a bong is a great option.
#4 Hand pipe
As far as buzz for your buck goes, hand pipes are comparable to bongs for a lot of the same reasons. Some bowls are large, some are small, and conserving grass depends how much you load. Users typically also use a carb to clear the chamber.
Hand pipes tend to be a fraction of the size of a water pipe, so they are generally less expensive (unless you’re up for spending extra for a heady glass piece). Glass hand pipes can be very cool, but there’s always the risk of breaking them, which would lead to another expense.
Dabbing, or smoking extremely concentrated cannabis extract or oil using a dab rig, is not for beginners, and it does require some cost to get started. The concentrates, however, are incredibly potent, so it only takes a little bit, and the absorption is so quick, many dabbers believe they’re getting a lot of buzz for their buck.
Most people either have an elaborate dab “rig,” or they use a concentrate Nectar Collector® style or “dab pen,” each of which brings some gear costs.
#2 Dry Herb Vaporizers
Cannabis users generally agree that dry herb vaporizers are one of the most cost-efficient ways to get high. Not only do they only use your nugs when you’re taking a pull (thus not wasting your bud), but they don’t combust your flower, which often allows for repeat cycles of a single bowl, starting at a lower temperature at first and then going higher for the second go-round.
Vaporizers come in all shapes and sizes, but they’re generally more resilient and resistant to damage than joints and glassware. Some users say that they get a better sense of the strain and flavor since combustion isn’t interfering with those subtle tones, but one downside is that some users note that they can feel the difference in potency toward the end of a session that they wouldn’t feel if they were smoking a joint.
#1 One Hitters/Taster Bats
A one hitter is a unique pipe designed after the Chillum-style pipes of ancient tribes. They have become popularized throughout the US and Canada in recent years because they’re so thrifty and convenient.
The name “one hitter” is a bit of a misnomer because it actually often gives you a couple good puffs. To use, you just jam-pack a single hit into the small bowl (often via a dugout) and when you draw the flame through the end, it completely combusts the bud, leaving no wasted flower behind. Technique here is crucial because you just need to touch the flame to the flower to light it, and then it will burn naturally for a clean draw. Done correctly, this is arguably the best buzz for your buck.
The biggest downside to one-hitters is that they tend to clog quickly, so you need to have a poker handy. Keeping your pipe clean is essential; otherwise, you run the risk of blocking the chamber, giving you less smoke while still combusting your bud and leaving a bad taste in your mouth.
Other ways to save money on Mary Jane are to buy in bulk, grow your own (if it’s legal where you live), set personal rules for how, when, and what to smoke, use 4 piece grinders and save the kief, and shop around for good deals. At the end of the day, how and what you smoke depends entirely on your personal preferences.